(Photo: NBC Charlotte)
Summer, a senior at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, North Carolina, was suspended from school and banned from her own graduation because she wore a shirt that showed her collarbones and part of her back. Summer, who is an honor roll student with a 4.4 GPA, said that the principal saw her shirt and told her to put on a jacket. She told NBC Charlotte that even though she thought the shirt was fine to wear, she complied with the principal s request. However, the principal didn t seem to be satisfied and insisted that she had to change her shirt entirely or face discipline.
I completely understand why a dress code is put into place but I feel like after I put on that jacket it should have been subdued, Summer said.
Because Summer had experienced a number of issues with her principal before, she asked that the principal call her mother rather than force her to come to the office to change her shirt. Since they could not reach her mother, Summer went on to class. But then during an assembly, the principal came in with a security guard and told everyone to leave but Summer.
[The security guard] was within five feet of me, he had his hand on his gun, Summer said. [The principal] said I m gonna give you an ultimatum. We have tried to call your mother. You either come with me to the control room to change your shirt or we will arrest you. Thankfully, Summer s mother called just before Summer would have been handcuffed. Although she was not arrested, she was suspended for ten days and barred from school activities, including graduation.
It s just sad because I worked so hard for four years to walk across that stage, she said. We have drug dealers walking across that stage, we have sex offenders walking across that stage and then the 4.4 student who showed her shoulders can t.
West Virginia man charged with fraud after allegedly listing stolen Gardnerpaintings for sale on Craigslist
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum paintings stolen 27 years ago miraculously popped up for sale in a recent Craigslist poster ad. That is, until the poster was charged with fraud. A West Virginia man was arrested Monday on fraud charges related to a scheme in which he attempted to solicit buyers via Craiglist for the stolen paintings, Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee” and Vermeer s “The Concert,” the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney s Office said in a statement.
Todd Andrew Desper, 47, went by the alias Mordokwan on the classified ad website and solicited buyers in foreign cities like Venice and London. Interested buyers were told to create an encrypted email in order to communicate with him, according to the attorney’s office. Individuals who wanted to help the recovery of the artwork, as well as those who wanted the $5 million reward offered by the museum, contacted the authorities about the Craigslist postings, officials said. The security director for the Gardner contacted Desper to see whether he really had the stolen masterpieces, according to the feds. Desper told the director to send a cashier s check for $5 million to a West Virginia location and claimed the painting “Storm on the Sea of Galilee” would be sent in return, hidden behind another artwork.
The combined value of the 13 pieces of art stolen in the infamous 1990 Gardner heist is an estimated $500 million. The investigation concluded that Desper had no access to or information about the stolen artwork and instead was conducting a multimillion dollar fraud scheme by targeting foreign art buyers, officials said. Desper was charged in federal court in Boston with wire fraud and attempted wire fraud. He was arrested at his home in Beckley, West Virginia, on Monday and held in custody overnight.
He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He is set to appear in federal court in the District of Massachusetts on June 9. On March 18, 1990, two men dressed as police officers entered the Gardner Museum and tied up the security guard, proceeding to steal 13 pieces of art including Degas sketches, a Rembrandt piece and a Vermeer painting that was one of only 36 in existence. The estimated $500 million value of the stolen works makes the heist the largest property crime in U.S. history.
Saying she wants to “restore honor” to the sheriff’s department, Beth Smith on Friday announced she is vying to become the first female sheriff in the 300-year history of the office. Smith, a former lieutenant in the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office, will challenge incumbent Sheriff Ron Bateman, who was acquitted last year of allegations that he assaulted his wife. Smith said she believes “it’s time for a change” in the sheriff’s office.
“I feel that I can bring that change smoothly because of my experience,” she said.
The Republican from Riviera Beach spent 13 years in the sheriff’s office, where in 1995 she was the first woman to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant. The rest of her career has also been focused on law enforcement. Smith, who grew up in West Virginia, joined the Army when she was 18 years old. She served for four years in the military police, rising to the rank of sergeant and working as guard commander of the military jail at Fort George G. Meade.
After she was honorably discharged, Smith decided she wanted to make Anne Arundel County her home. She worked in security for Loyola College before joining the sheriff’s office. During her time there, Smith helped to create a K-9 unit that trains dogs to sniff for potential bombs in the courthouse. Other initiatives she developed include a supervised visitation program for children whose parents are divorced, a program to help senior citizens navigate the courts system and the county’s first victim witness protection plan. Smith, 54, now works as a court liaison representing landlords in disputes with tenants. She also coordinates security for the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville each summer.
She said she wants to run for sheriff to “bring respect and integrity back to the office.”
“It’s lacking, and I think that I can make that different,” she said. “I couldn’t sit back and not do anything when I feel the way I do about service.”
Smith is the second candidate to announce a challenge in 2018 to Bateman, a Republican who has said he plans to run for re-election. Lt. Jim Fredericks, also a Republican and an officer with the Anne Arundel County Police Department, announced his candidacy in September. Bateman made headlines last year after his wife, Elsie Bateman, called police to the couple’s home and alleged he had assaulted her during an argument. She issued a statement soon afterward that backtracked on the accusation. Bateman denied any wrongdoing and refused to resign, despite calls from state and local Republicans that he do so. Three months later, a District Court judge acquitted the sheriff of a second-degree assault charge after the county prosecutor agreed not to present evidence against him in exchange for a pledge that Bateman would complete counseling.
In January, Elsie Bateman wrote an open letter in which she apologized to her husband, the sheriff’s department and others, and said she will “stop at nothing” to make sure they know “just how truly very sorry I am from the bottom of my heart.”
Smith said she would prioritize reducing the county’s backlog of warrants if she is elected. Bateman told council members this month that he has started to make a dent in the number of unserved warrants despite increases in the number of warrants issued, reducing the backlog from 13,000 when he started to 11,000 today. Smith said she believes the process could move faster. “Papers need to be served because, without the papers being served, cases aren’t heard in court and people don’t get their justice,” she said. She also promised to focus on improving security at the county’s courthouse and offering support to victims of domestic violence.
Smith has $107,248 in her campaign coffers, according to paperwork filed in January. Of that, $75,000 comes from loans she made to her campaign. She has a fundraiser scheduled for Wednesday at EcoAdventures in Millersville.
The primary election is June 26, 2018.