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WORLD & NATION
Ride operator arrested after machine
malfunctions, tampering is suspected
BY TY GOOCH
On the night of Oct. 24, as riders at the
North Carolina State Fair exited the Vortex,
the spinning ride unexpectedly jolted into
motion, throwing riders onto its metal deck.
Five victims were rushed to the hospital,
two of whom were in critical condition.
Fox News reports that, as of Oct. 25, two
of the victims had been released, while three
others remained hospitalized.
The incident is said to have been the result
After an investigation by the Wake County
sheriff's office. Vortex ride operator Timothy
Dwayne Tutterrow has been charged with
assault with a deadly weapon.
According to the sheriff's office, Tutterow
disabled safety devices in order to keep the
Vortex in operation, as shutting it down
would result in a loss of revenue.
"Through our investigation, talking to
witnesses and to the ride operator, we have
determined that this ride was tampered
with ... and that critical safety devices were
tampered with and compromised," said
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison at a
press conference on Oct. 26.
While Tutterrow has been charged, the
sheriff's office is continuing its investigation.
"It's an ongoing investigation, and there
is still a lot of information to be gathered,"
North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner
Steve Troxler told NBC News.
Tutterrow's family commented on the
incident, saying that Tutterrow meant no
harm in his actions.
"Tim's not a bad guy," said Stuart Mouser,
the nephew of Tutterrow's ex-wife, to The
(Raleigh) News & Observer.
But Tutterrow doesn't have to be
considered a bad guy to be convicted.
Regardless of his intentions, he may still be
convicted for assault with a deadly weapon
if a court proves that he acted negligently on
The state fair incident has not dissuaded
some Guilford College students from
attending the fair in the future, however.
"This doesn't necessarily make me want
to not go to the fair," said junior Daniel
McFadden. "Those injured were just in the
wrong place at the wrong time. I'd still go."
Sophomore John Brvenik would also go.
"Just because you have one bad ride
operator, doesn't mean that they are all bad," ■
On the other hand, first-year Nora
Prokosch is having second thoughts.
"Knowing that someone who was hired to
operate a ride purposely disabled the safety
devices kind of makes me not want to go,"
The fair, which closed on Oct. 26, will
reopen next October.
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Syrian War: no end in sight, no one^s keeping watch
BY VALERIA SOSA
"Ever since the die-down of the fervor around the use
of the chemical weapons ... I haven't followed, and I think
most Americans haven't followed, what's been going on as
closely," said Jeremy Rinker, visiting assistant professor of
peace and conflict studies. "If it's not on the front page of a
paper, it's easy to forget about the fact that there is a lot of
suffering and ongoing violence in Syria."
With the issue of chemical weapons mostly resolved, the
simmering hype over the Syrian revolution has subsided.
Or, as Rinker indicates, it's at least no longer on the front
page of every major newspaper.
However, many believe that the regime's violence and
brutal oppression is as intense as ever.
Mohammad al-Bardan, an activist who is part of the
Syrian Nonviolence Movement, participated in the first
months of the protests in Syria.
Al-Bardan barely escaped detainment and torture.
"Many who were less involved than me were captured
and tortured," al-Bardan, who left Syria to study in the U.S.,
told The Guilfordian in a phone interview.
"In the Southern prisons, one of the (officers) liked to
put 90 people in a small square in a small room that could
only fit 10 people," said al-Barden. "There were lots of death
inside, and no one removed those bodies.
"It's just very, very horrible and hard to describe or even
The violence is not limited to activists or to adults.
"This regime has really targeted children in a way
that hasn't been seen," Mohja Kahf, associate professor
of comparative literature and Middle Eastern studies at
University of Arkansas, told The Guilfordian in a phone
interview. "Children and teens are tortured by way of
cigarette burns, mutilations, imprisonment and rape before
Kahf is also part of the Syrian Nonviolence Movement.
She recounts the story of Hamzah Khatib, age 13, who
was involved in the protests before his arrest in April 2011.
On May 24, Khatib's body was returned to his parents with
cigarette bums, three non-lethal bullet holes, severed genitals
and bums on his hands and feet, among other injuries.
According to the Human Rights Watch, children as young
as Khatib are held in detention facilities and kept in solitary
confinement where they are severely beaten, electrocuted
and often left to dangle from metal handcuffs for hours at
All of the children interviewed reported that they did not
receive adequate food and water during their confinement.
The majority received no medical treatment for torture-
"This regime has tortured children for a very long time
in the prisons," said Kahf. "There have been children bom
in prisons, bom from rape. They have never seen a sky or
known what a bird is. Literally.
"There is a sense in the regime that ... if we teach the
children a lesson, the parents will learn it even better."
While the human rights violations rampant in Syria have
served to deter protest groups, there is still hope for the
"Ordinary people have power if they just organize and
use it, even against lethal, bmtal repression," Kahf said.
And while both Kahf and al-Barden do not expect the
war to end anytime soon, they continue fighting for a better
"We are trying to focus more on teaching the next
generation the aspects for change," said al-Barden. "To have
a generation that could solve the problem."