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By Addie Haney

ELON, N.C. – Two years ago, a couple approached journalist Elizabeth Kolbert at Washington University in St. Louis and asked why people should care about global warming. Kolbert simply responded, “Do you like to eat?”

Thursday night, she posed the same question to an audience at Elon University’s McCrary Theater.

According to Kolbert, a two-time author and staff writer for The New Yorker, agriculture and climate change are closely intertwined, and if the world wants to have an adequate supply of food in the future, it needs to take steps now to get global warming under control.

“Climate change is often presented as a problem about the melting ice and sea level rise,” Kolbert said. “But you could really argue that food production is going to be the biggest problem (and) it’s going to affect people most immediately where food is already tight.”

Climate change, she said, is pushing agriculture past its limits.

“One thing that’s really beyond debate is that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas,” Kolbert said.

Carbon dioxide traps the sun’s energy and heat in the atmosphere, she said, and because the earth is always radiating its energy, the combination of the two will eventually warm the planet.

Already, she said, growing conditions in fertile areas of California, Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean have worsened because of greenhouse gases, while conditions for farming have improved in Greenland, Siberia and northern Canada – places that were, up until recently, impossible to farm.

According to Kolbert, droughts will be drier, rainy seasons will be wetter and global food production will be thrown off balance. And that’s why food prices spiked to near record levels in 2008 and 2010.

“This is what you’d expect in a warming world,” she said. “And food prices right now are quite high globally – a the product of lots of extreme weather his year.”

Kolbert said if the world wants to continue to have food to eat it can no longer remain passive in its efforts to reverse climate change.

According to her, Americans, are the primary contributors of carbon dioxide emissions, and she said that people can no longer be docile in the matter. Kolbert urges them to demand lawmakers enact change, especially if they want to continue to have enough to eat.

“People need to be involved politically,” Kolbert said. “I think that all the things we do on an individual level…don’t amount to anything unless we take concerted national efforts.”

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For more information, contact:

Addie Haney

AMH PR Firm

404-718-9624

ahaney2@elon.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

WILD WEATHER CAUSES 25-PERCENT INCREASE IN MONEY SPENT IN INSURANCE INDUSTRY

 

Results from a study on property loss and violent weather showed that the insurance industry spent more than $2.5 billion this year to replace or repair property damage resulting from natural disasters.

James Addison, the president of the National Institute of Insurance Underwriters and Claims Adjusters President, said at a conference Thursday that the industry saw a 25-percent increase from money spent this year than last year to cover damages from hhhurricanes, tornadoes and floods.

“These projections are very preliminary,” Addison said. “The total number of claims and their costs could vary depending on the amount of federal aid that was provided, but it still was a costly year for the insurance industry.”

Addison noted that severe flooding in Texas, California and the Southeastern United States accounted for much of the 25-percent increase. Hurricanes that struck Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida accounted for about $512 million alone.

Some insurance experts who attended the conference are questioning whether changes in the global weather patterns are responsible for the increase in severe weather.

For more information, contact NIIUCA at its headquarters by telephone at 1-(800)-555-0000, or mail at One Insurance Plaza, 2305 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071.

###

 (This is not a real press release)

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By Addie Haney

ELON, N.C.

Summary: Vanderbilt professors Doug and Lynn Fuchs developed a method to address the different learning levels of students. In this method, called the Responsiveness to Intervention, students are broken into levels based on their ability to learn. The three levels are the primary tier, secondary tier, and tertiary tier.

Responsiveness to Interventionis a specialized teaching program that Vanderbilt University professors Lynn and Doug Fuchs are researching in an effort to reform the approach teachers take to educating elementary school students.

Through this method of teaching, children who perform poorer in general education classes are no longer separated out into special education programs. Instead, students are placed into tiers and meet in smaller groups to receive more individual attention.

“The goal of RTI,” Doug Fuchs said, “is to reduce dropout, unemployment, incarceration, poor heath. It’s to kind of prevent all of that and to try to ensure to the extent possible that children grow up into healthy, happy, productive citizens.”

Students are tested at the start of the school year to determine whether they should learn at the primary, secondary or tertiary prevention level, which gives students the most attention.

In the primary prevention level, students are screened to verify their learning ability. If they appear “normal,” they can remain in the general education track. If they appear to be at risk, they are monitored for six to eight weeks to see if they are responsive to the tailored teaching.

If children are unresponsive, they move on to the secondary prevention level, in which students meet more frequently with teachers and in smaller groups.

But if monitoring continues to show that the student is nonresponsive to instruction, they are moved to the tertiary level. At this level, a cycle of testing and teaching is conducted in order to find the right teaching method to help bring the student back to the general education setting.

The Strategy

Math problem solving, Lynn Fuchs said, is a good area to begin work because many teachers don’t have a strong strategy for teaching students to solve math word problems. In order to fill that gap, the Fuchses came up with a program called Pirate Math, a secondary tutoring program in which students are equipped with strategies and tips for solving math word problems.

In the weekly 20-30 minute sessions, students are taught how to decipher the language of math word problems and given a detailed step-by-step plan that will allow them to solve the problem easily.

  1. Name the problem type. Students determine whether the question is asking to find a total, difference or change.
  2. Write the meta-equation. This is a standard equation that puts the problem in understandable terms. For example, if it is a difference problem, students will use the equation Bigger – smaller = Difference.
  3. Label the information. Students go through the problem naming terms and, most importantly, pronouns that stand for variables and often confuse students.
  4. Identify missing info. Students identify the term or numeric value they are trying to solve for.
  5. Enter givens. Numerical values are plugged into the equation.
  6. Find x. Students are taught to solve for x algebraically.
  7. Label answer. A unit of measure is always added to the answer to give it context.

