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January 14, 2009 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-14

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2A - Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com

2A - Wednesday, January14, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


The transition period

Election Day for federal
offices is always the Tues-
day after the first Monday
of November. But, since
1937, Inauguration Day
has always occurred on
Jan. 20th. So why the long
During the transition
period between the presi-
dential election and the
inauguration, presidents-
elect get a chance to put
together their team for the
next four years.
Following the traditions
of presidents-elect before
him, President-electBarack
Obama used the time to
choose and later announce
his administration's Cabi-
net members and White
House staff to the public.

"The transition period
determines who the lead-
ers will be for the next four
years," Political Science
Prof. Hanes Walton said.
Walton said the sitting
president's lame-duck
period is normally a time
for turnover in Washing-
ton, D.C.
"The transition period
is a time in which politics
are restructured," he said.
Though Obama's deci-
sions represent a major
shift of power, Walton said
the president-elect can't
accomplish much until he
officially takes over the
White House.
"There's not too much
else (the president-elect)
can do because there's the

president," Walton said.
He said a unique aspect
of the transition period for
Obama is that he's meeting'
with key Congressional
leaders to discuss econom-
ic concerns - a decision
Obama's staff would argue=
is necessary for a president
set to take office with the
economy in a tailspin.
Past presidents during:
this period generally use
the time to strengthen
their own political par-
ty's power in the House
and the Senate, Walton
said. He added this often
includes campaigning for
fellow party members in
elections following the MAX COLLINS/ Daily
presidential race. Members of the Ring and Steel Stunt Troupe, Michigan alum Dave Melcher and LSA junior
JASMINE ZHU Athena Eyster, battle out a staged fight with light sabers at Winterfest.

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The Michigan Daily (sN 0745-967) ispublished Monday through Friday during thefall and wit:er
termsby students at theUniversity of Michigan.One copy is avalabefreeofcharge toallreade.
Additionaco p pickedupat the Dalysofficeforu2.tSubsriptionsforallterm,startingin
SeptemberviaU.S.mailare$110.intertermanuary throughApritis$11,yearlong(September
through Aprit is $195.university affiliates are subjectto a reduced subscription rate.On-campus
suhb onsfor alItermare$t.tSubscriptionsmustbeprepaid.TheMichiganDailyisamemberot
The Associated Press and The Associated Collegiate Press.

Laptop lifted Salads swiped Study abroad
from Eye Center from South information fair
WHERE: Kellogg Eye Center Quad dining hall WHAT: A study abroad
WHERE: Eelogg. y-Cn ter , vfair for students interested

WHEN: Monday at about 12:30
WHAT: An Apple Mac Book
laptop computer, valued at
$1,800, was stolen, University
Police reported. Asubject in
the area was reported to be
acting suspiciously. The case is

WHERE: South Quad
WHEN: Monday at about 3p.m.
WHAT: Two female students
were ohserved leaving the
cafeteria with two chef salads,
University Police reported. The

in going abroad duringthe
spring and summer terms
WHO: Office of International
WHEN: Today from 3 p.m. to
5 p.m.
WHERE: Pendleton Room,

student forum
WHAT: A meeting to address
issues and concerns related to
student of color.
WHO: Multi-Ethnic Student
WHEN: Tonight at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Trotter Multicul-
tural Center

underinves o.M n salads were valued
under investigation. Talk on youth
Talk on Cold health survey
Moretha $10 Brkenglas i WHAT: Results from the
in cash stolen Wuliglby ar experience Albany Youth Health Surv
incs tln building lobby n-u, r will he presented.
W A sq Cau~ha~n a.'osofnntse,.


