Dry Weather Prompts State of Emergency Declaration

Tompkins County Administrator Stephen Whicher declared a state of emergency in Tompkins County on Friday as a result of the risk of brush fires created by the recent dry, hot weather conditions. The order will be in effect until Wednesday, when Whicher be reevaluate to determine whether it should be lifted or extended.
According to a press release, Whicher’s declaration banned all outdoor burning and recreational outdoor fires. Cooking fires in a contained, controlled barbeque pit or cooking grill are still allowed, although anyone cooking outside is required to “at all times have readily available the proper equipment to extinguish the fire.”

Suspect Wanted in Local Robberies Caught in D.C.

Whitley “Cash” Taylor, the alleged ringleader in a string of armed robberies on campus and in Collegetown, was arrested in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. A warrant was issued for Taylor’s arrest on suspicion of first-degree robbery on April 1.
Taylor, 26, is a suspect in three recent armed robberies. He is described as a black male, 6-foot 8-inches tall who weighs 312 pounds.
At around 10:30 p.m. on March 29 at a West Campus fraternity, two acquaintances of one of the students present reportedly pulled out a handgun and robbed the occupants of cash and other items.

Economy Alters C.U. Summer Program in Hong Kong

A few weeks ago, Danielle Farrell ’10 was looking forward to summer. With several prelims approaching, she was satisfied to know that unlike many of her friends just starting to fill out their resumes, she had been on top of her summer plans. Several weeks ago she had applied and been accepted to the Cornell summer International Business and Internship program in Hong Kong.
However, with the economy facing a downturn, the University can no longer guarantee internship placement, a major component of the program, for students who have been accepted.
In addition to the six-week internship, the program also consists of a three-week course on international business taught by Prof. David Ng, applied economics and management.

Exonerated Death Row Inmate Discusses Justice System Issues

In Aug. 1984 Kirk Bloodsworth was surprised to hear cops banging on his door. But that was just the beginning. Although he held strongly that he was innocent, Bloodsworth was arrested, tried and convicted for the brutal murder and rape of nine-year-old Dawn Hamilton in March 1985. He was then sentenced to death.
In 1993, DNA tests proved that Bloodsworth had not committed the crime, making him the first person to be exonerated from death row though postconviction DNA testing.

Board Passes Plan for Univ. Development

The Board of Trustees approved the Comprehensive Master Plan this weekend at its annual March meeting. While the CMP is a general physical roadmap for the future development of the Ithaca campus over the next 10 to 25 years, it is not a specific outline.
“The CMP does not dictate exactly how our campus will look in 50 years,” Student-Elected Trustee Kate Duch ’09 said. “As we expand in the future, the plan will guide where construction should occur — and even more importantly, where open spaces should be preserved.”

C.U. Hopes to Announce New AAP Dean This Fall

The University is making headway in its search for the next dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning following the resignation of Mohsen Mostafavi at the end of last semester. Under the leadership of John Siliciano, vice provost, a search committee began looking for Mostafavi’s successor after he told Cornell last August that he would step down to become dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
“Dean Mostafavi stepped down somewhat unexpectedly, so we are not on our normal cycle. The search is moving fine, and we have app­oi­nt­ed a search committee made up of faculty, staff and a student. We also hired an outside search firm to assist us and then bring those names to the search committee,” he said.

State Budget Proposal Forces County to Reassess Policies

The Tompkins County Budget and Capital Committee met with Tompkins County Administrator Steve Whicher yesterday to discuss the possible effects of New York State Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposed 2009 budget.
The changes in the state budget could have a potentially negative impact on the county’s budget — ranging from $500,000 to $1 million — unless the county legislature makes some policy changes to offset the state’s changes. In order to help make up for the cut in state funding, the state’s proposal also gives the state legislature the authority to increase fees.

Darwin Days 2008 Commemorate Most Influential Evolutionary Biologist

Arguably one of the most controversial figures in recent history, Charles Darwin changed the face of evolutionary biology forever, challenging what were the widely accepted and religious-based views of creationism. In order to commemorate both his contributions to the field and his life, people around the world are celebrating Darwin Day today on the 199th anniversary of Charles’s birthday.

Asteroid Flies Near Earth

Cornell astronomers were able to shoot delay-doppler radar images of an asteroid called 2007 TU24 as it flew past earth yesterday. Using the Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Telescope as a bistatic-radar system, astronomers transmitted radio signals from the Observatory in Puerto Rico off the asteroid and then sent them to the Robert Byrd Greenbank Telescope in West Virginia.
Although astronomers were able to capture images, the asteroid was smaller than they had predicted, at about .2 km in diameter.
“We expected it to be bigger based on how bright it was,” said Michael Nolan, of Cornell’s Arecibo Observatory.

C.U. Receives Subpoena in Study Abroad Investigation

The University is currently reviewing a subpoena issued by the New York Attorney General’s Office on Jan. 15, according to Simeon Moss ’73, director of Cornell Press Relations. Cornell is one of 15 colleges and universities that received subpoenas as part of an ongoing investigation into the way study abroad programs are selected.