Summer Update: Housing Changes, False Weather Alert, Professor Arrested on Child Pornography Charges and More

Asst. Arts & Entertainment Editor Julia Munslow
Photo by Asst. Arts & Entertainment Editor Julia Munslow

Housing Changes

This fall students will walk to class across the open green space that was once the site of McTyeire Hall. The new site will be renovated after the destruction of McTyeire Hall to create a large green area with a diagonal sidewalk and street lighting.

The demolition of 70 year-old McTyeire Hall began on June 17.The space will be converted into a green area until plans are finalized for the renovation of the Dobbs University Center (DUC) to create the new Campus Life Center (CLC). Once construction of the CLC begins, the green site once known as McTyeire Hall may become a part of the CLC or be used for storing construction materials, according to Program Manager in the planning, design and construction division of Campus Services Glenn Kulasiewicz.

The University decided to demolish McTyeire, because the recently constructed freshmen quad provided the needed space to house freshmen. Thus, McTyeire was no longer needed; it was outdated and needed a lot of renovation, Kulasiewicz said in a June 22 University press release.

“It was decided that it was more cost effective to tear it down,” she said.

DeKalb County Water Main Breaks, County Issues Water Boil Order

DeKalb County lifted its precautionary boil water advisory Monday night after a major water main break on Thursday.

The county issued a boil water advisory after the break, which was caused by a county worker using heavy equipment that hit a fire hydrant, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The advisory cautioned citizens of Decatur, Avondale Estates, Druid Hills (Emory’s neighborhood), Stone Mountain, Oakhurst and East Atlanta Village to boil water before drinking, cooking or preparing food.

The water main break caused no or extremely low water pressure.

The country collected more than 100 water samples over the weekend, all of which were negative for bacteria, the AJC reported.

While the boil order was in effect, Emory Dining suspended its use of direct line soda machines, coffee makers and ice machines, according to Senior Director of Dining Dave Furhman.

Furhman added that any water used for cooking was boiled as per the specifications of the DeKalb Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Housing and Conference Services provided bottles water to guests and staff of the residence halls.

Recent graduate Stephanie Fang (‘15C) said she has not adhered strictly to the advisory, purchasing bottled water for consumption but continuing to use tap water for tasks such as washing her face and brushing her teeth.

Repairs to the water main were completed on Sunday, the county announced. While the county thought they had fixed the problems on Saturday with a patch, the fixture blew when pressure was restored to the pipe.

The water system is now fully pressurizing, according to the Department of Watershed Management.

Professor Arrested for Downloading Child Porn

A former Emory employee, Rollins School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology Kevin Sullivan, was arrested on June 15 for allegedly using the school’s wireless Internet connection to download child pornography.

He was released from DeKalb County Jail on a $25,000 bond, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center discovered a server in Zurich, Switzerland that contained images of child abuse. These led investigators to addresses in the United States, one of which was Sullivan’s computer at Emory, according to the article.

Sullivan’s office was searched, and investigators procured two laptops, flash drives, a tablet, an iPhone 6 and an external hard drive all of which carried “numerous files of child pornography,” according to the complaint. The files contained images of girls as young as four to seven years old.

Representatives from Emory have declined requests for comment. However, in a statement to 11Alive news, officials said that “Emory is cooperating fully with the investigation. We are not at liberty to comment further.”

Sullivan also did not provide comment to news sources and invoked his Miranda rights when his residence was searched.

According to the AJC, Sullivan attempted to delete evidence from his devices when DeKalb police detectives visited Sullivan’s home.

Emory Issues False Tornado Warning

Emory University issued an All-Emory tornado warning on Tuesday July 14, despite the National Weather Service never having issued a warning in Georgia.

The school tweeted and texted members of the community with the message, “Emory Alert: A tornado has been issued for the Emory Campus. Seek shelter. Refer to local tv/radio for updates.”

However, less than an hour later, the University gave an “all clear” alert to the community, adding that the warning was issued “out of an abundance of caution based on an alert received from our private weather monitoring service.”

While the National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning, the weather for that evening consisted of rain and high winds.

Later, the University posted an apology on social media for “erroneously issuing a tornado warning” and that it had “received information that [it] misinterpreted to be a tornado warning.”

The statement also stated that Emory is reviewing its internal weather monitoring process.

Representatives from Emory Communications declined to comment on the incident.

Former Emory Employee Convicted of Embezzling Funds

Brenda Michael, a former administrative assistant at Emory was sentenced to a year and 6 months in federal prison for embezzling funds, according to a July 23 FBI press release.

Michael pled guilty in late April to the charge of stealing over $300,000 in tuition payments from the University.

As part of her job as an administrative assistant of the Wound Ostomy Center at Emory’s nursing school, Michaels assisted students in registering for various classes and programs.

In August 2012, Michaels directed students to pay for their tuition via a paypal account that the students believed was Emory-authorized. In reality, it was Michael’s personal paypal account, according to the FBI press release.

Through this paypal account, Michaels was able to steal more than $317,000 from students. After completing her prison sentence, Michaels will then have three years of supervised release. Michaels was also ordered by the judge to pay back the $317,923.33 to Emory.