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Congressman Brad Miller makes his basketball loyalties clear

Democratic Congressman Brad Miller represents Raleigh, home to the N.C. State Wolfpack. But he is clear about his Carolina basketball loyalties.

Here's what he told AP's Christina Rexrode: "The way I deal with it is, I scream my lungs out for Carolina," Miller said. "I make no pretense that I am at all half-hearted in my support for Carolina. Nobody in North Carolina would trust a politician who claimed to be neutral on a matter as important as college basketball."

Miller told the AP that he cheered for N.C. State against Georgetown. But Duke -- no way.

"I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban," Miller said very publicly again, "then I'd have to pull for the Taliban."

The kicker in the AP story: "Guess who's not running for re-election." 

Duke takes stand on same-sex marriage

As the debate over the marriage amendment builds toward the May 8 election, Duke University and Duke Medicine today issued a joint statement underlining their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, and an emphasis on tolerance.

Without coming right out and saying ‘Don’t vote for Amendment One,’ the statement makes it clear where the institutions stand. Attributing the statement to Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, it says in part: “Our commitment to diversity and equality extends beyond the campus to our larger community and region.” 

EPA chief also coming to Duke

The head of the EPA, Lisa P. Jackson, will talk about congress versus the environment at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Duke University's Reynolds Theater. The event is free but advance tickets are required. (They're available at the Duke box office in the Bryan Center or at tickets.duke.edu.)

There will be a Q&A with the audience afterward. Advance questions can be submitted to jacksonqandq@nicholas.duke.edu. Her lecture will be live-streamed at nicholas.duke.edu/deanseries.

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to speak at Duke

Former U.S. Senate GOP Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee will speak at Duke University on Thursday as part of a conference on health care.

The event will look at how China and the United States are reforming their health care systems. Frist, is a doctor and a member of Duke's Global Health Institute's board of advisors. The conference runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more details, click here.

University honchos huddle on the future of higher education

A retreat for top administrators at UNC-Chapel Hill featured leaders from the two big rival research universities down the road.

Duke University President Richard Brodhead and N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson were speakers on the agenda of a retreat Wednesday at the Carolina Inn hosted by UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp. The daylong event was attended by deans and administrators in Thorp's cabinet.

Brodhead, a former English professor, spoke on the future of humanities while Woodson, a plant scientist, spoke about NCSU's plans and collaborations at the university, according to the agenda.

Thorp's topic was "The Case for Public Higher Education."

Also on the agenda was Charlie Clotfelter, a professor of public policy and of economics and law at Duke. He's the author of "Big-Time Sports in American Universities."

Tar Heels, Blue Devils headed to White House

The time grows nearer for three Triangle college teams to be honored at the White House by President Barack Obama.

The UNC field hockey team and UNC women’s soccer team, along with the Duke men’s lacrosse team, all will be among the honorees at an event Monday afternoon in Washington, reports Barb Barrett. All won NCAA championships last year.

Obama plans to honor three dozen championship teams from across the country at Monday’s event. The Duke and UNC teams are the only ones from North Carolina.

Athletes invited to the White House

Three NCAA championship teams from the Triangle will be among those honored next month at a White House reception with President Barack Obama.

The men’s lacrosse team from Duke and the field hockey and women’s soccer teams from UNC-Chapel Hill are on the invite list along with more than 30 other NCAA championship teams from around the country, Barb Barrett reports.

The event is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Case closed

Say What?
"There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado."
— Attorney General Roy Cooper, announcing on April 11, 2007, that he was dropping all charges against three Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault. Cooper spoke at a nationally broadcast press conference at the RBC Center.
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