News & Reviews

"News & Reviews" Continued...

Issue: "Can the boom last?," Oct. 16, 1999
  • American Indian activist Russell Means has an answer to the liquor stores that surround his South Dakota reservation: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. He wants to form a nonprofit organization to open liquor stores, sell booze to fellow Indians, and use the profits to treat alcoholism. The Oglala Sioux have one of the nation's highest alcoholism-related mortality rates.
  • Is your child's teacher smoking weed on the side? With teen drug use commonplace in public schools, one district fought to the Supreme Court for the right to test prospective teachers for illegal substances. The justices made that fight pay off, as they turned away a lawsuit against the Knox County (Tenn.) Board of Education without comment, after officials argued that teachers must stay alert to ensure student safety. According to a plan adopted in 1994, all teachers, principals and assistant principals, teacher aides, school secretaries, and bus drivers must submit to urinalysis tests.
  • First Warren Beatty, now Oprah Winfrey? Some Reform Party members are campaigning to draft the talk-show mogul for the 2000 presidential race. "It is Jesse Ventura times 100," said draft committee chairman Paul Larsen, who claims she has more money, name recognition, and honesty than the ex-wrestler. A spokeswoman for Ms. Winfrey said she is not interested.
  • Vice President Al Gore's campaign chairman Tony Coelho has a big problem. His lawyer says Mr. Coelho never repaid about $100,000 of a $300,000 personal loan cited in a highly critical State Department report. That means American taxpayers could be stuck with repaying money borrowed from a Portuguese bank while Mr. Coelho was commissioner general for the U.S. pavilion at Expo98 in Lisbon, Portugal. The lawyer, Stanley Brand, contradicted an earlier report that the whole thing was paid off.
  • Bronx lunchroom cashier Linda Williams put $7 in her pants pocket and quickly discovered her employer would make a federal case of it. The Feds accused her of stealing from her job at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, then took the case to court-and lost. Ms. Williams said the money was change from the $10 bill she used to buy breakfast. Five government witnesses were called in for a trial that lasted one day before the judge ruled in favor of the defendant. She hopes to get her job back.


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