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The California Attorney General's office has charged Huey Newton, head of the Black Panthers organization, with eight counts of felony embezzlement involving a $250,000 California Department of Education grant the Black Panthers used to fund a community-learning center for disadvantaged youths in Oakland.

Mr. Newton is also being investigated for allegedly using $50,000 worth of bonds he controlled for a charity to secure his bail on an illegal-weapons charge.

The embezzlement was discovered when an employee of the Educational Opportunities Corporation, a charitable trust set up by the Black Panthers to run the Oakland center, complained to the department of education that the grant money had not arrived and was told that the money had already been sent.

Mr. Newton has pleaded not guilty to the embezzlement charges and is awaiting a preliminary hearing.

The head of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis has written a warm letter of congratulation to J. Donald Dorough, superintendent of the Sanger (Calif.) Unified School District, for his high school's unusually successful record of placing graduates at the nation's premier naval college. In the last five years, noted Rear Admiral C.R. Larson, superintendent of the academy, four of 10 applicants from Sanger have been offered appointments to the academy. And this year--in a statistic that "sets Sanger High apart from any of the other high schools in the country," the Admiral wrote--all eight of Sanger's applicants will receive offers to participate in Naval Academy programs.

"The ability of a small rural school such as Sanger High to produce high-caliber students reflects great credit on your school system," the Admiral wrote, and on the high school's professor of naval science, Capt. John L. Nicholson, U.S.N., retired.


The director of special education for the Nogales (Ariz.) Unified School District, Marcelino Varona Jr., was elected mayor of the city in a run-off election early this month.

Mr. Varona won the election by a vote of 1,405 to 1,280, according to Robert Saldamando, assistant administrator for the city. He will be sworn in as mayor on June 3.

The job pays about $50 per month, Mr. Saldamando said, and Mr. Varona will keep his position with the school district. He has been with the Nogales schools for the last five years, four of them as a classroom teacher.


John W. Gardner, secretary of health, education, and welfare dur-ing the Johnson Administration and founder of the organization In-dependent Sector, has received the Ballington and Maud Booth Award of the Volunteers of America.

The award is presented every year to honor "distinguished service to humanity," according to a spokesman for the group. Volunteers of America is a national Christian human-services organization.

Mr. Gardner is currently involved in a five-year program of leadership studies sponsored by Independent Sector, a national organization to encourage volunteer and nonprofit initiatives. He is also a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, and the James Bryant Conant Fellow at the Education Commission of the States.

Mr. Gardner has served as president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and chairman of the National Urban Coalition, and is the founder of Common Cause. He is also the author of numerous books, the best known of which is Excellence, published in 1961.

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