Students pay for textbooks they don’t use

By: Kami Rowe

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – (UTC The Loop) For students who want to further their education, it’s going to cost an arm and a leg. The price of a college education is rising and students are starting to feel their pockets growing thinner.

On top of paying for classes, a decent meal plan, and those “additional fees”, students are faced with the extreme cost of textbooks. The price of textbooks has increased over the years, and students are finding ways to avoid them.

UTC students are spending between $200 and $400 for textbooks each semester. The average cost of textbooks in the U.S. per semester can be about $600, a pretty penny for something you’ll only use once. 

textbook$

Where does the textbook dollar go?

  1. 77.9 cents – textbook wholesale cost
  2. 11 cents – bookstore personnel
  3. 2.7 cents – bookstore income
  4. 7.4 cents – bookstore operations
  5. 1 cent – freight expense

A survey taken by college students showed that most students are opting out of purchasing textbooks from the campus bookstore and purchasing them on Amazon, Chegg, and other book retailers.

These sources have books for much cheaper and can help cut costs by 40 percent or more. Although you can get the books for a discounted price, many students find that they hardly use the textbook during the semester.

Preston Coyle, a junior from Franklin, Tenn. said, “I have bought way too many books that I’ve never even picked up.”

A survey has shown that 40 percent of students use their book only a couple times throughout the semester and that 20 percent have never used the book they purchased.

Graph 1

To avoid buying “required textbooks” that go unused, students are using websites like Facebook and Rate My Professor to compare with other students. Coyle says that he likes to ask people who have already taken the course before he buys a book.

A downside to purchasing textbooks that go unused is the loss of money. Although you can sell the textbook back, you will not get a full refund for it.

help me I'm poor

Courtney Windrow, a junior at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, says that the cost of textbooks isn’t any better there. “I always buy the required textbooks, but it’s the worst when they’re written by that professor. I feel like they require it just to make money, even if we never use it.”

Professors make royalties from the sale of the textbooks they wrote or helped write. It’s becoming an easy way for teachers to make a quick buck at the student’s expense.

The textbook prices are something that all students will have to deal with throughout their college career, but there are ways to save money and make sure that you will actually use the book. Students can communicate on social media to compare prices to make sure they are getting the most bang for their buck.

How often do you use the textbooks for a class? Let us know and Click here to take survey

For more information about college textbook costs click here:

More information released about flight 370

MALAYSIA (AP/UTC The Loop) - A summary of the questions answered, and still pending, about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Monday announcement:

WHAT WE KNOW

THE PLANE CRASHED: Najib said satellite data showed the flight “ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” confirming that the Boeing 777 that disappeared more than two weeks ago went down in a remote corner of the ocean, “far from any possible landing sites.”

ITS LAST POSITION: A British company calculated satellite data obtained from the remote area of the ocean, using analysis never before used in an aviation investigation of this kind, and pinpointed the last spot the flight was seen in the air was in the middle of the ocean west of Perth, Australia.
malaysia-airlines
NO SURVIVORS: Najib left little doubt that all 239 crew and passengers had perished in the crash; the father of an aviation engineer on the flight said, “we accept the news of the tragedy. It is fate.”

QUESTIONS REMAIN

WHO AND HOW: Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation for what happened to the jet, but have said the evidence so far suggests it was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next. Authorities are considering the possibilities including terrorism, sabotage, catastrophic mechanical failure or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

WHAT’S FLOATING IN THE OCEAN: The prime minister didn’t address whether investigators had confirmed floating objects in the ocean and images captured by several countries’ search parties, including that of France and China, were debris from the plane.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Letterman announces retirement

By: Kami Rowe

After 21 seasons on The Late Show, David Letterman announces his retirement.

After 21 seasons on The Late Show, David Letterman announces his retirement.

NEW YORK (AP/UTC The Loop) — Jimmy Fallon’s fast start replacing Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show the past two months had a secondary effect: David Letterman suddenly seemed old.

The Top 10 list, the ironic detachment, even the set at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Time doesn’t stop for comedy legends, or superstars of any sort. Letterman, who announced Thursday that he will retire from late-night television sometime in 2015, had to feel it.

