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Saturday, June 29, 2013
Radford University hasn’t had this much national media attention since its men’s basketball team reached the NCAA tournament in 2009. But this week’s embarrassing news, which spread like wildfire on social media, won’t be remembered as one shining moment for the school.
The university belatedly acknowledged that it issued more than 1,400 diplomas in the past academic year with erroneous spellings of the words “Virginia” and “thereto” printed on them. Somehow, none of the university’s 435 December graduates reported the errors to the school. But more than a few May graduates spotted the mistakes and vented their outrage on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
A Radford spokesman said the typos were keyed into a template last fall after the registrar’s office upgraded a commercial software system used to produce the diplomas. We’re left to wonder if the software program contains a spell-checking function. But the university clearly has a quality control problem when it fails to catch such mistakes on the most important pieces of paper it issues.
The university will issue new diplomas to replace the defective awards handed out in December and May. That will make things right for graduates. And for Radford? Well, we found one helpful suggestion on Twitter this week:
“Please send gently used dictionaries to Radford University, 801 E. Main Street, Radford, VA.”
Can you hear them now?
Some residents who live on and near Wright’s Way, just outside of Blacksburg, became suspicious recently when a large excavator began digging a deep hole on property in their neighborhood. The property owner had told county zoning officials he was putting up a flag pole, which required no permit from the county.
Turns out the pole wasn’t being erected to fly Old Glory, but to serve as a telecommunications tower. When residents saw what was happening and complained, county zoning authorities shut down the project. Several residents also complained to the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Monday night.
County Attorney Marty McMahon told the supervisors that an AT&T representative had gone to a property owner to have a pole erected and attach an antenna to it in a clever attempt to circumvent the county’s cell tower ordinance. The county has an ordinance to promote co-location of antennas on existing structures. But in this case, McMahon said, the offending parties were “building a telecommunications tower under the guise of a flag pole.”
“If it still oinks like a pig and smells like a pig, it’s a pig,” McMahon said.
Kudos to county zoning officials for a swift response. And while the county should encourage co-location of antennas, it is doing the right thing by taking steps to tighten its ordinance to prevent abuse.
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