The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 22, 2002 - 3
Web cam used to
tape room activity
A resident of Mary Markley Resi-
dence Hall complained that her
roommate was using a computer
camera to record private activity in
their room without her permission,
according to Department of Public
Safety reports. The computer was
confiscated and the incident remains
stolen from two
Two incidents were reported deal-
ing with theft or attempted theft of
LCD projectors this week, DPS
reports state. A caller reported an
attempted larceny of a projector at
the Furstenberg Study Center. Also,
* an LCD projector was reported
stolen in the Buhl building, the 38th
theft since Dec. 2000. The room was
locked and no signs of forced entry
in parked vehicle
After observing two female smok-
ing and drinking in excess, a DPS offi-
cer arrested passengers for smoking
marijuana and for minor in the posses-
sion of alcohol. The officer noticed the
smell of marijuana near a parked vehi-
cle on South University, DPS reports
results in keying
A caller reported to DPS that his car
was keyed after he was involved in an
argument over a parking space earlier
in the day. DPS has no suspects.
Cell phone stolen
from parking lot
A cellular telephone was reported
stolen in a University parking lot,
according to DPS reports. The phone
had reportedly been used. DPS is
* investigating the case.
Student found sick
after cab ride, taken
to emergency room.
An officer noticed a cab dropping off
someone who was vomiting on them-
selves outside of Alice Lloyd Residence
Hall, according to DPS reports. After
checking them, the officer cited two
people for minor in possession offenses,
and one subject was taken to the hospital
due to alcohol complications.
Bench stolen from
East Quad elevator
A bench located near the elevators on
the third floor of East Quad was reported
stolen, DPS reports state. DPS has no
Sink smashed in
A porcelain sink in a 4th floor
men's bathroom of Mary Markley
Residence Hall was reported
smashed, according to DPS reports.
* sends emails from
A history professor reported that a
graduate student had sent e-mails
using his name, DPS reports state.
by former lover
A caller reported to DPS that they
were being harassed by a former
lover via e-mail. DPS is investigat-
ing the incident.
Man found living,
sleeping in MLB
A man was discovered sleeping in
the Modern Languages Building.
According to DPS reports, he had 'set
up camp." The suspect was arrested
and released pending a warrant.
- Compiled by Daily staff'reporter
Defect may lead to fires in GM vehicles
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government has
opened two separate investigations into reported
electrical fires in General Motors Corp. vehicles.
One investigation involves 1995-1997 models of
the Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire. The
other is for 1998 C/K trucks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis-
tration has received 18 reports alleging a steering
column fire in a Cavalier or Sunfire. Ten com-
plaints said the ignition was off when the fire start-
ed, and two people reportedly were injured by
Six C/K truck owners complained of a fire inside
the driver side door. Most said it started at the
power mirror switch.
The investigations were opened in January and
announced yesterday as parts of the agency's
monthly defect report. The agency has not deter-
mined how many of the vehicles are on the road.
At this point in the cases, the agency is
exchanging paperwork with the manufacturer.
Investigations can lead to a recall, but many are
The government Ilso began an investigation into
the Audi A4 and A6 after reports that two people
died and two others were injured because of an
alleged problem with the pedals. The reports said
the brackets that attach the brake and clutch pedals
fractured while driving and led to a crash.
The investigation involves 210,626 of the vehi-
cles from the 1998-2001 model years.
The monthly report showed that Volkswagen is
recalling 1993-2000 models of the Jetta, Passat and
Cabrio because the fuel tank filler neck can be
damaged by a rear tire that has gone flat. That will
end an investigation regulators opened in Decem-
The recall involves about 311,000 vehicles.
Dealers will install a liner in the wheel well to pro-
tect the filler neck.
The government also opened investigations into:
2000-2001 BMW 3 series because of 11 reports
and 13 insurance claims alleging the front passen-
ger side impact air bag can deploy without a crash.
