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MONDAY, AUGUST 19,1996
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, DTH FILE PHOTO
Firefighters combat the blaze that killed five students early Sunday morning.
Friends, Family Remember Five Lives Cut Short by Tragedy
BY JEANNE FUGATE
MAY 16 “Remember when you were young
you shone like the sun,” the rock band Pink Floyd
sang. The lyric must have struck a chord in Mark
Briggs Strickland, a victim in the May 12 Phi Gamma
Delta fraternity house fire. He had this quote printed
by his senior picture in the 1993 Rocky Mount Acad
emy yearbook. Below Strickland’s yearbook picture,
Josh Weaver smiles awkwardly.
Strickland and Weaver, both juniors from Rocky
Mount, shared a yearbook page, a lifelong friendship
and a tragic death. The fire claimed the lives of their
childhood friend, Anne Mcßride Smith, also a junior
from Rocky Mount; and that of Joanna Howell, a
Task Force Releases
New Lenoir Design
BY JOHN SWEENEY
After more than a year of travelling,
planning and decision making, students
are finally getting the first glimpse at what
the new and improved Lenoir Dining Hall
could look like.
Preliminary designs for the renovations
of UNC’s main dining facility were sent to
student leaders earlier this month, the first
step in the long process to completely over
haul University dining services.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Business
Carolyn Elfland said construction on the
project should begin immediately after
Commencement next spring.
Scott Hammack, co-chairman of the
Student Services Committee for student
government, said he hoped the newly de
signed Lenoir would attract students back
to UNC' s dining services, which are run by
the Marriott Corp. under contract from the
“Hopefully, it is going to make Marriott
attractive to students again and bring stu
dents back on campus to eat," Hammack
Student Body Vice President Lindsay-
Rae Mclntyre said she thought the ineffi
ciency ofLenoir's current design kept many
We hope this paper gives you a rundown
of what's been going on since you left for
summer break. Well be returning to our
regular schedule Wednesday.
The Daily Tar Heel is currently hiring for all
positions. Those interested should pick up an
application in Suite 104 of the Student Union.
T sgi V The McDade House might
be destroyed to make room
MHH9H for growth. Page 6A
junior from Cary; and Ben Woodruff, a sophomore
People who have read Strickland’s quote said they
sensed the irony during a time when everyone is
grappling to remember the victims.
Josh Weaver took on many different roles: swim
mer and swim coach, student body president of his
high school and a band member.
“I’ve never met anyone who was more energetic,
had more enthusiasm for life,” said Jason Hughes,
Weaver’s freshman year roommate.
Libba Weaver searched for the right word and said
her son had always been “very effervescent.”
“No matter what he was doing, he approached it
students from enjoying the University’s
food services. Consequently, she said, many
students go to Franklin Street to eat.
“Right now, a student will walk into the
front of Lenoir at lunchtime, take one look
around and decide not to eat there because
there are so many people,” Mclntyre said.
The biggest change students will see
could be the addition of a third floor to
Lenoir. Currently, the building has a base
ment level with a cafeteria-like atmosphere
and a main level with a food court. The
new plans call for office space in the base
ment, a food court on the first floor and a
new floor that will look much like the
current basement. The first floor food court
would include nine dining options, as op
posed to the five currently available.
In addition, the new Lenoir would have
a cafe with extended hours, a vestry that
would jut out into the Pit to make it more
accessible to students passing by and sev
eral smaller dining rooms for a more pri
Elfland said the biggest concern for the
Food Services Task Force was making
sure students did not have to eat in the
basement of the building.
“We said ‘We don’t want anybody to
eat in the basement,”’ Elfland said. “That
is the key.”
The estimated cost for the project is
more than $lO million, well over the $9
million originally projected.
Hammack said the task force was look
ing into scaling back other renovations in
the Student Union and Chase Hall to pay
for the Lenoir project.
Up to $ 13.1 million for all three renova
tions will be covered by the General As
sembly, who voted this summer to pay for
the project, following the recommenda
tion of the Board of Governors.