In addition to the step-by-step method, teachers use flash cards, role playing, sorting practice and reviews to improve math skills.

By using RTI to help students strengthen their skills in math, the Fuchses hope that in the future, the special education program as it is known today will no longer be needed.

“It (RTI) is a form of education reform that a lot of practitioners, and advocates, policy people, parents are hoping will positively change the education system in this country to help millions and millions of children.”

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By Addie Haney

BURLINGTON, N.C. – A 12-year-old girl landed her family’s four-passenger plane only 10 feet from Interstate 51 after her father lost consciousness on an early-morning trip back from Grand Rapids, Mich., according to officials.

The girl, Alyssa Shanahan of Burlington, was pressed into action and wound up landing the plane, which overshot the runway, skidded across an open field and smashed through a chain link fence alongside the interstate’s northbound lane at 4:05 p.m. during rush hour, according to police. No one on the ground was injured.

“It could have been much worse,” said Fire Chief Tony Sullivan. “There were a lot of startled people when that plane came at them.”

Police say that James Shanahan was piloting the plane for his wife, Mary, and daughters, Adrienne and Alyssa, when he lost consciousness, causing the plane to begin a slow dive 100 miles east of Greensboro.

“There was nothing I could do,” Mary said. “I couldn’t reach the controls. And even if I could have, I don’t think I could have helped.”

According to Mary, James, who has 30 years of flying experience, had been complaining about dizziness and shortness of breath before the incident occurred.

Police say that James was about to contact the control tower at Burlington Regional Airport to request an emergency landing when he slumped over in his seat.

It was then that 4-foot-3-inch Alyssa took control of the plane, shoved her father’s arms away from the controls and feet off the rudders and responded to the control tower’s calls.

Peter Jacobs, the control tower flight manager for Burlington Regional Airport, directed other aircrafts away from the airport during the emergency and stayed in contact with Alyssa the whole time, instructing her on what to do.

“I could hear the passengers screaming in the background,” Jacobs said. “I think they were getting a bit panicky up there.”

With Jacobs’s help, Alyssa was able to bring the aircraft down, causing only minor damage to the plane’s landing gears and undercarriage.

“I was a little scared because I couldn’t reach the pedals very well,” Alyssa said. “I was more worried about my Daddy. I just wanted to get on the ground and get help for him.”

After landing, James was taken to Mercy Hospital for observation. Doctors there said he suffered an allergic reaction to a prescription medicine he had begun taking that morning, but he’s now in satisfactory condition.

Mary was treated for a broken wrist and a cut on her forehead, and Adrienne suffered only minor cuts and bruises. Alyssa was not injured.

“I’ve been flying with my Daddy since I was a little girl,” Alyssa said. “He taught me all about flying. I couldn’t be too scared because I want to be a pilot like my Daddy someday.”

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REPORTER: Addie Haney

{{Roll PKG}}

IN AN AGE WHEN PEOPLE ARE TRAVELING FASTER AND FARTHER THAN EVER…MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE USING MOBILE TECHNOLOGY TO GET NEWS ON THE GO.


<SOT: Gerald Whittington, Senior Vice President of Elon>

I HAVEN’T SEEN A T-V NEWS PROGRAM IN YEARS.


SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF ELON…GERALD WHIT-ING-TON…IS PART OF THE GROWING NUMBER OF AMERICANS WHO ARE NO LONGER TUNING IN TO GET THEIR NEWS.

INSTEAD OF TURNING ON THE T-V…WHIT-ING-TON BOOTS UP HIS COMPUTER TO GET THE LATEST HEADLINES.

<SOT: Whittington>

I CAN GET IT WHEN I NEED IT…WHERE I CAN GET IT EASILY.


IN FACT…ACCORDING TO THE PROJECT FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM’S 20-11 STUDY…NEARLY HALF OF ALL AMERICAN ADULTS CHOOSE TO GET THEIR LOCAL NEWS FROM MOBILE DEVICES, SUCH AS CELL PHONES AND TABLET COMPUTERS.

BUT NOT EVERYONE IS ON BOARD WITH THE SHIFT FROM TRADITIONAL NEWS TO THE TECHNOLOGIC.

LOCAL YOGURT MANAGER MACKENZIE BROWN SAYS THE SHIFT LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED.


<SOT: Mackinzie Brown, Manager of Local Yogurt>

IT’S TAKEN THE PLACE OF ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTION.


DESPITE THE RISE IN MOBILE APPS AND ONLINE NEWS SOURCES…BROWN SAYS SHE WILL CONTINUE TO GET HER NEWS FROM THE T-V.


<SOT: Brown>

I’M OLD SCHOOL AND NOT TECH SAVVY. IT’S JUST THE WAY I WAS BROUGHT UP.


ADDIE HANEY. PHOENIX 14 NEWS TONIGHT.

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I am in a Media Writing class this semester and have been working hard to learn how to write all different styles of stories like print, online, PR, and broadcast.

I now have more than 20 written stories under my belt and have put together a portfolio of all of them, but I just wanted to share with you what I think are the strongest that I’ve written from this semester.

Here they are:

News shifts from traditional to technologic

Local girl lands plane only feet from the interstate

Researchers look to identify at-risk students in early education

Wild weather causes 25-percent increase in money spent in the insurance industry

Climate change burdens food production

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