Audio: Tapes found in criminal and traffic files 3
NEWS KATIE BIONDO / COLLEGIATE TIMES from page one
Mental health records released previously by Virginia Tech officials show that in 2005 Cho’s diagnosis changed drastically. Those records depicted a young man suffering with ongoing depression and isolation, to a mentally ill psychiatric patient deemed “an imminent danger,” to a college student with no psychiatric history suffering from “acculturation issues” and “stress of college life.” There’s no evidence that Cho ever received the outpatient counseling ordered by the magistrate in late 2005.
In 2007, the recording was required to be released by court order to three state agencies investigating aspects of the shootings in which 32 people died and 20 were injured. The Virginia State Police, a special state investigative panel convened by former Gov. Tim Kaine and James Stewart, inspector general for the state’s mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse services, all received copies, according to court filings. McKittrick was able to find both the original and a copy of the recording by using the dates of those court orders. As of Tuesday, it
was unclear as to why the tapes were in the wrong files. The attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case requested copies and this discussion convinced McKittrick to search other court records for evidence of the tape. “At that time in 2005, I wasn’t the clerk and I wasn’t familiar with what they would have done differenty,” McKittrick said in regards to the filing system. “After I spoke with the Roanoke Times and the attorney, I looked through the different filing system for mental committments but the tapes weren’t attached.”
“One of the court orders was written under a criminal code and I’m assuming that those tapes were filed with them,” McKittrick said. Under state law that governs court record retention schedules, civil commitment paperwork is kept for ten years and audio recordings of commitment hearings are kept for three years. Mikittrick explained that the tapes recording Cho’s commitment hearing on Dec. 15, 2005, would have been kept in a box with other such recordings from 2005, and destroyed as a batch in 2009. The mental commitment paper-
work and the audio recording tapes would be batched in two separate locations. Since then, McKittrick has given the tapes to Hall. In an interview with the Roanoke Times, Hall said that Cho’s voice is inaudible on the tape. Hall said he is searching for a company that could enhance the sound quality to retrieve Cho’s responses to a special magistrate’s questions. The wrongful death suits are set for a 10-day jury trial on Sept. 29 in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
Green: Tech aims for sustainability initiatives from page one
that goal, reducing consumption by around nine megawatts, although the results have not yet been confirmed. If Tech completes the summer-long program, the university will receive around $200,000 dollars in payment for their energy reduction. Tech’s sustainability officials have also designed a new online sustainability portal, which will allow Tech students to discover sustainability initiatives to participate in and allow students to post their own ideas and initiatives. Although Tech has no immediate plans to implement the BigBelly Solar waste system around campus, De Soto expects the programs they’re working on to have a positive impact on energy reduction around campus. De Soto believes that real sustainability involves not only environmental issues but also social and economic aspects. “Sustainability is not just environmental,” De Soto said. “Finding the balance between all three of those—the people, the planet, and the economy—that’s where real sustainability is.”
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game. The team is planning to design Green Effect t-shirt to help generate funds for sustainability programs around campus and is also trying to plan a near-zerowaste football game, using knowledge gained from assessments of game day trash and recycling operations. Tech has also been involved with the “Power Down, Lights Out!” program, an initiative working to reduce the amount of energy consumption from the regional grid during peak hours of the summer, when power suppliers are not able to produce enough electricity to meet the heavy demand. “We are a huge consumer of electricity,” De Soto said. “They can call on us during peak hours to see if we can drop our energy consumption.” Tech held a “Power Down, Lights Out!” event last Thursday, encouraging students, faculty, and staff to turn off and unplug all non-essential electric items for one hour. The event’s goal was to reduce electricity usage by 6 megawatts. The office expects that they have exceeded