|Blog and Media Roundup - Monday, February 28, 2011; News Roundup|
|Tweet Topic Started: Feb 28 2011, 05:48 AM (1,682 Views)|
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 05:48 AM Post #1|
Murder victim's family still seeks justice
The Herald Sun
02.27.11 - 07:15 pm
By John McCann
[email protected]; 419-6601
DURHAM -- Loved ones waited for years to get closure after 89-year-old Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church deacon Charlie Forest Davis was stabbed dozens and dozens of times in 2007.
The recent trial of Tori Neal brought those loved ones from as far away as Washington, D.C., and they came from Spring Hope and Louisburg hoping to see punishment meted out in the name of Davis, a decorated World War II veteran.
But after days of deliberation, not only did Neal on Feb. 10 get an extended lease on freedom when Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway declared a mistrial, but co-defendant Stefon Hinton that same day was put on probation for three years by Durham County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.
Yet Mount Olive pastor James Freeman is looking on the bright side of what to many was a disappointing result in court.
"Something good will come of it," said Freeman, who described Davis as one of his very faithful church members. If prosecutors decide to put Neal back on trial for the murder, Freeman said he'll be right back in court keeping his eyes on the case. "I don't give up."
Shortly after Ridgeway declared a mistrial, several jurors who'd huddled downtown on Main Street, not too far from the courthouse, said prosecutors Theresa K. Pressley and Roger Echols needed to have shown them more than circumstantial evidence pointing to Neal as the killer.
That circumstantial evidence, though, certainly painted a damning image of Neal. After Davis was murdered -- he was stabbed 47 times in his Bragtown home, according to a retired medical examiner -- some guys who'd smoke marijuana with Neal testified both he and Hinton showed up in a white, 1993 Buick Century. Neal was driving the car, witnesses said.
The car turned out to be Davis' vehicle; the one stolen after the murder from his home on Nellowood Street; the one Davis used to shuttle his wife, Sallie, back and forth to dialysis treatments.
But jurors said they wanted prosecutors to show them hard evidence like fingerprints and blood samples that removed all doubt Neal was behind the wheel of the Buick.
Jurors also said they wanted to hear from Hinton, the co-defendant. No doubt, Hinton was available. Part of the deal for him to plead guilty to the lesser charge of possession of a stolen vehicle was his agreement to testify during Neal's trial if called upon by prosecutors. But Echols and Pressley never summoned Hinton to the witness stand.
Attorneys Rebecca Wiggins and Dawn Baxton, who work in the Durham County Public Defender's Office, represented Neal.
Attorney Karen Bethea-Shields worked out the plea bargain for Hinton.
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 05:52 AM Post #2|
Ideas needed for Community Police Advisory Committee
The Herald Sun
02.27.11 - 07:15 pm
By Gregory Childress
[email protected]; 419-6645
CHAPEL HILL -- The Chapel Hill Police Department wants citizens' input into the development of a community police advisory committee that would provide a forum for citizens to give feedback on policy-related police matters and other public safety issues.
Police Chief Chris Blue said it's important to have citizen participation in the process so the committee and its goals reflect those of the people in the community who have worked for several years to improve communication between citizens and the police department.
"We want to make sure that the makeup of the committee and its charge reflects the interest of the people who brought this matter up for discussion," Blue said. "We don't want to suggest a model that doesn't meet citizens' expectations."
Approved by the Town Council last month, the committee is the offshoot of a citizen petition that requested a more formal civilian police oversight board.
Those plans were shelved, however, after state lawmakers denied the town enabling legislation that would have allowed such an oversight committee to review personnel records.
As a result, the new committee will not have oversight with regard to the operations of the police department. It will instead serve as a liaison between the department and the community.
Blue said police officials believe the advisory committee will help the department improve in a number of areas such as making better use of technology and data.
"A citizen's advisory committee is a positive addition to our outreach efforts and ultimately will support the men and women who provide exemplary police service to Chapel Hill," Blue said.
In an interview last month, Barry Freeman, a leading advocate for creating an oversight committee, said he thinks the advisory committee will work well when coupled with a proposed ombudsman program designed primarily for town workers, but also made available to citizens who have concerns and complaints about the police department.
Town Manager Roger Stancil has said that option is important because some citizens might feel uncomfortable complaining to police officials about the police department or its employees.
The council has authorized Stancil to enter into contract negotiations with UNC Ombudsman Wayne Blair to assist the town in creating its first ombudsman program.
Before recommending the adoption of a community police advisory committee to council last month, town staffers interviewed officials from 13 jurisdictions with similar advisory boards, including Delray Beach, Fla.; Great Falls, Maine; Greenbelt, Md.; Hollywood, Calif.; and Milwaukie, Ore.
According to staffers, officials in those towns reported that the boards provide a valuable forum for citizens to raise concerns about issues arising within their respective neighborhoods, create an open exchange between the police department and the citizens and allow citizens to have input regarding police services and programs.
Want to Share Ideas?
Chapel Hill residents who are interested in contributing their ideas and getting involved in the new outreach program may send e-mail to [email protected] or contact Police Chief Chris Blue or Assistant Police Chief Bob Overton at (919) 968-2760.
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:05 AM Post #3|
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Gluttonous Carpetbaggers’ shakedown of Duke greater than believed
Recent revelations about a 2007 IRS tax lien against Duke Lacrosse defendant Reade Seligmann just goes to confirm the obvious, as I stated long ago… the reason for keeping the financial arrangement of Duke University’s settlement with the party-going Duke Lacrosse defendants secret was because it was so outrageous. Duke University was too embarrassed for rolling over without a fight and submitting to the demands of the avaricious attorneys, and the Carpetbagger families didn’t want people to think that they threatened Duke with a law suit just for the money. It seems that the amount Duke University forked over to each of the Duke Lacrosse defendants was far greater than the figure my sources gave me of $7 million. That amount actually is closer to the amount of tax due the IRS, which the agency puts at $6.5 million. According to Raleigh tax lawyer Jack Cummings, a tax of that amount would be indicative of an income of $18 million. Another tax attorney has the estimate as $20 million… which is probably the most accurate and the figure with which I will refer.
