Earlier this semester, the body of  Sgt. Shane Scott Pease was found by a jogger on the Bolin Creek Trail, a local greenway in Chapel Hill. The event seemed like a plot from N.C.I.S. brought to life.

So how safe are Chapel Hill’s parks?

Since 2011 there have been 42 violations of the law within Chapel Hill Parks and the Bolin Creek Trail greenway, according to data received from Chapel Hill Police Department. Of the 42 incidents, four were drug-related and three were alcohol-related.

Here is a map of all of the incidents:

View Park Safety in a larger map

“I think the parks are very safe,” said Jim Orr, assistant director of recreation operations. “Typically at all of the athletic fields and events we have a staff member present for general oversight and to make sure that the park is safe.”

The most common incident involved property, such as willful damage of property, vandalism, or larceny. There were only four sightings of suspicious persons or vehicles and only three violent crimes: assault, fighting and attempted robbery.

“Most crimes are graffiti related,” Orr said. “But we have procedure to call the police within 24 hours and remove it. We do take precautions against it such as bike patrols by the police.”

In regards to other crimes, Orr said that those were isolated incidents.

How to get involved

Check out the Chapel Hill Police Department Police2Citizen website. It lists the North Carolina Sex Offenders Registry and also has assistance for anyone who has been a victim.

The Chapel Hill police also assist in the Community Safety Partnership and Project Safe Neighborhood. In both of the programs, citizens promise to watch for suspicious activity to keep their community safe.

The Ackland Film Forum hosted the first part of the Swain Lot Film Festival on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

The annual event showcases the best short films of the 2011-2012 school year produced by media production students in the UNC department of communication studies. The films were selected by a jury.

The event was held at the Varsity Theatre, and admission was free for those with a UNC-Chapel Hill ID and $4 for everyone else. The Ackland Film Forum is a collaboration between the Ackland Art Museum and various departments at UNC. Its purpose is to showcase different aspects of cinema and to highlight the power of film through movie screenings hosted throughout the year.

Planning the event

The first part of the festival lasted from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m and featured 10 short films.

The topics of the films were wide-ranging yet mostly dark: Zombies, a possible apocalypse and suicide were just a few of the dark subjects addressed by these films.

Swain Lot Film Festival Program

  • “Experimental Education” by Justin Ellis
  • “Xenophobia” by Dane Keil
  • “Renholder” by Rachel Garner
  • “The Final Resting Place of Smick Bumley” by Jordan Imbrey and Eric Uglanda
  • “Alien She” by Chloe Keenan and Travis Hall
  • “Not at Home” by Jon Kasbe
  • “Man is Always on the Stairs Between the Plants of Mother and the Field of the Soul” by Jing Niu
  • “Edit” by Aaron Medina
  • “New Burn, Old Flame” by Ethan Henderson and Sabrina Rodgers
  • “A Story About the End of the World (Maybe)” by Alaina Braswell and Hannah McGill

“There’s a lot of similar themes between a lot of them,” said senior Alaina Braswell, the student organizer and emcee of the event. “We were like, ‘All right, we need to throw in a couple of comedies somewhere.’”

Braswell was a part of the jury that selected the films, which was comprised of two undergraduate students, two faculty members and one graduate student.

The planning for the festival began at the beginning of the semester, and students were asked to submit their films for review.

“We actually got more submissions than I thought we would,” Braswell said. Over 50 films were submitted, and the jury spent an afternoon looking over and choosing the films.

Braswell said 18 or so films were chosen for the festival.

An annual event

This is the second year the Swain Lot Film Festival has occurred. A few seniors who have since graduated organized it last year, and Braswell said that because it was so successful, students wanted to try to do it again this year.

However, the festival underwent some changes. This year, the Ackland Film Forum sponsored the event and gave it two nights at the Varsity.

UNC media production professor Francesca Talenti worked with the Ackland to make the arrangement happen. Talenti also suggested that students and faculty work together for the festival.

“[The festival] was just students last year, and then the faculty juried one was done separately, and I said, ‘Well, why don’t we do it together this next year?’ and it’s working,” Talenti said.

Seeing their work on a big screen

“I’m really grateful that we had this chance because I think a lot of people don’t know what the COMM department does and how hard a lot of us work to make these things,” said Braswell, whose film “A Story About the End of the World (Maybe)” was screened Thursday.

“We get so used to showing them in a classroom setting that it’s really great for us to get to see all this work that we’ve done on a bigger screen and in a public setting.”

Junior Justin Ellis said it was “amazing” to see his film, “Experimental Education” screened at the festival.

“Seeing my work and my own image on the Varsity screen was a surreal experience,” Ellis said. “I’ve spent a year working as an usher in a multiplex back in Raleigh, so seeing my own face and name on the big screen was quite a treat. I can’t wait to do it again.”

Take a look at Ellis’ film “Experimental Education” below:

Audience reaction

Sophomore Mary Monastyrsky, who co-starred in “Experimental Education,” attended the event.

“It’s really exciting to see students producing great work,”  Monastyrsky said. “It reminds me that school is more than just tests — it’s about the experience of learning and creating.”

The audience seemed to enjoy the event, Monastyrsky added.

“It seemed like most of the people were either the film creators or friends of the creators, so they all reacted well,” she said. “There wasn’t any booing, which was nice!”

The second part of the festival, which will also feature selected student short films, will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2012. It will take place at the Varsity Theatre at 7 p.m., and admission is the same.

The festival is sponsored by the department of communication studies and North Carolina Public Radio WUNC.

On Monday night, the UNC Problems Twitter account announced that the UNC Problems T-shirt will be available for purchase at the beginning of May.

