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Archive for March, 2014

StarNews Editorial: Charter schools need to tell taxpayers what they’re getting for their money

Monday, March 24th, 2014

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EDITORIAL FROM STARNEWSONLINE.COM: Charter schools are here to stay in North Carolina, at least for the foreseeable future. As their numbers increase, however, the ability of the taxpayers to keep track of just how their money is spent is shrinking. That should worry residents who wouldn't tolerate the same secrecy from their school district or local government.

When the Charlotte Observer tried to get teacher salaries for its region's charter schools, it was told those records aren't public. State officials are interpreting the laws that created independent charter schools to exempt them from the same level of financial scrutiny as the traditional public schools – even though millions of taxpayer dollars are siphoned from the public schools to charter schools annually.

They and charter operators say there's not need to increase accountability requirements and take the position that those schools are exempt from many aspects of the state's public records and open meetings laws. Baker Mitchell, whose Roger Bacon Academy operates charter schools in New Hanover, Brunswick and Columbus counties, is also president of the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter schools and a member of the state's Charter School Advisory board. He told the Charlotte Observer that the annual audit required, which is public information, should suffice.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE OF THE EDITORIAL IN THE STARNEWS.

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Balancing act required for programs in retiree-dominated towns

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Oak Island, like much of Brunswick County, has an older-than-average population.

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Wilmington remains contender in ‘Southern Towns Bracket’

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Wilmington remains a contender in Garden & Gun magazine’s "Greatest Southern Towns Bracket."

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Two charged in connection to meth lab bust

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Detectives arrested and charged two men who are accused of manufacturing methamphetamine.

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Man wanted for first-degree attempted murder in Jan. shooting arrested

Monday, March 24th, 2014

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — Elizabethtown Police arrested a man who was wanted for first-degree attempted murder since a shooting that landed one person in the hospital back in January.

Police say they arrested Saquon Covington, 25, Friday morning, after finding him inside a car police stopped near East Broad and Lower streets. This comes after a shooting on January 18, when Covington was first charged in connection to the crime.

Elizabethtown Police say it all started when they responded to a shots fired call near Quail and Davis streets, just after the shooting suspects took off in a car from the scene. Police say they arrested several suspects soon after, including Covington, charging him with carrying a concealed weapon.

It wasn’t until after Covington bonded out of jail that night, though, that police say a man showed up at the hospital’s emergency room with a gunshot wound. Officers say they have been looking for the 25-year-old ever since he was released from jail, and say Covington never showed up for his court date on the concealed weapon charge.

He is now charged with first-degree attempted murder and failure to appear. Covington is in the Bladen County Jail under a $1,010,000 bond.

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