And it was in 2007 that Duke University settled out of court with the Duke Lacrosse defendants, and it is where the vast majority of their income would be of account. That is $13.5 million after tax per Lacrosse player, and that’s not bad especially when you consider what they went through to get it. First, they attended a beer-guzzling, stripper-ogling party with under-aged drinking, shouting of racial epithets (and probably other crimes taking place), then after being charged with a sexual assault they did not spend one day in jail. They became media darlings with all the media types coddling over them and misleading the public by proclaiming that they had been “exonerated” (as was reported by Deborah Morgan of WRAL-TV-5 as recently as the night of February 24, 2011, when the story broke here.) Then books are written about the Duke Lacrosse party incident which is revisionist propaganda history at its best. And HBO has been wracking its brains trying to somehow produce a movie about the Duke Lacrosse case without showing the true colors of the Duke Lacrosse defendants. Two objective screenplays have already been written, but the head honchos discarded them and fired their authors… HBO is essentially requiring that the Duke boys be put in a positive light which is itself an impossibility if a story about the Duke Lacrosse case is to contain an iota of truth. The plan which seems to be adopted by HBO movie executives is to demand a script that does not mention the Duke Lacrosse boys and instead focuses on former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. (I would suggest that they consider hiring MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Susan F. Filan. She has shown the capacity to fabricate libelous statements about Mr. Nifong and then to use those very false statements to attack his character.) Finally, universities and Wall Street bigwigs have been clamoring to bring the boys into the fold to study and work.
Now it’s not enough that each of the defendants was rewarded with $20 million for their bad behavior, but even after that, they want an additional $10 million each from the city of Durham. It is very apparent that the Carpetbaggers and their counsel thought that when the mighty Duke University toppled, that the city of Durham would follow suit and turn over the money. Somehow the cash-strapped city managed to summon up the nerve to stand and fight against the Carpetbagger juggernaut, not unlike Winston Churchill stood up against Nazi aggression. Now action on that front has been at a standstill for years, more or less. Nonetheless, Durham is still wasting taxpayer dollars to pay lawyers to go through the motions of defending the city.
The Carpetbaggers want the public to believe that they are so much in legal debt in fighting Duke University and the aftereffects of the Duke Lacrosse case, but surely they can use some of their net gain of $13.5 mil to pay their attorneys. Their stated excuse for suing the Bull City (to effect changes in the criminal justice system to the benefit of all Durhamians) is nothing more than a bunch of bull. They are suing the city because they are GREEDY.
Although Duke shelled out $60 million in an ill-advised settlement with the Carpetbaggers, they compounded that mistake by trying to force the National Union Fire Insurance Company, the university’s insurance company, to reimburse them… this, after making such an outlandish settlement without even discussing it with them. Duke is the one that breached its agreement with the insurance company, yet it filed suit in an attempt to recover the money it handed over on a platter. Just recently, Duke reached an agreement with the company, an affiliate of AIG, and per protocol terms were not disclosed. However, both parties agreed to drop claims and counterclaims against each other, and pay their own legal costs.
The Carpetbaggers need to emulate Duke University with regards to its squabble with National Union Fire Insurance Company. Instead of continuing to throw good money after bad, they need to rein in their attorneys and drop their suit against the city of Durham. They need to accept the fact that the city refused to take their bluff, as did the mighty university, unless it is the underlying goal of the Carpetbaggers to deplete the city’s coffers as a final vindictive act. But I don’t believe that is their goal… they’re in it for the money.
According to a news report last night, Duke University has approved a substantial increase in tuition… no doubt to help cover its giveaway to the Duke Lacrosse defendants and its ill-advised lawsuit against their insurance company.
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:08 AM Post #4|
Admins get green light for Kunshan
By Lindsey Rupp
February 28, 2011
The Board of Trustees has taken a “definitive step” in support of Duke’s campus in Kunshan, China, said Board Chair Dan Blue.
After significant scrutiny from Trustees and administrators, the Board authorized the University to submit an application to the Chinese Ministry of Education to open the campus.
Five Board committees examined issues surrounding Kunshan, including an ad-hoc committee formed by Blue, Democratic N.C. state senator and Law ’73. The committee is composed of nine trustees and headed by David Rubenstein, Trinity ’70 and co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group. The committees looked into questions regarding academics, human resources, facilities and finances, which Blue said were “first on everyone’s mind because of the risk [involved].”
“I think that without a doubt most people would agree that that level of review... has made it a much better program, and we feel pretty confident in going forward into the Duke-Kunshan [partnership],” Blue said. “There’s still a lot to be done—we’re not fooling ourselves.”
Blue added that the administration is finalizing agreements with Kunshan and Wuhan University before submitting an application.
In addition to the $5.5 million the Trustees approved in December to fund oversight and furnishing fees in Kunshan, administrators expect to spend $1.5 to $2 million per year of Duke’s central administrative funds on the campus’s operating budget for five to six years. The city of Kunshan will split operating costs with the University.
Brodhead declined to estimate the total costs of the campus or the revenue it could generate, adding that “it would be wrong to give a ballpark figure except to say we’re modeling them.”
Blue said the Trustees have reviewed several financial models and determined that it would take five or six years for the campus to reach a “steady state,” in which revenues cover costs. Based on this information, the Trustees judged the models to be reliable and the risks manageable. Although Duke has identified sources of revenue to sustain the campus’s operational costs, the models will have to be adjusted when tuition and other revenue streams are concretely determined, he said.
Blue said the Kunshan campus will have a seven-member governing body, with three members appointed by Duke and the remaining four appointed by Kunshan and Wuhan University. He said the decisions made by the new campus’s board will require “an extreme majority,” meaning that at least one Duke appointee will have to vote in approval.
