The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 29, 2002 - 3
Clergy exempt from sexual disclosure
stolen from a desk
A caller reported to the Depart-
ment of Public Safety that he had one
dollar stolen from his desk sometime
in the previous week, DPS reports
found in garage
A DPS officer found possible
gang graffiti in the south stairwell
of the Church Street parking garage,
according to DPS reports. DPS has
Wallet missing from
A person was arrested in the Frieze
building for stealing a wallet, DPS
reports state. The man was later released
A caller reported that their laundry
had been stolen from the laundry room
in Couzens Residence Hall after being
unattended for a short time, according
to DPS reports.
taken from Pierpont
A VCR was stolen from the Pier-
pont Common's Building on North
Campus Monday, DPS reports state.
The VCR was left unattended. DPS
has no suspects.
DVD movies stolen
from West Quad
A caller reported to DPS that an
unknown subject entered his room in
West Quad Residence Hall on Tuesday
and stole nine DVD movies, valued at
$150, according to DPS reports. The
room was unlocked at the time.
Student awakes to
A person entered an unlocked room
in Mary Markley Residence Hall on
Tuesday and wrote "I am gay" on the
desk while the resident was sleeping,
DPS reports state. The event occurred
between midnight and 1 a.m.
Jeans, cell phone
taken from backpack
A caller reported to DPS that some-
one had stolen their blue Polo jeans
from his back pack in the Central Cam-
pus Recreation Building Wednesday
night, according to DPS reports. One
jean pocket contained a silver Motorola
Hockey fan's hair
pulled during game
A caller reported to DPS that several
fans had climbed the glass at Yost Ice
Arena at the hockey game Saturday,
DPS reports state. The caller said one of
the fans grabbed her hair after she asked
them to get down.
Trespasser found in
A DPS officer found an unlocked
door at the Modern Languages Building
Wednesday, according to DPS reports.
The officer arrested a trespasser in the
building. The suspect was later released.
Vending machine left
open, cash stolen
A vending machine was left unse-
cured in Mary Markley Residence Hall
Wednesday night, DPS reports state.
Some of the cash may have been stolen.
Car forgotten during
A caller reported that a car had been
parked in a University lot all winter,
according to DPS reports.
'U' Hospital worker
A caller reported that a person threat-
ened her while at work at the University
Hospital, DPS reports state. The caller
left the area before filing a report.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
LANSING (AP) - Michigan health care
workers, social workers and educators must
tell police if they suspect a child has been
sexually abused. But clergy don't face the
That fact troubles some Michigan resi-
dents, especially in light of revelations
nationally that some Catholic leaders
allowed priests who sexually abused children
to move from parish to parish rather than
reporting them to police.
But others caution the government should-
n't be involved in handling such concerns.
Paul Long, the Michigan Catholic Confer-
ence's vice president for public policy, said
yesterday that he hopes the current "media
frenzy" doesn't result in a rush to bad law.
"Our biggest concern is with regard to the
issue of confidentiality of the confessional.
If the state gets into the business of mandat-
ing and regulating that abuse cases be report-
ed, what effect would that have?" he said.
Only 15 states at the end of 2000 required
clergy to report child abuse, and some that
did exempted reporting if clergy learned of
the abuse through confession or in their
capacity as spiritual advisers, according to
the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse
and Neglect Information.
Eighteen states required anyone who
learned of suspected child abuse to report it
to police. Among those, Utah exempts cler-
gy if they become aware of the abuse
through confession or in their role as spiritu-
"If someone is breaking the laws, you have to
go to the autho rities,
- Tom Shields
Dewitt Episcopalian member
Nina Williams-Mbengue, senior policy
specialist with the Denver-based National
Conference of State Legislatures, said some
states - including Massachusetts - are
beginning to look again at clerical reporting
requirements in light of reports of sexual
abuse by priests.
But she said lawmakers are reluctant to
wade into areas such as confession that don't
apply to others already required to report
"It's (being) debated in states whether that
area is so private ... (it should) be outside
the scope of mandatory reporting," she said.
Long is among those who contend that it is.
"Government intervention in this case
would tend to tread on First Amendment
issues," he said. "We have a very delicate
concern as to how the state comes into play
in these regards."
Long also said many clergy may not inter-
act with children in the way health care
workers, social workers and educators do,
and may not even know sexual abuse is
Cardinal Roger Mahony celebrates the annual Chrism Mass
in Long Beach, Calif. yesterday. Mahony defended his
handling of alleged child abuse by priests Monday.
j drops in Michigan
Life on the wild side
LANSING (AP) - The number of
Michigan voters who think President
Bush is doing a good or excellent job
has dropped slightly since January, but
Bush still gets relatively high marks,
according to a new poll.
