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NUTHIN' UP MY SLEEVE!: A cow moose rests Tuesday in 3 feet of snow beside the Logan River just west of Tony Grove. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, March 10, 2006

Help Wanted: U.S. Defense Department Seeks Better PR Officers

"Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but . . . our country has not adapted. For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a 'five and dime' store in an eBay world."

--U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on why al Qaeda is winning hearts and minds, in speech to U.S. Council on Foreign Relation (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson) WORD Note: The WORD will take the next week off for Spring Break, sleeping in and seeking wisdom. Return: 3/20/06

USU halts use of full-size passenger vans

February 6, 2006 | Utah State University is permanently discontinuing the use of all 12- and 15-passenger vans, except for cargo-carrying vehicles. The policy is effective immediately.

In place of the full-size vans, the university will begin to use 15-passenger buses with dual-rear wheels. These vehicles will be available exclusively through the USU Motor Pool. Additional training conditions will be required for drivers to use these vehicles.

The vehicle-use policy revision is a result of an extensive review that began shortly after the Sept. 26 van crash that killed eight USU students and one instructor near Tremonton. After the accident, all 12- and 15-passenger vans not used for cargo were grounded.

"We recognize that this change in policy has a significant impact across the university," said Glenn Ford, vice president of business and finance. "We have spent many hours in consultation with university personnel concerning the direction we should go."

Ford said there is a strong consensus in support of the policy changes, despite the challenges of implementing this type of transition.

"This is the right thing to do," he said. "And now is the right time to do it."

At the time of the accident, the university owned 50 full-size vans.

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