Sammy the cat, a fixture
at the Notasulga, Al. post
office was banned yester-
day, adcording to msnbc.com.
One resident of the small town
wrote in to complain about
the eat's presence saying that
Sammy shouldn't be allowed
in the post office because he
doesn't pay taxes.
The University's Property
Disposition department
sells old office equipment.
Prices can range from $5 to
$15 for an office chair to $15
or $20 for a bookcase or filing
Two bicycles belonging to
former President Jimmy
Carter and his wife Rosa-
lynn were stolen earlier this
month, the Chicago Sun-Times
reported. The bikeswere taken
from outside the Carter Center
near downtown Atlanta. Cart-
er and his wife enjoy riding
bikes in nearby Freedom Park.


from wallet
WHERE: Medical Inn
WHEN: Monday at about 11
WHAT: An individual stole
$190 from a wallet between
8:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. that
was left unattended near a
vending machine, University
Police reported.

WHERE: Earl V. Moore Build-
WHEN: Monday at about 6:15
WHAT: A caller reported
glass broken in the building's
main lobby door, University
Police reported. The dam-
age occurred between 4 a.m.
and 6:15 a.m. Police have no

w A: tepnanie veroote,
producer of Sky News in
London and 2008-09 Knight-
Wallace Fellow, will give a
lecture about her time as a
reporter during the Cold War
WHO: Center for Russian
and East European Studies
WHEN: Today from 12 p.m.
to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Room 1636, School
of Social Work Building

WHO: Department of Epide-
WHEN: Today at 3 p.m.
WHERE: Room 1690, Henry
F. Vaughan Public Health
Building I
* Please report any error
in the Daily to correc-

Investment advisor fakes death
to avoid investigation, divorce

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Hamas militant Ahmad El Shaer, who was
killed in an Israeli missile strike, in the Rafah refugee camp, Gaza Strip, on Sunday.
Gaza cemeteries
begin to overf ow

Families find new
places to bury dead
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -
One family buried a slain son over
his grandfather. Another bundled up
the tiny bodies of three young cous-
ins and lowered them into the grave
of a long-dead aunt. A man was laid
to rest with his brother.
More than two weeks into the
Israeli offensive that has killed more
than 940 Palestinians, Gazans are
strugglingto find places to bury their
dead. Cemeteries throughout Gaza
City that were closed for new burials
have nowreopened.
"Gaza is all a graveyard," grave-
digger Salman Omar said yesterday
as he shoveled earth in Gaza City's
crammed Sheik Radwan cemetery, a
cigarette dangling from his lips.
Just six miles wide and 25 miles
long, Gaza has always suffered from a
shortage of burial space. But Gazans
say Israel's shelling and ground
offensive have made it impossible for
residents to reach Martyrs Cemetery
- the only graveyard in the area with
space to dig fresh graves.
The offensive is aimed at crush-
ing the militant group Hamas and
ending its rocket attacks on south-
ern Israel. But Palestinian medical
officials say roughly half tIl dead

are civilians.
Among them are the Samouni
cousins, 5-month-old Mohammed,
1-year-old Mutasim and 2-year-old
Ahmed, whose family hurriedly dug
up the grave of an aunt to lay them to
rest last week.
"We buried them quickly," said
Iyad Samouni, 26, speaking from al-
Awda hospital in Gaza City, where
he was being treated for shrapnel
wounds. "We were afraid we'd be
shelled. My relatives were trying to
open other graves to prepare for the
other dead, but we didn't get time."
He said the family fled the grave-
yard after they came under fire from
a warplane.
The three boys were killed Jan.
5 in whatnthe family and the United
Nations said was an Israeli shell-
ing attack on a house in eastern
Gaza where they had evacuated
on soldiers' orders to avoid nearby
Many members of the clan were
wiped out. The exact number is
unknown - figures vary from 14 to
30 people. Medics believe there are
still bodies buried under the rubble
that cannot be reached because of
fighting in the area.
Israel's military denies the
account, but says the house may
have come under attack in crossfire
with Hamas militants.

