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December 03, 2013 - Image 2

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2 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

(1ic Adcan Oddu
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1327
Editor in Chief Business Manager
734-41e-4115 ext. 1252 734-418-4115 eat. 1241
anweiner@michigandaily.com kvoigtman@michigandailyeom


Prof. looks at water in new way

Uo Becker is a professor of
earth and environmental sci-
ences. He started teaching at
the University in 2002, and his
research focuses on mineral sur-
face chemistry, nanoscience and
computational mineralogy.
What got you interested in
science,andwhy didyouchoose
to teach at the University?
I was always interested in
science since I was little, even
before elementary school. I
started teaching here in 2002
when they had an interesting
opening. I'm from Germany, and
I was looking for jobs world-
wide, but this seemed to be an

interesting opportunity and a
good school. This is a depart-
ment where I could do what I
wanted to do. I'm in a relatively
small field, and I had people to
collaborate with which also got
me interested in applying here.
What is your favorite class
to teach?
Right now I'm teaching Water
and the Environment, which
asks, how does water behave in
the environment, and how do
we use water? And then I teach a
graduate class on computational
technology (whicp deals with)
the mechanics of atoms and
minerals. It's a more esoteric

course, but it also has environ-
mental applications, so we apply
what we learn to how radioac-
tive atoms behave in the envi-
ronment. But the class I really
like is a 300-level class called
Environmental Geochemistry
for more advanced undergrads.
It's essentially the chemistry of
everything in the environment,
from the atmosphere to ground-
water to 'rivers to natural pro-

734-48-4115 opt.3
Arts Section
Sports Settion
Display Sales
Online Sales

News Tips
Lettersto the Editor
Editorial Page
Photography Sectin

LSA senior Oliver Hecht performs with Groove on
the Diag Monday.

Outside the law Kidding


WHERE: Law Quad
WHEN: Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
WHAT: A small exterior
window was found broken,
University Police reported.
The damage is estimated to
have occured between 4:30
p.m. on Thursday and 3:30
p.m. on Sunday. Mainte-
nance was notified. Nothing
was found missing.

WHERE: Stadium Gate 9
WHEN: Saturday at about
12:50 p.m.
WHAT: University Police
reported the arrest of a visi-
tor who attempted to strike
a child. The child was
protected by the parent.

Tired Runaway
trespasser handbags
WHERE: Michigan Union WHERE: University
WHEN: Sunday at Golf Course
11:45 a.m. WHEN: Saturday at
WHAT: A visitor who had 5:30 p.m.
not cooperated with previ- WHAT: University Police
ous staff requests was found reported that two purses
asleep in a men's bathroom. were taken from a vehicle
An officer gave him another parked on the golf course.
trespass warning and One was found later in a
escorted him away. trash can at a gas station.

Design and
WHAT: Prof. Robert Grese
will give his Roosevelt
Professorship lecture on
the relationship between
conservation and
landscape design.
WHEN: Today at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Dana Natural
Resources Building
Scarcity in
WHAT: Author Damien
Ma will discuss the ideas
in his book, including how,
the impression that China
is developing the world's
largest economy is the least
important aspect of the
WHO: Center for
Chinese Studies
WHEN: Today at 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: School of Social
Work Building, Room 1636

movie night
WHAT: Students and
faculty are invited to a film
screening about historical
interactions between
American and
European Jews.
WHO: Judaic Studies
WHEN: Today at 6 p.m.
WHERE: 2022 S. Thayer
White House
WHAT: Ken Walsh, the
White House correspondent
for U.S. News, will discuss
various presidents' attempts
to break from the isolation
of the White House and
connect to the nation.
WHO: Gerald R. Ford
Presidential Library
WHEN: Today from
7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
WHERE: Gerald
Ford Library

1Passengers on a flight
thatlanded inPhoenix on
Saturday were advised to
get tuberculosis shots, ABC15
reported. An airline spokes-
man said a passenger had a
"medical issue." The passen-
ger's status was changed to
no-fly. after departure.
The Michigan hockey
team blew a three-
goal lead in Columbus
against Ohio State in the
third period. But alate goalby
senior defenseman Mac Ben-
nett saved the win.
NBC News reported
that three people were
injured when a heli-
copter was forced to make an
emergency landing in Ant-
arctica yesterday. They are
currently being treated by
the crew of a second helicop-
ter that was flying in tandem.

