News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Court Declines to Hear Case On Condemnation for School
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear the appeal of a man who charged that an Oregon school district deprived him of more than $6 million in mineral rights on property it took over in a condemnation proceeding. Curtis M. Hunter argued in court papers that he bought mineral rights to an 18- acre parcel some two years before the West Linn-Wilsonville school district filed a 1995 condemnation lawsuit against the main property owner. The 7,700-student district wanted the property to build a school. State courts in Oregon denied Mr. Hunter’s request to intervene in the condemnation proceeding. The Oregon Court of Appeals said Mr. Hunter could seek part of the $1.2 million condemnation award to the real property owner as compensation for his mineral rights. The justices declined without comment on Feb. 19 to hear his appeal in Hunter v. West Linn-Wilsonville School District (Case No. 01-814).
Bush Names HBCU Advisory Panel
President Bush has formed a new advisory board for historically black colleges and universities. The 21-member panel, sworn in Feb. 12, is charged with identifying ways to strengthen HBCUs and helping to provide first-rate educational opportunities for minority and disadvantaged students. Among its members are San Francisco schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and Ronald Francis Mason Jr., the president of Jackson State University, the alma mater of Secretary of Education Rod Paige. The executive order forming the panel also creates a White House initiative on HBCUs, to be housed at the Department of Education. Mr. Bush’s proposed Education Department budget for fiscal 2003 would provide a 3.6 percent increase for HBCUs, to $206 million.
—Erik W. Robelen
Vol. 21, Issue 24, Page 22