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BY TOM PREVITE
Pauper Players tossed a little
variety into this year’s production of
“Broadway Melodies” —but UNC’s
student-run musical theater group
kept the youthful exuberance that
is its trademark.
Gerrard Hall hosted the annual
musical revue, which showcases a
variety of Broadway tunes within
sets. Each song in a set loosely
ties together a story created by the
performers. The final “Broadway
Melodies” showing is 8 p.m. today.
This year’s show featured four sets,
running a lengthy 150 minutes.
Things kicked off with “The
New Recruits,” a mostly upbeat
performance in which the actors
portrayed members of an upstart
corporation. It was an energetic
start to the evening.
Director David Geigerman was
spot-on in selecting a cast with
varied vocal talents and strong
acting. Senior Will Jones stole
the show with his rendition of “If
I were a Rich Man” from “Fiddler
on the Roof,” perfectly imitating a
drunken stupor, to the audience’s
The set also featured one of the
more surprising performances, with
senior Lisa Offoha performing “One
Song, Glory” from “Rent” accompa
nied by an acoustic guitar solo.
“The New Recruits” set a high
standard for the rest of the eve
ning, a level that was too high to
be matched by its successor.
The absolutely bizarre “Bear
vs. Zombie” featured parodies
of Antonio Banderas, Haley Joel
Osment and the devil. Also, it
included the murder of a personi
fied “suspension of disbelief.”
The set proved to be funny.
Student at UNC-W
banned from campus
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WILMINGTON - A UNC-
Wilmington junior was banned
from campus as a potential safety
risk after campus administrators
learned he didn’t disclose his entire
criminal record on a 2003 applica
Psychology major Robert Helm
Jr., 41, said he has given up hope
of returning to classes at UNC-W
this semester. He was banned Feb.
1, but hopes to be reinstated.
Campus safety has been an issue
at UNC-W since last spring, when
two female students were killed by
male students who hadn’t frilly dis
closed troubled pasts.
The president of the 16-campus
state university system convened a
task force to study student safety
and concluded that most students
never would be touched by vio
lence. But the group also recom
mended better background checks
for incoming students.
Helm disclosed an April 2003
misdemeanor conviction for posses
sion of a marijuana pipe on a short
re-enrollment form he submitted to
the university before resuming stud
ies there after a 20-year absence. It
was the same information required
on a form Helm filled out to receive
federal student aid.
His history of criminal convic
tions also includes violation of a
domestic violence protective order
and writing worthless checks. He
also was jailed for about one month
last year after failing to complete
probation imposed after conviction
for speeding to elude arrest.
“I wasn’t trying to hide any
thing,” Helm said.
UNC-W officials determined
“A review of your criminal his
tory reveals a disturbing and exten
sive history of criminal conduct,”
Terrence Curran, UNC-W associate
vice chancellor for student affairs
and dean of students, wrote in a
letter to Helm.
Helm lost all his possessions
Jan. 21 in a fire that destroyed his
Utyr ®a% (Ear Merl
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Unfortunately, it was painstaking
ly long as well, running about 45
minutes before wrapping into the
No matter how funny a show is, if
the audience knows the production
isn’t even half over, there’s going to
be a buildup of frustration.
Pauper Players diffused any unrest
with a 15-minute intermission and a
break from routine with an instru
mental segue. The orchestrated
set featured beautiful renditions of
“Facade” from “Jekyll and Hyde” and
“One Love,” a medley of two songs
from “A Chorus Line” arranged by
sophomore Jason Brame.
The musicians performed
expertly, with the quality of the
sound rivaling that of the originals.
It was the highlight of the entire
Finally, the sultry “America’s
Suitehearts,” a set combining dance
and song, closed the show.
The set looked into the lives of
club dancers, and the scantily clad
ladies did not disappoint in bringing
bubbling emotion to the surface.
After the climatic “Nowadays/
Hot Honey Rag” from “Chicago”
closed the show, all of the produc
tions’ actors squeezed onto the tiny
stage and took a bow.
They had just gone through a
marathon of epic proportions.
And the audience members
knew they got a good deal.
Contact theA&E Editor
Wilmington apartment. College offi
cials offered him lodging on campus
so he could continue his studies.
It was during his on-campus
stay that a background check was
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School funding case moves ahead
BY MATT BOWLES
Students from poor school disc
tricts might find hope in the deci
sion in a decade-old court case urg
ing the state legislature to increase
funding for low-wealth districts.
Judge Howard Manning of the
Wake County Superior Court met
Tuesday with attorneys in the case,
commonly known as Leandro.
In 1994, a lawsuit was filed by
families and school boards from
Cumberland, Halifax, Hoke, Robeson
and Vance counties, arguing that
the state had not provided sufficient
resources in those districts.
“It was brought because stu
dents in these counties were not
receiving a sound education,” said
Allen Strickland, superintendent of
Hoke County Schools.
Manning’s ruling, upheld twice
by the N.C. Supreme Court, found
that the state has a responsibility to
provide each child with a satisfac
The General Assembly already is
taking steps to address the resource
deficiencies at some schools inde
pendent of the Leandro finding.
A bill introduced last week would
provide low-wealth school systems
with a boost of S2O million for the
2005-06 fiscal year.
Supplemental funding of low
wealth schools has been included
in the state’s budget since the early
19905, said Sen. Walter Dalton,
D-Rutherford, a co-sponsor of the
“We began that before any
decision in the Leandro case,”
Dalton said, adding that he is
confident that the measure will
be approved. “There are a lot
of districts in the state that are
helped by that funding.”
Though the state is the primary
funder of public education, local
revenue must also be allocated to
finance the school systems, said
Adam Levinson, a fiscal analyst for
the General Assembly. The supple
mental money provides additional
help for districts with low tax bases
so that no system’s educational
fund is too far below the state aver
age, he said.
“The low-wealth fund is used to
make sure that each district has
the average local revenue for North
Daniel Kaufman, a spokes
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man for the National Education
Association, said most states have
had cases dealing with education
inequalities. The courts usually
side with the plantiffs, leaving leg
islatures with the responsibility to
increase funding, Kaufman said.
Although the state has provided
some solutions, Strickland said
the legislature should appropriate
more money for underfunded sys
tems —a sum estimated at $220
million. “The state is now going to
THE Daily Crossword By Ed Voile
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T The suit) was brought because students
... were not receiving a sound education —
Every child is entitled to a Leandro right”
ALLEN STRICKLAND, SUPERINTENDENT, HOKE COUNTY SCHOOLS
have to address this issue because
the courts have ruled.”
Strickland stressed the impor
tance of a sound education for the
61 " von der Erde”
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“Every child is entitled to a
Contact the State & National
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