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2010 May 3 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Former Ala. Sen. Completes Prison Term

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Democratic state Rep. Bryant Melton has been released from federal prison after serving the last stage of his federal prison sentence for theft and money laundering at his home in Tuscaloosa.

The 59-year-old Melton had been serving his 15-month sentence at the federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.

Federal Bureau of Prisons officials say Melton was released from Maxwell on March 11 and was under house arrest at his home until his sentence ended April 24.

Melton pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering charges and resigned from his House seat in 2006. He was an administrator at Shelton State Community College and was accused of using state money to pay gambling debts and for his daughter’s education.

  • Wyo. College Getting Federal Stimulus Funds

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Laramie County Community College officials say the Cheyenne school is receiving about $5.3 million in federal stimulus funds to contribute to its upcoming budget.

Vice President of Administration and Finance Carol Hoglund says the college will get $2.2 million in stimulus money to help with salaries and costs of enrollment growth. The school will also receive $3.15 million in stimulus money for major maintenance needs.

College officials have recommended using the money to free up cash in the operating fund for other needs. That includes a proposal to spend $350,000 to update the long-range facilities master plan. They also propose spending about $65,000 to buy 12 dental hygiene units.

  • Calif. College Teacher To Contest Discipline

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A Fresno community college science instructor is appealing a warning letter the school sent to him for telling students that homosexuality is a mental disorder and quoting the Bible as proof that human life begins at conception.

Charles Magill, a lawyer representing Fresno City College instructor Bradley Lopez, said that his client disputes some of the allegations that led to what the school terms a “notice of correction.” The warning letter outlines what a faculty member must do to avoid further discipline.

College administrators sent Lopez the notice in response to complaints raised by three students and the American Civil Liberties Union. Magill says Lopez plans to contest the notice in an administrative process that allows him to challenge alleged deficiencies in his teaching methods.

  • Mississippi College Increases Tuition

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Students at Hinds Community College will be paying more this fall, after trustees voted to increase tuition and meal plan costs.

College officials say the increases are necessary as the school is serving an unprecedented number of students while seeing its state funding cut.

Tuition for full-time students will be $980 per semester, an increase of $150. Part-time students will pay $100 per credit hour, an increase of $15 per credit hour.

The last time the college raised tuition was in 2005.

Students living on campus in Raymond and Utica will also see their meal plan increase $150 a semester, to $920 for 19 meals a week.

The decision does not affect other community colleges.

  • NC Colleges Share Health IT Grant

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Three North Carolina community colleges are part of a group of schools receiving nearly $11 million from the federal government to train quickly students to enter the health information technology field.

Gov. Beverly Perdue announced that Pitt Community College is one of five institutions nationwide to lead a regional consortium to train thousands of people in six months or less.

Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte and Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory also will participate with Pitt in a 21-school consortium covering 13 states.

The group will receive a $10.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and could receive more. The training is expected to begin by this fall and focus on six industry professions.

  • Honolulu College Getting New Plan

HONOLULU (AP) — A new master plan is being drawn up for Honolulu Community College.

The plan will include a station for the planned rail transit system and a $32 million technology center.

Helber Hastert & Fee has been hired under a $234,000 contract to help the community college develop the long-range development plan.

Consultant Tom Fee says the transit station would become “a gateway to the campus” in Kalihi.

According to Fee, there hasn’t been any new construction at the community college since the campus center and library were completed in the late 1970s.

About $3.4 million in planning and design money has been appropriated for the Advanced Technology Training Center. But the school must go back to the Legislature for construction money.

Ohio Turning Harding Sites Over to College

MARION, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio college plans to take over management of the home and tomb of Warren Harding, America’s 29th president.

The Ohio Historical Society will pay Marion Technical College $105,000 per year to run the two sites in Marion, about 40 miles north of Columbus. But the agency anticipates saving about $60,000 annually through the agreement, expected to be signed after a public meeting Tuesday night.

The historical society has been giving local organizations control over sites it oversees, to make sure they stay open despite cuts in state funding.

  • 5 Hawkeye College Instructors Dismissed

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Five Hawkeye Community College instructors have been given their walking papers by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Board members said at a special meeting that the action is part of an effort to save the school $1.8 million in the 2009-10 budget. Board attorney Steve Weidner said the decision to dismiss the five had nothing to do with their performance.

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