TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2004
HBCUs help curb smoking
Receive grant for
Three of North Carolina’s his
torically black universities are
ready to step up their fights against
The On the Ground Smoking
Cessation and Prevention Project
will aid the trio of schools in their
efforts to curb smoking on cam
puses, examine the effects of tobac
co advertising and raise awareness
of the problem in the community.
North Carolina Central
University, North Carolina
Agricultural & Technical State
University and Bennett College
received a $1 million, two-year
grant from the American Legacy
Foundation, an anti-tobacco group
formed in the settlement of a 1999
lawsuit against the industry.
Students wifi study the adverbs
Chaplain’s case not in spotlight
Some say charges werefueled by race
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Capt.
James Yee, a Muslim chaplain in
the Army, spent 76 days in a
prison cell while authorities tried
to build a capital espionage case
Now he is free, the most serious
allegations have been replaced by
lesser ones such as adultery and
possession of pornography, and the
military justice system itself is on
Yee is due to appear Wednesday
in front of a military judge in Fort
Benning, Ga., for his preliminary
Originally scheduled for Dec. 2,
the hearing now has been post
poned four times —a total of 78
days so that the Army can review
classified documents in the case.
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ing techniques of the tobacco indus
try in local communities and inform
the public about their findings.
They also will use the research
to try to reduce smoking on their
campuses and to develop a radio
program that will emphasize the
health risks of tobacco to middle
and high school students.
“We have a track record of three
years that grassroots programs do
work, and they are culturally sen
sitive and empower these commu
nities from within,” said Helen
Lettlow, the foundations’ director
of priority populations.
She added that black children
have a lower than average smoking
rate in their high school careers
and that one of the program’s goals
is to strengthen that trend.
To work toward that end, stu
dents in the program at N.C.
Central will go into their commu
nity and mentor 50 middle school
students, said Sharon Saunders,
spokeswoman for the university.
In addition, students will be
Both sides say it’s possible his
preliminary hearing could be
Prosecutors aren’t saying much
publicly about this case, but it’s
apparent that they are no longer
pursuing charges of spying, which
could carry the death penalty upon
Initial reports said Yee was a
target of an espionage probe at the
U.S. military base in Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, where he ministered to
people suspected to be terrorists.
“Is this guy Jack the Ripper or is
he not?” asked Gary Solis, a former
Marine Corps judge advocate who
is now a professor of adjunct law at
“You have to appreciate that at
the outset they thought they were
onto something very serious, but
“That kind of (grassroots) work has
a way of transforming your thinking.
A commercial... doesn’t do it.”
LELIA VICKERS, school of education dean, n.c. a&t
trained to mentor peers who are
struggling with smoking and
encourage them to take part in the
program’s prevention efforts.
Those involved said the pro
grams are expected to be effective
because they will be tailored to
communities and will involve local
leaders. Students will go into
churches, schools and other public
places to inform community mem
bers of their findings.
In a press release, the foundation,
which sponsors the “Truth” series of
anti-smoking ads, states that black
consumers are targeted specifically
by tobacco marketing and that they
suffer more from tobacco-related
disease than other groups.
Lelia Vickers, dean of the School
they don’t seem to be able to accept
the evidence that in fact this was
just a garden-variety screw-up.”
The only formal charges against
Yee are mishandling classified
material, failing to obey an order,
making a false official statement,
adultery and conduct unbecoming
an officer, for allegedly download
ing pornography on his govern
ment laptop. The last two were
added since his release from the
If court-martialed and convict
ed on all charges, Yee could face as
many as 13 years in prison.
But some familiar with the mil
itary justice system insist that
those charges alone hardly ever
spark this sort of examination,
much less 76 days of pretrial con
finement, most of which was spent
Solis blames prosecutorial
“ineptitude” for the Yee case get
ting blown out of proportion and
said the charges probably still
haven’t been dropped because of a
continuing hope to “make gold out
JoHn Fugh, a retired judge advo
cate general, said he fears it was
Duke University Medical Center
The Genetics of
a Healthy non-smokers
( a g e 18-40), with mild asthma
WBBk or allergies are asked to par-
QSBBb ticipate in an asthma study.
Three visits required.
VHH Compensation offered.
Contact person: Catherine Foss
Choose the next
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' v> the DTH Office and the Carolina Union
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of Education at N.C. A&T, said this
fact is one of the reasons the pro
gram features a grassroots effort to
inform the community about
tobacco advertising and its nega
“What we believe is that once
the students go through the neigh
borhoods and identify what the
negative ads are and identify how
the ads are aimed at them, it will
give them a knowledge base about
this,” she said.