With the Board formally supporting the Kunshan campus, Blue said he expects more discussion about its development to take place between administrators and the University community.
Although Brodhead called the Kunshan effort one of the most detailed planning processes in the University’s recent history, he noted that some details are difficult to share.
“It’s as if you have a dream house, and I ask you what color the bedroom is,” he said.
A bigger price tag
The Board of Trustees approved a 4.3 percent increase in undergraduate tuition at its meeting, bringing tuition to $40,665 in 2011-2012, up $1,670. Duke’s total cost of attendance will rise 3.9 percent to $53,905 including room, board and fees, a $2,040 increase from this year.
In the last 10 years, the Common Fund Institute, which compiles the Higher Education Price Index, estimates the average cost of operating a University has increased 3.4 percent annually. Duke’s cost of attendance has increased at an average annual rate of 4.6 percent in the last 10 years.
“The cost of education has different drivers than a family food basket... those include things we have had to invest very vigorously in,” Brodhead said, citing spending on information technology and libraries. “We have tried to mitigate that cost increase... with an increased commitment to financial aid.”
[Duke Chronicle] Duke University Cost of Attendance 2011
Visualization for Bar Chart
link to Many Eyes IBM legal | view data | 1 comment
Brodhead noted that, despite the increased costs to students, the University will continue meeting all demonstrated need. Several endowments created by the Financial Aid Initiative have been underwater since the financial downturn, meaning the University cannot spend funds from those endowments because they are worth less than when they were created, Brodhead said. Although Brodhead did not specify which endowments were underwater, he said 80 percent of the endowments are now worth more than when they were created.
Estimates of financial aid costs for the next academic year have not yet been finalized, but the University expects to spend $10.4 million more in institutional funds on financial aid in 2010-2011 than it did in 2009-2010.
The Trustees also approved tuition increases across Duke’s graduate and professional schools, most notably by 9.3 percent in the School of Nursing to $46,620. Brodhead said the University had been undercharging for admission in comparison to peer schools, despite the School of Nursing’s success. The Trustees approved tuition increases between 2.8 and 5.9 percent at Duke’s other graduate and professional schools.
The Nicholas School of the Environment saw the smallest tuition increase for the next academic year, which Blue attributed in large part to the University’s desire to continue developing the school and encouraging the best students to attend.
Fuqua MMS here to stay
The Fuqua School of Business will offer the Master of Management Studies degree on a permanent basis. The 10-month program, which had been operating on a trial basis the last two years, has seen an 80 percent employment rate three months after graduation for those students seeking jobs.
Brodhead said the University evaluated the MMS program on several different criteria, including the quality of students it attracts, the employment results of these students, the quality and appropriateness of the program’s curriculum and the level of demand for the degree.
“We were pretty excited when we devised this program,” Brodhead said. “People were well satisfied that it proved itself in practice.”
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:10 AM Post #5|
Seligmann lawyer denies IRS claims
By Nicole Kyle
February 28, 2011
A lawyer who said he spoke with the family of former Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann this week said accusations that Seligmann owes millions in taxes to the IRS are inaccurate.
The Detriot News reported Thursday that public records indicate that Seligmann—one of the three players falsely accused of rape in 2006—allegedly owes the Internal Revenue Service $6,492,377 in income taxes from 2007. But Jim Cooney, a Charlotte-based attorney and one of Seligmann’s former attorneys, said that is wrong.
“It’s not true,’” Cooney said in an interview with The Chronicle. “He’s paid more taxes than anyone—he’s paid a lot of taxes. The claim is just wrong.”
Seligmann and his lawyer, Richard Emery, could not be reached for comment Sunday. Emery has also publicly called the accusations inaccurate since they were first published.
“I don’t understand why everyone thinks a large government organization never makes mistakes—especially the IRS,” Cooney said. “I’m sorry people are accusing him when he’s paid his taxes and then some.”
Cooney told The (Raleigh) News & Observer the taxes were on Seligmann’s settlement money, which he received from the University.
If the IRS’ figure is correct, it may indicate the approximate amount of the value of Duke’s settlement with Seligmann in 2007—a previously private number. Raleigh tax lawyer Jack Cummings told the N&O that $6.5 million in income taxes would be generated by approximately $18 million in income.
Cooney said Seligmann was unaware of the tax lien until The Detroit News reported the claim Thursday, the N&O reported.
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:10 AM Post #6|
February 28, 2011
✔ FC here. Good day.
It's any one's guess what's afoot here. The first question is how a reporter for a Detroit newspaper, Robert Snell who is on the metro staff, managed to get the first word about a tax lien that was filed in New York City. Months earlier. Hmmmm.
One source tells FC that there were more than 25,000 tax liens filed in this period, making it highly unlikely that Snell just happened to ferret it out.
And the story sucked in the way it portrayed Reade. The headline: "Controversial ex-Duke lacrosse player...."
Personally I think the description "Awesome ex-Duke lacrosse player..." is rather appropriate.
Snell also wrote that Reade was involved in a "rape case," which is a rather inaccurate way of describing a hoax in which there was no sexual contact whatsoever. The story had legs too: the Daily News in NY featured a huge file picture of a shifty looking Seligmann.
Snell has done federal tax lien stories before -- but all of them seem to have a hometown angle. For example earlier this year he told how the Miami Heat bailed out Tim Hardaway, who played on five different clubs, noting in the lead that Hardaway's son is very much in the local news as a star on the basketball team at the University of Michigan.
As noted above, the lien was filed in New York City -- apparently because Reade -- who lives in New Jersey -- paid his taxes using the office address of an accountant, David Weiss. We stress apparently, because all we can confirm about Weiss is that the Seligmann family used him as an adviser.
