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2011 August 8 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Bank of America Giving $50M to Workforce Ed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bank of America’s charitable foundation says it will give $50 million over the next three years to education programs that help improve the nation’s workforce.

Bank of America’s announcement comes as the Charlotte-based bank said it lost $9 billion during the second quarter, partly due to settling claims that it sold investors poor-quality mortgage bonds.

The education program from the nation’s largest bank will focus on helping prepare middle school and high school students for higher education, in particular through community colleges.

Bank of America’s foundation is starting by giving more than $4 million to five education programs serving low-income communities. One gift of $1 million to the GreenLight Fund will expand its work to Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay area from Boston, where thousands of students participate.

  • Schumer Seeks $50M Grant for SUNY Colleges

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says he’s confident New York’s community and technology colleges will win a $50 million federal grant to expand job training programs tailored to employers’ needs.

Schumer says his push to secure the grant will result in the funding to help fill jobs in such areas as nanotechnology in Albany, biosciences in the Hudson Valley and advanced manufacturing and hospitality in Western New York.

The Democrat says the funding for the State University of New York programs could result in thousands of jobs.

  • Plan To Relocate La. College Moving Forward

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The groundwork is about to begin to relocate River Parishes Community College to Gonzales.

The newly signed, $2 million purchase agreement allocates 43 acres of a planned Edenborne community development to the River Parishes Community College. RPCC is now in Sorrento.

The development, more than 300 acres, is near Interstate 10 and La. Highway 44 in Gonzales.

The purchase agreement requires the Edenborne Development Co. and the associated Michigan-based Quadrants Inc. developers to put in place the necessary road, culvert and infrastructure improvements within 12 months.

The Advocate reports roughly $20 million in construction funds is set aside from a previously approved state bond project.

  • Lottery Earnings In Ark. Result in 12K Scholarships

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Higher Education Department has awarded more than 12,000 lottery-funded college scholarships for the fall semester.

Department interim director Shane Broadway said the 12,377 scholarships awarded so far are for traditional students, such as those entering college directly from high school.

So far, no scholarships have been awarded to non-traditional students. Broadway told the Arkansas Lottery Commission that few non-traditional scholarships are likely to be awarded.

About 1,000 more traditional students are getting scholarships this year than a year ago.

The lottery took in almost $11 million less than projected for 2011, but Broadway says that won’t impact the incoming class of scholarship recipients. Students at four-year schools will get $4,500 and community college students will get $2,250, 10 percent less than a year ago.

  • Pima Releases Records on Suspension

PHOENIX (AP) — The community college that the Tucson shooting rampage suspect had attended released records detailing a meeting over his suspension from the school just three months before the attack.

In an Oct. 4 meeting with school administrators and his parents, Jared Lee Loughner said he wanted to withdraw from Pima Community College, rather than go forward with determining whether he broke the school’s discipline code.

School officials had suspended Loughner over safety concerns stemming from his classroom disruptions, concerns of teachers and a YouTube video by the 22-year-old.

They told him that if he wanted to return to the college, he would have to resolve the allegations and get a mental health clearance.

Until he did so, Loughner “should not be present on college property or attend any college event or activity without my express written consent,” the school’s vice president of student development, Darla Zirbes, wrote in an Oct. 7 letter.

Loughner also was sent a suspension notice by campus police saying that if he returned to campus without permission, he would be arrested for criminal trespassing.

  • Judge Orders Probation in Ala. College Case

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced the former owner of a Walker County educational software firm to probation and home detention for his guilty plea in the bribery of former Alabama two-year college chancellor Roy Johnson.

A prosecutor who had recommended that 68-year-old James Winston Hayes serve five years in prison objected to the sentence.

Hayes was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Hopkins to serve 36 months probation, with six to 12 months to be served on home detention.

Hayes also must pay $1,200 in fines and fees and $628,454 in restitution to the two-year college system.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Martin told the judge the sentence sends the wrong message. Hayes is the last person to be sentenced in a wide-ranging federal probe of Alabama’s two-year college system.

  • Ore. College Seeks Cure for ‘Sick Building’

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Officials at Lane Community College are trying again this summer to find out what is causing health problems for people who work in one of its buildings.

The Register-Guard reports that for years, some people who work in Building 4 have reported upper respiratory, skin and other problems from being in the building.

The college has spent several million dollars on renovations and upgrades but the source of the problem has never been identified.

Inspectors will probe the building’s ceilings, floors, ducts and the inside of concrete support columns this summer. Dennis Carr, LCC’s human resources director, says the goal is to completely fix the building.

  • Miss. College Starts Film and Video Program

PEARL, Miss. (AP) — Hinds Community College will launch its new film and video technology program at its Rankin County campus in Pearl this month.

David Campbell, dean of career and technical education for the Rankin campus, says the program will give students hands-on experience they will need for employment in the film and video industry.

Campbell says the program will offer courses in digital imaging and editing, grip and electrical, audio design, production and camera work.

He says students will be trained for work on feature films, TV commercials, music videos, documentaries and Internet multimedia projects.

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