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tuesday february 12, 2008 blacksburg, va.


Campaign trail stops in southwest Virginia

Baltimore Orioles’ sensation Cal Ripken Jr. spoke in Lane Stadium as part of a fundraiser for the Tech baseball team last night. page seven

WOMEN’S TEAM BEATS MIAMI The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team won its first ACC game of the season Monday night by outlasting the Miami Hurricanes 81-73 in overtime. Leading the way for the visiting Hokies was Brittany Cook — the conference’s top scorer scored an all-time Tech high 36 points. Tech, who started ACC play at 0-9, tied the score at 69 with four seconds left after a basket by Utahya Drye. Tech will take on the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday at 2 p.m.

news CLAY CORNER INN REOPENING After four years, the Clay Corner Inn will reopen its doors to the public in mid-February. The Inn closed in 2004 for reasons personal to the Inn’s proprietor. Before it’ hiatus, the Inn had been serving visiting families of Virginia Tech students since 1994. Located at 401 Clay Street SW, the bed and breakfast will feature eight guestrooms, daily breakfast, a hot tub and pool.


Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee speaks to a crowd about his platform in Roanoke last night.

weather SNOW AND RAIN high 45, low 39

coming up TOMORROW’S CT Check out a feature on Tech’s freshman men’s basketball player, Hank Thorns, in Wednesday’s CT. See videos of Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee’s gatherings in the area on our Web site.

index News.....................2 Features................6 0pinions................5

Classifieds............11 Sports....................9 Sudoku................11

An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 105th year • issue 17

Luke Marine, of Roanoke, holds up a sign in support of Hillary Clinton at her rally on Sunday.


OBAMA CANCELS CAMPAIGN STOP Like Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama had to cancel his rally from Monday morning because of the high winds and wildfires raging in the Roanoke area. However, supporters for Obama’s campaign decided they would make an appearance to help his rally at Roanoke’s Dumas Center for Artistic and Cultural Development. These supporters included Anne Holton, Gov. Tim Kaine’s wife and their son Nat. In addition, former Mississippi governor Ray Mabus and Virginia House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong also made an appearance.




President Bill Clinton greets supporters at a speech supporting his wife, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Saturday.

>> MIKE HUCKABEE SPEAKS IN ROANOKE ABOUT THE IRS AND AND IMMIGRATION ROANOKE — Standing on a stage in the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee took hold of a tax form and promptly tore it into several pieces, as hundreds of supporters — many of them holding signs reading “Fair Tax” — cheered at the gesture. “I’ll tell you what folks, we’re gonna stop killing trees and start killing the IRS,” Huckabee said to the crowd, which filled the interior of the museum and spilled out into the sidewalk. On the eve of three primaries that may determine the fate of his presidential bid, the former gover-

nor of Arkansas spoke to a crowd of supporters, hitting hard on his conservative credibility both socially and fiscally. Huckabee, who currently trails Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by a wide margin in the chase for delegates, stumped in Roanoke last night in an attempt to win over Southwest Virginia voters who could determine the outcome of tomorrow’s republican primary. Though McCain received George W. Bush’s endorsement as a “conservative candidate” on Sunday, Huckabee continued to emphasize his position as a true conservative. In addition to speaking on tax

policy, Huckabee hit several other major issues including abortion, national security and illegal immigration. Huckabee spoke of aiding those who came to the country legally, but said of illegal immigrants, “if you break into my home in the middle of the night, god help you.” On national security, Huckabee not only endorsed the presence of a strong military but also attacked the welfare state. “The purpose of government is not to provide for you, but to protect you so you can provide for yourself,” Huckabee said. Huckabee encouraged those who were present to vote for him, but more importantly to vote regardless of the candidate.

see HUCKABEE, page four

Clinton speaks with supporters after the Hillary Clinton campaign stop. President Bill Clinton spoke in War Memorial Gym Saturday night on behalf of his wife, democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton’s speech aroused enthusiasm and laughter from a crowd of around 1,000 that packed in the main gym and an overflow room to hear him speak. Clinton began his speech by thanking the victims and families of April 16, some of whom he had met with earlier that evening. He then went on to address Hillary’s plans for change and why she is the presidential candidate best suited for the job. “Hillary’s vision of America, you’re looking right at it,” Clinton said addressing the crowd. Clinton claimed that Sen. Clinton has the most aggressive policy on global warming. He said that Hillary wanted to make every building as energy efficient as possible and the way to achieve that would be to pay off the global warming loan with all of the money saved using her proposed methods. “A fundamental problem in this economy is that it’s not producing jobs, and energy efficient countries are the ones who are prospering,” said Clinton. Clinton said another one of the items

on Hillary’s agenda is to withdraw troops from Iraq, citing three primary reasons: The first was the longer the military stays, the longer the Iraqi people will delay to build up their own government. The two other reasons included that the

