News Stories

Off-site news items.

Couple: Race motivated arson that destroyed home

July 27, 1998
Larry Flemming just wanted what most other husbands and fathers want: a nice home in a nice neighborhood. A place his two sons can grow up calling home. Nothing more, nothing less.
     Flemming's dream was shattered early Thursday morning when his
home of just over a month went up in flames. It was completely destroyed, along with most of the family's furniture and clothing.
     Firefighters ruled the fire an arson. Flemming, who is black, believes it was racially motivated. 

Klan must pay $37.8 million in black church arson

July 24, 1998
Ku Klux Klansmen must pay $37.8 million for creating a climate of hate that led to a fire that destroyed a predominantly black church, a jury decided today.
     The verdict went beyond the $25.2 million in damages sought by Macedonia Baptist Church for the June 1995 fire. The jury of nine blacks and three whites deliberated just 45 minutes.
     The verdict includes $300,000 in actual damages and $37.5 million in punitive damages against KKK organizations in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Fed schedules public hearing on bank merger

July 23, 1998
A rare public hearing has been scheduled by the Federal Reserve Board to hear objections to the proposed $29.8 billion merger of First Chicago NBD and Columbus-based Banc One.
     The hearing will be held August 13 in Chicago.
     Suzanne Heffner, spokeswoman for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published today that 41 groups had requested the hearing.
     The merger has been criticized by fair-lending groups as a threat to
competitive lending practices. 

Largest apartment builder settles accessibility suit

July 21, 1998
The nation's largest home builder, Pulte Corp., agreed Tuesday to build multi-family housing accessible to the disabled in what Justice Department officials called a "landmark agreement" under the Fair Housing Act.
     The out-of-court agreement calls for Pulte to build accessible housing nationwide, compensate disabled home buyers who were denied housing, and correct design flaws in large housing developments in Florida, Illinois and Virginia.

Two neighborhoods feud over future of street

July 20, 1998
There's much that separates the single-family homes of Mount Vernon Woods in southeast Fairfax County from the sprawling Sequoyah condominium complex -- an elementary school, a park and some tall fences with barbed wire.
     They also are separated by race and economics. Mount Vernon Woods is a mostly white, largely middle-class neighborhood of modest ramblers.
Many of those who own two-story condominiums in Sequoyah are black or Hispanic, and some residents are renters who receive federal housing assistance.
     The only physical connection between them is Fielding Street. Now, that link may be cut.
     Longtime residents of Mount Vernon Woods have persuaded officials to barricade the road, saying that blocking through traffic will reduce crime in their neighborhood. But the plan has brought charges of racism from some in Sequoyah. 

Study: senior housing creates less traffic, not more

July 20, 1998
It might seem that a housing project full of seniors who need special care would have very few automobiles. Yet critics of new projects often complain that such developments will bring more cars, owned by the employees and relatives who tend to seniors in assisted-living housing.
      But that is not the case, according to a new study conducted by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), which refutes the belief that assisted-living properties generate high volumes of traffic. Dubbed "Assisted Living Residences: A Study of Traffic and Parking Implications," the study finds lower traffic volume and less parking space demand for assisted living properties compared to single-family homes and apartment communities.

Condo association wants boy in wheelchair out

July 19, 1998
A condominium board has told the family of a 12-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy they have to leave, complaining that his wheelchair damages the property.
     The family of Dorian Couturier had been renting an apartment at the Oceancrest condo for two years, but their lease is up at the end of the month.
     They wanted to buy another unit, but the board voted 6-0 to block the sale last week, saying it had 17 complaints about Dorian from owners and eight complaints by the condo security staff.
     ``Because he's in a wheelchair doesn't give him the right to break the rules,'' board member James Walden said.

Disabled couple sues village for front drive

July 18, 1998
George and Astrid Dadian lived in Wilmette for nearly 40 years until disabilities forced them to think about changing their house and adding a front driveway to accommodate their medical needs and Astrid's wheelchair.
     The neighbors didn't have a problem with it, but the village did.   The couple, now in their 70s, had hoped to tear down their home and build a handicapped-accessible ranch home, complete with ramps, an attached garage and front driveway.
     The couple sued Wilmette in federal court Friday, after the village recently voted against giving them a front driveway permit. The lawsuit claims the village violated state and federal laws--including the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Lenders object to proposed consumer rights laws

July 17, 1998
Home equity lenders are bracing for a government report expected to tell the U.S. Congress how to crack down on unfair lending practices.
     The most controversial option under review would give consumers the right to sue lenders under federal law for unfair and deceptive practices, an easier legal test than suing for fraud, according to industry lobbyists and consumer activists.
     Banks, finance companies and other lenders say that would lead to an explosion of unnecessary lawsuits over perceived lending problems.
"It's a trial lawyers' dream," said Wright H. Andrews Jr., a prominent Washington lobbyist hired by National Home Equity Mortgage Association. 


Subscribe to RSS - News Stories