Matthew Slovin ManagingEditor mjslovin@michigandaily.com
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Melanie Kruvelis and opinioneditors@michigandaily.com
Adrienne Roberts EditorialPage Editors
Everett Cook and
Zach Helfand Managing Sports Editors sportseditors@michigandaily.com
SENIOR SPORTS EDITORS: Alejandro Zuniga, Jeremy Summitt, Neal Rothschild, Rajat
SSISTNSRTSE DIsTrORSreg Garno, Alexa Dettlebach, Daniel Feldman, Erin
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The Michigan Daily (IsSN 0745-967) is published Monday through Friday duringlthe fall and
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The Michigan Daily is a member of The Associated Press and The Associated Collegiate Press.


Investigation discovers speed a
factor in deadly train derailing

Former medical tech gets 39
years for infecting patients

Rail experts say
automated safety
technology could have
prevented crash
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - A com-
muter train that derailed over the
weekend, killing four passengers,
was hurtling at 82 mph as it entered
a30 mph curve, afederal investiga-
tor said Monday. But whether the
wreck was the result of human
error or mechanical trouble was
unclear, he said.
Rail experts said the tragedy
might have been prevented if Met-
ro-North Railroad had installed
automated crash-avoidance tech-
nology that safety authorities have
been urging for decades.
The locomotive's speed was
extracted from the train's two data
recorders after the Sunday morn-
ing accident, which happened in
the Bronx along a bend so sharp

that the speed limit drops from 70
mph to 30 mph.
Asked why the train was going
so fast, National Transportation
Safety Board member Earl Weener
said: "That's the question we need
to answer."
Weener would not disclose
what the engineer operating the
train told investigators, and he
said results of drug and alcohol
tests were not yet available. Inves-
tigators are also examining the
engineer's cellphone, apparently
to determine whether he was dis-
"When I heard about the speed,
Igulped," said Sen. Charles Schum-
er, D-N.Y.
Engineers may not use cell-
phones while on the train,
according to the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority, which
runs Metro-North.
The engineer, William Rock-
efeller, was injured and "is totally
traumatized by everything that
has happened," said Anthony Bot-


talico, executive director of the rail
employees union.
He said Rockefeller, 46, was
cooperating fully with investi-
"He's a sincere human being
with an impeccable record that I
know of. He's diligent and compe-
tent," Bottalico said. Rockefeller
has been an engineer for about 11
years and a Metro-North employee
for about 20, he said.
Outside Rockefeller's modest
house in Germantown, N.Y., police
told reporters that at the request of
the family, anyone who trespassed
would be arrested. Calls to the
home wentunanswered.
The NTSB's Weener sketched
a scenario that suggested that the
train's throttle was let up and the
brakes-were fully applied way too
late to stave off disaster.
He said the throttle went to idle
six seconds before the derailed
train came to a complete stop -
"very late in the game" for a train
going that fast - and the brakes
were fully engaged five seconds
before the train stopped.
It takes about a quarter-mile to
a half-mile to stop a train going 82
mph,Kevin Thompson,FederalRail-
road Administration spokesman.
Asked whether the tragedy was
the result of human error or faulty
brakes, Weener said: "The answer
is, at this paint in time, we can't tell.
But he said investigators are not
aware of any problems with the
brakes during the nine stops the
train made before the derailment.
The wreck came two years
before the federal government's
deadline for Metro-North and
other railroads to install automat-
ic-slowdown technology designed
to prevent catastrophes caused by
human error.
Metro-North's parent agency
and other railroads hake pressed
the government to extend Con-
gress' 2015 deadline a few years
because of the cost and complex-
ity of the Positive Train Control
system, which uses GPS, wireless
radio and computers to monitor
trains and stop them from collid-
ing, derailing or going the wrong