We have been unable to trace the accountant -- Loyal Readers know we tried -- and it is entirely possible the IRS sent correspondence to that address, which, when unanswered, caused the IRS to go off the deep end in estimating taxes, penalties and interest.
Reade's principal lawyer -- Richard Emery -- disclosure: friend of FC -- says all taxes were paid. And thus the unfortunate part of all this is that Reade is once again victim of the government like he was with the disgraced, disbarred prosecutor Mike Nifong and Durham police.
✔ The tantalizing part of course is the estimates of how much Reade would have "earned" -- received -- to merit a tax bill of $6.5 million. First of all we do not know how much in penalties and interest that includes, so it's only an estimate, variously given at between $18.5 and $20 million dollars. Net of any fees for his lawyers, which would be presumably deductible.
Up until now, no one has known, but the whispers have been that each of the three falsely indicted players got between $6 and $8 million in a confidential settlement from Duke. And that's consistent with what Emery said when asked about the $20 million: we got one too many zeroes in the equation.
Beyond the amount of these settlements, with the Brodhead Administration's penchant for secrecy we have gotten only snippets of information on how much Duke's continuing defense is costing. While Duke scampered to settle with the three accused players and with Coach Pressler -- stopping their ability to subpoena Brodhead, board chair Steel and others to set the historical record straight -- two other lawsuits by other players are continuing.
The other day Duke settled with the scandal tarred AIG insurance company, on a policy that apparently covered both defense costs and payments to plaintiffs. Or maybe only lawyers, who knows.
We do know that Duke once rejected $5 million from AIG -- which is the total face amount of the policy. It's anyone's guess how Duke figured it would be entitled to more -- possibly by viewing the lacrosse hoax not as one event, but as separate incidents involving each player. Such disputes with insurance companies are common. For example was the attack on the two towers of the World Trade Center with two different jets one incident or two. Answer: one.
For all we know, the final settlement with AIG was less than $5 million -- or many times that amount.
There is a window into Duke's legal costs on IRS Form 990 -- but it is only a cracked window, not a wide open view. We're talking costs for lawyers here, not settlements.
Post-lax, the annual costs have tripled -- meaning Duke has been spending about $8 million a year on lacrosse lawyers alone.
There is one other figure, and that is a $2 million payment in one year to hot-shot Washington lawyer Jamie Gorelick for her part-time services. Unfortunately disclosure of such payments -- formerly required for the five highest recipients of professional fees each year -- is no longer required. There is continuing provision for disclosing the five highest entities with whom Duke does business -- but inevitably these fall to construction companies.
✔ And finally, Fellow Dukies, we come to the city of Durham, defendant in a lawsuit brought by the three indicted players for the misdeeds of police and prosecutor, and by other players too. We do have some definitive word on what this is costing the city, thanks to WTVD which checked up on this.
Taxpayers paid the first $500,000. Then an insurance company started to pay the bills -- $3.8 million as of January. The city's policy provides for a max payment of $5 million.
If you think the litigation is dragging on, WTVD asked former federal prosecutor Dan Boyce: "Many attorneys jokingly refer to the "P" in plaintiff as "push" and the "D" in defendant as "delay," he explained. "There's all these ways that a defendant can get a case stalled. They hope a defendant runs out of money, gets tired of it, or gives up."
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:13 AM Post #7|
Duke stunned by Penn
3 goals marks lowest scoring output in 25 years
Zachary Tracer/ The Chronicle :
By Chronicle Staff 
February 28, 2011
3 goals marks lowest scoring output in 25 years
The last time Duke only scored three goals in a game was in 1986 against Maryland, when most of the players on this team weren’t even born. These Blue Devils, however, now face an uphill climb of dealing with a sub-.500 record early in the season after the high expectations following last year’s national championship.
The No. 10 Blue Devils (1-2) fell Saturday in one of their worst losses in recent memory, losing to Pennsylvania 7-3. The Quakers came out with an early charge and stifled the Duke attack, resulting in five unanswered goals in the first two periods of the game.
“It’s not so much that it was 3-0 early on,” head coach John Danowski told Goduke.com. “It’s that we were not mentally where we need to be to compete.”
The lack of mental preparation was apparent in faceoff situations with Pennsylvania (1-0) winning all four in the first quarter, even though this was a point of emphasis in practice this week. Overall, Duke was statistically dominated in the opening half with two more turnovers and eight fewer shots compared to the Quakers.
Although the Blue Devils outscored Pennsylvania 3-2 in the second half of play, they had the potential for more of a comeback with four extra-man opportunities. Yet, they only converted on one of those, a significant disappointment for a team that was fourth in the nation last year in man-up offense.
The lone bright spots for Duke were midfielder Justin Turri and attacker Christian Walsh who each had a goal and an assist. They were not a match, though, for Rob Fitzpatrick and Drew Belinsky who combined for three goals and three assists.
The Blue Devils have the chance to even their record on Saturday when they begin conference play at Koskinen Stadium against Maryland.
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:15 AM Post #8|
Keep striving for diversity
By Editorial Board
February 28, 2011
In his report to the Academic Council last week Provost Peter Lange noted the progress Duke is making in terms of the faculty’s diversity, but acknowledged that Duke needs to continue to improve, particularly in recruiting women and minority faculty members in the natural sciences and engineering departments.
Increasing the diversity of the faculty continues to be an issue of concern across higher education, and rightfully so, though larger societal issues are at play. No single university can solve these issues on its own, but it is problematic that the average Duke student might not be taught by a minority professor throughout his or her entire career unless he or she actively seeks out specific professors or cultural studies courses. More importantly, Duke needs to be known as a place where minority professors are both highly sought after and welcomed.
Public comments made in the past by Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.—a former Duke professor who said he experienced “pure, unadulterated racism” in his time here in 1990—have cast the racial climate at Duke in a negative light. But before rushing to dismiss Gates’s comments as remnants of the past, Duke needs to continue growing in this area. Recruitment can certainly go a long way in changing these perspectives. Would-be faculty members need to know that Duke is just as accommodating to a diverse faculty as we are to a diverse student body.