CBS now faces the challenge of moving on in a reordered late-night world at a time the two Jimmys — NBC’s Fallon and ABC’s Kimmel — have a significant head start.

When Jay Leno left in February, Letterman lost his foil — the man whose victory in the competition to replace Johnny Carson two decades ago he never let go. Leno was someone who spoke his language, though, a generational compadre, and when he left, Letterman was alone.

Fallon and Kimmel have a different style, more good-natured and less mocking of the entire concept of a talk show.

It’s hard to know what role the new competition played in Letterman’s decision. His last contract extension, signed before Fallon took over, was for one year. In the past, he’s done multi-year extensions.

The first time Leno left late-night, Letterman ascended to the throne. Not this time. Since Fallon began at “Tonight,” his show has averaged 5.2 million viewers, while Letterman has averaged 2.7 million and Kimmel 2.65 million, the Nielsen company said. Last year Letterman averaged 2.9 million and Kimmel 2.5 million, so the direction was clear.

Much of late-night now is about making an impression in social media, or in highlight clips that people can watch on their devices and spread around the next day. Fallon and Kimmel have excelled in spreading their comedy beyond their time slots; Letterman has barely bothered.

Late-night television is a far different world than when Letterman and Leno began their competition. There are more entertainment shows to choose from, with personalities like O’Brien, Arsenio Hall, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Chelsea Handler working every night.

CBS will first have to decide whether or not to continue with an entertainment program in that time slot. It’s not the money-maker it once was, but chances are the network will continue in that direction.

The first in-house candidate would be Craig Ferguson of “The Late Late Show,” which currently airs at 12:35 a.m. on CBS and is produced by Letterman. But Ferguson’s star has dimmed, his show quickly passed by in the ratings by Seth Meyers on NBC, and he is considered an unlikely choice.

A month ago, Kimmel was asked by TV Guide magazine whether he would be interested in succeeding Letterman, and he didn’t shoot down the idea.

“I’d definitely consider it,” Kimmel said. “I am loyal to ABC and grateful to them for giving me a shot. I was a guy from ‘The Man Show’ when they put me on. I’m not looking to flee. But just getting a call from Dave would be big for me. So it’s definitely something I would listen to.’”

Could Leno come back? He’s not the retiring type, but he would hardly be considered a play for the next generation.

Handler has let it be known that she’s ready to end her show on the E! network. A broadcast network gig again would be a step up for O’Brien. Colbert and Stewart both are considered major talents and CBS would be much more high-profile than Comedy Central. John Oliver is about to start a new late-night show on HBO.

The question is whether those personalities would have too narrow an appeal for CBS, which is the broadest of the broadcast networks and would likely be looking for someone with wide appeal. Remember, many in TV considered O’Brien’s “Tonight” show tenure a failure because his appeal was too limited.

Another possibility could be Drew Carey, a hit on CBS daytime with “The Price is Right” who recently traded jobs for a day with Ferguson.

Another possible decision for CBS is whether to move the New York-based “Late Show” to Los Angeles, now that “Tonight” has moved back to New York after decades on the West Coast. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wasted no time on Thursday in firing off an open letter to CBS boss Leslie Moonves, encouraging him to relocate “Late Show” to LA.

Who should replace David Letterman?

Wherever they’re located, Letterman’s replacement will face a real challenge with Fallon and Kimmel, who seem to have set up a bicoastal rivalry for years to come. Fallon is now king of the East Coast, and Kimmel currently rules out West.

“David Letterman announces that he will retire next year,” comic Albert Brooks tweeted on Thursday. “CBS frantically looking for someone named Jimmy.”

Besides the Top Ten lists, the monologue and occasional wild visit from Bill Murray, one facet of Letterman’s show that will be most sorely missed is his ability to do sharp, even hard-hitting interviews with people in the news. His first show after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was memorable for his reaction. It’s hard to think of anyone who has the gravitas or ability to fill the role that Letterman fills.

CBS Corp. and Moonves will have time to think of that over the next year, much of which will be spent celebrating Letterman’s legacy.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Washington mudslide leaves 108 missing

By: Kami Rowe

ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP/UTC The Loop) — There are 108 names on the list of people who’ve been reported missing or unaccounted for in the weekend mudslide in Washington state, authorities said Monday.

