As we stop to celebrate 90 years of The Ranger, advisers began to think back to some of our favorite stories. We thought we would put together a Top 10 list, but 10 wasn’t nearly enough.
Here they are in no particular order:
“‘We are not giving the district 60 acres’” by Laura Jesse Oct. 20, 2000, revealed the district had been hoodwinked and did not have land for a Northeast Side college.
“Indictments” by John Lauricella Oct. 25, 2002, detailed the charges of organized crime and bribery indictments against three trustees.
“Maintenance men allege personnel, supplies misused” by Trent Everett and Richard Smith April 14, 1978, told of district employees working at a trustee’s home during work hours. This incident led to creation of the district’s personal use policy and the eventual conviction of a trustee for embezzlement.
“Report goes to DA; Interim chancellor accused of personal use violation” by John Lauricella Feb. 21, 2003, was déjà vu all over again when the interim chancellor bought plants tax free through the district and had them planted at his home.
“Misuse led to policy” by Emily Foley Feb. 28, 2003, recounts the history of the 1978 incident that led to the district’s personal use policy.
“90%-plus no confidence” by Vanessa M. Sanchez and Jason Hogan Sept. 18, 2009, reported on a districtwide vote of no confidence in the chancellor. Of course, that prompted trustees to give the chancellor a pay raise.
“Student life director demands payment for interviews” by J. Almendarez and Joshua Fechter Nov. 7, 2011, detailed the director of student life backpedaling through excuses after asking to be paid for an interview with The Ranger. The story reached a national audience through Gawker and Huffington Post and earned a Bum Steer from Texas Monthly.
“Chancellor envisions district headquarters as ‘Playland’” by J. Almendarez Oct. 3, 2008, in which the chancellor sees the former amusement park as a new district headquarters complete with retail and some top programs like culinary arts and massage therapy on site.
“Former district official pleads guilty to theft” by Angela Covo Feb. 18, 2005, reported on payments to family members including an infant grandson that led to jail time. The official also had to make restitution for almost $900,000.
“Missing funds spark Koehler investigation” by Laura Jesse Oct. 4, 1996, also profiled missing money, this time from rental of the Koehler Cultural Center.
“You’ve got to be kidding” by Raul Ambrose, Edmond Ortiz and Kin Man Hui April 18, 1995, spot news reporting on a 5.4 earthquake that shook campus, which sits on the Balcones Fault.
“Retirement gag order illegal, professor says” on retirees by J. Almendarez Sept. 26, 2011, gave old-timers a hefty early retirement package in exchange for their silence when it came to negatives about the district.
“Disabled Student Injured” by Elaine Aradillas Sept. 10, 1993, brought The Ranger heavy criticism for a photograph of a student in a wheelchair who fell from the second floor of Moody Learning Center, but in the best newspaper tradition we covered it to prevent it from happening again.
“Assistant director of utilities unqualified” by Karen Littleton Dec. 1, 1989, reported on The Ranger uncovering missing credentials of the engineer who was not an engineer and resulted in the resignations of an architect and physical plant director.
“Police chief fails to meet certification requirements” by Adrian C. Zamarron March 1, 1991, revealed the chief was not licensed in Texas.
“District gives widow the boot” by Larissa Robinson Oct. 21, 2005, covered the district’s acquisition of a home by imminent domain to make way for NE Lakeview.
“Trustee goes to court on assault charges” by Christopher Quinn March 5, 1998, reported on a domestic violence situation.
“Chemistry professor sues district for more” by Angela Covo Sept. 9, 2005, relates the five-year saga of a professor dismissed for sexual harassment who sued the district twice for not following its own firing policies. After winning a $150,000 settlement, he wanted reinstatement of his job and $650,000.
“NE Lakeview librarian fatally shot Monday” by Renny Murrell, Natalie Olivares and Brianna Roberts Oct. 17, 2008, reported on the shooting by a part-time library employee.