Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Lunch Break (10/27/15): South Carolina officer placed on leave after manhandling teenaged girl on video

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM

A video showing a police officer in a Columbia, South Carolina high school flipping a female student out of her desk and then throwing her across the room for refusing to stand up has gone viral. The video, filmed by a fellow Spring Valley High School student on a cellphone, has led to the removal of the officer from the school district, and possibly other repercussions. The officer, Deputy Ben Fields, is currently on leave from the Richland County Sheriff's Office while an investigation is carried out. 

At its meeting last night, the Charlotte City Council discussed plans to sell some land at the former site of Eastland mall to CMS next month in order to build a school there. The K - 8 school would take up just 12 acres of the 80-acre site. Other plans for the surrounding area include a 22-acre park with a storm water retention pond, while the rest would be sold off to developers. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Committee voted to recommend that the city not sell the land to CMS, in part because they don't believe the school will be a good catalyst for further development, but most council members support it. 

Parents will have a chance to voice their concerns about struggling schools to CMS Board of Education members at a meeting in north Charlotte tonight, following the release of a state report that more than doubles the amount of schools in CMS that need improvement. Last school year, the report stated that 16 schools need improvement, meaning the school had a bad school performance grade and low student achievement growth during the previous school year. A new report, following a tightening up of standards regarding how a school is graded by state lawmakers, puts that number at 37. Last week, Creative Loafing wrote about parents' concerns with a lack of diversity within CMS. Most of the schools that are struggling are in high-poverty areas and are largely African-American. 

Prosecutor Chrissy Adams announced this morning that charges will not be filed against a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old man in Seneca, South Carolina in July. The family of the teenaged victim, Zachary Hammond, sought to remove Adams from the case because of her close relationship with local police, but that motions was denied by the state Supreme Court. 

Piedmont Natural Gas CEO announced yesterday that the company may soon be bought out by Duke Energy in a $6.7 billion merger. Duke would pay $4.9 billion in cash to make Piedmont a wholly-owned subsidiary, as well as take on $1.8 billion in debt. That equals out to about $6,700 for each of the 1 million Piedmont customers Duke would take on. 

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