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March 22, 2002 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-22

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 22, 2002 - 3

CRIMVE
DPS officer revives
racquetball
player after heart
attack
A man was resuscitated by Depart-
ment of Public Safety officers Wednes-
day after suffering from a heart attack
while playing racquetball at the North
Campus Recreation Building. Two DPS
officers successfully resuscitated the 59-
year-old victim. The man did not respond
to CPR administered by a student NCRB
supervisor and Jeannette Stawski, the
assistant director of the University's
recreational sports department. The man
was transported to the University hospital
by ambulance and was listed in critical
condition at 2 p.m. yesterday DPS offi-
cers acquired 10 AED units in 1999. This
was the first successful use of the device
by a DPS officer.
Couch stolen from
South Quad lounge
The couch in the Hunt Lounge on
the 3rd floor of South Quad Residence
Hall was reported stolen Monday,
according to DPS reports.
Masturbating man
reported in the Arb
A man was reported seen masturbat-
ing in the Arb Monday morning, DPS
reports state. The man was described as
a white male, 20-30 years old, 5-foot-9,
wearing a blue and gray coat. A DPS
officer could not locate the subject.
DPS has received several reports of
men masturbating in the Arb this year.
Custodian reports
toilet paper taken
from League closet
Three cases of Scott toilet paper was
reported stolen from a custodial closet
in the Michigan League sometime last
weekend, according to DPS reports.
DPS has no suspects.
Money from stolen
wallet used to buy
Sam's Club goods
An unknown person entered a labo-
ratory in the C. C. Little Building on
Monday and stole a wallet from a coat,
DPS reports state. The victim reported
to DPS that a stolen credit card was
used to purchase $401.25 at a Sam's
Club. DPS is investigating the case.
Marijuana smelled
in residence halls
DPS received a report of possible
marijuana use in East Quad and West
Quad Residence Halls Monday. An
officer was unable to locate the ori-
gin of the marijuana odor.
West Quad food
poisoning case
brought to hospital
A caller in West Quad Residence
Hall reported that his roommate is suf-
fering from a possible case of food poi-
soning Wednesday morning. DPS
escorted the student to the hospital.
Unsuccessful bike

thief taken to jail
A caller reported to DPS that a man
was attempting to cut the lock off a
bike at the bike rack between the Nat-
ural Science Building and Mason Hall.
A man was taken into custody 20 min-
utes later and released pending an
arrest warrant authorization.
Man found sleeping
in carport elevator
A man was caught trespassing in the
Thayer Street carport early Wednesday
morning, DPS reports state. The man
had been sleeping in the elevator lobby.
He was given a verbal warning.
Women caught in
East Quad catfight
Two women were involved in a cat-
fight in East Quad Residence Hall
early yesterday morning. They were
both arrested for minors in possession
of alcohol.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Rob Goodspeed.

Housing increase met with mixed reactions

By Ted Borden
Daily Staff Reporter
Despite a lull in the economy, the housing
market continues to show remarkable strength.
Government data released earlier this week
showed housing starts, or construction on new
houses, rose a higher-than-expected 2.8 percent
in February to 1.77 million units, the highest
level since December 1998.
"Its sort of confounded critics that the hous-
ing market has done so well," Richard Sloan,
Business School professor of accounting and
finance, said.
"We were in a recession but the housing
market never showed it."

Sloan noted that consumers, moved by low
interest and mortgage rates, have been enticed
in recent months to purchase new houses.
"There was a huge increase in ability to buy
new houses," he said.
Steve Folker, chief equity strategist for Fifth
Third Investment Advisors in Cincinnati,
agreed and said that "the strong home market
is one of the major factors that kept the market
out of a severe recession."
He added that the favorable housing market
news augments economic growth already seen
in 2002.
Regionally, starts increased most in the West,
with moderate gains in the Midwest and the South,
and a decrease in the Northeast. Single-family

New house construction
is at the highest level
since December 1998.
housing starts rose to the highest level since
December 1978.
But Sloan said he doubted the extended growth
potential for this industry.
Most economists believe the Federal Reserve
will raise interest rates later this year and as
Sloan pointed out, "increased interest rates will
make buying new houses a lot more expensive

and will mean less demand for housing."
The industry is in a "cyclical high," he said.
"Wall Street is betting that interest rates will
win out."
Mortgage rates are also on the rise, accord-
ing to statistics from Freddie Mac, a Congress-
charted corporation that buys mortgages from
lenders and packages them into securities for
investors or holds them in its own portfolio.
Combining these factors could result in a
downturn.
"Coming out of a recession, you usually get
a strong acceleration, but we don't think we'll
see that this time," Folker said. But he added
that "in the long run, we think (housing) will
remain solid."