Snohomish County emergency management director John Pennington said that’s the consolidated list from various sources that authorities are working from, and it doesn’t mean there are that many injuries or fatalities.

“It’s a soft 108,” Pennington said at a news conference.

Among the possible missing are construction workers coming into the neighborhood and people just driving by. Pennington added the slide occurred on a Saturday morning, when more people were likely to be home.

An overnight search turned up no additional survivors or fatalities.

“The situation is very grim,” Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said Monday morning.

He stressed that authorities are still in rescue mode and are holding out hope. But he noted: “We have not found anyone alive on this pile since Saturday.”

At least eight people were killed in the 1-square-mile slide that hit in a rural area about 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Several people also were critically injured, and about 30 homes were destroyed.

Of the 49 structures in the neighborhood hit by the slide, authorities believe at least 25 were occupied full-time.

___

Associated Press writers Phuong Le and Donna Gordon Blankinship in Seattle contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Downtown Publix construction continues

By: Kami Rowe

Architectural photo of the new Publix in Northshore

Architectural photo of the new Publix in Northshore

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – The Chattanooga City council unanimously voted to install retaining wall tiebacks for the new Publix on North Market Street for construction to move forward.

The retaining wall tiebacks will allow the construction to continue towards the projected finish time of late spring or summer of this year. The store will be convenient for people living downtown, Northshore, on the mountain, and even college students.

Publix currently operates stores located in Hixson, East Brainerd, and Ooltewah. The new store in Northshore will compete with Wal-Mart, Bi-Lo, Whole Foods, and Enzo’s.

Kelli Findlay, a student at UTC, said that she is very excited about the new Publix. Findlay said, “Publix is the place I would go to instead of Wal-Mart.”

In a Nooga.com article that was published last June, the author compared prices of food staples like bread, milk, and eggs. As a broke college student, prices are important when choosing where to shop.

Right now, the prices at Publix rank second or third compared to the other stores.For the staple items the prices are:

  • One gallon of milk- $4.19
  • A dozen eggs- $1.79
  • A loaf of white bread- $1.39

Overall, Wal-Mart had the lowest prices to offer, Enzo’s was the most expensive, but Publix offers prices that are right around the middle.

The Media and Community Relations Manager at Publix, Brenda Reid, said, “Saving money is top of mind for so many of our customers, but customers also want value, variety, freshness and the products on the shelf when they want them.”

When finished, the store will not only provide a wide variety of quality products but also top-notch customer service in their clean, 45.8 thousand square foot store according to Reid.

“We look forward to becoming the supermarket of choice in the downtown Chattanooga area,” said Reid.

Superstitious Mocs? Think Again

Junior Lance Stokes against Samford

Junior Lance Stokes against Samford

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – Whether it’s Michael Jordan wearing his North Carolina shorts under his uniform or Jason Terry wearing five pairs of socks during every game, athletes are known for their superstitions.

The Mocs men’s basketball team is currently number two in the Southern Conference with a 9-2 record. There is no doubt that they are great athletes, but some of the players have their own good luck charms and superstitions.

Lance Stokes, a 6-foot-7 forward from Orlando, Fla. said, “I like to wear the same shoes during home games and the same tights under my shorts.” He also said that he likes to talk to his dad before games, but plays just as great even if he doesn’t.

The team is focusing on finishing the season in first place and making it to the NCAA basketball tournament.

Director of Basketball Relations Brooks Savage, who works directly with the team, says that he isn’t really superstitious on game days. Savage said, “I think everybody tries to keep things consistent in their preparation, whether it’s listening to the same music, or whatever, I think we all just try to feel comfortable and relaxed leading up to game time.”

With the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament just one month away, the upcoming games are crucial. Staying focused, motivated, and playing well are the top priorities for the team.

Stokes said that, “The team stays motivated by wanting to finish the year number one in the league, wanting to win a ring, and wanting to go to the NCAA tournament.”

The Southern Conference Basketball Tournaments start March 7 and the NCAA Tournament starts March 16 with Selection Sunday. The Mocs, with or without their superstitions, are expected to play great and finish the season strong.

Photos by Dale Rutemeyer

Volunteers inject flu virus for research

Researchers are studying ways to improve the flu vaccine by injecting volunteers with the virus.