The Twitter account UNC Problems offers a satirical take on the daily events of Carolina students. The account’s 10 most popular tweets will appear on T-shirts, created in collaboration with Thrill City, a clothing company formed by two UNC students.

The T-shirts should cost between $10 and $15. The Twitter account UNC Problems featured pictures of the t-shirt proof.

Follow Thrill City and UNC Problems on Twitter.

If you didn’t receive a ticket to the filming of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” at UNC’s Memorial Hall on April 24, you can still watch the episode online.

Recap: Obama calls on students to act for low interest rates

The show featured President Obama, musical guest Dave Matthews and house band The Roots.

The episode is available on Hulu, and you can visit the Jimmy Fallon Hulu page for all the clips from the episode.

Here’s the full episode:

Here’s Dave Matthews singing “Mercy”:

Here’s the clip where Obama and Fallon slow-jam the news:

Here’s the clip of Fallon and Matthews singing “Walk of Shame”:

Related links:

Obamas are experienced in late night talk

Obama to speak at UNC on student loan interest rates

Tickets for Obama policy speech, Fallon show distributed 

The production team for the Living Galápagos project will host an advance screening of the short documentaries for the project at 6:15 p.m. tonight in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium.

A collection of student-produced multimedia stories about the people of the island of San Cristóbal, the project was completed by a team of students and faculty from the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication who spent spring break on San Cristóbal collecting videos, photos and data about the people.

There will be free refreshments served at 6:15 p.m., and the screening will begin at 7 p.m.

The project is based off the award-winning 2009 project of the same name. It is a student-authored website that uses multimedia storytelling to explore the impact of mankind on the Galápagos Islands.

“Our project provides students with a unique opportunity to tell stories that can have a real impact on viewers’ understanding of the islands,” said Pat Davison, photojournalism professor and executive producer of the project.

The 2012 edition of the website will launch in early May.

The UNC baseball team will be sponsoring its third annual BaseBald, for which the team shaves their heads to raise money for pediatric cancer research, Saturday at its game against Georgia Tech at 1:00pm at Boshamer Stadium.

This is the third annual event honoring the former bullpen catcher and cancer survivor Chase Jones. The tradition started in 2007 when the team rallied to support Jones after his diagnosis.

For four years Jones has been a part of the Tar Heel dugout, but he has taken the BaseBald program across the nation. Jones and the BaseBald events throughout the country have raised more than $125,000  and had 812 people shave their heads so far this year. Fans and supporters can still donate.

PhD and scholar Priscilla Coit Murphy will deliver a UNC Speaker Series entitled “Silent Spring: Brining Immediacy to its Anniversary,” on April 26 from 7-8 p.m. at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Dr. Murphy is the author of “What a Book Can Do: The Publication & Reception of Silent Spring” which explores Rachel Carson’s ”Silent Spring,” one of the first environmental protests in history. Carson used “Silent Spring” to bring the dangers of pesticide abuse to the attention of the American public.

The presentation will take place on Earth Day to mark the 50th anniversary of “Silent Spring.” Dr. Murphy will re-create a sense of the events of 1962 in order to bring immediacy to the book’s anniversary.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden is located on Old Mason Farm Road. The event is free but you must register in advance by calling (919) 962-0522. Check out more UNC Earth Week events here.

Jokes from a popular social media account will soon appear offline, on T-shirts created by a local clothing company.

The Twitter account UNC Problems offers a satirical take on the daily events of Carolina students. Since its creation, the UNC Problems Twitter account has gained nearly 4,000 followers.

Now, the account’s 10 most popular tweets will appear on T-shirts. UNC Problems will collaborate with Thrill City, a clothing company that UNC students Ryan Cocca and Sunny Huang. Their T-shirts highlight UNC fads like Kendall Marshall’s “kbutter” nickname and the popular Chapel Hill nickname “Chapel Thrill.”

Current followers are excited about the shirt.

UNC Problems continues to earn retweets for its funny UNC related tweets that students are clearly reacting to. Recent tweets on the account address popular campus topics like the Pit preacher and a shout-out to pokey sticks, a late-night campus snack:

A tweet about how great it is to be a Tar Heel earned 17 retweets:

UNC Problems continues to reach out to its followers for their input on the upcoming T-shirts.

Other popular UNC twitter accounts include UNC Paparazzi and UNC betch. Even the UNC squirrels have a Twitter account.

How to get involved

Follow UNC Problems to stay updated about the release of the UNC Problems T-shirt. Email your UNC problems to uncproblems@gmail.com.

Kbutter and Thrill City T-shirts are available for purchase online.

UNC’s first digital music publication, Resound Magazine, has officially released online coverage. One of the first videos up on the site was an interview with local band Morning Brigade’s Peter Vance.

Resound Magazine was founded by UNC junior Catie King, a singer-songwriter, and senior public relations major Chrissy Mickler. On April 21, there will be a collaborative concert to celebrate Resound’s official release at the Local 506, located on West Franklin Street. A performance by Catie King will be accompanied by other student artists including JSWISS, Turchi and Morning Brigade.

Resound’s goal is to establish relations and communication between local music communities and the UNC student body, according to a press release. Resound hopes to unify UNC culture with local culture by posting campus and local venue calenders, photos, interviews with local talent and music videos on the Resound website.

“Our word is not the final word, just a guide for anyone ready and willing to navigate the growing local music community,” said King in a press release.

The senior class marshals and the General Alumni Association have planned events every day this week for the class of 2012′s last full week of classes at UNC. The week, coined “Grad City,” is packed with events in which each senior can participate as the deadline for completion of the college bucket list draws near.

If you missed out on the events Monday, don’t worry. Here are the rest of the week’s events:

Today, April 17: 

April 18:

April 19:

April 20:

*Note: Some events require registration.