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Volume 110, Issue 118
Police Seek Motive Behind Area Shooting
Reason for dispute
By John Frank
Assistant University Editor
A day after gunfire ripped through a
quiet Chapel Hill neighborhood, police
still were looking for a motive behind the
midday shooting that left one man dead.
Officials and family members close to
the case said the murder of James Earl
Thompson, 34, resulted from a feud
Ricky Calderon of Carolina Car Wash & Detail Inc. off Airport Road washes a customer's car Tuesday afternoon. The car wash was able
to maintain business during the drought because of its access to well water, which it will continue to use except for indoor plumbing.
Lifted Restrictions Aid Local Businesses
Drought caused less
business for some
By David Allen
The Orange Water and Sewer
Authority lifted all water restrictions
earlier this month, and as a result, local
businesses are breathing a little more
Ed Kerwin, executive director of
OWASA, said the businesses most
direcdy affected by the restrictions were
Lighting Tour on Campus
Reveals Few Fresh Needs
By Vanessa Capobianco
Staff Writer ___
Few students and University officials
showed up Tuesday for the usual semes
ter lighting tour despite its reputation for
keeping student safety in the spodight.
Electric Systems, the section of the
Division of Facilities Services that
maintains the lighting throughout the
University, has been sponsoring the
walk for about 10 years.
This semester’s tour focused heavi
ly on North Campus lighting, and par
ticipants noted only a few areas for
The Next Chapter
State officials move to dismiss lawsuit brought
by municipalities asking for withheld money.
See Page 4
between family members.
Thompson, an employee of the UNC
Housekeeping Services Department,
was shot Monday by his father-in-law,
Sherman Albert Tate Sr., 65, on Mitchell
Lane off West Rosemary Street.
Witnesses said Monday that the two
men were arguing loudly in the door of
Tate Realty & Construction Cos. at 342
W. Rosemary St. before Sherman Tate
allegedly opened fire on Thompson.
Chapel Hill police still are investigat
ing the nature of the dispute, and those
close to Sherman Tate wouldn’t go into
detail about the subject of the argument
landscapers, plant retailers and car
Although OWASA took these con
cerns into consideration when re-eval
uating the restrictions, Kerwin said it
was important to make decisions based
on what was best for the overall com
“We were aware of (the businesses’
concerns) and considered them, but we
were primarily guided by making sure
the community didn’t run out of
water,” he said.
Carolina Car Wash & Detail Inc. was
able to handle the drought restrictions
with relative ease thanks to its access to
Typically, turnout of University offi
cials on the lighting tour has been high
er. But this year, only one employee of
the Department of Public Safety attend
ed. Several student government repre
sentatives also were in attendance.
Mary Fox, construction parking
manager at DPS, said the lighting tours
have been extremely effective in
improving lighting on campus. Every
semester when officials take the tour,
they can see the new adjustments and
lights that have stemmed from it.
“No amount of light can make some
See TOUR, Page 2
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
“This was a problem with family,”
said Barry Winston, Tate’s attorney.
Winston was at Sherman Tate’s first
court appearance Monday, where he
posted the secured bond of $25,000.
Winston described Sherman Tate’s
mood during the proceedings as somber.
Travis Tate, Sherman Tate’s nephew,
said he was with Sherman Tate when his
uncle got a phone call and left abruptly. “I
really don’t know myself what happened.”
Julius Tate Sr.of Mebane said that his
brother Sherman Tate is not a violent man
and that he was justified in his actions.
“(Sherman Tate) had a problem,” Julius
“We didn’t change things much,”
said store manager Ricky Calderon.
“We will stay with the well for a while
and see what happens.”
Calderon said that he thought
OWASA handled the drought well and
that he had no complaints about the
“They came and checked the well
every week .and did everything they
should have,” he said.
Mike Dickinson, co-owner of
Dickinson Garden Center, said his busi
ness suffered quite a bit because of the
drought restrictions. “It was absolutely
%\ Sl c
Phil Mazarick (right) of Electric Systems inspect a light fixture with
several students and campus officials on Tuesday's lighting tour.
Business is other people's money.
Delphine de Girardin
Red-hot Tar Heels to face
Rutgers at Smith Center.
See Page 11
Tate said Tuesday night. “(Thompson)
was the problem. And that’s that.”
Detective George Sorrell, the lead
investigator, said police still were investi
gating a motive and it was “too early for
me to put anything out there at this time.”
But police did release more informa
tion Tuesday about where Thompson was
shot and evidence taken from the scene.