The number of vehicles on the road has not been
2000 Volvo S40 and V40 because of 11 com-
plaints, including one reported crash, that the brake
power assist can go out. There are 35,600 of the
1995 Ford Explorer because of 16 com-
plaints that the driver's seat belt does not
work. One driver said her seat belt unlatched
during a crash. The number of vehicles on the
road has not been determined.
2001 Hyundai Santa Fe because of 292 reports
that the engine cylinder line can crack, possibly
causing the vehicle to stall. There are about 8,000
of the sport utility vehicles on the road.
1992-1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 and 1992-
1996 Dodge Stealth RT TT because of 20 com-
plaints that transfer case assembly can lock up or
leak lubricant. The 1991 models of the vehicles
were recalled for a similar problem. The number of
* vehicles on the road has not been determined.
1999-2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue because of 26
complaints that the headlights can dim or flicker.
There are 174,000 of the vehicles on the road.
Just a little snip
Taxpayers save money with
decrease in state payouts
LANSING (AP) - Michigan tax-
payers spent $14.6 million last year
to pay fo. judgments and settlements
against the state. That's the second-
lowest amount in.a decade, marking a
64 percent decrease from fiscal year
In 2000, state payouts had tripled,
to $40.5 million, from the year
"People who sue the state are on
notice that we will not roll over on
the taxpayers," Attorney General Jen-
nifer Granholm told the Lansing
State Journal. "We are aggressively
defending the taxpayers' wallets."
Several factors contributed to the
sharp decline in 2001. The Depart-
ment of Environmental Quality had
no payouts for the first time in six
years and the Department of Natural
Resources' $299,756 payout was the
lowest since 1991.
The Department of Transportation
paid out just $1.4 million, its lowest
level in more than 20 years. That
amount represented a 90 percent drop
"This was our best year ever," depart-
ment spokesmanAriAdler said.
Adler attributed the success to the
courts shift in priorities.
"The courts seem to be placing
more responsibility on drivers and
less on those of us who build and
maintain the roads.," Adler said.
Payouts did increase for some state
The Department of Corrections
paid out $5.3 million, its second-
highest level of the decade. Payouts
by the Department of Consumer and
Industry Services hit a decade-high
$1.9 million for two cases, one of
which cost $1.5 million.
The Office of Management and
Budget also had its highest payout
level in a decade at $1.6 million.
Of that, $1.5 million went to
Josephine Hernandez, a Treasury
Department employee in 1987, who
tripped and fell over some flooring
Eight months pregnant with twins,
Hernandez lost one child and the
other suffered mental and physical
disabilities from the fall.
James Choe, and LSA junior, gets his hair cut by Joey Pena at Arcade Barbers
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-" Nothwest forced to pay for
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measures to increase
DETROIT (AP) - Members of the
Wayne County Commission said yes-
terday they planned to lobby the state
Legislature to block a proposal by Gov.
John Engler and County Executive Ed
McNamara to establish a joint authori.-
ty to run Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Chairman Ricardo Solomon said the
changes would undermine local con-
trol of the airport. He and other com-
missioners complained the deal was
forged without their knowledge, saying
Engler and McNamara want to main-
tain influence via appointees after their
terms in office end this year.
"Mr. McNamara ... has intimidated
this commission and has tried to force
us and force his will on the commis-
sion by acting in a way that we were
totally, totally disregarded," Solomon
said during the commission's meeting
Solomon said the commission has
made some mistakes in the past in
managing the airport, but he said it has
taken steps over the past five years to
ensure the public is best-served and to
correct any mismanagement.
The legislation to create the authori-
ty is expected to be debated in the state
Senate on Tuesday. Commissioners
tabled their regular agenda and
planned to meet again today to discuss
the matter. They also passed a resolu-
tion opposing the changes.
In response to the commission's
complaints, McNamara said yesterday
that the proposal should not have come
as a surprise, since problems at the air-
port helped build the case for setting
up an authority to handle contracts,
choose the airport's manager and man-
age airport bonds.
