Flooded N.C. Town to Rebuild
PRINCEVILLE, N.C.--Two months after Hurricane Floyd's floodwaters destroyed 850 homes in this historic town founded by freed slaves, Princeville has decided to rebuild rather than accept a government buyout that might have dismantled the community.
The town Board of Commissioners voted 3 to 2 Monday to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild the dike that was swamped by the Tar River in September. The project will cost an estimated $5 million.
"This is our heritage, and this is where we plan to stay," Mayor Delia Perkins said yesterday while visiting a center where Thanksgiving turkeys were being handed out to victims of the worst flooding in North Carolina history. "From Day One, we said we were rebuilding."
The town of 2,100 people, founded after the Civil War by freed slaves in a swamp across the river from Tarboro, had to decide whether to ask the Corps of Engineers to repair the 34-year-old dike, or seek a federal buyout of destroyed property so residents could move to higher ground. It could not do both.
2 Teens Accused of Racial Killing
GOSHEN, Ind.--Two white teenagers were charged with murder in what prosecutors said was a racially motivated drive-by shooting of a black teenager in Elkhart.
A newspaper reported that the victim was killed in an effort by one of the defendants to gain membership in a white supremacist organization.
At a court appearance, a judge entered not-guilty pleas for the alleged gunman, Jason Powell, 19, and his friend, Alex Witmer, 18. Neither had an attorney. In court papers, police said the two confessed.
Prosecutor Mike Christofeno said that the "victim was entirely random. It could have been any black person or any minority person." Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty.
The victim, Sasezley Richardson, 19, was walking home from a shopping mall last Wednesday, carrying diapers for his girlfriend's baby, when Witmer drove by and Powell shot him, investigators said. He died Saturday.
Schools Take Down Commandments
SANTA ANA, Calif.--A school board reversed its decision to post the Ten Commandments in district offices, saying it could not afford to fight a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Val Verde Board of Education in Riverside County, east of Santa Ana, voted unanimously on Monday to overturn votes it made in September and October to display the commandments.
The ACLU sued the board last week on behalf of several parents, referring to the 1980 Supreme Court ruling that posting the Ten Commandments in schools amounted to government promotion of religion.
The school board is still concerned about "student lack of respect for parents, teachers and . . . fellow students," said its president, Robert Givens. But he said the district could not afford to defend its decision in court.
The ACLU will likely drop the lawsuit after it is assured the board will not resurrect the idea at the next meeting. Three similar lawsuits are pending in Kentucky.