Researchers are studying ways to improve the flu vaccine by injecting volunteers with the virus.

By Kami Rowe

BETHESDA, Md. (AP/The Loop) — Forget being sneezed on: Government scientists are deliberately giving dozens of volunteers the flu by squirting the live virus straight up their noses.

It may sound bizarre, but the rare type of research is a step in the quest for better flu vaccines. It turns out that how the body fends off influenza remains something of a mystery.

“Vaccines are working, but we could do better,” said Dr. Matthew Memoli of the National Institutes of Health, who is leading the study that aims to infect up to 100 adults over the next year.

Wait a minute: Flu is sweeping the country, so why not just study the already sick? That wouldn’t let scientists measure how the immune system reacts through each step of infection, starting with that first exposure to the virus.

It’s not an experiment to be taken lightly. After all, the flu kills thousands of Americans a year. For safety, Memoli chose a dose that produces mild to moderate symptoms — and accepts only volunteers who are healthy and no older than 50.

And to avoid spreading the germs, participants must spend at least nine days quarantined inside a special isolation ward at the NIH hospital, their health closely monitored. They’re not released until nasal tests prove they’re no longer contagious.

The incentive: About $3,000 to compensate for their time.

“I received a very scolding email from my mother” about signing up, Daniel Bennett, 26, said with a grin.

“Their standards are so high, I don’t believe I’m in danger,” added Bennett, a restaurant worker from College Park, Md. “I don’t get sick that often.”

A masked and gloved Memoli had Bennett lie flat for about a minute.

“It will taste salty. Some will drip down the back of your throat,” Memoli said, before squeezing a syringe filled with millions of microscopic virus particles, floating in salt water, into each nostril.

Sure enough, a few days later Bennett had the runny nose and achiness of mild flu.

The best defense against influenza is a yearly vaccine, but it’s far from perfect. In fact, the vaccine is least effective in people age 65 and older — the group most susceptible to flu — probably because the immune system weakens with age.

Understanding how younger adults’ bodies fight flu may help scientists determine what the more vulnerable elderly are missing, clues to help develop more protective vaccines for everyone, Memoli explained.

Here’s the issue: The vaccine is designed to raise people’s levels of a particular flu-fighting antibody. It targets a protein that acts like the virus’ coat, called hemagglutinin — the “H” in H1N1, the strain that caused the 2009 pandemic and that is causing the most illness so far this winter, too.

But it’s not clear what antibody level is best to aim for — or whether a certain amount means you’re protected against getting sick at all, or that you’d get a mild case instead of a severe one.

“As mind-boggling as it is, we don’t know the answer to that,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We made some assumptions that we knew everything about flu.”

Just targeting hemagglutinin probably isn’t enough, Memoli added. Already, some people in his study didn’t get sick, despite remarkably low antibody levels, meaning something else must be protecting them.

Could it be antibodies against the “N” in flu’s name, the neuraminidase protein? Specific T cells that are activated to fight infection? Genes that switch on and off when a virus invades?

To begin finding out, Memoli first developed a laboratory-grown copy of the H1N1 flu strain and sprayed different amounts into volunteers’ noses until he found the right dose to trigger mild flu. He hopes eventually to test the harsher H3N2 strain, too.

Now he’s infecting two groups — people with low antibody levels and those with high levels. Some were recently vaccinated, and some weren’t. He’ll compare how sick they get, how long they’re contagious and how the immune system jumps into action.

Called a human challenge study, this kind of research hasn’t been performed with flu viruses in the U.S. for more than a decade, before scientists had ways as sophisticated to measure what happens.

“It’s all going to add up to a better understanding of what you need to have to be protected against the flu,” said Dr. John Treanor, a flu specialist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who is closely watching the work.

So far, Memoli’s patients are becoming contagious a day or two before they start feeling bad, one reason the flu spreads so easily. He sees a range of symptoms, from sniffles to a few days of moderate fever, fatigue and congestion.

Bennett’s flu was pretty mild, and he passed the time studying, watching TV and playing games with the four other study participants infected this month.

“All I had to do was read and watch movies, so it wasn’t that terrible,” Bennett said. “It was a really cool experience” to see how research is done.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.