As Lange’s report indicated, the numbers of female professors and minority professors lag most noticeably in the sciences and in engineering, but Duke needs to continue to increase faculty diversity across all of its departments. The University should strive to advance the diversity of its faculty even beyond the diversity of the larger academic communities to which they belong for the benefit of students inside and outside the classroom.
It may be difficult to grasp the differences female professors and professors with culturally diverse backgrounds can bring to natural sciences or engineering course because we do not yet know what we are missing. We do not have the desired variety of female professors and minority professors for students to be able to do anything but speculate on what this diversity might yield inside the classroom.
Outside the classroom, however, a diverse faculty across departments has numerous benefits for the University. Among them are increased mentorship opportunities for females and minorities, the ability for minority students to racially identify with professors and the overall value diverse points of view and perspectives have in shaping the University.
Duke benefits wholly from a more diverse faculty. Well-represented students will benefit as much from the mentorship opportunities and the classroom experiences more diverse professors can provide. Minority students and female students will have mentors with whom they can more easily identify.
As disciplines and research eventually grow more diverse, so too will approaches to learning become more varied and innovative. Duke should continue to push itself toward the forefront of this progress and lead its peer institutions by example.
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:20 AM Post #9|
Published Mon, Feb 28, 2011 04:06 AM
Modified Mon, Feb 28, 2011 12:46 AM
Tuition rises 4.3% at Duke
Tuition rates for Duke University undergraduate students will rise 4.3 percent in the 2011-12 academic year.
The increase, approved Saturday by Duke's Board of Trustees, will push tuition to $40,665.
Total costs for students at the elite private university - including room, board and fees - will rise 3.9 percent to $53,905 in the next academic year.
"Costs continue to go up [faster than inflation] in many of the areas that are critical to the university," Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld said Sunday. He cited health insurance and energy costs as two areas where costs have been mushrooming.
Duke has frozen pay and eliminated jobs in recent years as it works to cut $100 million in expenses out of its annual operating budget. Since early 2009, nearly 400 workers have accepted buyout offers; their jobs subsequently were eliminated.
"Overall, the university strives to keep tuition increases as low as possible," Schoenfeld said.
Last month, the UNC system's Board of Governors, bracing for another round of state budget cuts, approved an average increase of 6.8 percent for fees and tuition for the 2011-12 academic year.
For in-state undergraduates, tuition and fees at UNC-Chapel Hill are set to rise $352 to $6,840 per year, N.C. State University's tuition and fees will rise $481 to $6.874, and N.C. Central University's will climb $241 to $4,720.
At Duke, more than 40 percent of students receive financial aid based on financial need, in addition to those who receive scholarships based on athletics and academics.
Schoenfeld said the financial aid budget hasn't been set for next year but is likely to increase 8 percent to 10 percent - double the tuition rate increase. That 2-to-1 ratio between financial aid and tuition increases has held constant in recent years, he added.
Duke expects to spend about $110.2 million on financial aid during the current school year - up from $99.8 million in 2009-2010.
"Duke has a very strong commitment to financial aid and affordability," Schoenfeld said.
This month, USA Today and the Princeton Review ranked Duke No. 2 among private colleges nationwide for being a "best value." That ranking assesses the effect of financial aid as well as tuition and other costs.
Duke also increased itstuition at graduate and professional schools Saturday.
Tuition for MBA students at the Fuqua School of Business will rise 4.9 percent to $50,300; tuition for law school students will rise 4 percent to $48,800.
The price increase for undergraduates comes on top of a 3.9 percent rise in tuition and fees for the current school year, which pushed the cost of attending above the $50,000 mark for the first time.
"It's important to remember that tuition doesn't cover, in fact it doesn't come close to covering, the full cost of education" at private universities, Schoenfeld said. "The rest of the costs are made up by things like income from the endowment, fundraising and other sources of revenue."
[email protected] or 919-829-4877
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:21 AM Post #10|
Published Mon, Feb 28, 2011 04:06 AM
Modified Mon, Feb 28, 2011 12:41 AM
Cary man goes on trial today in wife's slaying
RALEIGH Two-and-a-half years after Nancy Cooper was found strangled to death near a storm drain in an unfinished Wake County subdivision, her husband will go on trial for murder.
Jury selection is set to begin today in the trial of Brad Cooper, and testimony is expected to start a week later.
Cooper has been in jail since his October 2008 arrest byCary police. That was nearly three months after Nancy Cooper'sbody was found.
She had been reported missing two days prior.
Cooper told investigators that Nancy Cooper had gone jogging the morning of July 12, 2008, and never returned. A man walking a dog two days later discovered her body in a remote site less than three miles from the Coopers' Lochmere home.
Friends and family said the husband and wife had been having marital difficulties.
Neighbors witnessed the couple fighting at a cookout the day before Nancy Cooper disappeared and said the couple left the party separately.
A search warrant written by a Cary police investigator noted that Nancy Cooper wanted a divorce after her husband admitted having an affair.
Another search warrant revealed that Brad Cooper had been intercepting his wife'se-mail, including correspondence between Nancy Cooper and her divorce lawyer.
Financial troubles also were revealed in civil court proceedings that year.
Nancy Cooper's parents, Garry and Donna Rentz, won custody of the couple's two daughters, Bella and Katie. The children were 5 and 2 years old at the time of their mother's death.
In a state where all police evidence is supposed to be turned over to the defense before trial, Cooper's attorneys complained several weeks ago to the state Court of Appeals that they awaited information from prosecutors.
The lawyers complained that they had not received information:
That bears on the issue of whether Nancy Cooper was alive the morning she was reported missing.
About a married man with whom defense lawyers contend Nancy Cooper had an affair with in 2005.
