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Story Idea for Media 10/23/06


Buckeyes Qualify for Department of Defense Challenge.
For the third time, the Ohio State College of Engineering has qualified for a U.S. Department of Defense autonomous vehicle competition. The OSU-Autonomous City Transport team is among 89 competitors in the Urban Challenge hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The Urban Challenge will feature fully autonomous ground vehicles conducting simulated military supply missions safely and effectively in a mock urban area. In the final event, on Nov. 3, 2007, at an undisclosed location in the western United States, robotic vehicles will attempt to complete a 60-mile course through traffic in less than six hours, operating under their own computer-based control. To succeed, vehicles must obey traffic laws while merging into moving traffic, navigating traffic circles, negotiating busy intersections and avoiding obstacles.
CONTACT: Joan Slattery Wall, (614) 292-4064, wall.107@osu.edu


Experts can discuss voting law issues for 2006 election.
How will absentee ballots affect elections this year? According to the New York Times, there is a national trend towards increased use of "no excuse" absentee voting. Ohio is one state where the trend is being played out. Ohio State's Election Law @ Moritz program offers a weekly teleconference to provide up-to-date analysis of critical legal developments occurring throughout this year's midterm election cycle. The teleconference, usually held at 2 p.m. ET every Tuesday, will be held at 3 p.m. this week (10/24). Reporters may join the teleconference by calling 1-800-261-9609. Moritz Law experts are available at (614) 247-8880 or http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/index.php


Study: Media rarely notes when alcohol plays role in violent crimes and accidents.
The news media seriously underreport the role alcohol plays in violent crimes, injuries and traffic accidents, according to a new national study. While alcohol is believed to play a role in about one-third of homicides and fatal motor vehicle accidents, media reports linked alcohol to specific accidents or crimes significantly less frequently.
Some of the largest discrepancies occurred in reporting alcohol use in violent crimes, particularly for television news. Only 1.4 percent of television news stories in the sample mentioned the role of alcohol in their reporting of homicides, according to Michael Slater, co-author of the study and professor of communication at Ohio State University.
The result is that the public may underestimate the dangers of alcohol use, Slater said. CONTACT: Michael Slater, (614) 247-8762; Slater.59@osu.edu


OSU Homecoming 2006 celebration asks "Where's Brutus?" – through Oct. 29
Ohio State invites alumni to come home for Homecoming 2006, October 22-29. "Where's Brutus" is the theme of the weeklong event, which celebrates Buckeye pride, traditions, and history. Throughout the week, students are invited to stop by events to find Brutus and the "secret word" and enter to win a grand prize. Highlights of the week include:
*Float Construction, 5 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday and Thursday (10/25 and 26), Ohio Stadium south stands.
*Homecoming Parade, 6 p.m. Friday (10/27) beginning at Ohio Stadium. The parade will travel east on Woody Hayes Dr. and Woodruff Ave., and south on High Street to the Tailgate and Pep Rally on the South Oval.
*Homecoming Tailgate and Pep Rally, 7 p.m. Friday (10/27), South Oval.
*Stefanie Spielman Homecoming 5K Race, 9 a.m., Sunday (10/29) The race begins and ends at Ohio Union, with a loop that includes the Oval and Ohio Stadium. Proceeds from the 5K run/walk benefit the Ohio State James Cancer Hospital. All roads should be reopened by 11 a.m.
The complete calendar of events is at http://homecoming.osu.edu/ CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276 or cook.17@osu.edu,Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748 or hoffman.511@osu.edu, Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110 or lynch.270@osu.edu, or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385 or murray-goedde.1@osu.edu