National News

South Burlington

New computer center opens

The Vermont Advanced Computer Center, funded largely by Sen. Patrick Leahy, was upgraded and unveiled last Monday by both Leahy and UVM.

The system, located off-campus in a technology park, contains 1,400 processors that can compute 7.1 trillion calculations per second. Faculty workers that have been using the system over the past eight months said it would have taken 128 years to complete the same work on a regular desktop.

UVM leaders look to the Vermont Advanced Computer Center to help make UVM a premier small research university. Researchers are able to gather millions of numbers for data from the system, and with such high-speed technology, UVM hopes to hire some of the best faculty in the world.

Colchester

Students and educators debate drinking age

Students and educators alike, along with other members of the public gathered on Wednesday night for a forum discussing the drinking age in the U.S.

Approximately 200 were present at St. Michael’s College, arguing whether the drinking age should be lowered to 18 years-old, or remain at 21.

Choose Responsibility, an organization led by John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College, promoted the lowering of the drinking age. The organization advocates allowing states to lower the drinking age as long as alcohol education and other requirements are met. Others debated that earlier drinking age would prevent brain development.

Texas

Hurricane strikes Texas

As of last Monday, seven deaths were accounted for in Texas as a result of Hurricane Ike. Millions of others were left without power, food, water and gasoline, making it the largest power failure in the state’s history.

By Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of students still could not return to school and most businesses were unable to reopen.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spread across the state to search for survivors and supplied water, cots, blankets and generators to hundreds.

Gov. Rick Perry advised evacuees to stay in towns further inland. Over 280 shelters are active across the state, however 37,000 individuals are still seeking temporary housing.

In Galveston, leaders believe it could take several weeks before the evacuees of the town can return to their homes, many of which were flattened and reduced to rubble.