EMERGENCY TEXT MESSAGES
Students may be BY THE NUMBERS
given chance to sign Percentages of students registered
up at orientation for text-message alert systems
By CAITLIN SCHNEIDER University of Missouri-Columbia
Orange Taylor IIl listens as the verdict is read. He was convicted yesterday of murdering Eastern Michigan student Laura Dickinson in December 2006.
T..aylor found guilty in eath
Daily Staff Reporter
Nearly 17,000 people have
signed up to receive text mes-
sages since the Department of
Public Safety introduced a new
system designed to alert cam-
pus in the case of an emergency.
About half of them are students,
said DPS spokeswoman Diane
The University has sent mes-
sages to University students tell-
ing them how to sign up for the
system, which has been in place
for just over a month.
Brown said University offi-
cials are considering introducing
the system to incoming fresh-
men during orientation. If that
happens, incoming freshmen
would be given the ability to sign
up for the plan while registering
for classes, she said.
With 20 percent of students
enrolled in the program, the
University's enrollment falls
below average for colleges using
similar alert systems.
One company providing the
service reports an average stu-
dent enrollment of 39 percent,
while another claims 28-percent
participation. These two com-
panies provide service to 800
Convict faces life
without parole with
sentencing to take
place next month
By JILLIAN BERMAN
Orange Taylor III, a 21-year-old
man from Southfield, was found
guilty yesterday of killing Eastern
Michigan University student Laura
Dickinson in December 2006.
After about five hours of jury
deliberations, Taylor was found
guilty of first-degree felony mur-
der, assault with intent to commit
sexual penetration, first-degree
home invasion and larceny in a
The sentencing is scheduled for
May 7 at 9 a.m. A charge of first-
degree felony murder brings a
mandatory sentence of life in pris-
on without parole.
The defense rested its case Fri-
This is the second time Tay-
lor has %tood trial for Dickinson's
murder. In October, jurors told
Judge Archie Brown, who presided
over both trials, that they couldn't
reach averdict, leadingthe judge to
declare a mistrial.
Though the prosecution's argu-
ments were largely the same as in
the last trial, jurors reached a deci-
sion within a few hours. In Octo-
ber, it took three days for jurors
announce the deadlock.
Alvin Keel, Taylor's defense
attorney in the firsttrial, withdrew
from the case in December because
Taylor's family could no longer
afford his services. Assistant Pub-
lic Defender Laura Graham repre-
sented Taylor in the retrial, which
began March 31.
There were no apparent differ-
ences in prosecution's approach
from the first trial to second one.
As in the first trial, Michelle
Lockwood, a custodian who
worked in Dickinson's building,
testified that she found Dickinson
naked below the waist and lying
down in her dorm room Dec. 16,
2006. She said she followed an odor'
to Dickinson's room and found the
woman lying on the floor, appar-
"I backed up and called the
police," Lockwood said.
Assistant Prosecutor Blaine
See TRIAL, Page 3
University of Michigan
SOURCE: THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
sAFETY AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brown said she hopes the
University's enrollment among
students will increase.
"We would hope that every-
one would see the value in regis-
tering," Brown said.
Students, faculty and staff can
sign up for the system through
Some students reported hav-
ing difficulty signing up for the
system, prompting the Uni-
versity to adjust the website to
make its instructions more clear.
Enrolled users can edit their
information or take their cell
See ALERTS, Page 3
THE UNIVERSITY'S SATELLITE CAMPUSES
in ticket pinch
A2 City Council pressed on immigrant raids
In football seat
outside Ann Arbor
fall by the wayside
By LINDY STEVENS
In the University's latest foot-
ball ticketing policy change, stu-
dents at the University's Flint and
Dearborn campuses will now have
the lowest seating priority in the
Big House and won't be able to join
seating groups created by students
at the Ann Arbor campus.
In the past, football tickets have
gone on sale to students from all
three campuses at the same time,
but tickets for students at the Flint
and Dearborn campuses went on
sale yesterday. Tickets were made
available to the Ann Arbor campus
on March 17.
A similar policy giving some
graduate students from the Ann
Arbor campus the lowest seat-
ing priority was proposed about
three weeks ago, but was reversed
after the Athletic Department was
flooded with complaints.