According to the medical examiner’s
report, Thompson was shot twice - once
in the torso and once in the back.
Thompson was killed by the first bullet,
which went through his left arm before it
entered his torso, piercing his lung and his
awful how slow things got around
In the midst of those hard times,
Dickinson said, one blessing emerged
in that the restrictions encouraged
Dickinson to repair the company’s well.
“Out of all this, there’s been a benefit."
Dickinson Garden Center continues
to use its well in spite of the lifted
restrictions to county water. The only
OWASA water the company uses is the
indoor plumbing system of the store
itself, Dickinson said.
Rodney White, manager of Southern
See DROUGHT, Page 2
Police are looking
for the cause of
Tate Sr.'s alleged
shooting of area
resident James Earl
was arrested and
heart The second bullet grazed his back.
Some witnesses said Monday that
they heard three shots, and police still
are looking into those claims.
Smith Center to
Operate in Red
Venue has turned a profit once in 17 years
By Rob Leichner
Despite excitement over an
improved men’s basketball team that
annihilated Penn State by 30 points
Monday night, officials say the Smith
Center - the team’s home court - still is
on track to lose money this year.
Rising competition from other con
cert venues and a lack of revenue from
non-basketball events have kept the
center in the red for years, officials say.
“We’ve cut everywhere we can, but it
is a very expensive building to run,”
said Angie Bitting, the Smith Center’s
managing director. It has been reported
that total operating expenses for the last
fiscal year totaled more than $1.3 mil
lion while total revenue was less than
State funds generally cover most of
the losses, but last year some of the
money came from the budget of the
Department of Athletics, Bitting said.
She added that the Smith Center has
only made a profit once, in 1988, since
opening 17 years ago.
“There is a portion (of the deficit) the
athletic department pays, and there is a
portion the state pays,” Bitting said.
“We know we are going to lose
money every year,” she said. “We bud
get to operate at a loss.”
Steve Kirschner, associate athletic
director for communications, said the
Smith Center will receive nearly $1 mil
lion in state funding this year despite
earlier fears that the state budget deficit
would cause the money to be withheld.
When the Smith Center opened in
Elkin Hills Residents
Seek BOT's Attention
By Will Arey
Area residents are hoping for anoth
er chance to appeal to the University’s
governing body today about a move
they say will disrupt their neighbor
Several members of the Elkin Hills
community are planning to attend a
Board of Trustees committee meeting
today to protest the location of the
Campus Services Support Facilities pro
The project in question will move the
existing Printing, Ground, and
Environment, Health and Safety build
ings from their location on Finley Golf
Course Road to the Giles Homey lot in
the Elkin Hills area.
Members of the BOT already have
approved the location of the building
and expect to discuss the architectural
design at the BOT Buildings and
Today: Partly Cloudy; H 61, L 40
Thursday: P.M. Showers; H 58, L 39
Friday: Partly Cloudy; H 51, L 30
“He was hit twice, but we haven’t
determined the number of shots,” said
police spokeswoman Jane Cousins.
Police recovered a five-shot, .38-caliber
revolver from the Tate Realty office that
they believed was used by Sherman Tate
in die shooting. They also found a .22-cal
iber revolver in Thompson’s right front
coat pocket Police said ballistics tests have
not been completed, but so far there is no
evidence that Thompson’s gun was fired.
Police also confiscated an unloaded
shotgun from the back of a GMC Envoy,
See SHOOTING, Page 2
DTH FILE PHOTO
Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies
performs in the Smith Center's last
concert about two years ago.
1986, the state promised to help fund it
if it would serve as a facility benefiting
the entire state, Kirschner said. Some of
the events the center holds for the pub
lic’s benefit include blood drives, job
fairs, the state high school basketball
tournament and UNC’s winter
Commencement and fall convocation.
But these public service events do
not raise sufficient funds to ran the
Smith Center, Kirschner said.
The center used to hold concerts to
bring in money, but the interest from
See DEAN DOME, Page 2
Grounds Committee meeting at 3:30
But Elkin Hills resident Kathleen
Kearns said community members
strongly believe the approved location
of the facilities is not appropriate.
“The planned location of the facilities
is incompatible with a residential neigh
borhood,” Kearns said. “We are con
cerned about the noise of the new facil
ities, local flooding and storm water and
Kearns said Elkin Hills leaders also
are frustrated by other issues in the pro
“Almost every part of the proposal
has been specifically prohibited by zon
ing,” she said. “And we’re worried about
light pollution and environmental
degradation as well.”
Kearns said that although she does
not expect community members to be
See BOT, Page 2