Sixty-nine percent of 600 likely
Michigan voters statewide gave the
Republican president a good or excellent
rating in a March 19-24 poll, compared
to 76 percent in January, a drop of 7 per-
Those giving him a fair or poor rating
rose from 20 percent in January to 30
percent this month. Only 1 percent were
undecided in the latest poll, which had a
margin of error of plus or minus 4 per-
Economic uncertainty is among the
reasons for the drop, said Ed Sarpolus
of Lansing-based EPIC/MRA, which
conducted the poll. So is the return of
non-Republicans who flocked to sup-
port Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks to
the Democratic and independent fold,
"The people who have moved are
independents who didn't vote for him in
Michigan in 2000, and African-Ameri-
cans and Catholics," Sarpolus said.
"These people voted for (Democratic
presidential candidate Al) Gore on the
The poll showed that Michigan voters
still give Bush high marks on fighting
terrorism, with 84 percent approving of
the job he's done. But a much smaller 56
percent approve of how he's handling
Tom Shields of the Lansing-based
Marketing Resource Group, a consultant
to several GOP campaigns, said that
even at 56 percent, Bush is doing well.
The president apparently has side-
stepped the problems his father faced as
president a decade ago, when the elder
Bush got sky-high approval ratings for
his handling of the Gulf War but much
lower marks on the economy.
"People thought he failed to grasp the
problems that were happening back
home. That doesn't appear to be happen-
ing with (George W.) Bush at this time,"
Shields said. "For an elected leader to be
getting 56 percent in the throes of the
recession ... those numbers are very pos-
itive for him."
Political consultant and former United
Auto Workers official Paul Masseron of
Southfield, however, said the poll shows
a vulnerability not just for Bush but for
all Republicans on the economy.
The problem of clergy preying on children
isn't limited to the Catholic church.
Earlier this month, a jury found a suspend-
ed Salvation Army minister guilty of raping
a young girl and molesting at least one other
during sleep-overs at his Owosso home.
Randall VanLandingham was commander
of the Salvation Army's Owosso Corps. He
faces trial on eight more counts of second-
degree criminal sexual conduct concerning
five other girls.
Tom Shields of Dewitt sits on the vestry of
his Episcopalian church and said he and
other church officers are required to sign a
document agreeing they are obligated to pre-
vent child abuse within the church. They -
along with Sunday school teachers - also
get four hours of training in how to detect
Church leaders are charged with looking
into allegations of child abuse. But Shields said
if those allegations are borne out, he thinks
wrongdoers should be turned in to police.
"If someone is breaking laws, you have to
go to the authorities. It doesn't matter if you're
a clergyman or a garbageman," Shields said.
to look at
State law could make
schools responsible for
monitoring hazing incidents
COLDWATER (AP) - Under a
package of bills proposed by a state
legislator, school districts would be
required to implement anti-hazing
Michigan is one of eight states
that does not have a law specifically
dealing with hazing.
Currently, policies and repercus-
sions for hazing are left to an indi-
vidual school district's discretion,
according to a recent story in The
The legislation, introduced by
Rep. Dave Woodward (D-Madison
Heights) would establish a set of cri-
teria to help school officials deter-
mine if an incident constitutes
It also would present a range of
aily possible consequences for the haz-
1, ing, allowing the school districts
themselves to specify punishments.
The legislation was introduced in
December 2001 and remains in the
s education committee.
It also includes a provision that
allows victims of hazing to seek
)ara- damages in a court of law for physi-
fall cal and mental pain.
1 3.5 "Michigan, in my opinion, is cer-
tainly a little behind (when it comes
ne's to anti-hazing policies)," Woodward
war- Woodward said he thinks that
incidents of hazing are on the rise.
t on In December, three members of
tone the Bronson High School wrestling
ated team were charged with harassment
ups. in Pennsylvania after being accused
Hugh of holding a 15-year-old down while
one, a rock was pressed to his clothed
main The team had been participating
in a summer wrestling camp at Lock
e we Haven University in Lock Haven,
year Pa. when the incident occurred. Two
utive of the teens pleaded guilty and each
paid a $282.50 fine. The third has
hief yet to settle his case.
d at Woodward said he became
tone involved in the anti-hazing effort
any's after a school board member from
his district told him of a hazing inci-
ping dent in which girls' panties were
and strung up on flag poles.
h - "When it starts seeping down to
those early elementary and high
tting school years, then it's something we
dis- have to worry about" Woodward
f the "I think we need to take a hard
s the line against this."
