Governor vows fight over school funding

A controversial plan to shift billions of dollars in school funds toward the poorest school districts is fast becoming a personal mission for Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who this week promised “the battle of their lives” to legislators who dare to oppose it.

Brown’s program would also allow local administrators to spend their money as they see fit — a vast change from the current system. The proposed system has caught the attention of school activists across the nation who say California would be among a few states to emphasize the needs of disadvantaged students so emphatically while also allowing local control of the money.

The proposal is set against a backdrop of financial pain in California’s 10,000 schools. Activists, teachers unions and parent groups are all calling for changes. In recent weeks, numerous education bills have been proposed and suspended, including two that would tie teacher evaluations to student performance.

— Reuters

Mormon bishop with blade spooks suspect

A miscreant in Salt Lake City came face to face with a Mormon bishop wielding a samurai sword this past week, according to reports.

Kent Hendrix said his teenage son pounded on his bedroom door Wednesday and told him that somebody was being mugged in front of their house. Hendrix, a fourth-degree black belt and martial-arts instructor, grabbed a 29-inch-long sword and went to investigate.

As his son called 911, Hendrix, 47, who is a Mormon bishop, discovered a fight between a woman and a man, he said. He raised his weapon and told the man to get on the ground, Hendrix told the Los Angeles Times. “I drew on him and he backpedaled,” Hendrix said, “and he jumped into the ivy, saying: ‘I’m leaving! I’m leaving! I’m leaving!’ The man ran to his car and fled.

Grant Eggersten, 37, surrendered to police an hour later and was booked on charges of robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.

— McClatchy/Tribune

Officials to search alley for 9/11 remains

The New York City medical examiner’s office plans to search for human remains from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in an alley behind a mosque near the World Trade Center where airplane landing gear was discovered recently.

The rusted piece of landing gear is believed to be from one of two hijacked airliners that destroyed the twin towers, killing thousands of people.

The chief medical examiner’s spokeswoman, Ellen Borakove, said a search for human remains is to begin Tuesday morning.

— Associated Press