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2012 April 16 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Perot Gives $1 Million To Struggling College He Attended

TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — Dallas billionaire Ross Perot has visited his hometown to donate $1 million to a financially struggling Texas college he attended.

Perot visited Texarkana College and attended a rally where he challenged the community to raise $4 million more. The 81-year-old founder of Electronic Data Systems has offered matching funds over the next four years.

Texarkana College has been facing a more than $3 million budget shortfall.

Perot was born on the Texas side of Texarkana, a city that also is part of Arkansas.

He attended Texarkana College, formerly known as Texarkana Junior College, from 1947-1949 and went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Perot followed his business career with two failed runs for president in the 1990s.

  • Cooler Heads Prevail As Ice-Theft Charges Dropped for Student

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (AP) — Cooler heads have prevailed in a dispute over a cup of ice taken from a New Jersey college cafeteria.

The lawyer for Cedric Calero says authorities dropped a disorderly persons charge against the 18-year-old freshman at Brookdale Community College in Middletown.

Calero had been accused of taking a cup of ice without permission after paying for an order of fries.

A few minutes later, a manager accused the student of stealing. The college says there is no sign showing that the cafeteria doesn’t give out or sell cups for ice.

  • Audit Report Criticizes La. College for Computer Giveaway

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A report by the legislative auditor finds Baton Rouge Community College misappropriated computer equipment and firearms.

In letters to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera, former interim Chancellor Jim Horton wrote that the college “recognizes its responsibility’’ for the lapses and stated that administrators have taken corrective actions.

BRCC spokesman Steve Mitchell told The Advocate the college would rely on Horton’s written responses.

The audit found that BRCC officials delivered 27 pieces of computer equipment, including 10 laptops, valued at $15,447 to Computers for Louisiana Kids, a not-for-profit organization, without receiving the proper authority.

The auditor also found that BRCC failed to properly account for three weapons, valued at $1,534, in the LPAA system. The guns were the property of the college’s security team.

  • Pulaski Tech President To Retire

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The president of Pulaski Technical College says he’ll retire from the central Arkansas school this summer.

Dan F. Bakke has served as Pulaski Tech’s president since 2000. Before that, he served as the school’s vice president for instruction.

When Bakke was named president, the school had about 4,000 students. The technical college now has an enrollment of 12,000 students and seven locations in Pulaski and Saline counties.

Bakke says his retirement is effective June 30. He says he looks forward to spending time with his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.

The school says a committee led by Trustee John Barnes will begin a search immediately for a new president.

  • Book Help Offered to Miss. Students

FULTON, Miss. (AP) — The Lee County/Marchbanks Helping Hand Tuition Guarantee Program will provide a $400-per-semester book stipend to Itawamba Community College students who qualify for financial aid.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that the CREATE Foundation and the Lee County Board of Supervisors are supporting the stipend, which take effect for this fall.

The agencies share the costs of the program equally.

Launched in 2009, the program has guaranteed full tuition assistance for ICC students who had graduated from one of the six Lee County high schools. The aid covers any gaps left from Pell grants, scholarships and other financial sources.

It hasn’t covered books, which cost an average of $1,400 per year, according to Itawamba Community College. That’s almost as high as the college’s $1,900 annual tuition.

A total of 890 students have applied to the Lee County/ Marchbanks Helping Hand Tuition Guarantee Program since it began. Of those, 287 got funding from the program, said Lewis Whitfield, senior vice president of CREATE.

Book purchases must be made through the ICC bookstore.

  • S. D. College Honored by Service Group

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) — A Watertown technical school is being honored by a national organization for service to its community.

The Corporation for National and Community Service has ranked Lake Area Technical Institute as one of the top finalists for the presidential award for its work in service learning projects.

More than 1,500 of the school’s students contributed more than 19,000 hours in community service projects. Projects included working at the Joy Ranch, assisting flood victims, helping distribute H1N1 vaccinations, helping with food drives and assisting other organizations.

Lake Area Tech is the only two-year college that made the elite finalist list, with two large national colleges sharing the overall award.

  • Tenn. College Campus Set for Fall Opening

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Clarksville campus of Nashville State Community College is on schedule to open in the fall.

Nashville State’s Eileen Crane told The Leaf-Chronicle that renovations on the former Clarksville Saturn dealership began last month.

Construction should be complete by Aug. 15 and classes will begin 12 days later on Aug. 27.

The satellite campus will include six large classrooms, a fully equipped biology lab, a student lounge and a student services office. Nashville State also bought 10 adjoining acres for a future expansion.

The school will provide courses concentrated in remedial and developmental education and also will transfer students to Austin Peay State University.

The college expects between 400 and 800 students to enroll this fall. They will be able to choose from almost 40 courses, with the schedule due to be finalized next week.

  • Cerritos College Settles Voter Lawsuit for $55K

NORWALK, Calif. (AP) — Cerritos Community College has agreed to pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit that charged its trustee electoral system discriminated against Latino voters.

The college said the sum is a portion of the $140,000 sought by the three Latino voters who filed the suit to recover their attorneys’ fees and costs.

In a statement, the college says it believes the plaintiffs were not entitled to any money, but agreed to settle rather than incur more legal fees.

The three voters sued the college last September charging that its at-large trustee electoral system violated the California Voting Rights Act.

The college had already started changing the system to by-district elections. The new system was adopted in December and will be used for the first time in this November’s board election.

  • Ivy Tech Moves To Buy 21-acre Trailer Park

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College plans to purchase a 21-acre mobile home park to accommodate expansion plans on its Lafayette campus.

The Journal & Courier reports that the college's trustees will be asked later this month to approve the $5.8 million purchase of the Point East Mobile Home Community.

Ivy Tech has eyed the land for about 10 years as a solution to the cramped classrooms and lack of lab space brought about by a dramatic increase in enrollment.

Lafayette Chancellor David Bathe said buying the land would signal a new era for the 50-acre campus that opened in 2001. He said the purchase deal could be complete by this summer.

  • Neb. College Settles Lawsuit Over Accident

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit in an accident that injured a worker who fell 30 feet while removing an old scoreboard at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff.

KNEB radio says the school’s insurance carrier settled the lawsuit for $915,000.

Mack Downey and his wife, Deborah, sued over his fall at Cougar Palace in 2003. A trial court divided the negligence at about 33 percent among Downey, the college and a sign company.

The school appealed. The Nebraska Supreme Court in January released the sign company from liability and returned the case to the lower court to apportion the sign company’s share of the negligence between Downey and the school.

WNCC attorney Phil Kelley says instead of continued litigation, its insurance carrier settled the lawsuit.

  • Science Building On Miss. Campus On Schedule

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — There’s a red metal skeleton where Itawamba Community College’s new Health Science Education Center is expected to open for classes by August 2013.

College President David Cole tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that if the weather stays good, it might even be completed in December.

It’s going up on the college’s Tupelo campus, near the Lee County School District’s Central Office building.

When completed, it will let the college cluster eight health programs in one place and near their primary clinical training site — North Mississippi Medical Center.

The building’s $15.2 million price tag includes technology, furnishings and construction. It will be funded with a variety of sources, including a three-year $8 million capital campaign. Cole says that’s progressing slowly, with $1.5 million pledged so far.

  • Mo. Senate Plan Spares Colleges From Cuts

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Education would be spared from cuts under a budget plan put forth by a Missouri Senate committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to follow the House’s lead by holding funding flat for state universities, shunning Gov. Jay Nixon’s recommendation for cuts.

The Senate committee plan would provide a $5 million increase to community colleges to train an additional 500 students.

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