The ceiling isn’t glass; it’s a very dense layer of men.
zrv So Much to Do,
So Little Time
JL A weekly calendar in The
Daily Tar Heel will compile
BMB all campus events. Page 5A
Phi Gamma Delta
Fire Leaves Five Dead
BY JEANNE FUGATE
MAY 16 lnvestigators have con
cluded that the May 12 Phi Gamma Delta
fraternity house fire that killed five UNC
students was accidental and probably
started by smoking materials.
Chapel Hill Fire Chief Dan Jones said
the blaze started in the southeast comer of
the basement, where the fraternity kept
housewares, paper products and trash. A
smouldering cigarette or match dropped
DTH FILE PHOTO
Firefighters remove a body from the wreckage at Phi Gamma Delta.
with a lot of enthusiasm,” she said.
Weaver was able to keep watch on her son since
teaching him at Rocky Mount Academy. Smith and
Strickland were also in her class.
Paul Proctor, Assistant Headmaster for Rocky
Mount Academy, said, “Josh had good ideas, he
asked thought provoking questions. He challenged
Weaver and five or six of his classmates formed a
band in high school. That love of music continued at
UNC where he played in another band, The Willets.
Weaver swam competitively for 10 years. Once he
came to UNC, he started coaching. Libba Weaver
said he had planned on coaching a team this summer.
See STUDENTS, Page 2A
Eleven Tar Heels Have Golden Summer Ajy
Eleven current and former Tar Heels won gold medals at the Atlanta Olympics this summer. More jKwflw
than 20 athletes and coaches participated in the '96 Games. For full coverage of all their tears,
fears and triumphs, look for Sports Wednesday in the August 21 edition of The Daily Tar Heel.
j UNC-affiliated athletes
/jT Cindy Parlow, sophomore forward
7* Tiffany Roberts, sophomore midfielder
f. Staci Wilson, junior defender
Mia Hamm, UNC grad
Kristine Lilly, UNC grad
i Carla Overbeck, UNC grad
Tisha Venturini, UNC grad
Lauren Gregg, UNC grad (asst, coach)
April Heinrichs, UNC grad (asst, coach)
New Budget Pleases Students, Administrators
■ The General Assembly
increased the UNC-system
budget by $54 million.
BY JOHN SWEENEY
After months of debate, the General
Assembly finally passed a revised state
budget August 3, allocating $54 million in
new money to the UNC system.
The new money will be put to a variety
of uses, the most expensive ofwhich will be
the 4.5 percent pay raise for state employ
ees, including University faculty. Nearly
S3O million of the new money will be
allocated for that increase.
In addition, legislators voted to give
$17.8 million dollars in academic enhance
ment funds to UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C.
near the bar probably started the fire.
“An actual cause of ignition will be
impossible to determine," Jones said.
Assistant Fire Marshal Larry Johnson
said the downstairs room had old pine
panelling that helped the fire to spread
quickly. He said open doors and windows
allowed the fire to bum rapidly.
Johnson said if the basement door had
been closed, it would have stopped the
oxygen flow and slowed the fire.
All eight people who were in the build
ing when the fire struck have been ac-
Mark Briggs Strickland,
21, a junior from Rocky
Mount, majored in biology
100-meter hicjji hurdles
Katherine Kraft, Graduate and Profes
sional Student Federation president, said
the academic enhancement funds were a
key to UNC-CH’s continued strength.
“Having an academic enhancement
fund that we can use to benefit our own
needs will be really important to us, ” Kraft
In its initial budget plan, the Board of
Governors requested several million dol
lars to fund health insurance for graduate
students. The General Assembly did not
allocate money for that project, but UNC
CH has decided to use some money from
the academic enhancement funds to pay
for the insurance instead. Administrators
at UNC-CH have yet to decide how much
money will be needed for that project.
UNC-system President C.D. Spangler
said he was pleased with the General
Assembly’s final budget and what it prom
ised to do for the UNC system.
“I think the General Assembly addressed
• First Dante, Then
Jeff, Now Brooker
The men's basketball team
loses another guard for the
upcoming year. Page 11A
counted for, investigators said.
