In the news

Ichthyology meets ignominy at the Ig Nobels

Steven Stack, professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Wayne State, is the recipient of an Ig Nobel Award for his research (with James Gundlach of Auburn University) that found a correlation between suicide rates and persons who listen to country music. Stack won in the medicine category. There were over 5,000 nominations for the nine prizes for the tongue-in-cheek awards that nevertheless bring attention to some interesting research studies. Stack's study results were published in 1992 and drew nationwide attention at the time.

Local comment: Why take gay couples' only benefit away

English professor Christopher Leland has an op-ed piece calling for the defeat of Proposal 2, the issue on the state ballot that recognizes marriage as a union between a man and a woman. He points out that he is gay and explains some of the challenges of being in a same-sex relationship. "About the only benefit we as a couple have enjoyed in Detroit," he points out, "is the domestic partner medical and dental insurance available through my job at Wayne State University. . . . If Proposal 2 passes, those benefits will disappear."

Report unfairly flunks Michigan on university affordability

In an op-ed piece, Mark Murray, president of Grand Valley State University, contends that universities in Michigan and many other states are unfairly criticized in some national surveys for scoring low on affordability. He points out that "higher education has been the long-term loser in the scramble for state funding." The result is that more of the burden of paying for a college education has shifted from the state to the students.

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An article ran in the Making Airwaves section of the newspaper regarding the recent programming changes at Wayne State\'s WDET 101.9 FM, and how those changes may have a negative affect on the station\'s fall fundraising drive. The article also notes how the elimination of popular shows like: The Tavis Smiley Show; Car Talk; and Folk Like Us, led to complaints by several listeners. The article also quoted WDET Station Manager Caryn Mathes... "We didn't cut [programs] because of cost," she says. Mathes says WDET wants to focus on what it does best. And according to recent surveys, the station's strengths are its "progressive music variety and local NPR news and we decided to focus on that."

Asbestos bill unresolved as thousands endure painful, fatal disease

Dr. Michael Harbut, a co-author of the ATS study and chief of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Wayne State was quoted on a bill concerning asbestos. The 108th Congress proposed the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, which was meant to help Americans sickened by asbestos exposure without their having to sue the companies. The Senate\'s criteria were presented to Sen.. Orin Hatch, R-Utah who had sponsored the bill. Hatch first embraced the ABA offering but modified it after many union officials and public health specialists denounced it as \"pro-industry\" and unfair to victims who would be prevented from suing. Dr. Michael Harbut disagreed with the modifications and said, \"On the basis of the current science and medicine, the diagnostic criteria in Sen... Hatch\'s bill are outdated, incorrect and incomplete, and if enacted into law, will harm untold numbers of patients.\"

Two WSU Football Players Listed In NCAA Stats

Two Wayne State players are listed among the nation\'s best in football in this week\'s NCAA statistical report. Freshman wide receiver/kick returner Gary Frisby is 27th in the country in kickoff return average at 24.9 yards per return. Junior cornerback Bobby Boyer is 20th nationally in solo tackles per game at 6.0. After playing the last two games on the road, the Warriors host Ashland this Saturday at noon in the annual Homecoming contest.