Kristen Vallancourt of Animal Discovery shows a group of students a cayman
which is a reptile found in South America, in West Quad Residence Hall.
ast day for recall on Firestone tire
WASHINGTON (AP) - Firestone tire owners
have until Sunday to get free replacements as
Ford Motor Co. ends a recall that was among the
costliest in corporate history and damaged the
reputations of two of the most venerable names
in American business.
Ford says it has spent about $3 billion to
replace 10.6 million Firestone tires, though
demand has waned.
"For quite some time now, dealers have had
tires in stock, and they aren't getting many calls
at all," Ford spokesman Ken Zino said.
Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. are eager
to close one of their darkest chapters. More than
250 people were killed and hundreds more
injured in accidents involving Firestone tires. In
most cases, the tire lost its tread, causing an
Explorer to roll over.
Ford issued Firestone tires as standard equip-
ment on a number of its vehicles, most notably
the Explorer, the world's best-selling sport utility
Hundreds of wrongful death and personal
injuries lawsuits are pending against the compa-
A law passed in response to the accidents
allows criminal prosecution and stiffer penalties
for executives who hide automotive defects.
It also strengthens standards for tires, requires
tire pressure monitoring systems in all vehicles
and creates a rating system for vehicle rollover
And the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration will begin collecting claims, war-
ranty and other data from manufacturers that
could provide an early indicator of defects. Crit-
ics said had that information been available, the
Firestone problems could have been caught
"What you have is a better mechanism to deter
corporate lawbreaking and to catch the auto
companies when they do bad things," said
Clarence Ditlow, head of the Center for Auto
"Groups had been working for 30 years to get
criminal penalties in the safety act, but if it
weren't for Ford and Firestone, we wouldn't have
NHTSA began investigating the tires in May
2000 after receiving reports some would sudden-
ly fail. Three months later Bridgestone/Firestone
announced a recall of 6.5 million ATX, ATX II
and Wilderness AT tires.
Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford, partners for
95 years, had a very public falling out during
congressional hearings on the recall. The tire-
maker said the design of the Explorer was partly
responsible for the rollovers. Ford officials
denied that and insisted it was solely a "tire
Bridgestone/Firestone severed ties with Ford
last May. The next day, Ford responded by offer-
ing to replace 13 million Wilderness AT tires on
its vehicles, saying it was concerned about their
Some questioned whether Ford's move was a
prudent business decision. Ron Pinelli, an ana-
lyst with Autodata Corp., said the company had
"I'm sure there were a lot of people out there
who felt uncomfortable driving their Explorer
with Firestone tires on them, and I think it was
in Ford's best interest to take care of them," said
Pinelli, whose company does research for the
Federal investigators eventually found the
design of the Wilderness AT and the ATX pro-
duced before May 1998 could cause higher stress
at the edge of the steel belt and lead to a sep
tion. NHTSA closed its investigation last
after Bridgestone/Firestone agreed to recal]
million more Wilderness ATs.
The agency denied Bridgestone/Firesto
request to open an investigation into the ExI
er, saying there was insufficient evidence to
The recalls have had a profound impac
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone/Fires
and Ford. Both sustained huge recall-rel
expenses and underwent management shake-
Sales of the Explorer fell last year, th
they have rebounded. Bridgestone/Firest
which set aside more than $1 billion for
recall, says Firestone sales are rising but rer
below pre-recall levels.
"Eventually we hope to get back to wher
were before, but that's going to be a multi.
task," Bridgestore/Firestone marketing exect
Phil Pacsi said.
Both companies are using their new c
executives in advertising campaigns aime
improving their images. Bridgestone/Fires
CEO John Lampe was featured in the comp
"making it right" ads.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford muses about cam
trips taken by his grandfathers Henry Ford
Harvey Firestone - he's a descendant of bot
in ads touting the Explorer.
A further indication the companies are pu
the recall behind them: They are meeting to
cuss a possible reconciliation.
"We hope again to be a valued customer o
Ford Motor Company," Pacsi said. "Just as
Ford commercials say, the two companies
intertwined from way back when. It has bee
important part of our history and hopefully
be an important part of our future.
What's happening in Ann Arbor this weekend
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March 26, 1952w
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