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah

State Democrats petition to stop
ban on straight party voting

By Louie Meiziish
Daily Staff Reporter

Michigan's November election bal-
lot will likely be getting a little more
crowded this fall.
Up in arms after the Republican-
controlled Legislature and GOP Gov.
John Engler signed a bill banning
straight-ticket voting, which allows
voters to vote for all candidates of
one party with one-stroke of a pen or
one flick of a lever, state Democrats
have gathered about 253,000 signa-
tures to put the question of allowing
straight-ticket voting on the ballot.
If the Board of State Canvassers
certifies the signatures, which it will
decide to do within 60 days, the law
banning the straight-party voting will
be stayed until the November vote,
and voters will be allowed to use that
method of voting at least through this
November's election.
Republicans have argued that the
bill is beneficial to voters because
it forces them to pay attention to
the non-partisan judicial races that
are located toward the bottom of the
ballot.
The GOP also argues these types
of races are too often ignored by vot-
ers utilizing the straight-ticket
option.
Democrats have argued that the
new law would make voters spend
too much time voting, thus creating
longer lines at polling stations and
dissuading potential voters who are
short on time. Most straight-ticket
voters vote Democrat.
"The ban on straight party voting
- the current law - discourages

"The ban on straight party voting -
the current law - discourages voters,
discourages access and discourages
participation"
- Ben Kohrman
State Democratic Party spokesman

voters, discourages access and dis-
courages participation," state Demo-
cratic Party spokesman Ben
Kohrman said.
"The response that we've had to
the petition drive has been great. We
did this in 69 days in the middle of a
Michigan winter, and we got 250,000
signatures."
The Michigan Department of State
will now begin to prepare a report
for the canvassers.
To stay the current law and place
the question on the ballot, the
Democrats needed 151,356 signa-
tures and say they have 102,000
more than necessary.
Michigan Republican Party
spokesman Jason Brewer said his
party still favors the elimination but
would not specify party strategy for
upholding the law.
"The bottom line is (Democrats)
went out and collected signatures to
shoot down an election reform bill,"
Brewer said.
They've spent the last six months
talking about straight ticket voting.
I don't think straight ticket voting is
on the priorities list of Michigan
voters."

Craig Ruff, president of the Lans-
ing think tank Public Sector Consul-
tants Inc., said the canvassers, which
are split 2-2 between Democrats and
Republicans, are more likely than not
to certify a referendum.
Ruff, who served as an aide to for-
mer Gov. William Milliken, a moder-
ate to liberal Republican, said, "The
Republicans will do anything they
possibly can, within the law, to block
the issue on the November ballot. So,
it's conceivable that this issue will
end up in the courts."
But, Ruff added, the courts "have
given every ballot issue that's been
questionable pretty much placement
on the November ballot."
Former state Sen. Bill Ballenger, a
Republican who now edits the Inside
Michigan Politics newsletter, said
Democrats probably have the upper
edge overall. But, the deciding fac-
tors will be whether voters under-
stand what the referendum is all
about and how much the parties
spend trying to convince them to
vote a certain way.
A "yes" vote would uphold the law
passed by the Legislature banning
straight party voting.

LESLIE WAD/Daily
The Women's Glee Club rehearses last night at the MLB for their upcoming
concert on April 6.
Apena priest removed
for sexual misconduct

U I

ALPENA, Mich. (AP) - A
Roman Catholic priest believed unfit
to be a priest by the Archdiocese of
Detroit nearly 10 years ago because
of allegations of sexual misconduct
with boys was removed as pastor
from a church here.
The Rev. Gerald Shirilla was
removed Wednesday from St. Mary
Catholic Church in Alpena.
Shirilla was placed on administrative
leave in 1993 by the archdiocese and
prohibited from public ministry,
including saying mass and performing
marriages.
Because the archdiocese never lifted
its prohibition, Shirilla's removal from
the Gaylord Diocese means he remains
barred from exercising his priestly
ministry, including performing sacra-
ments, Ned McGrath, a spokesman for
the Detroit Archdiocese, told the
Detroit Free Press for story yesterday.
Shirilla could not be reached for
comment.
The archdiocese's sanction of
Shirilla in 1993 was related to a
civil lawsuit filed by a former stu-
dent that year. Declan DeMeyer
said Shirilla sexually abused him in
the 1970s while Demeyer was at the
seminary.
Shirilla, now 63, admitted in a depo-
sition that he massaged Demeyer's
chest and stomach while in the youth's
bedroom in 1978.
The court said the priest also had
admitted massaging other boys' chests
while he or they were in their under-
wear, but denied any improper sexual
contact.
The lawsuit against Shirilla and the
archdiocese was dismissed in 1999
because the alleged abuse had

occurred too long before. Michigan
law required victims abused as minors
to file for monetary civil damages
before they turned 19.
Shirilla accepted an assignment in
August 2001 to lead the Alpena
parish without the approval of
Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida, who
had removed him from ministry.
The Detroit Archdiocese learned of
Shirilla's Alpena assignment shortly
after the priest arrived at the parish,
McGrath said.
"We've known he was in Gaylord
since last fall," he said. "He accepted
it without our approval or permission."
McGrath said that as a diocesan
priest, Shirilla should have sought
permission from Maida before
deciding to serve in the Gaylord
Diocese.
Asked whether Bishop Patrick
Cooney of the Gaylord Diocese
consulted Maida before appointing
Shirilla, or what Maida told
Cooney, McGrath said: "Let's just
say there was a difference of opin-
ion."
Cooney, who could not be reached
for comment, said earlier he believed
Shirilla "posed no threat to the well-
being of our children" and that Shiril-
la's alleged misconduct involved
"errors in judgment."
DeMeyer said he feels sympathy
and forgiveness when he thinks of
Shirilla, though the alleged abuse
has emotionally harmed him and
created inhibitions he didn't have
before.
"I'm forgiving. I feel bad for him
because of the bondage he's in," he
said. "He's bound by sin and he's
bound by his religion."

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