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Hate Crimes Draw Tougher Sentences
I As states begin to collect data
on hate crimes, new laws impose
harsher sentences on offenders.
BY ANDREW PARK
As the debate over hate crimes on campus
unfolds, the University can look to the state of
North Carolina for guidance.
Since 1991, ethnic intimidation has been a
serious crime in North Carolina, serious enough
to warrant the toughest misdemeanor punish
ment available from state courts.
State statutes do not prohibit hate speech. But
prosecutors can pursue criminals who are moti
vated by racial, religious or ethnic bias when
committing common crimes. And if convicted,
they face harsher sentences than criminals who
were not ethnically motivated.
The law was the product of five years of
discussion between a governor’s task force and
the N.C. General Assembly.
In the mid-1980s, communities nationwide
were outraged by hate crimes, and many states
were legislating harsher penalties for perpetra
Coalition Calls for Improved Working Conditions at UNC
. . , , , . DTH/ERBCPEREL
Members of the Coalition for Economic Justice hold up signs on the steps of South Building on Wednesday protesting
a proposal to contract out housekeeping jobs to a private corporation.
Tobacco Lawsuit No-Go
■ North Carolina will probably not join
other states in suing tobacco companies
for the cost of tobacco-related illnesses.
BY JENNIFER M. WILSON
Although North Carolinians shell out more than twice as
much money each year to treat tobacco-related illnesses as
the state generates in tobacco sales, officials say North
Carolina has no intention to join the growing number of
states filing suit against tobacco companies.
North Carolina’s hesitancy can be traced to the fact that
tobacco is one of the state’s most prosperous agricultural
products, say some observers.
“I can’t imagine we would be involved in a tobacco suit
because tobacco is North Carolina’s most important indus
try," said Clay Johnson, Gov. Jim Hunt’s deputy press
Florida, Mississippi, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Loui
siana, and Minnesota have all filed class-action suits against
tobacco companies for billions of dollars to cover Medicaid
costs caused by tobacco-related illnesses. They are also
charging that cigarette companies set out to addict smokers
while concealing tobacco’s addictive properties.
N.C. Attorney General Mike Easley attended a national
convention of attorney generals Monday during which Presi
dent Bill Clinton urged the group to make cigarettes less
accessible and stop tobacco companies from targeting chil
dren with their advertising campaigns.
However, Greg Rideout, a spokesman for Easley, said,
“North Carolina has no plans to file suits similar to those that
other states have filed.”
Tobacco sales and production made up 18 to 22 percent
of North Carolina’s agricultural production and about 12
percent of the state’s total revenue, said Carl Sofley, tobacco
specialist for the N.C. Department of Agriculture.
Sofley said the chances of North Carolina filing a suit
against tobacco companies would be “very slim to none.”
“It would be political suicide (to file a lawsuit against
tobacco companies) because so many people in North Caro
lina are dependent upon tobacco,” he said.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Vinroot also
Anew center on Franklin
WnEH Street will help improve
mMmMUi job training. Page 2
tors. White supremacists were at the top of their
“A hate crime has two victims: the individual
involved in the specific incident and the commu
nity to which that individual belongs,” a bro
chure from the N.C. Attorney General’s office
states. “A hate crime incident can precipitate a
series of similar attacks on victims who are
identified with the original target group.”
The list of hate crimes includes petty misde
meanors such as trespassing and vandalism,
more serious misdemeanors such as assault,
battery and stalking, and the most serious felo
nies arson, maiming and murder. Almost
every common crime can be upgraded to ethnic
intimidation if the state can prove that the crimi
nal was motivated by ethnic bias.
And some less common crimes are also pros
ecuted this way cross burning, carrying a
weapon at a parade and obstructing a place of
public worship. Since 1993, it is also a crime in
North Carolina to assemble with one or more
people to teach people how to commit hate
While these laws don’t make ethnically of
fensive acts criminal by themselves, they did
make prosecution of hate-motivated criminals
more serious and more vigorous, said Brooks
Up in Smoke
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cost state residents nearly twice as much in
medical bills - $2.1 billion.
SOURCE: N.C. MEDICAL JOURNAL/N.C. DEPT OF AGRICULTURE DTH/DANIEL NIBLOa
said he would not support litigation against tobacco compa
nies because of the crop’s major role in North Carolina’s
“I am pro-business, pro-jobs and pro-economic develop
ment,” Vinroot said. “I am very protective of tobacco. I
would not let down the barriers of defense of that industry.”
The total revenue from tobacco leaf sales in North
See TOBACCO, Page 2
The number of double
sided copiers for student
use will increase to save
paper. Page 2
SOURCES: FBI, SBI DTH/QtRIS KIRKMAN
Skinner, an attorney in the citizen's rights divi
sion of the attorney general’s office. “(Law en
forcement agencies) have certainly heard from
us that it’s important,” Skinner said.
In Chapel Hill, police have made arrests in
hate crime incidents. On July 9,1995, vandals
defaced Sylvia James’ car at 126 St. Andrews
Lane, painting “KKK” and a cross on the door
and pouring more paint down the side of the
door, said Jane Cousins, spokesperson for the
On June 12,1995, a white man was assaulted
by four black men who shouted slurs, threw
rocks and hurled sticks at him as he walked near
the comer of Merritt Mill Road and Cameron
Art is I; Science is We.
Hooker Pulls About
Face on New Deck
UNC is not likely to build
a parking deck on the
intramural fields. Page 3
Avenue. One rock hit the victim in the left fore
Chapel Hill police are also reporting hate
crime statistics to the State Bureau of Investiga
tion as a part of a nationwide program to increase
awareness ofbias and prejudice. Cousins said her
department reported five hate crimes last year.
