Creditors lay claim to Brown's estate

Attorneys involved in the lengthy battle over the estate of the late soul singer James Brown say the estate is in serious financial decline.

Attorneys had hoped to announce Thursday the filing of a long-awaited settlement over how to parcel out Brown's estate. Instead, several creditors testified in court they are owed money. It's unclear how much Brown's estate owes. Trustees declined to provide figures to The Associated Press on Thursday. But several lawyers involved in the case say the late soul singer's accounts have little money in them.

Louis Levenson, an attorney for Brown's adult children, says future business deals will help create wealth for the estate


Associated Press

Meck briefs


Math students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are outshining their peers around the globe, according to a study released Thursday.

The report, compiled by the American Institute for Research, shows that students in only five of 24 other countries studied did better than CMS students in fourth grade and only nine of 43 others studied did better in eighth grade.

In fourth grade, only math students in Singapore, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Belgium did better than CMS, according to the analysis of two highly respected tests – the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.

CMS fourth-graders did better, on average, than their peers in the United States and those in England, Italy, Australia, Scotland and other countries. In eighth grade, only math students in Singapore, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary and Estonia did better than CMS students.

Eric Frazier

Queens University's school of education now has a new name: The Wayland H. Cato Jr. School of Education.

The change came because Cato, the retired president and CEO of Charlotte-based clothing chain Cato, has committed $2.5 million to the school, Queens announced Thursday. The Cato corporation, which Wayland Cato Jr. helped found, has also pledged $500,000 for the school's scholarship endowment.

Though Queens has long offered teacher and administrator training programs, the newly christened Cato School became a separate unit of the university in May, joining arts and sciences, communications, business, nursing and adult and evening schools.

Jen Aronoff

Regional briefs

Gaston County


Gastonia fire Chief Kenneth Lay has resigned to become chief of Fishers, Ind.

Gastonia Assistant City Manager George Wood said Thursday that Lay will stay on the job in Gastonia until Nov. 7.

Lay joined the Fire Department in May 2005. He was formerly fire chief in Jackson, Tenn.

Fishers, population about 60,000, is 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Wood said an interim fire chief will be appointed soon.

Meanwhile, Gastonia Police Chief Terry Sult's last day on the job is today. He is leaving to become police chief of Sandy Springs, Ga., outside Atlanta.

Assistant Chief Tim Adams has been named interim police chief.

Joe DePriest

Jackson County


Police have charged two Western Carolina University students with misdemeanors after a dead bear was dumped on campus with Barack Obama campaign yard signs covering its head.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Thursday that 20-year-old Marvin Caleb Williams of Wilkesboro and 18-year-old Matthew Colton Williams of Cullowhee are charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and a wildlife act without a license or permit.

Authorities say the disorderly conduct charge falls under a state statute which involves any action “that disrupts, disturbs or interferes with the teaching of students at any public or private educational institution.”

The two face a Nov. 18 court date.

Maintenance workers found the 75-pound bear cub in front of the school's administration building Monday morning. The signs were stapled together and placed over the bear's head.

Associated Press

South Carolina


S.C. state senators have unanimously approved $488 million in budget cuts that carve into health care and college spending plans.

Under the plan approved this week by the House and which was given the nod Thursday in the Senate, state colleges alone lose $123 million and health care programs lose about $160 million.

The changes to the $7 billion spending plan must be approved by Gov. Mark Sanford. He will decide whether to veto items in the 60-page bill.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman persuaded legislators Thursday not to try to amend the proposed changes. He said that could prompt school budget cuts and teacher layoffs.

Associated Press