The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, April 13, 2009 - 3A
" Man kills woman,
self at Michigan
A community college student
apparently used a shotgun to kill
an aspiring actress and dancer Fri-
day on the campus west of Detroit
where they attended class together
before killing himself as police
rushed to the scene.
Officers heard a gunshot as
they rushed inside a Henry Ford
Community College building and
discovered the bodies of 20-year-
old Asia McGowan of Ecorse and
" 28-year-old Anthony Powell of
Detroit in a classroom.
"Nothing like this has ever
occurred on campus," said Marjo-
rie Swan, vice president/control-
ler at the school, which was locked
down as police and campus secu-
rity worked to secure the area.
Police responded after a 12:30
p.m. emergency call of an assault
and received reports of gunfire
while en route, said Dearborn Dep-
uty Police Chief Gregg Brighton.
They set up a perimeter around
the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center,
where police say a theater class
McGowan and Powell took was
held earlier Friday.
Remains of 5 killed
in Iraq sent to Dover
The remains of five Army sol-
diers killed by a suicide bomber in
Iraq were expected to arrive last
night at Dover Air Force Base.
The bomber driving a truck deto-
nated aton of explosives near apolice
headquarters in the northern city of
Mosul on Friday, killing the men
in the deadliest attack against U.S.
" troops in more than a year. The U.S.
military said Iraqi police were the
bomber's target and that the Ameri-
cans were caught up as bystanders.
Two Iraqi policemen also were
killed in the midmorning blast near
the Iraqi National Police headquar-
ters. At least 62 people, including
one American soldier and 27 civil-
ians, were wounded, officials said.
It arks the fourth time the media
has been allowed to cover the arriv-
al under a new Pentagon policythat
requires getting family permission.
An 18-year ban on press coverage of
fallen U.S. service members ended
a week ago.
paying for old cars
The British government is con-
sidering giving consumers a cash
bonus to trade in their old cars and
buy new ones in an effort to help the
country's ailing automotive indus-
try, newspapers reported yesterday.
A similar plan in Germany has
given auto sales there a big boost,
with one German auto industry
group saying that new car regis-
trations in the country in March
soared to their highest level since
1992, thanks to the bonus.
France has introduced a similar
incentive, and the U.S. Congress is
developing its own version of the
plan, dubbed "cash for clunkers."
Proponents say the plan gives
consumers a chance to swap their
old autos for newer and often more
fuel-efficient ones while stimulat-
ing the struggling international
Critics say the plan merely delays
the pain while draining govern-
There were conflicting reports
in the U.K. media about the govern-
ment's commitment to the car bonus
Obama girls name
new puppy 'Bo'
The first family has settled on
a first pet - a 6-month-old Portu-
guese water dog that the Obama
girls are naming Bo.
Theselectionwas one ofthe White
House's most tightly kept secrets.
President Barack Obama's
daughters, 10-year-old Malia and
7-year-old Sasha, picked a black
and white pup, a White House
official speaking on the condition
of anonymity told The Associated
Press Saturday night.
The dog is a gift from Sen. Edward
M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who owns sev-
eral Portuguese water dogs himself.
"We couldn't be happier to
see the joy that Bo is bringing to
Malia and Sasha," Kennedy said
in a statement. "We love our Por-
tuguese water dogs and know that
the girls - and their parents - will
love theirs, too."
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
Navy rescues hostage,
shoots three pirates
on UM Survival
ends five-day rogue
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Navy
snipers on the fantail of a destroyer
cut down three Somali pirates in a
lifeboat and rescued an American
sea captain in a surprise nighttime
assault in choppy seas yesterday,
a team of rogue gunmen and the
world's most powerful military.
It was a stunning ending to an
Indian Ocean odyssey that began
when 53-year-old freighter Capt.
Richard Phillips was taken hos-
tage Wednesday by pirates who
tried to hijack the U.S.-flagged
Maersk Alabama. The Vermont
native was held on a tiny lifeboat
that began drifting precariously
toward Somalia's anarchic, gun-
The operation, personally
approved by President Barack
Obama, quashed fears the saga
could drag on for months and
marked a victory for the U.S.,
which for days seemed powerless
to resolve the crisis despite mass-
ing helicopter-equipped warships
at the scene.
One of the pirates pointed an
AK-47 at the back of Phillips, who
was tied up and in "imminent
danger" of being killed when the
commander of the nearby USS
Bainbridge made the split-second
decision to order his men to shoot,
Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said. The
lifeboat was being towed by the
Bainbridge at the time, he said.
A fourth pirate was in discus-
sions with naval authorities about
Phillips' fate when the rescue took
place. He is in U.S. custody and
could face could face life in a U.S.
The rescue was a dramatic blow
to the pirates who have preyed on
international shipping and hold
more than a dozen ships with about
230 foreign sailors. But it is unlike-
ly to do much to quell the region's
growing pirate threat, which has
transformed one of the world's
busiest shipping lanes into one of
its most dangerous. It also risked
provoking retaliatory attacks.