In one ofthose incidents, aperson was charged
with intimidation of a homosexual male. Al
though the intimidation was recorded statisti
cally as a hate crime, the offender was not given
a stricter penalty because North Carolina law
does not single out crimes motivated by sexual
orientation. “Gay-bashing” is not addressed in
North Carolina’s ethnic intimidation law.
Currently, 50 of the state’s 450 law enforce
ment agencies were trained to report on hate
crimes, including the University police and six
other police departments in the UNC system,
said J ulia Nipper, a State Bureau of Investigation
With so few agencies able to count hate crimes,
North Carolina has reported low numbers so far.
The SBI knew of 10 reports in 1993 and seven in
1994, Nipper said.
Nationally, almost 6,000 hate crimes were
recorded in 1994, said Harvey Roshthal of the
Chancellor Michael Hooker must take more action to improve
working conditions for the lowest-paid members of the University
staff, particularly housekeepers, student members of the Coalition
for Economic Justice said at a press conference Wednesday.
Coalition members responded to a memo issued Wednesday
morning by Hooker in which he wrote that he believed the
University could address housekeeping concerns without turning
the service over to a private company.
The response came hours after the coalition hung posters
around campus asking “Have You Seen Our Chancellor?”
“The chancellor, like the groundhog, has made an appear
ance, ” senior Fred Wherry said to about 20 people on the steps of
South Building. “We wonder if his shadow will scare him and
bring about six more weeks of cold weather. If not, perhaps it is
springtime again at Carolina at last.”
The General Administration is considering ways in which the
16 UNC-system schools could privatize housekeeping services.
The study was mandated last summer by the N.C. General
Assembly and a final report is expected to be issued April 16.
Hooker’s memo was a response to a Feb. 8 memo from the
coalition. But Wheny said five principles on which the group had
demanded a response still had not been addressed. The five
principles outlined by the coalition requested that Hooker:
■ affirm that changes made within housekeeper contracting
policies will not affect the workers negatively
■ establish a fair representation of faculty, students, staff and
housekeepers in the study on contracting out
■ make sure all forthcoming issues that affect the University
See RALLY, Page 2
■ UNC officials responded
to complaints of power plant
neighbors and took steps to
reduce the noise level.
Peace and quiet might finally come to
the neighbors of the UNC power plant
now that it has met the requirements of the
town’s noise ordinance.
Residents hope that this latest develop
ment will mean an end to the noise pollu
tion that the plant, located on Cameron
Avenue, brought to the community.
The plant has finished building roofs to
enclose the machines that had been the
loudest offenders. A noise consultant was
then hired by the University to test the
plant’s noise levels. With theroofs in place,
those levels now comply with the stan
dards set by the town.
“We are in full compliance with all
portions of the special-use permit,” said
Brace Runberg, associate vice chancellor
for facilities management for the Univer
The permit requires that daytime noise
levels not exceed 60 decibels and nighttime
levels not exceed 50 decibels.
Complaints about the noise began dur
ing the plant’s construction and led resi
dents to organize a group called the Power
Plant Neighbors in 1992. Problems per
sisted after the plant was completed in
1993. Six neighbors sued the University
See POWER PLANT, Page 2
Rainy and cloudy;
Friday: Overcast high 60s.
■ Members of the BPWA asked the council
for a pay raise although it could mean a tax
increase for town residents.
BY MARY-KATHRYN CRAFT
African-American workers in the Chapel Hill Public Works
Department did not make enough money to live in the town in
which they work, said employees from the Black Public Works
Association at Wednesday’s town council meeting.
Members of the BPWA, clad in orange to show support for
their cause, addressed the council at a public hearing held to
discuss plans for the 1996-97 fiscal budget. Public workers asked
the council for a tax increase to fund a raise in their salaries.
George Parrish, a member of the BPWA, said, “Ifyou work for
the town of Chapel Hill and don’t have a second job, you can’t
Another member of the BPWA, Lonnie Degraffenreidt, said
the cost of living was significantly greater in Chapel Hill than in
places such as Durham and Cary.
He said the average cost for a home in Durham was $131,000
where in Chapel Hill the cost was around $202,000.
Average monthly rent in Durham and Cary was approximately
SSOO, and in Chapel Hill rent costs greatly fluctuated, he said.
“It’s hard forme to say I can put myfamily in any kind of home
in Chapel Hill,” Degraffenreidt said.
Maggie Burnett, office manager at the Public Works Depart
ment, said she was speaking on behalf of lower paid employees.
She said these workers were important to the town, and they
deserved an increase in their salaries.
“We are the nucleus of the services rendered by the town,” she
said. “Give the manager the freedom to give us our reward.”
Currently, there are 108 employees in the Public Works De
partment, and four African-Americans in the department made
over $30,000, BPWA members said.
All 10 people in the department who make below $17,150 are
Of the 75 African-Americans employed by the Public Works
Department, 71 were stuck below a glass ceiling of $30,000,
BPWA members said.
Marion Lyde, BPWA member, talked about the consequences
of the glass ceiling. “There’s no blacks except for one above that
permanent ceiling,” he said. “The career ladder for a white
employee seems to go straight up.”
The BPWA proposes a “two cents for justice” tax increase
which would provide enough funding for salary adjustments.
Steve England, BPWA member, said he wanted to encourage the
council to listen to the needs of all people and not just the elite.
“Give us the opportunity to experience the American dream, ” he
said. “If it takes a two cent increase, so be it.”
The council will consider comments from BPWA in preparing
its final budget. Town Manager Cal Horton said a formal budget
report would be submitted to the council April 27. More public
hearings will be held in May, and the council will make formal
budget decisions in June.
Straight From the Heart
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Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley speaks Wednesday in
Memorial Hall. See story, page 3.
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