The five students who died in the fire
are Joanna Howell, a junior from Cary;
Benjamin Woodruff, a sophomore from
Raleigh; and three juniors from Rocky
Mount: Anne Mcßride Smith, Mark
Strickland and Robert Joshua Weaver.
Woodruff, Strickland andWeaverwere
members of Phi Gamma Delta. Smith’s
friends had last seen her with Strickland,
and Howell had stayed with another fra
Firefighters found the five victims on
the second floor of the fraternity house in
four bedroom areas. In one bedroom, a
victim was facedown over a couch. In
another room, a victim was trying to
crawl under the bed, and another victim
was lying on a cot. One victim was found
in a bedroom doorway and a victim was
found flung over a bike.
Associate Chief Medial Examiner Tho
mas B. Clark 111 said all five deaths were
a result of carbon monoxide poisoning
from the smoke.
Joanna Kristine Howell,
21, a junior from Cary,
majored in journalism
Robert Joshua Weaver
20, a junior from Rocky
Mount, majored in biology
Kendall Cross, UNC grad
Won 5-3 against Canada's
Allen Johnson, UNC grad
Time: 12.95 (Olyrtipic record)
many of the issues that we asked them to, ”
Student Body President Aaron Nelson
said he thought student communication
with legislators played a big part in con
vincing the General Assembly to be more
generous in their funding of the UNC sys
“I could not be more pleased with the
students’ efforts on this issue,” Nelson said.
“We were successful in conveying our in
terests to the legislators.”
While Spangler said he was “particu
larly pleased” with the salary increase for
University employees, he said he had hoped
“I would have preferred, of course, that
the General Assembly had done what the
BOG recommended for faculty salary in
creases, which was 7 percent,” Spangler
See BUDGET, PageßA
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Four of the victims had positive alco
hol results above the legal driving limit of
0.08 percent on the breathalyzer scale.
“Each of the positive alcohol results
was significantly greater than this limit,”
Howell had no blood alcohol content.
In breathalyzer equivalents, Strickland
had a 0.14 percent, Woodruff had a 0.2
percent, Weaver had a 0.17 percent and
Smith had a 0.18 percent.
The victims were probably trying to
escape until overcome with smoke.
“People underestimate the amount of
smoke that’s generated. They have no
concept of the smoke that’s generated
from a room contents fire,” Jones said.
The smoke may have contributed to
the students’ deaths. Carbon monoxide is
taken into the bloodstream at a faster rate
than oxygen, Jones said. “Their ability to
escape may be impaired," he said.
The three who escaped by jumping out
See FIRE, Page 2A
Benjamin Watson Woodruff,
20, a sophomore from Raleigh,
majored in economics
Anne Mcßride Smith,
21, a junior from Rocky
Mount, majored in English
BY MICHAEL KANAREK
The 14,000 people who ride on the
Chapel Hill Transit System daily will pay
more for a bus ride this fall.
A 15-cent bus fare increase was recom
mended in mid-April to offset a decrease in
It will be in effect when students return
Council member Joe Capowski said in
May that the increased revenue would be
used to replace the almost $300,000 the
town will not receive from the government
“(The council members) want to keep
(bus fares) as low as possible, but by law we
must have a balanced budget,” he said.
Chapel Hill Transportation Director Bob
Godding said in May that over the past five
years, government funding for Chapel Hill
Transit had dropped from $1.3 million to
Godding said the fare increase was also
a result of rising operating costs.
“One-third of the cost of service is ex
pected to be maintained by the user,"
Godding said. “Lately, that hasn’t been
Mayor Rosemary Waldorf said in May
that although the cost of bus service has
been increasing over time, the council had
postponed fee increases to protect riders’
“It’s not a decision that anybody feels
good about, but mass transit is not a service
that pays for itself,” Waldorf said.
The fee increases will cause the regular
bus fare to rise from 60 to 75 cents. The
price of a bus pass will rise from $lB9 to
$204, and Capowski saidinMay thatprop
erty taxes would increase by a half cent to
59.6 cents per SIOO of property value.