Top 5 Live-WURD Friday May 29
1. Former U.S. House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges
Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted on Thursday on federal charges, including for lying to the FBI, relating to an alleged effort to hide $3.5 million in payments to a person to conceal past misconduct.
The Illinois Republican, who left office in 2007, was charged with structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000, and lying to the FBI about his withdrawals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said.
Each count of the two-count indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Hastert, 73, was not available for comment.
According to the indictment, the unspecified misconduct involved payments to an unnamed individual who had been a Yorkville, Illinois, resident and had known Hastert for most of the person’s life.
2. Molestation claim against Michael Jackson estate dismissed
A molestation claim made against the estate of Michael Jackson has been dismissed.
Wade Robson, a dancer-choreographer, filed a claim against the pop star’s estate in May 2013, alleging he was sexually abused.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled Tuesday that Robson waited too long to file his legal claim.
Robson was a key witness for the defense in Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial on child molestation charges. Jackson was found not guilty.
“The court’s dismissal of Robson’s claim against the Estate of Michael Jackson confirms that his lawsuit was inappropriately filed,” Howard Weitzman, an attorney for the estate of the late singer, said in an email. “When Robson’s sole motivation was ‘to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ he testified Michael never did anything improper.”
3. Floyd Dent, man beaten by cops on camera, settles for $1.4 million
An unarmed black man who was repeatedly punched, kicked and Tasered during a January traffic stop in the Detroit suburb of Inkster has agreed to a $1.4 million settlement with the city, NBC affiliate WDIV reported Wednesday.
“Money isn’t everything,” the man, Floyd Dent, told the station. “You can’t buy happiness.”
Dent’s arrest on alleged assault and drug charges during a routine traffic stop continues to haunt him, he said. Dashcam video of the incident showed one Inkster officer, William Melendez, putting Dent, 57, in a chokehold and repeatedly punching him.
“Why you beating on me like this?” Dent can be heard asking after he was thrown onto the hood of a police cruiser on Jan. 28.
4. Video of mob burning teen alive in Guatemala spurs outrage
A large crowd stands by as a teenage girl — beaten and bloodied — writhes on the ground, her body engulfed in flames.
“Add gasoline,” someone shouts.
The shocking scene from a Guatemalan village went viral online and has spurred a debate over what some describe as vigilante justice in the Central American country.
Citing witnesses in the village of Rio Bravo, local media reported that the girl was beaten and burned to death for her alleged involvement in the killing of a taxi driver there earlier this month.
Police told CNN they haven’t verified the authenticity of the video.
5. City Schools: This is why we need more money
In the face of steep revenue cuts, the city school system is now spending less to educate each student than it has since 2008, and benefits are costing it nearly $8,000 more per teacher than they did three years ago.
Mix lower revenues with rising fixed costs and the result is fewer dollars spent in Philadelphia School District classrooms, an outside analysis of district finances released Thursday found.
The analysis, performed by Education Resource Strategies at the district’s request, was funded by a grant from the state Department of Education. ERS has performed similar work for Philadelphia and other large, urban districts.
In the 2013-14, the district spent $1.75 billion on pupils in district-operated schools – or $12,724 per student. That’s lower than any year since 2008.
At the same time, the district is spending more on things like debt service, charter schools and employee benefits.
Click here to read these stories on 900amWURD.
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon