POLICE KILL TSU VISITOR

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Outside a friend's Greystone apartment near TSU, Houston Police SWAT team members shot and killed Derrick Barnes Wednesday morning after a 10-hour standoff, during which time he held a gun to his head and shot indiscriminately in the air.

Barnes, 20, a Beaumont resident who was visiting friends, had held police at bay as he stood on a porch with a gun to his head, sometimes dancing to background music, firing shots into the air and screaming, "I can smell the snipers."

Helicopters and the sealing-off of almost all streets in the immediate area charged the air with intensity as police negotiated with Barnes for 10 hours.

Police had his father on the scene by telephone, but Barnes would not speak to him, officers said. Barnes' last request was reportedly to free O.J. Simpson.

Just after 5 a.m., HPD decided to apprehend him. They fired tear gas into the apartment to force him from the area. He came out with a gun to his head, but when he saw the SWAT officers, he pointed the pistol at them. The officers then shot and killed him, HPD spokesman Joe Gamino said.

Motives for Barnes' actions are still unclear, but Gamino says police think he was severely depressed.

"He talked to his grandmother early that morning and his father before he went to his friend's house. He told his friends he wanted to kill himself, they talked to him and think he's fine. Then he starts discharging the weapon," Gamino said.

Four people were in the apartment with Barnes, but two left when he began discharging the weapon. He was allegedly ranting and firing indiscriminately in the air, Gamino added.

HPD Officer Runny Moore, responding to a discharge-of-firearm call at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday night, encountered Barnes allegedly threatening suicide, an HPD statement said.

Officers on the scene testified to hearing shots about every 15 to 20 minutes.

Police said Barnes' mood would change depending on the music he was listening to at the time.

Large crowds had gathered at the south entrance of Texas Southern University while at least two HPD units, Downtown and South Central; the Houston SWAT team; and the TSU SWAT team and police department were called to the scene.

Helicopters caused alarm among UH students who called the Daily Cougar inquiring about the incident.

UHPD Lt. Malcolm Davis said, "I'm very sure that the people (UHPD officers) who were here last night were monitoring the situation.

"If he had broken loose and headed this way, I'm sure we would have been involved in the chase," he added.

Davis also said students can play a large part in preventing a situation like this, which has never occurred at UH to his knowledge. Students who see suspicious people should immediately call UHPD, he added.

UHPD needs as detailed a description as possible, as well as what to expect when they arrive on the scene, what weapons are present and the time of the sighting.

<I>Staff writer Daniel Scholl contributed to this report.<P>

 

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OPTOMETRY PROF NETS GRANT

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

Lewis Reich, UH College of Optometry assistant research professor, was recently awarded a $600,000 federal grant to study the plasticity of the adult visual system.

Reich was given the five-year grant, called the Physician Scientist award, by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The grant is awarded as a means of training clinicians to become researchers.

Part of Reich's research involves working with patients who have vision loss due to physical defects with the eye and determining how the brain compensates for such a loss of vision.

"I am excited to receive this award," Reich said. "The researchers and quality of research conducted at UH make it an ideal environment for me to fulfill the objectives of my award."

Reich is the second UH professor to receive such an award. Bruce Wick, another faculty member, was the first UH optometry professor to receive this award.

 

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SA GIVEN PEP TALK FROM FORMER MEMBER TO ALLEVIATE LETHARGY

by Jennifer Smith

Daily Cougar Staff

The Students' Association has not introduced new legislation in two weeks. Wednesday's meeting was no exception.

Though there were two resolutions passed this semester, there is only one bill currently under consideration in the Committee on Academic Affairs.

SA President Angie Milner said it has been a constant struggle to get senators to offer legislation on their own.

She said that was one of the reasons why she invited Michael Danke, a former speaker of the Senate, to speak on how to be successful in student government.

Among the tips Danke gave to the Students' Association was to be aware of your ability to provide campus leadership and to pick important issues and work them out thoroughly.

Milner said the senators need to be more active in sponsoring bills. She said the speech will encourage them.

"I've been trying to talk them into airing more bills through legislation," she said, adding that some issues have been taken care of by senators through channels other than Senate legislation.

Justin McMurtry, a former senator, announced that last week, members of SA tested e-mail software. He said the feature will be available soon in the Cabinet and Senate offices.

He said e-mail will promote faster, easier and paperless communication between senators and constituents. In addition, he looks forward to the SA constitution and code, as well as current legislation being available electronically.

Kay To, SA director of finance, tentatively announced that the monetary carryover from last semester would be about $2500. She said the forthcoming reconciliation report would show the exact amount.

There was also a presentation made by Maneesh Mahra, a member of the Hindu Students' Council, urging the adoption of Hindi as an accredited language at UH. He said in support of this plan that Hindi is a major language in India, a country just opening to industry. Future business opportunities abound in India, he added.