see CLINTON, page two

>> Q&A WITH JASON SARFATI, STUDENT EVENT ORGANIZER Jason Sarfati, a freshman international business major, worked in New Hampshire on the Hillary Clinton campaign this summer. When he started trying to bring Bill Clinton to speak at Virginia Tech, he was not associated with the Young Democrats. However, for Clinton to come to Tech, the event needed to be sponsored by a school organization. From the time Sarfati found out Friday that Clinton would be available to come until the

see SARFATI, page four

>> HILLARY CLINTON CANCELS CAMPAIGN RALLY BECAUSE OF WILDFIRE, PHONES IN ON CONFERENCE CALL FOR SUPPORTERS ROANOKE — Hundreds who gathered at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke on Sunday were disappointed when Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) failed to arrive to her campaign rally because of a forest fire. A fallen power line in Roanoke County closed the Roanoke Airport. In addition, I-81 north and south experienced severe traffic delays. “She is sick with disappointment; she really wanted to be here right now,” said a spokesperson for the Clinton campaign. As a result, Clinton called in to be part of a live phone conference scheduled for 5 p.m. She apologized for her inability to show. “I’ve been very distraught that I couldn’t be there with you,” Clinton said. “I only wish I could be there.” The senator spoke briefly of her campaign, mentioning her plan for health care and the environment. She also stated that this election is important for voters.

“This election isn’t so much about me as it is for all of you,” Clinton said. “Thank you all for coming out today and I am really sorry for the weather not permitting me to be there.” While the crowd waited for Clinton to arrive, Gwen Mason, a Roanoke City council member, began endorsing the campaign. “We aren’t electing a poet, we’re electing a president, and there is no substitute for experience,” Mason said. The news led to mixed feelings throughout with some understanding and others frustrated. “We didn’t really learn anything new (about her),” said Deborah Spencer, a Blacksburg resident. “It was disappointing.” Ginny Gray, a local resident who named her daughter after Clinton, said the disappointment did not sway her support. “I like what she stands for, she’s a strong woman; she stands up for

what she believes in,” Gray said. As consolation for the disappointed attendees, President Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, spoke at the same location at 6:30 p.m. Monday night. Those who were in attendance for Hillary Clinton’s rally received tickets to the new event so that they would not have to stand in line again. — Kevin Anderson and Meg Miller, CT news staff


Gwen Mason, a council member, spoke at the rally.

Mental health legislation pushes forward in General Assembly GORDON BLOCK

ct news reporter Congressional officials from both parties and houses of the Virginia General Assembly recently gathered to determine new legislation aimed at improving Virginia’s mental health system.. The system has fallen under criticism by observers throughout the state. “It (the mental health system) is very much lacking in financial and legislative support,” said Phyllis Scruggs, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for the Roanoke Valley area. State government, including Gov. Tim Kaine, has proposed several ways to improve the mental health system. Kaine alone proposed $42 million in his two-year budget be dedicated solely for

increasing mental health services and outpatient care. Despite the strides being taken, some feel that more could have been done. “The governor has made a good first attempt to help improve the system, but there’s still more to do,” Scruggs said. “We are too wealthy a state to allow those with mental illnesses to be left untreated or put in jail.” A variety of new legislation is working to improve the mental health system and the lives of those with mental illnesses. One of the biggest pieces of legislation being debated would change the requirements that allow young people to receive mental health care. The bill, SB 276, would allow adults to commit minors to emergency mental health care regardless of their objections. The changes are a way to

legalize gray areas of mental health treatment. “We hope to bring some aspects of the mental health system under the law,” said Republican Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II, chief patron of the bill. As the rules are today, minors in mental health treatment against their will are only allowed to be held for 48 hours. As a result, patients admitted on a Friday were legally unable to be evaluated the following Monday, when the next evaluations began. This resulted in some treatment centers holding patients past the limit. Under the new system, the holding time maximum will be increased to 96 hours. It is hoped that the change will improve evaluation quality. “What we’re looking for is the best evaluation in each case,” Cuccinelli said. Mental health supporters had positive feelings about the legislation. “It’s the way it should be. As it is, you have to sit

back and wait until they’re a danger to themselves or others,” said Tom Spurlock, lobbyist for the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses. Another bill in the works would change the wording in mental health legislation. The legislation from Sen. Patricia Ticer, SB 620, would replace the phrase “mentally retarded” with “intellectually disabled.” “It’s a chance to remove some of the stigma from those who have mental illnesses,” said John Beghtol, director of the community services board for Western State Hospital. Legislators acknowledge the fact that the new regulations and funding for mental health treatment spawned from the events at Virginia Tech last April. “It’s a shame that it took a major tragedy to get political momentum rolling on this issue,” Cuccinelli said

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Print Edition  

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times