Originally created 11/04/02

Across the Southeast



Engineers examine Interstate 77 safety

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -State engineers are reviewing safety for an Interstate 77 widening project after five wrecks, several serious injuries and one death in the past week.

They plan to meet with police and firefighters this week to discuss ways to increase safety - including a change in the 65-mph speed limit.

Engineers said speed didn't cause the week of crashes that culminated in a fiery and fatal nine-car pileup Friday night.

The Highway Patrol has attributed the accidents to several factors, including a blown tire, wet roads, driving mistakes and shifting loads in a truck.

Engineers said they will rely on new warning devices, such as rumble strips, to make people more alert, and on increased efforts by the state Highway Patrol to ticket dangerous drivers.

Chapel Hill, Duke rank high in race survey

PASADENA, Calif. -The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University had some of the highest percentages of black freshmen among the nation's top 25 universities, according to a survey by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

The journal tracked the number of black students accepted at universities ranked the best by U.S. News & World Report this year.

UNC-Chapel Hill ranked No. 1 in the survey, with black students making up 12.5 percent of its 2002 freshman class, up from 11.6 percent last year. Duke was third, with 10.4 percent, down from 11.2 percent last year.

Case offers look at beauty queen contract

RALEIGH, N.C. -It takes far more than a winning smile, talent and looks to be Miss North Carolina.

It also takes a contract that spells out in minute detail the winner's life for a year, including when she can wear the crown and how fast she has to write thank-you notes.

She also has to swear that she's a high school graduate and a U.S. citizen, and that she "always has been female."

The 12-page contract signed by all Miss North Carolina contestants was revealed during the ongoing court fight between Rebekah Revels and the Miss North Carolina Organization.

The contract is the central issue in Ms. Revels' fight to be recognized as Miss North Carolina 2002. The state pageant board, after learning of topless photos of Ms. Revels, cited a catchall morals clause in which she must swear she's never done anything "dishonest, immoral, immodest, indecent or in bad taste."