VOLUME 113, ISSUE 31
No surprise: McCants to leave for NBA
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Basketball player Rashad McCants (left) smiles with Coach Roy Williams
on Wednesday at a press conference to announce McCants' NBA eligibility.
Public poverty efforts
ignore campus, they say
BY KATIE HOFFMANN
In 2003, UNC’s summer reading selection of
a book on low-wage workers in America sparked
debate about UNC’s own underpaid employees.
Two years after students discussed “Nickel and
Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America,” the
University created the Center on Poverty, Work
and Opportunity to find innovative ways to bump
impoverished Americans into the middle class.
Despite these very public efforts on UNC’s
part to raise consciousness of
poverty, workers still say the
University overlooks many of
its employees who fall beneath
the national poverty level.
“If we’re going to study
something, we need to
start with studying people
right here on campus,” said
Tommy Griffin, chairman of
the Employee Forum. “It’s a
good place to start.”
The federal poverty
level for a family of four is
$19,350, according to the U.S.
Department of Health and
Human Services. That number
to look within.
is calculated each year by multiplying the cost of
food by the number family members and adjusting
UNC employs 89 workers earning salaries below
$20,000, said Laurie Charest, associate vice chan
cellor for human resources. Though employment
totals fluctuate, UNC records from last fall indicate
that 6,326 workers or about 58 percent of UNC’s
workforce are state employees.
If this number still stands, about 1.4 percent of
UNC’s employees hover near the poverty line.
“It’s time for the state of North Carolina to step
up and start paying above-poverty wages,” Griffin
said. “People are having to struggle a terrible
amount. We have employees working for poverty
wages and working two jobs just to survive.”
A variety of state employees, including house
keepers and grounds keepers, fit into pay grades
that can fall below the poverty level for a family of
SEE WORKERS, PAGE 4
Town-gown talks are key
BY DAN SCHWIND
Carolina North, special zoning
districts, chiller plants and park
ing decks. In the last two years, the
list of conflicts between UNC and
Chapel Hill officials appears to have
grown at an exponential rate.
The two entities, which once
enjoyed a friendly, close-knit rela
tionship, now share a tense, and
what some would call a combative,
But while universities some
times have shaky interactions with
the towns they call home, other
towns have forged much stronger
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Liberal commentator Al Franken signs book copies outside the Student Union auditorium after hosting his radio show there Wednesday afternoon. Franken, who's
also known for his work on the TV show "Saturday Night Live," spent three hours live on the air with regular guests and politicians from Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
BY KRISTEN WILLIAMS
He’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and
doggone it, people like him.
Al Franken, famous for his Stuart Smalley
character on “Saturday Night Live,” attracted
an audience of about 300 Wednesday after
noon as he broadcast his liberal political radio
show live from the Student Union auditorium
for three hours.
He also had some help from his friends.
Chapel Hill Town Council member Mark
Kleinschmidt and Carrboro Mayor Mike
Rick Cotton, city administra
tor for Clemson, S.C., said his city
has developed a close relationship
with Clemson University.
“We have a very cordial, very
open relationship,” he said. “It’s
probably as good a relationship as
you’ll find anywhere.”
Cotton said he believes the town
and university are able to work
closely because of good communi
cation between the city mayor and
“They have a good personal
relationship that goes beyond busi
ness,” Cotton said. “That makes a
huge difference. It’s in both of our
best interests to get along.”
He said the camaraderie
between both leaders also has
helped to create a dialogue
SEE COMBAT, PAGE 4
'Sahara' heats up in places but ultimately fizzles
Trail of Dead more like Trail of Deathly Boring
For these stories and more, visit www.dthonline.com.
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
BY DANIEL MALLOY sports editor
Mystery and intrigue char
acterized much of Rashad
McCants’ career at North
But when he sat down at the press con
ference podium at the Smith Center on
Wednesday, there was little mystery about
the announcement he was going to make.
“I’m going to give up my college eligibility
and enter the NBA Draft,” said McCants,
who was flanked by his parents, James
McCants and Brenda Muckelvene, as well
as Coach Roy Williams.
Fellow juniors Sean May and Raymond
Felton and freshman Marvin Williams have
STAYS LEFT OF THE DIAL
A look into
town and the
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Nelson were among the guests who joined the
author and commentator for talks on subjects
ranging from North Carolina’s death penalty
to reviled conservative icon Rush Limbaugh.
But first, Franken had to mention UNC’s
recent sports successes.
“Can’t be here without mentioning the
Tar Heels and the championship and men
tion how badly Duke sucks,” he said. “What
an enormous dick Coach K is. I know how to
pander, don’t I?”
Franken visited Memphis earlier this week
and will broadcast next from Charleston, S.C.
Columnist echoes students’ cries
BY INDIA AUTRY
Last week, a mock refugee camp stood
near Polk Place, drawing attention to the
deaths of thousands in Sudan.
Today, in what some hope will be the
state’s largest demonstration against
genocide in Darfur, about 100 students
will stand in the middle of campus,
holding photos of the casualties in a
battle over land and resources.
Wednesday night, Nicholas Kristof
brought those images into focus.
The long-time New York Times
columnist and arguably the biggest
media voice opposing genocide shared
his experiences in Darfur through the
words of others.
He told the story of a woman who had
her baby son tom from her arms. She saw
his throat slashed in front of her.
SEE KRISTOF, PAGE 4
SHIVER ME TIMBERS
Controversial, polarizing 'Pirate Captain' wins post
of N.C. State's student body president PAGE 3
not yet said when they’ll announce their deci
sions on whether to return to UNC for the
McCants said that he decided this year
would be his last after he committed to stay for
his junior season and that he had discussed the
NBA with Roy Williams as early as Januaiy.
Several reports in the 10 days after North
Carolina’s national championship pegged
McCants to make the jump to the NBA,
so Wednesday’s news came as no surprise.
But for most of McCants’ career, surprises
Though touted as one of the top 10 high
school stars in the country, he shocked even
the most optimistic Tar Heel fans with 28
points in his first game in powder blue.
McCants wowed crowds with his explosive
game, but his temperament became a pow
der keg as well. The brash freshman vocally
expressed his frustration and discontent with
“We decided to do a little Southern tour. I
like this area of the country, Chapel Hill spe
cifically. We are in some blue counties in some
red states,” he said.
While UNC was just one stop on Franken’s
tour, his road there was a long one.
Franken started his career as a performer,
writing and acting with The Comedy Store in
Los Angeles after graduating from Harvard
University in 1973.
He soon was approached to write for
SEE FRANKEN, PAGE 4
■ .. ....
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof speaks in a packed Carroll Hall auditorium
Wednesday. Kristofs speech on genocide dovetailed with campus awareness efforts.
THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2005
then-Coach Matt Doherty after the season and
was seen as one of the main influences behind
Doherty’s forced resignation in April 2003.
“If I wasn’t a good player, if I didn’t have
such a split personality, I wouldn’t get as
much attention,” McCants said.
During his sophomore season, McCants’
lackadaisical effort on the defensive end
drew the ire of Williams, who, after a loss at
Kentucky, had a closed-door chat with McCants
that seemed to spur him to new heights.
McCants then went on a tear in league
play, finishing the season with an ACC-high
20.0 points per game and third team All-
But just when it seemed that McCants was
ready to break through his struggles, he was cut
from the U.S. 20-and-under team last summer.
Many said McCants was the best player at the
SEE MCCANTS, PAGE 4
TODAY A.M. showers, H 61, L 41
FRIDAY Sunny, H 59, L 36
SATURDAY Mostly sunny, H 61, L 38
“I like this
area of the
We are in