Archive for March 2011

Elon Students Safe in Japan After Earthquake

March 11, 2011

By Sam Baranowski

Three Elon students studying abroad in Osaka, Japan are safe, according to Eric Townsend, Director of Elon University News Bureau.

Courtesy Google Maps

Students are studying 500 miles from epicenter of quake

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Northern Japan this morning, more than 500 miles from where the students are studying at Kansai Gaidai University.

The Isabella Cannon International Centre has not been in direct contact with the students yet, but one student did update her Facebook page around 5 a.m. ET saying she is safe and their area was unaffected.

According to the Associated Press, the quake caused a 23-foot tsunami and more than 50 aftershocks this morning, many of them of greater than a magnitude 6.0.

The AP also reports this is the largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history.

More details to come.

Thursday Update: March 10

March 10, 2011

Phoenix14News: March 7, 2011 Newscast

March 9, 2011


Robin Ragsdale pleads guilty to felony hit-and-run charge

March 9, 2011

By David Hodges and Elizabeth Kantlehner

Robin Stanfield Ragsdale has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of a hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon.  The charges stem from a September 15, 2010 incident when  Ragsdale hit Elon student Toorialy Fazly and drove away.

Ragsdale in Alamance County Superior Court

Ragsdale was sentenced to 15-18 months in a state prison.

Ragsdale’s defense attorney, Kelly Fairman, said that her client was dealing with many mental health issues after the accident.

Ragsdale was previously charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide in 2007.

She received treatment at Moses Cone hospital and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. A psychiatrist who treated Ragsdale at the hospital gave details about her treatment and mental heath at today’s hearing.

Ragsdale struck Fazly while he was biking to class.  Ragsdale says she stopped and got out of her car to see if he was okay, then got back in her car and drove away.

Fazly was later life-flighted to Duke Medical where he received treatment for his injuries.

Ragsdale’s defense attorney argued that she should receive house arrest for a year so that she could continue to receive mental health care–including that after the accident, Ragsdale wanted to kill herself.

In addition to the time she will serve for the hit-and-run charge, Ragsdale will also serve 90 days in prison for a parole violation.

Behind the scenes of the strategic plan

March 9, 2011
by: Jacquie Adams 

The effects of Elon’s strategic plan, the Elon Commitment, are starting to show  on campus, but what goes into creating such an impactful change?
Twenty-three people vote on the plan, then a team of four plan, design, and oversee the construction of the buildings the strategic plans calls for. 

“I think its like the engineer on an old choo-choo train, the engine on a steam locomotive,” said Neil Bromilow, the Director of Planning, Design and Construction Management. “We have these big blocks of coal and somebody takes them and throws them in the boiler and makes steam out of them.”

Bromilow’s department is made up of three other people:  an architect, an interior designer and an administrative clerk.

When the strategic plan calls for a new facility to be built on campus, Bromilow’s department takes over. Every new facility the strategic plan calls for starts with a plan of how to achieve the desired outcome.

An architect sketches what the new facility should look like. Once the sketches are approved, the plan up for bid from contractors in the area and construction will soon start.

Planning can take up to a year before construction begins. The construction phase is likely will most likely last much longer than the planning phase.

“A typical job for us would take 18 months on average,” Bromilow said.

Even after construction begins, planning and organization is still needed to keep the project on track.

Circumstances constantly change, but the Bromilow said the desired product never does.

“You’re always trading off a need, a requirement, a desire and trying to get the middle ground where you say this is a quality product that will last long and fulfill the needs,” he said.

Rising Gas Prices A Concern During Fellows Weekend

March 9, 2011
By Monica Yantosh 

Campus was overtaken with out-of-state cars during the past weekend as prospective students from all over the nation came for fellows interviews. Gas prices were a major concern.

Nancy Vaughn and her daughter Courtney came to Elon to interview for a spot in a fellows program for the class of 2015.  They drove down from Maryland, more than 300 miles.

The Vaughn’s are becoming conscious of their driving habits and look for the best gas prices, even if there isn’t a huge difference in cost between stations.

“If there’s two stations, even if it’s a penny difference, I will go to the one with the penny or two difference,” Nancy said.

Melissa Donnel is the manager at the Brian Doby Shell station on Church Street.  She wants to remind drivers the gas stations are not at fault for the rising prices.

“It just depends on what they have to pay the gas price for, is how it calculates into our gas price,” Donnel said.

Donnel also said that so far, the high gas prices have not affected her business.

Fire breaks out in off-campus home

March 9, 2011

By Nick Ochsner and Jason Puckett

The Elon Fire Department responded to a fire alarm call at 208 Lee St. around 10:45 this morning.

Firefighters put out fire at 208 Lee Street

Callers reported a fire in their bathroom.

Firefighters on scene tell Phoenix14News that there was a small fire in the attic.  Crews cut a hole in the roof in the back of the house to help contain the fire.

Officials told the residents that the fire is contained and none of their property was damaged.


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