38-year old Marcus
Schrenker jumps
from plane
With his personal and financial
worlds crumbling around him,
investment adviser Marcus Schren-
ker opted for a bailout.
In a feat reminiscent of a James
Bond movie, the 38-year-old busi-
nessman and amateur daredevil
pilot apparently tried to fake his
death in a plane crash, secretly
parachuting to the ground and
speeding away on a motorcycle he
had stashed away in the pine bar-
rens of central Alabama.
Now the search is on for Schren-
ker, who is'running not only from
the law hut fronm divorce, a state
investigation of his businesses and
angry investors who accuse him
of stealing potentially millions in
savings they entrusted to him.
"We've learned over time that
he's a pathological liar - you don't
believe a single word that comes
out of his mouth," said Charles
Kinney, a 49-year-old airline pilot
from Atlanta who alleges Schren-
ker pocketed at least $135,000 of
his parents' retirement fund.
The events of the past few days
appear to be a last, desperate gain-
bit by a man who had fallen from
great heights and was about to hit
On Sunday - two days after
burying his beloved stepfather
and suffering a half-million-dollar
loss in federal court same day -
Schrenker was flying his single-
engine Piper Malibu to Florida
from his Indiana home when he
radioed from 2,000 feet that he was
in trouble. He told the tower the
windshield had imploded, and that
his face was plastered with blood.
Then his radio went silent.
Military jetstried to intercept the
plane and found the door open, the
cockpit dark. The pilots followed
until it crashed in a Florida Pant-
handle bayou surrounded by homes.
There was no sign of Schrenker's
body. They now know they should
never have expectedto find one.
More than 220 miles to the
north, at a convenience store in
Childersburg, Ala., police picked
up a man using Schrenker's Indi-

A single-engine plane flown by Marcus Schrenker was abandoned mid-flight and crashed in East Milton, Fl. Santa Rosa County,
Fl. law officials stated that Schrenker called in a false distress call and parachuted from the plane over Shelby County, Ala.

ana driver's license and carrying a Services Inc. and Icon Wealth Man-
pair of what appeared to be pilot's agement, he was responsible for
goggles. The man, who was wet providing financial advice and man-
from the knees down, told the offi- aging portfolios worth millions.
cers he'd been in a canoe accident. And by outward appearances,
After officers gave him a lift to he was doing quite well.
a nearby motel, Schrenker made He collected luxury automo-
his way to a storage unit he'd rent- biles, owned two airplanes and
ed just the day before his flight. lived in a 10,000-square-foot
He climbed aboard a red racing house in an upscale neighborhood
motorcycle with full saddlebags, known as "Cocktail Cove," where
and sped off into the countryside. affluent boaters often socialize
Now, a search that began in the with cocktails in hand. In May
air and continued across land and 2000, he wowed onlookers by fly-
sea has been turned over to the ing a special airplane at 270 mph,
U.S. Marshals. 10 feet above the water and under
"I believe he's out of the U.S.," two bridges in Nassau, Bahamas.
Harpersville Police Chief David "This stunt should not be
Latimersaid Tuesday. "He's already attempted by any pilot that wishes
shown a mentality that's interest- to stay alive," read the caption on a
ing to police. He jumped out an air- self-made video of the flight posted
plane and left itnto crash who knows on YouTube.
where. He's shown a total disregard He'd come a long way from his
for human life. I think he'd do any- humble beginnings in northwest
thing to get away." Indiana, where he and his two
At 38, Schrenker was at the head brothers were raised after their
of an impressive slate of businesses. parents' divorce by their mother
Through his Heritage Wealth Man- and stepfather, a Vietnam veteran
agemen Inc., Heritage Insurancej who worked at U.S. Steeq Corp.

But officialsnowsay Schrenker's
enterprise was ready to topple.
Authorities in Indiana have
been investigating Schrenker's
businesses on allegations that he
sold clients annuities and charged
them exorbitant fees they weren't
aware they would face.
State Insurance Commission-
er Jim Atterholt said Schrenker
would close the investors out of
one annuity and move them to
another. while charging them
especially high "surrender charg-
es" - in one case costing a retired
couple $135,000 of their original
$900,000 investment.
The tangled web of Schrenker's
financial affairs began to unravel
more than two years ago.
The aviation buff had convinced
dozens of active and retired Delta
Air Lines pilots to allow him to
manage their retirement accounts.
In 2006, with Delta in federal
bankruptcy proceedings, he con-
vinced a group of pilots opposed
to Delta's move to terminate their
pension plan t let him help.

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