• Current and former students of University of California, Los Angeles professor Val Rust came to his defense after about 25 other students staged a “sit in” in one of his classes. The protesters claimed to be drawing attention to the “toxic” racial climate in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Rust said the protesters told him that the corrections of grammar and spelling he made on their work was a form of “micro-aggression.”
• The Fairfax County, Va., school system says it is investigating a high school football coach who allegedly ran the school’s marching band off the field during a halftime performance. The Annandale High School band had just begun its second number when coach Mike Allen, his assistant coaches and some players reportedly began screaming at the band members to get off the field. Allen then began shaking the podium that the drum majors use. The band finished that song and left the field, finishing their performance after the game was over. The football team lost the game 55-14 and ended its season with just one win. The band just won its second state championship.
• Minneapolis City Pages says a “Democratic source” sent it four-year-old photos of Stewart Mills hitting a beer bong. Mills, 41, is considered the likely Republican nominee for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District and could challenge Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan next year.
• The Chicago City Council has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Eric Caine. Caine spent 25 years in prison after cops beat him into confessing to the murders of two elderly people. All told, the city has paid out almost $70 million to settle a series of lawsuits relating to the torture of suspects by police.
• The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has long allowed workers to take more than the 10 paid sick days they are given each year. In 2012, 10 percent of employees took at least 10 extra sick days, and more than 220 took an extra 20 days of sick leave, according to the Los Angeles Times. All told, all that extra sick leave has cost the agency some $35.5 million since 2010.
• Philadelphia police officer Tamika Gross made headlines about four years ago while answering a call about a domestic dispute. At the scene, she got angry at a woman and challenged her to a fight. Despite literally being almost twice the other woman’s size, Gross got the worst of the fight until other officers jumped in. Gross is back in the headlines for fighting, but this time it was off duty. Her 16-year-old daughter got into a fight at school with a 14-year-old. The daughter, who apparently fights like her mom, was reportedly getting the worst of it, so Gross jumped in hitting the younger girl. A local newspaper reports that Gross’ personnel file is full of complaints by neighbors and acquaintances that she uses her job to intimidate them, as well as a police department Internal Affairs report from last year that found she has a pattern of getting involved when her children get into disputes with other youth.
Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.