About conversations they contend law enforcement officers and prosecutors received from lawyers representing Nancy Cooper's family in civil actions that occurred before Brad Cooper's arrest.
Meanwhile, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby has taken the unusual step of asking the trial judge to bar the media from identifying two FBI agents, a Cary police officer and a Durham police officer scheduled to testify at trial.
Willoughby said the officers are involved in undercover assignments.
Media organizations, including The News & Observer, are opposing Willoughby's request.
[email protected] or 919-836-4948
|Joan Foster||Feb 28 2011, 06:43 AM Post #11|
How about hiring some conservative thinkers; a few who challenge Global warming; one or two that think it's possible that the theology of Victimology is dangerous and passe?
Now that would be REAL diversity. When "gender" and "skin hue" are the only criteria not diversity of THOUGHT...this is (yawn) more of the same-old same-old.
It's not "possible" but "probable...Provost Lange, that a Duke student will not be taught by anyone without a hard core Progressive perspective...nor will that perspective ever be tested by any robust debate or challenge.
The color and gender of the "CLERGY" provide only the most superficial "diversity"...if the "University" first and always requires rigidity of DOGMA.
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 06:46 AM Post #12|
The Obama Administration’s Vicious Attack on Reade Seligmann
by William L. Anderson
Many readers will remember the infamous Duke Lacrosse case of five years ago when Durham County District Attorney Michael Nifong falsely charged three lacrosse players from Duke University with rape. What made the case extraordinary, however, were not the charges per se, but the fact that they were transparently false, and yet the mainstream media and the Duke administration and much of its vaunted faculty ignored the evidence to proclaim that they were true.
In the end, the case fell apart because Nifong was caught lying, and the accuser, a prostitute named Crystal Mangum couldn’t keep her stories straight. (And there is even much more that has not been told that many of us know, including how Mangum came to choose these particular three players, but that is something for another article.)
Nifong was disbarred in 2007 and even served a day in jail for lying to a judge, although the Bush administration blocked any further criminal investigations of Nifong and others who took part in what clearly was a frame. (Durham police officials and a nurse employed by Duke University Medical Center fabricated documents and other statements in order to bolster the case, but in the end it fell apart and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper declared the players to be "innocent" of all charges.)
The aftermath of this case, however, will not die, and the government has decided that it has not victimized these young men and their families enough, so the Obama administration’s Internal Revenue Service has loudly announced that it has levied a $6.5 million lien on the assets of Reade Seligmann, one of the three people originally charged. According to the IRS, Seligmann paid no taxes on a settlement that he and the two others received from Duke in 2007.
Not surprisingly, the media has jumped on this one in an attempt to promote an "Aha!" atmosphere. "See, we TOLD you these were dangerous people!" The worst offender has been the Detroit News, which screamed out in a headline: "Controversial ex-Duke lacrosse player owes IRS $6.5M; lawyer calls it mistake."
The New York Daily News, which from the start of the case was pro-Nifong until it no longer could stand behind the lying DA, was not much better with its blaring headline: "IRS claims former Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann owes millions, lawyer says bill is mistake." The Raleigh News & Observer, which was ground zero for the outright false and misleading stories when the case first broke, jumped on the story as well, including an inflammatory quote from a local tax lawyer, Jack Cummings:
"You've got enough zeros there that somebody has bound to have thought about it and decided that they didn't owe any tax," Cummings said. There are tax exemptions for some financial settlements, though probably not this type, he explained.
As you can see, the mainstream media wants readers to believe that maybe (only just maybe) Reade Seligmann was not a rapist, but he is a tax cheat, and that should give us pause as to the first set of charges against him. We knew it all along! He is an arrogant guy who got away with rape and just decided that paying taxes was beneath him!
Because mainstream reporters seem to be incapable of doing even basic research, depending, instead, upon whatever pronouncements come from government agencies, there are a number of questions and issues that I will bring to the fore that have been ignored by the vaunted journalists. This first is this: Reade Seligmann did not even receive $6.5 million in his settlement with Duke, so the media and the IRS are claiming that he owes more taxes than what he received in the first place in 2007. (Granted, a lot of journalists want the USA to be more like Sweden, which once taxed author Astrid Lindgren at 102 percent.)
Yes, the settlement was secret, but people talk, and the information was not difficult to find. Furthermore, as Reade’s attorney Jim Cooney has noted, Seligmann did pay taxes on what he received from Duke. Keep in mind that Cooney not only is a well-known and well-respected attorney whom I know well, but also was recently recommended for a position on the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (someone else received the nomination from the Obama administration). In other words, Jim Cooney’s words carry a lot of weight, and when the N&O implied in its story that he was lying, we can see once again that getting an important story straight is not important to that newspaper.
So, why would the IRS publicly go after Reade Seligmann, especially if he can prove that the agency is wrong? No doubt, the story that will be spun is that there was some bumbling in the bowels of the IRS and that someone just made an honest mistake, and the agency is sorry for its error, blah, blah, blah. Such an explanation will fly with the media, which will protect the agency at all costs.
However, there is much more to the story of Reade Seligmann and the aftermath of the Duke Lacrosse case that makes people like me suspicious of what has happened. Let me explain.
Although Duke settled with Seligmann, David Evans, and Collin Finnerty, the three have filed suit against Nifong and Durham. Furthermore, a number of other former Duke lacrosse players have filed suit against the university for its reprehensible conduct and for its alleged complicity with Nifong and the Durham police. They also have filed suit against Nifong and Durham.
The players filed suit in federal court more than three years ago, but so far nothing has happened, as Duke has managed to keep the whole thing at bay. Duke’s lead attorney is Jamie Gorelick, one of the most important Democratic operatives in Washington and who served as the number two person in the Clinton administration’s Department of Justice. If there is a prominent Democrat or Democratic entity in need of a fixer, Gorelick often comes to the rescue.
