Volume 94, Issue 80

Wednesday, February 14, 2001


Presidential voting demands answers

Change of fortune for Napster

Online learning focus of new fed committee

Dyer predicts democratic China in 10 years

Students shocked by high hydro bills


Couch potatoes get no respect: study

Students say credit is no good

School dress code could be the norm

His Royal Mintiness


English professor keeps eyes on the prize

Western professor Donald Hair has received a national award for his recent book, Robert Browning's Language.

The English professor's book was chosen from nearly 150 entries and selected as the winner of the Raymond Kilbansky Prize. The award is one of the three given by The Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, Hair said.

A nationwide jury selected entries it felt represented Canadian scholarly works in English and French, he explained.

Hair, who began his studies of English at Western in 1956 as an undergraduate student and became a professor in 1964, said he was surprised by the accolade. "This thing came right out of the blue."

He will be presented with the award May 27 in Quebec City, at a ceremony during the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, and said he hoped this award will be another step towards getting more recognition for Western's English department.

–Joel Brown

A London public school was closed yesterday by London health unit officials in response to fears students were being exposed to fecal matter.

"[Students were found] playing in and around discoloured and odoured patches of ice," said Bryna Warshawsky, associate medical officer of health for the Middlesex-London health unit.

The patches of ice are believed to be fecal matter that was left on a playground adjacent to the school by animals and not humans, she said. No sewage pipes run through the immediate area, but neighbours recall a similar event years ago, Warshawsky said. Specimens were taken from the area which will allow officials to determine the precise cause of the unpleasant smell.

"In these cases we refer to the experts. It wasn't even our decision to close the school," said Brad Dugard, a representative of the Thames Hall Valley School Board.

There was no confirmation the substance causing the closure was indeed fecal matter, but health officials were urging all parents to wash their children's clothing since it could have been tainted with the unidentified substance.

School officials have fielded many calls from concerned parents, Dugard said. The school will re-open tomorrow after the cleanup and a letter will be sent home with students explaining the closure.

Parents worried about lost learning time for their children need not panic, he added, as lost days are usually made up later in the year.

– Tait Simpson

Heart month for more than just Valentine's

February is heart month in Canada and Western researchers are hard at work with their studies.

John Ciriello, physiology professor, is conducting a study on the effects of female hormones like estrogen on hypertension or high blood pressure. "We are finding positive results throughout our study, it is clear once we replace estrogen levels you can bring down high blood pressure" Ciriello said.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. 50,000 new strokes are reported each day with 14,000 of these leading to death, he said. The Heart and Stroke Foundation estimate by the year 2006 there will be a 32 per cent increase in stroke.

Due to this increase current studies to prevent heart disease, stroke and heart attack will become crucial in the upcoming years, he added.

–Clare O'Hara

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Copyright The Gazette 2000