Also, he said, adoption of Hindi by UH will provide tremendous opportunities to interact with Houston's Asian community.

The accreditation plan, he said, is greatly supported by the Asian community. Private funds and a teacher have been found for the two-semester course in its first year. The Hindu Students' Council would like SA to submit a resolution to the administration in support of the program.

 

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COOGS STAY ON ROLL WITH SWEEP OF AGS

by Hiren Patel

Daily Cougar Staff

Mark down one more in the win column for Houston. The Cougar volleyball team continued its winning ways Wednesday night by recording the team's seventh consecutive win and its fifth shutout during the streak.

The Texas A&M Lady Aggies (7-7 overall, 2-3 in the Southwest Conference) were Houston's latest victims in the match the Cougars won 19-17, 17-15 and 15-7 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Houston managed to take the match from A&M with not only its pure skills, but also its hustle.

Houston sophomore hitters Emily Leffers and Marie-Claude Tourillon showed, on two key plays, the type of match that was played.

In the first game, with the Cougars trailing 10-5, Tourillon went up too early for a kill, but tipped the ball over the net for a kill attempt. Of course, freshman Kristie Smedsrud and senior Jennifer Bonner blocked the ball for the Aggies.

However, Tourillon went straight back up against A&M's kill attempt for a solo block.

In the next game, with Houston holding onto a 15-14 lead, Leffers performed the same feat.

"Emily and Marie turning up their game showed the team unity we have and that we don't necessarily have to rely on one player," senior Heidi Sticksel said.

Tourillon, a transfer from the University of Montreal, put together her best overall game. The sophomore hitter racked up 13 kills and 12 digs to go along with her team-high .458 hitting percentage.

The Aggies found a weakness in the Cougars' right-side positioning during their serves.

"I think we just had lazy feet and weren't passing the ball well," Leffers said about the Aggie serves. She finished with 12 kills and 17 digs.

The Cougars turned their level of play into high gear in the third game, as the team reeled in nine straight points with the score tied 5-5 to finish the game off.

"In the third game, we passed really well, we pursued balls and didn't let too many hit the floor," said Sticksel, who served the Cougars' nine straight points.

Lilly Denoon-Chester turned her game on after struggling in the first game, when she hit only .182. The SWC Player of the Year candidate finished the game with impressive stats. Besides knocking down 22 balls for kills, the All-America candidate also hit .288 and had 11 digs.

The Cougars remain the lone undefeated team in the SWC and will next play on the road when the team faces Oklahoma Friday.

 

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UH VERSION OF GREEK TRAGEDY HAS COMEDIC TWIST

 

by Colin Tangeman

Contributing Writer

To kick off the 1994-'95 theater season, the UH School of Theatre has boldly tackled Jean Anouilh's modern translation of <I>Antigone<P>. Taken from Sophocles' classic Greek tragedy, Anouilh's version is an engaging twist of the original. What is just as engaging is the clever direction and solid acting of this university production.

The story line of <I>Antigone<P> closely follows Sophocles' classic, and this adaptation is facilitated by the playwrighting of Edward Albee and Bren Dubay.

<I>Antigone<P> takes place in the futuristic state of Thebes. The state is ruled by the delightfully malevolent Creon, played by Peter T. Lieu, and the plot follows the rising confrontation between the mad dictator and his stubborn niece, Antigone (Michelle Jordan).

The conflict between the two is founded upon Creon's hasty edict that the body of Antigone's brother, Polyneices, be left to rot on the battlefield. This desecration is a serious affront to the gods and the people of Thebes. As a voice for their outrage, Antigone disobeys her uncle and buries the body, which thereby restores natural order, but incites the wrath of Creon.

To complement this powerful story, Arch Andrews has erected a simple, but arresting set design that allows the players, rather than props, to draw the audience into Antigone's world. The makeup and costume design of Claremarie Verheyen also deserves credit for her creative insight into the chaotic tone of the play.

The strength of this production, however, lies in the well-prepared and fluid acting of its cast. The orchestration of the chorus, for example, by directors José Quintero, Carolyn Houston Boone and Sidney Berger adds zest and energy to a traditionally perfunctory role.

Also, considering that the play focuses on the symbolic nature of Creon and Antigone's relationship (man's law vs. the gods' law), it is important to note that Lieu and Jordan maintain the necessary humanism in their characters to keep their audience interested.

Offering comic relief from the seriousness of this tragedy is James J. Parsons, whose role as a bumbling sentry elicits genuine laughs and depth from the narrative.

This latest effort by the UH School of Theatre is a convincingly acted and well-directed work. And if it is any indication of the season to come, the year promises to be a rich and successful one.

 

 

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