While Duke is a private university, it also is a major player in the Democratic Party, both nationally and in North Carolina. Furthermore, Durham is the most important base for the North Carolina Democratic Party and if ever there was a one-party entity, it is Durham, which is one of the most hard-left municipalities in the country.
For example, Terry Sanford was president of Duke before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986 (and he served as a Democratic governor of North Carolina before coming to Duke). John Burness, Duke’s general "fixer" in Durham and someone who made vicious and dishonest off-the-record comments to reporters during the lacrosse case (which was one of the reasons that Duke’s lawyers felt compelled to settle with the three falsely-accused lacrosse players), is returning to his position as a prominent Democratic Party lobbyist in Washington.
(The corpulent Burness has just finished serving a term as interim president of Franklin and Marshall College. Burness is proof that at least in politics and at Duke University, no dishonest deed goes unrewarded. Other faculty members and administrators that acted in an especially reprehensive manner during the lacrosse case since then have been promoted and honored, which demonstrates that while Duke’s motto, "Eruditio et Religio" [Knowledge and Faith] should be changed to "We Reward Lying" or maybe the more informal, "Lies ‘R Us.")
It is no accident, then, that Duke hired someone like Gorelick, and the fact that the case has been dead in the water for three years seems to be proof that the university and its political partners, the City of Durham and Durham County, have received good services from their outside legal counsel. This latest incident involving Reade Seligmann only heightens the suspicion that this is not an act of mistaken zeros by a bumbling IRS agent, but rather a concerted effort to discredit someone that North Carolina Democrats see as a political enemy.
What Duke University and Durham, along with the mainstream media, did to Reade Seligmann was utterly shameful. The way that Duke subsequently rewarded the worst offenders in this case, including promoting the most dishonestly vocal faculty members to being deans and high-level administrators, demonstrates that the leadership of that university is proud of what it did. It is proud of the fact that it managed to become the first university in U.S. legal history to be cited in a change of venue document that claimed the university created an atmosphere that endangered the rights to a fair trial by the three falsely-charged lacrosse players.
Everyone involved in this case knows that Reade Seligmann does not owe the IRS a dime and the truth ultimately will come out in official form. However, in the meantime, Duke and Durham can enjoy watching him be demonized in the media, journalists can get another shot at this "controversial" young man who has managed to be well-respected and well-loved wherever he has been, and Jamie Gorelick can make more money billing Duke.
Like the Bourbons of France who "learned nothing and forgot nothing," we are seeing what "Progressives" do to people who manage to fight the odds and proclaim the truth even when "Progressives" are trying desperately to shout them down. Reade Seligmann is about the truth; he always has been, and he always will be, and he truly is a young man of very good character, and members of the Progressive Political Classes in this country generally do not have the same high level of moral fiber.
Yes, maybe we will find that this all was an "innocent mistake," and that an agent just got some numbers wrong. Maybe Gorelick really had nothing to do with this sorry episode. But, given everything I have seen transpire in this case, from the original N&O fabrication, "Dancer Recalls Details of Ordeal," (which is no longer available) to how Duke has protected and rewarded the case’s worst offenders, you will have to excuse me if events like this make me suspicious. Very suspicious.
February 28, 2011
William L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit his blog.
|Quasimodo||Feb 28 2011, 07:49 AM Post #13|
|Kerri P.||Feb 28 2011, 01:24 PM Post #14|
I had a feeling that j4n was going to write some pos like this. They don't let facts get in their way.
|Jack Wade||Feb 28 2011, 03:22 PM Post #15|
Duke Lacrosse Player’s Tax Deal?
Feb. 28 2011 - 11:17 am | 3 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments
By ROBERT W. WOOD
If you’re like me, you were shocked to learn that exonerated Duke Lacrosse player Reade Seligmann—falsely accused of rape—got a whopping $20 million settlement. That’s the calculation by which some explain an IRS tax lien claiming he owes nearly $6.5 million in tax. Detroit News, Ex-Duke Lacrosse Star Insists Tax Bill a ‘Mistake’. An IRS tax lien filed Feb. 17 in New York City claims $6,492,377 in tax from 2007, the year Seligmann and two others settled with Duke. While the settlement was never disclosed, some have speculated:
* Daily Mail: Were the Duke Lacrosse Players Wrongly Accused of Rape Paid $20 Million Each in Secret Settlement?
* New York Daily News: IRS Claims Former Duke Lacrosse Player Reade Seligmann Owes Millions, Lawyer Says Bill Is Mistake
Even if accurate, I can’t say whether that’s a reasonable sum for having your life upended. Still, I can’t help but compare it to far smaller amounts received by innocent victims locked in prison for decades for crimes they too didn’t commit. Just one example: Robert Lee Stinson was awarded $25,000 for 24 years of wrongful imprisonment, and there was some question whether he might get an additional $90,000. See Justice Denied: The Journal for the Wrongly Convicted.
But while I’m not qualified to judge the size of awards, I am qualified to talk about taxes. As a tax lawyer for 30-years, I routinely see successful plaintiffs shocked by the size of their tax bills. You’d think it would be easy to explain what is taxable and what isn’t, but there’s a weird aura surrounding taxes and lawsuit recoveries. The palpable confusion is not only about what cases generate tax bills, but extends to how your income is measured, whether on your net share after lawyer fees, or on the gross including lawyer fees!
Tax Free? If you sue for personal physical injuries like a car accident, your damages are tax-free. Section 104 of the tax code shields damages for personal physical injuries and physical sickness. Before 1996 “personal” damages were tax-free, meaning emotional distress, defamation and many other legal injuries. But since 1996 your injury must be “physical” to be tax-free, and the IRS says your injuries must be visible. See Tax-Free Physical Sickness Recoveries in 2010 and Beyond, Vol. 128, No. 8, Tax Notes (August 23, 2010), p. 883.
