Nation digest: Mo. governor replaces public safety chief

August 27
MISSOURI
Nixon replaces public safety chief

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) appointed a new state public safety director Wednesday, giving his administration its only black Cabinet member nearly three weeks after the shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer led to protests in a St. Louis suburb.

The governor said former St. Louis police chief Daniel Isom II will take over as director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety on Sept. 1. He will replace Jerry Lee, who resigned after almost three years as director.

The move comes after Nixon faced criticism for the lack of racial diversity among his department leaders and for the state’s response to protesters and looters following the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

He did not say whether the leadership change was related to the events in Ferguson, and he denied forcing Lee to resign.

— Associated Press

LOUISIANA
Jindal sues U.S. over Common Core

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing the U.S. Department of Education of illegally coercing states to adopt the Common Core academic standards by requiring states that want to compete for federal grants to embrace the national standards.

Jindal also accused the department and Education Secretary Arne Duncan of forcing states to adopt the Common Core standards to win a waiver from restrictive aspects of No Child Left Behind, the federal education law.

In both cases, the federal government violated the 10th amendment of the Constitution, which strikes the balance between federal and states’ rights, as well as federal laws that prohibit Washington from interferring with local control over curriculum and other aspects of public education, Jindal alleges in his complaint.

Jindal, a potential Republican presidential candidate, was once a strong supporter of the Common Core standards, but he has become increasingly critical as popular opposition to the standards has grown.

— Lyndsey Layton

THE MILITARY
General to retire with one fewer star

An Army general will be stripped of a star and forced to retire as punishment for mishandling sexual-misconduct complaints against a subordinate, the Army said Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison Sr., a former commander of Army forces in Japan, will have to retire as a brigadier general, effectively a demotion that will cost him pension benefits. The decision was made by Army Secretary John M. McHugh after a lengthy review. Officers can retire only at a rank in which they are deemed to have served satisfactorily.

— Craig Whitlock


‘Cops’ crew member killed:
Police officers who opened fire while disrupting a robbery at a fast-food restaurant in Omaha killed a crew member with the TV show “Cops” as well as the suspect, who was armed with a pellet gun that they thought was real, authorities said.

The suspect fired from the pellet gun before officers shot back, Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said at a news conference.

The suspect, whom police identified as Cortez Washington, 32, was struck by the officers’ gunfire but fled outside of the restaurant before collapsing. Officers continued firing on the suspect as he exited the restaurant, and that was when the “Cops” crew member, Bryce Dion, 38, was also struck, said Schamaderer.

— Associated Press

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