"This could escalate violence in
this part of the world, no question
about it," said Gortney, the com-
mander of U.S. Naval Forces Cen-
Abdullahi Lami, one of the
pirates holding the Greek ship
anchored in the Somali town of
Gaan, said: "Every country will
be treated the way it treats us. In
the future, America will be the one
mourning and crying," he told The
Associated Press. "We will retali-
ate (for) the killings of our men."
Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old
self-proclaimed pirate, told the AP
from one of Somalia's piracy hubs,
Eyl, that: "From now on, if we cap-
ture foreignships and their respec-
tive countries try to attack us, we
will kill them (the hostages)."
"Now they became our number
one enemy," Habeb said of U.S.
Phillips was not hurt in several
minutes of gunfire and the U.S.
Navy's 5th Fleet said he was rest-
ing comfortably on a U.S. warship
after receiving a medical exam.
"I'm just the byline. The real
heroes are the Navy, the Seals,
those who have brought me
home," Phillips said by phone to
Maersk Line Limited President
and CEO John Reinhart, the com-
pany head told reporters. A photo
released by the Navy showed Phil-
lips unharmed and shaking hands
with the commanding officer of
the USS Bainbridge.
Obama said Phillips had cour-
age that was "a model for all Amer-
icans" and he was pleased about
the rescue, adding that the United
States needs help from other coun-
tries to dealwiththe threatof pira-
cy and to hold pirates accountable.
Phillips' 17,000-ton ship, which
docked with the 19 members of
his crew Saturday in Mombasa,
Kenya, erupted into wild cheers.
Some waved an American flag and
one fired a brightred flare skyward
"We made it!" said crewman
ATM Reza, pumping his fist in the
The ship had been carry-
ing food aid bound for Rwanda,
Somalia and Uganda when the
ordeal began hundreds of miles off
Somalia's eastern coast Wednes-
day. Crew members said they saw
pirates scrambling into the ship
with ropes and hooks from a small
boat bobbing on the surface of the
Indian Ocean far below.
As the pirates shot in the air,
Phillips told his crew to lock
themselves in a cabin and sur-
rendered himself to safeguard his
men, crew members said.
Phillips was then taken hostage
in an enclosed lifeboat that was
soon shadowed by three U.S. war-
ships and a helicopter ina standoff
that grew by the day. The pirates
were believed armed with pistols
and AK-47 assault rifles.
Crew member may
have accidentally hit
autopilot in 2007
medical plane crash
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A
crew member may have acciden-
tally put a medical plane into auto-
pilot shortly before a crash in Lake
Michigan that killed both pilots
and a four-member organ trans-
plant team, a federal safety agency's
The University of Michigan Sur-
vival Flight plane crashed just after
takeoff from Milwaukee's General
Mitchell International Airport on
June 4, 2007.
One of the National Transporta-
tion Safety Board teams investigat-
ing the crash issued a report on its
simulation of the plane's final min-
The report found the results of
the simulation "are consistent with
the co-pilot inadvertently hittingthe
autopilot button" instead of another
motion control device, the Detroit
Free Press said Sunday.
The co-pilot apparently intended
to activate the "yaw damper on the
airplane center console," accord-
ing to the report by one of six NTSB
teams looking into the crash. A yaw
damper helps reduce side-to-side
oscillations of an aircraft.
If it were turned on, the autopilot
would have resisted the efforts of
the pilots of the Cessna CitationIIto
maneuver the plane.
The problem may have begun
when First Officer Dennis Hoyes
told Capt. Bill Serra he had rou-
tinely activated the aircraft's yaw
Eleven seconds later, Serra was
recorded as saying, "Why amI fight-
ingthe controls here? Damn it."
"It's choppy. It's going to fight
rienced pilot and head of operations
at Western Michigan University's
College of Aviation. He reviewed the
NTSB reports at the newspaper's
The two buttons are next to each
other on the center console, and
some aircraft makers have rede-
signed cockpit controls to avoid
such mistakes. The changes include
giving the controls varying shapes
to make them less likely to be con-
fused, Jones said.
The report is from the NTSB's
Recorded Radar and Airplane Per-
formance StudyGroup. NTSB teams
also are looking into the operations
of the plane's owner, weather, the
plane's airworthiness, maintenance
records and cockpit voice record-
The five-member board will
receive the report and others later
this year. Its members then issue a
conclusion on the probable cause of
Killed along with Jones and
Serra were cardiac surgeon Dr.
Martinus Spoor, pediatric cardio-
thoracic surgery trainee Dr. David
Ashburn, and transplant donation
specialists Richard Chenault II
and Richard LaPensee.
From Page 1A
"Student sponsors are backing
out at this time, but (MSA is) still
providing," said Neil Thaneder,
president of Detroit Partnership.
Jordan Salin, former chair of
MSA's Budget Priorities Commit-
tee, said the assembly received
very few complaints from student
organizations that did not receive
their desired amounts of money in
But he added that the changes
to the application have produced
"We gave out more money than
in recent years," Salin said. "There
was a noticeable improvement in
the quality of applications attrib-
uted to the application changes."
According to MSA treasurer
Vishal Bajaj, the Budget Priorities
Committee is typically allocated
between $125,000 and $130,000
each semester and the Community
Service Committee is typically allo-
cated about $45,000 each semester
to provide to student groups.
Bajaj said this is considerably
higher than the 40 percent of
MSA's overall funds required to go
to the Budget Priorities Commit-
tee and 20 percent required to go
to the Community Service Com-
mittee by MSA's constitution and
Despite the detailed process for
fund allocation, there are student
groups on campus who feel they
are not given a fair shot bythe MSA
Andrew Dalack, co-chair of
Students Allied for Freedom and
Equality, a pro-Palestinian orga-
nization, said the new funding
process lacks transparency, which
raises many issues for him.
"It is unclear why sometimes we
receive more or less money for cer-
tain events," he said.
Dalack said he thinks the fund-
ing allotment discrepancy may
have something to do with politics.
"The political opinions of the
members of BPC and CSC may
affect our ability to get funding," he
said, "especially if individual mem-
bers of the various funding bod-
ies fundamentally disagree with
SAFE's mission and principles."
Averill said any students whose
neutrality might be compromised
- for example, if they are members
of certain groups - don't provide
input on that group's funding. She
said the opinions of individual
members are not a factor in decid-
ing funding allocation.
"We all understand there are a
million organizations on campus
with different ideas and ideolo-
gies and everything," Averill said.
"Nothing gets factored in as to
whether you agree with them or
not. Obviously it's veryimportant to
the campus to have differing view-
points, so that's not a factor at all."
Averill said some of the basic
standards to decide whether or not
a group or event will be provided
funding are the impact it would
have on the student body - she
said an educational event would be
likely to earn more funding than a
social one - and the scope of the
"If it's (a student organization)
that includes a very large portion
of the student body, either in the
event or the group itself, that's one
of the things to kind of determine
how much we're going to contrib-
ute to it," Averill said.
Bajaj, who used to be the trea-
surer for the Indian American Stu-
dentAssociation, said he had agood
experience earning MSA funding,
but that he does think there are
problems with the system.
"I think the problem lies within
the fact that to get that money, it
was having to beat the system," he
said. "You have to realize there are
certain things they're never going
to fund and there are certain things
they're always going to fund."
Bajaj said he thinks the problem
lies mostly with new and up-and-
coming student organizations that
don't know how to get around the
process. He said MSA should make
the process more transparent so
student organizations know what
it consistently funds and doesn't
"I think that's the problem, stu-
dent organizations shouldn't have
to feel they have to trick MSA," he
said. "It should be easier and more
MSA also considers financial
need of each group when deter-
mining fund allocation. The com-
mittees take into consideration
whether or not the funds from an
event go to charity and if organiza-
tions need MSA backing to oper-
"Basically we want to give them
the money to allow them to oper-
ate, but if they have enough money
to operate themselves, then they
don't have financial need," Averill
Conner Sandefur, president of
the Native American Student Asso-
ciation, said his group was upset
after it was denied funding for
one of its events earlier in the year.
Sandefur said his group was told
the funding was denied because -
it already had enough money in
its account. That money, how-
ever, was earmarked for its
powwow fundraiser, Sandefur
said, and was not meant for the
"We still had the event but
our account was depleted
because we had thought we had
a strong proposal and were count-
ing on the funding," Sandefur said.
"This left us at a disadvantage for
Later in the year, when NASA
requested funds from MSA for its
powwow because its savings had
been spent, the group was denied
again, Sandefur said. The assembly
told the organization the reason it
was denied was because the money
it would make on admissions tick-
ets at the powwow would cover the
costs of the event.
"I'm not sure how the funding
committee made the determina-
tion that they understood our bud-
get more clearly than we do," he
Averill said if any organizations
are not content with the funding
they are granted, they are given the
opportunity to appeal.
"People come to appeals a lot,
and a lot of the time people who
do come to appeals end up getting
more money because it's usually
very legitimate reasons why they're
there," she said.
Despite the many complaints of
a lack of transparency, inefficient
processes and budget commit-
tee members who make decisions
subjectively, there are many cam-
pus groups that say MSA has been
extremely helpful when it comes to
Reid Benjamin, treasurer of
Relay For Life, said the funding
process is very effective in a multi-
tude of ways.
He stated that the necessary
training about the process and
available meetings with MSA rep-
resentatives helps to make things
"I have a hard time saying any-
thing negative about the process
because it's gone so smoothly,"
Julia Hawley, treasurer of the
Solar Car Team, said MSA has
been very beneficial to their cause
"Usually they give us a pretty
good portion and overall we've
had a positive experience," Haw-
ley said. "We always ask for more
money than we think we can get
but MSA is always generous."
Bajaj said he plans to reform
the funding process while he is
MSA treasurer, possibly increas-
ing the amount of money allocated
to the Budget Priorities Commit-
tee among other changes, to make
funding easier for student groups.
One of the issues with student
funding is that it is a system of
reimbursements, Bajaj said. There-
fore, if student groups do not have
enough money up front, they still
cannot host events, even though
MSA will ultimately provide them
Bajaj said he also plans to put the
entire application online and hold
more individual funding work-
shops, possibly even approach-
ing student organizations rather
than having student organizations
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