Wade Merrill, president of the
UM Flint Student Athletic Asso-
ciation, said most students on the
Flint campus didn't learn about the
revised policies until they tried to
buy tickets along with Ann Arbor
students on March 17. When he
and other Flint and Dearborn stu-
dents tried to buy their tickets, the
online ticketing program reported
an error and refused to let them
log in, Merrill said.
Merrill said he called the Ath-
letic Ticket Office in Ann Arbor to
ask about the problem and was told
that Flint and Dearborn students
would be told when they could buy
tickets in "a few weeks."
Michael El-Zein, a first-year
student at the University's Dear-
born campus, said he was angry
about the new policy. El-Zein said
he thought was surprised by the
policy and thinks it perpetuates
the view that the Flint and Dear-
born campuses are less important
than the flagship campus in Ann
"For the administration to offi-
cially say that you do matter less
than our freshmen in Ann Arbor
was the final straw," El-Zein said.
"For the administration to take
the side of the unspoken majority
is really insulting."
Marty Bodnar, the University's
Athletic Ticketing Director, cited
a number of reasons for the new
policy, including a 43-percent
increase in student demand over
the past six seasons. He said that
during the 2007 season, roughly
3,000 students - many of them
freshmen - were placed outside
the student section, which was
"not a positive way to welcome
them to campus."
On April 1, three days after
the new policy was officially
See TICKETS, Page 3
Residents ask city
not to let police assist
in illegal immigrant
By SARA LYNNE THELEN
During last night's Ann Arbor
City Council meeting, Washtenaw
County residents asked the coun-
cil to forbid city police officials
from taking part in federal immi-
The trio, representatives of the
Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition
for Immigrant Rights, requested
that the council revise a 2003 reso-
lution that allows members of the
Ann Arbor Police Department to
be involved in U.S. Immigrations
and Customs Enforcement raids.
Ann Arbor MayorfJohn Hieftje,
who met with WICIR members
Friday, said review of the resolu-
tion is needed to address commu-
nity concerns. Some have voiced
concerns of unnecessary violence
during the raids.
WICIR representative Alicia
Alvarez called immigration law
"complex," saying federal officials
should deal with such cases.
"It is not necessary for local
police to be involved in enforcing
immigration laws because ICE
has the power and the resources to
enforce its orders and its wards,"
she said. "Byenforcing local immi-
gration law, the police risk losing
community support, and create
problems with racial profiling."
Councilmember Mike Ang-
lin (D-Ward 5) agreed with the
mayor and called for a "stronger
resolution" that limits the AAPD's
role in federal arrests.
Hieftje said city residents
becameconcerned afterthe AAPD
assisted federal agents in the
apprehension of an illegal immi-
grant who was resisting arrest.
, See IMMIGRANTS, Page 7
Ann Arbor resident Phil Volk, whose home was recently raided by police searching
for illegal immigrants, voices his concerns at the City Council meeting yesterday.
Police investigate man's body found in Huron River
morning, no foul
By JENNA SKOLLER
A man's body was found float-
ing in the Huron River near Main
Street at about 9:45 a.m. yester-
day, police say.
Representatives from the Ann
Arbor Police Department said
body, but are waiting to inform
the next of kin before releasing
the man's identity. AAPD Lieuten-
ant Angella Abrams said the man
was not a University of Michigan
Though the cause of death
is still unknown, Abrams said
police don't think it was the result
"There's no reason to suspect
foul play at this time," Abrams
said. "But we don't know; it's still
The subject was found face
down in about 12 inches of water
about 15 feet from the shoreline,
according to Abrams.
After police were notified of.
the body, they came to the scene
and roped off the area where it
was found. Firemen pulled the
body from the water and sent it to
a medical examiner.
"The body appeared to have
been in the water for some time,"
AAPD Sgt. Richard Kinsey did
not return calls for comment yes-
terday, but he told The Ann Arbor
News that a woman discovered
the body while walking on a path
near the Argo Dam. He said the
woman called police and then
waded into the river, holding onto
the body so it wouldn't go over
Kinsey said evidence at the
scene indicated that the man had
recently been treated at a hospi-
tal. An autopsy is scheduled to
take place today.
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