Top 5 Live-WURD Friday October 2
1. Philly superintendent wants more school closures and charters
The superintendent proposed closures, conversions to charters and even new schools for the Philadelphia School District on Thursday.
In all, 5,000 students at 15 schools would be affected by the plan, which requires School Reform Commission approval. It has a price tag of up to $20 million.
Though the plan drew swift protests from some quarters, Superintendent William Hite called the changes “exciting” moves designed to increase equity in city schools.
“Kids need great schools close to where they live,” Hite said at a news conference.
Beeber Middle School would be phased out, shuttering in 2018. The building itself would remain open to house SLA @ Beeber, the high school that now shares space with the closing middle school.
Leeds Middle School would be phased out, closing in June 2016. Students would instead attend Hill-Freedman World Academy, a magnet school which would move to the Leeds building.
2. Joaquin shifts; ‘major’ flooding still likely
Powerful, “extremely dangerous” Hurricane Joaquin slammed into one destination Thursday but left its next target a mystery, stoking a storm of anxiety along the rain-soaked Eastern Seaboard.
As Joaquin buffeted the Bahamas with winds of 130 m.p.h., Gov. Christie in New Jersey and his counterparts in Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency. Gov.
Wolf stopped short of such a step, but warned Pennsylvania residents to get ready and promised the state budget crisis would have no impact on any storm-aid efforts.
After twisting and growing to a Category 4 hurricane during the previous 24 hours, Joaquin’s path remained subject to debate.
But even before the hurricane could reach mid-Atlantic states, a system that has already battered the coast was expected to lead to major flooding as soon as midday Friday, forecasters said.
3. Another perjury charge filed against Kane
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, already facing a host of criminal charges for allegedly leaking confidential information and later lying about it to a grand jury, was charged Thursday with a new count of perjury.
In addition to lying about the leak, prosecutors now say Kane lied to a grand jury about an oath of secrecy she signed in 2013. That oath barred her from releasing investigative materials that they say she provided to a newspaper in a bid to embarrass a foe.
Last month, investigators with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office searched Kane’s office and found the oath, which Kane signed shortly after taking office. In it, swore to keep confidential decades worth of grand jury investigations, according to District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who announced the new charge against Kane.
The oath could prove key in the larger case against Kane, who is charged with leaking secret grand jury material to the Philadelphia Daily News in a bid to embarrass a political enemy, Frank Fina. He is a former top prosecutor in her office with whom she was feuding.
4. Black women booted from Napa Valley wine train file lawsuit
A group of mostly black women filed a racial discrimination lawsuit Thursday after they were removed from a train that tours Napa Valley wineries, saying it was humiliating to be thrown off a rail car when loud and inebriated white passengers were allowed to stay.
The 11 women sued Napa Valley Wine Train Inc., saying they were singled out because of race and seeking $11 million in damages. The company said in a statement that it has hired a former FBI agent to investigate.
The women, who were part of a book club that had gathered on the train to discuss a romance novel, said a train employee asked them to quiet down because they were offending other passengers.
The same employee admonished them again before telling them that police officers would be waiting for them when the train reached St. Helena, the suit says.
5. Oregon shooting: Reports of 10 dead at Umpqua Community College
Ten people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College on Thursday, forcing the nation to face yet another mass shooting.
Seven other people were injured, and the shooter is dead, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin told reporters.
The shooter was a 20-year-old man, according to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who ordered flags be flown at half-staff until sunset on Friday.
The shooting appears to have started in one building before the gunman moved to the school’s science building, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
Those killed and wounded were found in at least two classrooms.
“We arrived to find multiple patients in multiple classrooms. Law enforcement was on scene and had the shooter neutralized,” said Douglas County Fire Marshal Ray Shoufler.
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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