Man reportedly
used stolen syringes
to infect patients
with hepatitis C
A traveling medical techni-
cian who stole painkillers and
infected dozens of patients in
multiple states with hepatitis
C through tainted syringes was
sentenced Monday to 39 years
in prison.
"I don't blame the families
for hating me," David Kwiat-
kowski said after hearing about
20 statements from people he
infected and their relatives. "I
hate myself."
Kwiatkowski, 34, was a car-
diac technologist in 18 hospi-
tals in seven states before being
hired at New Hampshire's
Exeter Hospital in 2011.
He had moved from job to job
despite being fired at least four
times over allegations of drug
use and theft. Since his arrest
last year, 46 people have been
diagnosed with the same strain
of hepatitis C he carries.
U.S. Attorney John Kacavas
said the sentence "ensures that
this serial infector no longer is
in a position to do harm to inno-
cent and vulnerable;people."
Kwiatkowski admitted steal-
ing painkillers and replacing
them with saline-filled syring-
es tainted with his blood. He
pleaded guilty in August to 16
federal drug charges.
Before he was sentenced,
Kwiatkowski stood and faced
his victims, saying he was very
sorry and that his crimes were
caused by an addiction to pain-
killers and alcohol. He told
investigators he had been steal-
ing drugs since at least 2003
and swapping syringes since at
least 2008.
"There's no excuse for what
I've done," he said. "I know
the pain and suffering I have
Prosecutors asked for a

40-year sentence. Judge Joseph
Laplante said he cut the last
year as a reminder that some
people have the capacity for
mercy and compassion.
"It's important for you to
recognize and remember as
you spend the next 39 years in
prison to focus on the one year
you didn't get and try to devel-
op that capacity in yourself,"
Laplante said.
The victims spoke angrily
and tearfully of the pain that
Kwiatkowski had inflicted
by giving them hepatitis C,
a blood-borne virus that can
cause liver disease and chronic
health problems. Authorities
say the disease played a role in
one woman's death.
"You may only be facing drug
charges, but make no mistake,
you are a serial killer," said
Kathleen Murray of Elmira,
N.Y., whose mother was infect-
ed in Baltimore and was too ill
to travel to New Hampshire for
the sentencing.
Linda Ficken, 71, said she is
haunted by the memory of Kwi-
atkowski standing at her hospi-
tal bedside in Kansas for more
than an hour applying pressure
to the catheter's entry site in
her leg to control bleeding.
"On one hand, you were sav-
ing my life, and on the other
hand, your acts are a death sen-
tence for me," Ficken, of Ando-
ver, Kan., told him. "Do I thank
you for what you did to help me?
Do I despise you for what your
actions did and will continue to
do for the rest of my life? Or do
I simply just feel sorry-for you
being the pathetic individual
you are?"
Prosecutors said Kwiatkows-
ki deserved 40 years for creat-
ing a "national public health
crisis," putting a significant
number of people at risk and
caused substantial physical and
emotional harm to a large num-
ber of victims.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John
Farley called Kwiatkowski's
actions "exceedingly cal-
lous" and "unbelievably cruel"

and noted that Kwiatkowski
could've .stolen painkillers
without exposing his patients
to hepatitis C.
Defense lawyers argued that
a 30-year sentence would better
balance the seriousness of the
crimes against Kwiatkowski's
mental and emotional problems
and his addiction to drugs and
alcohol, which they said cloud-
ed his judgment.
"David Kwiatkowski is not a
monster," said attorney Bjorn
Lange. "He didn't set out to
infect himself or anyone else
with the hepatitis C virus."
In all, 32 patients were
infected in New Hampshire,
seven in Maryland, six in Kan-
sas and one in Pennsylvania.
Though prosecutors have not
included the Pennsylvania case
in their count, a spokeswoman
for the Usiversity of Pittsburgh
Medical Center has repeatedly
said the hospital had one con-
firmed case. Kwiatkowski also
worked in Michigan, New York,
Arizona and Georgia.
Two of the 16 charges stem
from the case of Eleanor Mur-
phy, a Kansas woman who has
since died. Authorities say hepa-
titis C playeda contributingrole.
"You ultimately gave my
mother a death sentence," Mur-
phy's son, Ronnie, told Kwiat-
Murphy said he would have
preferred a life sentence for
Kwiatkowski and didn't under-
stand how he had been able
to continue working after his
repeated firings.
"His path and my moth-
er's path never should have
crossed," he said.
The judge noted that while
Kwiatkowski's lack of a crimi-
nal record kept his sentence
from going even higher, he said
that was only because Kwiat-
kowski's employers handled his
behavior as personnel matters
instead of crimes. And Kacavas
said his office has begun work-
ing with other agencies to draft
policy recommendations to pre-
vent future incidents.



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