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2012 April 2 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Adjunct Who Taught While Drunk Resigns

CARLTON, Minn. (AP) — Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler has resigned as an adjunct instructor at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College after he showed up to class intoxicated.

He tells the Duluth News Tribune he and a friend shared two pitchers of beer before he drove to the class on Minnesota statutes. He says he was embarrassed by his inability to communicate with students.

Pertler says his condition was exacerbated by the pain medication for his injured shoulder.

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College officials said a complaint was made against Pertler but no disciplinary action was taken. School officials said they couldn’t comment further on the resignation, citing state law.

The 47-year-old has been county attorney since 2005. He started as an adjunct instructor in 2000.

  • Ex-Students Sue Va. College over Accreditation

CHESTER, Va. (AP) — John Tyler Community College is being sued by three former surgical technology students who claim they can’t find jobs because the school didn’t obtain accreditation for the program.

F. Eileen Macleay of Midlothian, Patricia E. Brown of Ettrick and Donella G. Crist of Sussex are each seeking $150,000 in damages. They filed separate lawsuits last month in Chesterfield County Circuit Court.

The lawsuits say the college solicited the women to enroll in the program and assured them it would be accredited before they graduated.

The lawsuits claim the lack of accreditation prevented the women from taking a national certification exam.

John Tyler President Marshall Smith tells The Richmond Times-Dispatch that the certification isn’t required to work in Virginia.

  • Ill. Backs $42 Million Center at Chicago College

CHICAGO (AP) — The state of Illinois and the City Colleges of Chicago are investing more than $42 million to build a center to train students for jobs in transportation logistics.

It’s a growing field and particularly important regionally because Chicago is a major national hub for freight carried by rail, road and air.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the investment.

They say the new Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Center at Olive-Harvey College on Chicago’s South Side will prepare students for higher paying jobs in the sector.

Quinn and Emanuel say they hope the center and its graduates will encourage the industry to expand operations and create jobs locally.

  • Employee Charged in Neb. College Theft

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — An employee of Mid Plains Community College in has been arrested after money was discovered missing from the college’s athletic fund.

Cynthea Russell, 37, of North Platte was charged with theft and taken to the Lincoln County jail. She was released on $50,000 bond.

Police officer Troy Erickson says investigators found more than $27,000 missing from deposits since 2010.

Russell was employed in the area of purchasing and accounts receivable at the college.

  • Pellissippi State Buys Building for Expansion Plans

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pellissippi State Community College is expanding its presence in East Tennessee.

The school has completed its purchase of the former Philips Consumer Electronics building in eastern Knox County. The new campus is expected to relieve crowding at the main campus in the western part of the county. Pellissippi State had more than 11,250 credit students as of fall enrollment and a similar number of non-credit students.

The Knoxville News Sentinel quoted a university statement in reporting the $10 million purchase was aided by a state grant of $8.5 million. The remainder was raised through donations.

Pellissippi State spokeswoman Julia Wood said classes will begin this fall at what will be known as the Strawberry Plains campus. She said the building, which has been empty since 2006, is a good acquisition for the college.

The college also has two other campuses in Knox County and one in Blount County.

  • College Grant To Focus on Healthy Finances

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A foundation for Central New Mexico Community College has won a nearly $148,000 grant that will be used to teach students about financial stability.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the grant from the United Way and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation will be used to help the school teach 500 students healthy finances while providing services such as free tax preparation.

The grant will be used for students enrolled in a basic financial education course at the school through a relatively new school program that helps students navigate its services.

  • Oil and Gas Boom Helps College Cap Fees

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — The oil and gas industry is getting credit for keeping tuition at one college down.

The board of Aims Community College voted not to raise tuition and fees for students attending the school in 2012-13.

The Greeley Tribune reports the college unexpectedly received $2 million in revenue from additional property tax collections this year, and Aims Chief Financial Officer Michael Kelly says the oil and gas industry is the school’s biggest source of property tax revenue.

Aims is in Weld County, which has benefited from energy companies’ interest in the Niobrara formation.

  • Miss. College Gets Abandoned Skating Rink

FULTON, Miss. (AP)—Renasant Bank has donated an abandoned skating rink to Itawamba Community College in Fulton.

The 15,000-square-foot building borders the southern end of the Fulton campus.

ICC President David Cole tells WCBI-TV that the building will be used by the band, drill team and other sports clubs.

Cole says ICC won’t have to make major renovations to the facility. Cole says the building is structurally sound and ready to use.

  • Once Laid Off, Student Now NASA Scholar

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) —A student at Southwest Tennessee Community College, laid off from her job during the recession, has been chosen by NASA to attend a three-day on-site event.

Erin Mullinax is one of 92 community and junior college students from across the country to be part of an aerospace scholars program with the space agency.

The program will be at either Johnson Space Center in Houston or the Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Students will form teams and create fictional companies interested in Mars exploration.

Students will tour facilities and be briefed by astronauts and others.

  • NM Scholarship Tax Check-Off Fund Starts Next Year

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new law will allow New Mexicans to donate a portion of their state income tax refunds to strengthen the finances of a college scholarship program.

The scholarships are financed with lottery proceeds and cover tuition costs for New Mexico high school graduates who attend a public college or university in the state. But the program faces financial problems because scholarship costs are outstripping the growth of lottery revenues.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation into law to permit people to give all or part of their tax refunds to the scholarship program starting next year.

The tax department says $134,000 was donated in 2008 through a wide range of voluntary contribution funds, including ones for wildlife protection and to offer grants to communities for planting trees.

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