"They've been told that they're invit-
ing a takeover," McNamara said. "The
state of Michigan recognizes the tremen-
dous potential of that airport. It's proba-
bly our greatest economic generator, and
it's probably our greatest job generator.
And they're (the state) not going to let it
Engler spokeswoman Susan Shafer
said the structure of the commission
ensures local control still is main-
tained. She added that it is irrelevant
that appointees may be around after
Engler and McNamara leave office,
since they will be working toward the
same goal as the county.
"Those are going to be people that
represent that area and that communi-
ty," Shafer said. "They're going to
want to appoint people who are going
to further the cause."
The move was expected to ease
repeated criticism of the airport by
the Republican-run state Senate.
GOP lawmakers have accused offi-
cials of sweetheart contract deals and
cronyism and complained of what
they saw as a lack of cooperation
with state auditors.
McNamara said setting up the new
authority is one way to end questions
over the airport's operation. Under the
plan, board members will be contrac-
tors or subcontractors to the airport,
and the authority will have an inde-
pendent audit committee.
But Commissioner Susan Hubbard
said blame for the airport's misman-
agement sits with McNamara. State
auditors have issued nearly two dozen
reports finding fault with various busi-
ness practices at the airport.
"He creates the reason for taking the
airport away, and now he's going to
steal it," Hubbard said.
The new authority would be man-
aged by a seven-member board. Four
members will be appointed by the
Wayne County executive and two by
the governor. The last authority mem-
ber would be appointed by the Wayne
County Commission, and the seven-
member board also will manage Wil-
low Run Airport in Wayne County's
Van Buren Township.
Engler has said the new authority
will have full control over the airports
and their facilities, including opera-
tion, maintenance, enlarging, construc-
tion, planning and promotions. It also
can regulate conduct at the airports and
appoint law enforcement officers.
Engler said yesterday that he is
excited about what the agreement
means for the future of the airport. He
added that two gubernatorial appoint-
ments should give the state enough
oversight of the airport.
"I think he (McNamara) is going to
make splendid appointments. I think
I'm going to make splendid appoint-
ments. ... I think it will work quite
well," Engler said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Northwest Airlines has agreed to
pay a $700,000 fine and pledge to properly serve passengers
with disabilities under a settlement reached with the Trans-
Northwest agreed to spend up to $550,000 to install assist
bars on lavatories in its new Airbus A330 planes, hire more
employees at hub airports to assist wheelchair-using passen-
gers, and ask disabled passengers to regularly report to the air-
line on how they are being treated. If the airline complies, the
fine will be reduced by that amount.
The department initially sought $3 million in fines, charg-
ing Northwest with hundreds of violations of federal law and
regulations prohibiting airlines from discriminating against the
disabled, the largest civil penalty ever proposed by the depart-
ment for such a violation.
The Transportation Department said it found consumers
waiting an hour or more for a wheelchair, disabled family
members being left aboard planes, passengers being wheeled
to the wrong gate and missing flights, and airline employees
unavailable to push wheelchairs.
Spokesman Bill Mosley said the department usually tries to
make a deal rather than go to court.
"It's a general practice to reach a compromise rather than
put both the department and the carrier through litigation,"
Mosley said. "It saves taxpayers money. It saves the carriers
In agreeing to the settlement, Northwest did not admit or
deny the charges. Nevertheless, an administrative law judge,
in accepting the deal, found that Northwest violated the law
and the regulations several times.
What's happening in Ann Arbor today
Menu of Late Precambri-
an Geodynamics and
sored by The Under-
world, All invited to play
any of the collectible
card or board games
that the Underworld car-
Booksellers, Talk by Uni-
versity Library rare book
cataloguer David Richtmy-
er 7:30 - 9:00 p.m., Motte
& Bailey, 111 E. Ann
S.A.F.E. Walk. 763-WALK,