“That kind of work has a way of
transforming your thinking. A
commercial or cartoon show, that
doesn’t do it.”
Contact the State National
Editor at email@example.com.
more, citing Yee’s combination of
being both Muslim and of Chinese
“If he were a white American,
say a chaplain of some other
denomination, I don’t think this
would have happened,” Fugh said.
“Any time you do something like
this, you’re bound to have some
damage done to the integrity of the
military justice system.”
Prisoners are sent to pretrial
confinement because they’re per
ceived as dangerous or as a flight
risk, regardless of the charges, said
Lt. Col. Bill Costello at the U.S.
Southern Command in Miami,
which is responsible for the
Costello hinted that the flight
risk fears might have been a factor.
Yee was arrested Sept. 10 as he
arrived at a Jacksonville, Fla., naval
base, carrying what authorities
believed were classified docu
It’s not clear now whether they
The government hasn’t signaled
any likelihood that it might drop
the case, but Yee’s attorney, Eugene
Fidell, remains hopeful.
focus of new panel
BY AMY THOMSON
Anew joint committee was
formed Wednesday by the UNC
system and the N.C. Community
College System to work on ways to
improve interaction between the
The committee’s co-chairman,
Peter Hans of the UNC-system
Board of Governors, said the com
mittee came out of an agreement
between two- and four-year col
leges already in place that deals
with credit transfers.
Committee member Estelle
“Bunny” Sanders said she has a
particular interest in seeing the
two institutions work together.
“Their two missions are so inti
mately intertwined,” she said.
The committee will investigate
ways of making transfers between
two- and four-year colleges easier
for students, potentially easing
statewide employee shortages in
In particular, the state is inter
ested in graduating more nurses
Commission to speed
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - States
can expect by mid-May to get a
long-awaited $2.3 billion in feder
al help to buy new voting booth
equipment, the head of an elec
toral reform commission promised
Millions of voters will be using
the much maligned punch cards in
this fall’s presidential balloting.
Many of the improvements aren’t
expected to be in place before 2006.
Members of the new Election
Assistance Commission assured
state officials at a conference
Monday that they will expedite the
distribution of $2.3 billion in feder
al funds for election improvements.
DeForest B. Soaries, the com
mission’s chairman, said the vari
ous state plans for using the money
will soon be published in the
Federal Register with funds to be
disbursed 45 days after that.
Paul DeGregorio, a commission
member, said that while changes at
polling places are being seen in the
primaries, other improvements
“will be pushed off until 2006
because of (states) not getting the
money” sooner and delays in get
ting the commission in place.
In response to the problems in
Florida during the 2000 presiden
tial election, Congress in 2002
authorized $3.86 billion over three
years to help states modernize
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and teachers. The state govern
ment has called for 10,000 more
teachers to be trained and retained
Both Hans and Sanders said
they will be going into the first
meeting without preconceived
notions as to what issues the com
mittee will take on, but Hans said
he is interested in finding ways to
help the state produce more teach
ers and nurses.
Stuart Fountain, a member of
the State Board of Community
Colleges who also will lead the
committee, suggested the univer
salization of requirements for
entry into professional programs
throughout the UNC system.
He has not spoken to any of the
other board members about this
idea yet but said it will be
addressed when they begin meet
The group’s first meeting will
take place at the end of the month.
Contact the State £5? National
Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
their election systems and created
the commission to disburse the
funds and establish voluntary stan
dards for states on how elections
should be conducted. Only about
$650 million has been disbursed.
An additional $2.3 billion has been
appropriated by Congress, but was
set aside pending creation of the
R. Doug Lewis, executive direc
tor of the Election Center, which
represents election officials, said
the delay in federal assistance has
put states “at least a year and a half
behind” in making all the election
reforms the 2002 law envisioned.
The law calls for helping states
upgrade election equipment and
make other improvements. But it
leaves it up to the states to decide
what technologies they use. The
money can be used for better train
ing of election workers, establishing
voter registration databases and
other election reform measures to
assure more orderly and fair voting.
This fall, six of every 10 voters
will use electronically enhanced
voting systems, according to a
recent study by Election Data
Services, a political consulting firm.
Nearly a third of all voters will turn
in paper ballots and more than 18
percent will continue to vote on the
type of punch cards that were at the
center of the brouhaha in Florida in
the 2000 presidential election.