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Charlotte School Of Law Hires New Interim Dean; Meck County Commission Approves 1.7B Budget

Paul Megget will become Charlotte School of Law's third dean in as many months. Meanwhile, the Mecklenburg County Commission has approved two budget plans, one a $1.7 billion operating budget for FY2018, the other a $1.5 billion long-term capital improvement plan. And, the proposed North Carolina state budget continues to move quickly through the General Assembly.

Here are Wednesday afternoon's top headlines on WFAE.

Charlotte School Of Law Hires New Interim Dean

Paul Megget has been hired as the Charlotte School of Law's new interim dean. He currently works as an associate professor at the school, and he becomes the third person to serve as dean in three months.

The previous two deans, Jay Conison and Scott Broyles, both steppeddown amid ongoing troubles at the school. In an interview with WFAE following his resignation, Broyles said he was exasperated with the position.

"It was basically a situation where if I can't do something positive, then there's no particular reason for me to stay in this position," he said, "It was very, very frustrating to see the students' financial situation decline daily without the federal funds and my inability to move the needle in that regard."

Last year, the law school was placed on probation by the American Bar Association due to problems with admission, curriculum, and bar exam test scores. And in December, the U.S. Department of Education temporarily put student aid on hold, the first time an accredited law school lost access to the student loan program.

Mecklenburg County Approves FY2018 Budget, FY2019-23 Capital Improvement Plan

Mecklenburg County commissioners last night approved a $1.7 billion operating budget - and a capital spending plan that totals $1.5 billion.

The budget keeps the county's property tax rate steady for the coming fiscal year.  It also calls for a $922 million bond referendum to be placed on the ballot this fall to fund construction of 10 new CMS schools and renovations of others.

The improvement plan would replace six of the district's oldest schools including West Charlotte High School and several elementary schools.  The county's newly-approved operating budget gives CMS more than $15 million in additional funding  - less than the $27 million increase the district had requested.  

Final State Budget On Track For Passage, Cooper's Desk

The North Carolina state budget appears on track to reach Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's desk before the week's end.

The Senate is expected to give its final approval on Wednesday to the two-year spending plan negotiated by General Assembly Republicans, a day after the chamber gave it tentative approval. The House scheduled its two required votes for Wednesday and Thursday.

Cooper will have to decide whether to veto the measure he's already criticized for spending too little on public education and for cutting income taxes again for the wealthy and corporations. But Republicans point out nearly everyone - including low and middle-income people - would pay less in taxes under the bill.

Not all Democrats agree with Cooper - four Democratic senators, including mayoral candidate Joel Ford, joined Republicans on Tuesday by voting for the measure.

Former South Carolina Rep. Skipper Perry Dies At 77

Flags were at half staff across South Carolina on Wednesday in salute to former state Rep. Skipper Perry, who died on Father's Day at 77.

Jason Hucks of Shellhouse Funeral Home said Perry died at an Aiken hospital of natural causes, surrounded by family. Perry represented Aiken for 10 years in the House, retiring in 2008. The Republican was an Aiken city councilman from 1971 to 1987 and mayor pro tem from 1989 to 1999. Perry's funeral was held on Wednesday.

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