This “observable bodily harm” standard generally means that if you sue your employer for sexual harassment involving rude comments or even fondling, that’s not physical enough for the IRS. Taxpayers routinely argue in U.S. Tax Court that their damages are sufficiently physical to be tax-free; the IRS usually wins these cases. See Bruises, Settlements, and the Proposed 104 Regs, Vol. 124, No. 13, Tax Notes (September 28, 2009), p. 1337.
Distinguish between money you receive for physical symptoms of emotional distress (like headaches and stomachaches) and physical injuries or sickness. Still, these lines are not clear. See Symptoms of Emotional Distress vs. Sickness: Sheep From Goats, Vol. 17, No. 4, California Tax Lawyer (Fall 2008), p. 26. For example, if in settling an employment dispute you receive $50,000 extra because your employer gave you an ulcer, is an ulcer physical or is it merely a symptom of your emotional distress? Many plaintiffs end up taking aggressive positions on their tax returns, claiming damages of this nature as tax-free.
Beware Attorney Fees! If you use a contingent fee lawyer, you’ll usually be treated (for tax purposes) as receiving 100% of the recovery even if the defendant pays your lawyer his contingent fee directly. If your case is fully nontaxable (say an auto accident in which you’re injured), that won’t cause any tax problems. But if your recovery is taxable, beware.
Example: Suppose you settle a suit for intentional infliction of emotional distress against your neighbor for $100,000, and your lawyer keeps $40,000. You might think you’d have $60,000 of income. Instead, you’ll have $100,000 of income, followed by a $40,000 miscellaneous itemized deduction. You’ll be subject to numerous limitations, including the alternative minimum tax (AMT) that can whittle your deduction down to nothing.
That’s why many clients say they are paying tax on lawyer’s fees they never received. See Attorney Fee Deduction Problems Remain, Vol. 130, No. 6, Tax Notes (February 7, 2011), p. 707. With high legal fees and costs and the AMT, some clients actually lose money after tax by winning a lawsuit. See Spina v. Forest Preserve Dist. of Cook County. There are some routes out of this mess, but get some professional help and be careful. See AMT Problems For Attorney Fees Remain.
Wrongful Imprisonment? Let’s return to the Duke stars and more serious cases of long term wrongful conviction and imprisonment. What is the tax treatment of those awards? Unclear, and that’s a real travesty. See Tax-Free Wrongful Imprisonment Recoveries, Vol. 130, No. 8, Tax Notes (February 21, 2011), p. 961. Wrongful Imprisonment Tax Ruling Stirs Controversy, Forbes.com (November 17, 2010).
|chatham||Feb 28 2011, 03:40 PM Post #16|
||Sorry but I just cant remember everything, but did not Reade designate the money he received from Duke to help the falsely accused? If that is correct why doesn't the media mention that?|
|abb||Feb 28 2011, 04:13 PM Post #17|
Cooper defense makes last-minute attempts for information
By Anne Blythe - Staff writer
Published in: Wake County
Bradley Cooper, 37, listens as motions are made before jury selection begins on Monday, February 28, in his trial for first-degree murder in the July 12, 2008, death of his wife Nancy Cooper.
RALEIGH The defense team representing Brad Cooper, the Cary man accused of killing his wife in 2008, made a flurry of last-minute attempts to get information from the State Bureau of Investigation and investigators from the city and county.
Howard Kurtz, one of Cooper's attorneys, complained, as he has in the past, that he has not received all the evidence associated with the murder case.
In subpoenas that went out Friday, Cooper's defense team sought any correspondence from a 31-month period between the SBI and Cary police and the City County Bureau of Identification and Cary police.
Lawyers for the SBI and CCBI argued the requests for too broad and overly burdensome.
Kurtz argued that attempts by the SBI, in particular, to not turn over the correspondence conflicted with statements from leaders in the agency since a consultant's report revealed problems with lab procedures and tests.
Kurtz said the SBI had claimed a "new day had dawned," that there would be more transparency. Requests to quash the subpoenas, Kurtz argued, were attempts to "again hide the same old ball."
Judge Paul Gessner, the Wake County Superior Court judge overseeing the trial, quashed the subpoenas this morning, saying the requests for such evidence had been addressed in previous court hearings associated with the case.
Cooper, in the courtroom beside his defense team, has been incarcerated since October 2008, when he was arrested and charged with murdering Nancy Cooper.
Nancy Cooper was reported missing on July 12, 2008. Her husband told investigators his wife had gone jogging and never returned home.
A man walking his dog two days later found the 34-year-old mother-of-two's body in an undeveloped subdivision less than three miles from the Coopers’ Lochmere home.
An autopsy determined that she had likely been strangled.
The trial comes several weeks after Cooper's lawyers unsuccessfully sought intervention from the state Court of Appeals.
Friends and family said the husband and wife had been having marital difficulties. A search warrant written by a Cary police investigator noted that Nancy Cooper wanted a divorce after her husband admitted having an affair.
Financial troubles also were revealed in civil court proceedings that year.
Nancy Cooper's parents, Garry and Donna Rentz, sought and won custody of the couple's two daughters, Isabella "Bella" and Gabriella "Katie" Cooper. The children were 5 and 2 years old at the time of their mother's death.
In a state where all police evidence is supposed to be turned over to the defense before trial, Cooper's attorneys complained several weeks ago to the state Court of Appeals that they awaited information from prosecutors.
The lawyers complained that they had not received information:
• That bears on the issue of whether Nancy Cooper, the defendant's spouse, was alive the morning she was reported missing.
• About a married man with whom defense lawyers contend Nancy Cooper had an extramarital affair with in 2005.
• About conversations they contend law enforcement officers and prosecutors received from lawyers representing Nancy Cooper 's family in civil actions that occurred before Brad Cooper 's arrest in October 2008.
[email protected] or 919 836-4948
|chatham||Feb 28 2011, 09:51 PM Post #18|
NYT: Federal grand jury could soon indict John Edwards... Developing...
Edwards Lies Low, but That Won’t Last
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