News Roundup | 10.4.17

Scharf, Bender-Bier Appointed to CC

Adam Scharf (18C) and Diana Bender-Bier (18C) were appointed College Council (CC) senior legislators through an unanimous vote by legislators, according to a Sept. 28 email from CC President Cassidy Schwartz (18C) to the Wheel. Scharf and Bender-Bier are filling the two positions that opened last month when two senior legislators resigned. The replacement process included an interview by Schwartz and CC Vice President Naman Jain (18C) followed by a vote from 18 CC legislators, whose responsibilities include distributing charters for new clubs, allocating funding for events, conducting student outreach and planning social events. Eighteen people applied for the position, according to Schwartz.

 

Price Resigns After Jet Controversy

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned Sept. 29 following accusations that he spent more than $1 million in private jet travel using taxpayer money. Price announced his decision after stating that the trips were taken on “official business” and offering to reimburse $52,000 to taxpayers Sept. 28, according to the AJC. President Donald J. Trump said Sept. 27 that he was “not happy” with Price’s travel methods. In his resignation letter, Price wrote that he had spent 40 years putting people first as a public servant but regrets that “recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives.” Price completed his medical residency at Emory in 1983 and served as an assistant professor at Emory from 2002 to 2015.

 

Mother of Hot Car Death Baby Indicted on Murder Charge

Dijanelle Fowler was indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury f0r the murder of her daughter Skylar Fowler. The mother of the one-year-old left the child in a hot car for more than five hours while she got her hair done according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The grand jury charged her with second-degree murder, child cruelty and concealing a death, according to the AJC. Fowler parked at Emory University Hospital while getting her hair braided at Mahogany’s Salon on Lavista Road, where she told her stylist to “take her time” as she was in “no rush,” according to prosecutor Dalia Racine. DeKalb County Police Department Detective Keith McQuilkin testified in court Aug. 3 that Fowler provided several false accounts of the events that occurred, claiming she checked in on her child in the car every 30 minutes when surveillance camera footage proved otherwise, according to the AJC. Fowler has been denied bond and remains in jail. — Alex Klugerman

 

Irma Cost Delta $120 Million in Revenue

Hurricane Irma resulted in 2,200 cancelled flights and a $120 million profit loss for Delta Air Lines, which has its largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, according to the AJC. Delta said the losses are roughly 1 percent of the airline’s total operating profit margin. Irma also caused other airlines in the Southeast to cancel flights, resulting in more than 12,000 total cancellations, according to USA Today. Irma hit the greater Atlanta area Sept. 9 as a tropical storm with strong winds and rain.

 

Atlanta Reduces Penalties for Marijuana Possession

Atlanta City Council voted to reduce penalties for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, according to the AJC. The Council voted unanimously to reduce maximum financial penalties from $1,000 to $75, according to the AJC. The Council also voted to eliminate the six months of jail time for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana. Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall supported the legislation for its ability to “reduce the inequities that [the] justice system levies on people of color.” Of those arrested for marijuana possession in Atlanta between 2014 and 2016, 92 percent were black, according to the Racial Justice Action Center. The legislation had been stalled when Council members expressed concerns that there had not been enough discussion with Atlanta law enforcement and that legislation could wrongly suggest that marijuana is legal and decreased penalties would carry outside of city limits, according to the AJC.

 

Emory Receives $628 Million in Research Funding
Emory University received $628 million from external funding agencies for fiscal year 2016-2017, the largest amount of research funding Emory has ever received, according to a Sept. 26 Emory press release. In the press release, Vice President for Research in Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) David S. Stephens said that the funding shows a “strong upward trajectory over the past decade.” More than 61 percent of this funding came from federal agencies, and more than 83 percent of funding from federal agencies came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to the press release. WHSC received the most funds with more than 93 percent of the University’s total funding. Emory University School of Medicine received $355.7 million, the Rollins School of Public Health received $131.7 million, Yerkes National Primate Research Center received $79 million, Emory College received $35.4 million and Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing received $15 million.

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