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Associated Press

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 9 at 12:00 AM

NAACP PRESIDENT

NAACP President Ben Jealous to step down this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Benjamin Jealous, the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, says he plans to step down by the end of the year.

Jealous announced his plans to resign on Sunday. He says he plans to pursue teaching at a university and spending time with his young family.

The Baltimore-based NAACP is the nation's largest civil rights organization. When Jealous was hired as its president at age 35, he became the youngest leader in the group's history.

Jealous is credited with improving the NAACP's finances and donor base over the past five years and for improving its outreach.

TAX LIEN FORECLOSURES

DC tax liens lead to hundreds of home foreclosures

(Information in the following story is from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An investigation has found the District of Columbia government is allowing private investors to pursue foreclose on hundreds of homes over unpaid tax bills, but many debts are less than $500.

The Washington Post reports the district government for decades has placed liens on properties when homeowners did not pay their tax bills. Liens are sold at auction for investors to collect the debts.

But the program has grown into a system where $500 tax bills morph into $5,000 debts. Investors charge homeowners thousands in fees.

Retired Marine Sgt. Bennie Coleman lost his home two years ago over a $134 property tax bill. Another woman lost her home to a Maryland investor over a tax debt of $45 while she was struggling with Alzheimer's.

Many foreclosures target poor neighborhoods.

FATAL FIRE

Fire that killed 2-year-old Va. girl accidental

MARION, Va. (AP) — Virginia State Police say a fire that killed a 2-year-old Smyth County girl has been ruled accidental.

State police tell media outlets that human error contributed to the fire at an apartment complex. No other details have been released.

The fire occurred last week at Country Club Crossing Apartments in Marion.

Police say 2-year-old Abigrail Dove Mardis was pronounced dead at the scene. Three family members were injured.

The fire began in the family's second-story apartment in one building. The fire then spread to three other apartments.

PLANE CRASH

Plane crashes at Va. airshow, no injuries

LOUISA, Va. (AP) — State and federal authorities are investigating a plane crash that occurred during an airshow at the Louisa County Airport.

Virginia State Police say the pilot, 53-year-old Bryon Stewart of Warrenton, and a 17-year-old female passenger from Brandy Station weren't injured.

The crash occurred Saturday as the 1929 Fleet fixed wing single-engine plane was attempting to land.

Molnar says the brakes malfunctioned and the plane ran off the runway, hit and embankment and overturned.

State police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

POLICE SHOOTING

Prosecutor: Norfolk police shooting justified

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Norfolk's prosecutor says the fatal police shooting of a man at bank was justified.

Media outlets report that Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Underwood sent a letter Friday to Police Chief Mike Goldsmith announcing his office's findings.

Underwood says Officer Matthew Watson was justified when he shot and killed 22-year-old Joshua "Omar" Johnson after Johnson put his car in reverse and the vehicle hit Watson's partner.

The officers were responding to a report that someone tried to pass a bad check at a bank in the Ghent neighborhood.

The shooting occurred on May 20.

TAX LIEN FORECLOSURES

DC tax liens lead to hundreds of home foreclosures

(Information in the following story is from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An investigation has found the District of Columbia government is allowing private investors to pursue foreclose on hundreds of homes over unpaid tax bills, but many debts are less than $500.

The Washington Post reports the district government has placed liens on properties when homeowners did not pay their tax bills for decades. Liens are sold at auction for investors to collect the debts.

But the program has grown into system where $500 tax bills morph into $5,000 debts. Investors charge homeowners thousands in legal fees.

Retired Marine Sgt. Bennie Coleman lost his home two years ago over a $134 property tax bill. Another woman lost her home to a Maryland investor over a tax debt of $45 while she was struggling with Alzheimer's.

Many foreclosures target poor neighborhoods.

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