For public officials, open records remain open

\nWISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld a ruling\nin March that will make it hard for a public officials to avoid\nscrutiny into their wrongdoing by resigning.

The court ruled that privacy and reputational interests of a former\ngovernment employee do not outweigh the public interest in the\ndisclosure of records concerning an investigation into wrongdoing.

"This ruling was not much of a surprise," said Phil\nBrinkman, a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. "The\nsad part is that it has dragged on for so long."

The case arose from a controversy that began in 1996 over questions\nabout a Madison elementary school principal's past, including\nallegations of sexual molestation of several school girls.

Blank page causes uproar at Auburn University

\nALABAMA - Freedom of the press has been pushed to the limit\nat Auburn University. The school's weekly newspaper, The Auburn\nPlainsman, and its editor in chief, Lee Davidson, came under\nfire for a series of investigative articles that called for the\nresignation of one of the university's trustees.

On Dec.

Michigan Supreme Court rejects flier distribution case

\nMICHIGAN - After Michelle Green's appeal challenging her\nformer high school's prior review policy was denied, she took\nher case to the Michigan Supreme Court and found the same disconcerting\nlack of welcome: Her appeal was rejected.

Green's attorney, George Washington, said the court gave no reason\nfor the denial in February, but said it probably stood behind\nthe state court of appeals' decision that Greene lacked legal\nstanding to bring the case.

Athletes’ unpaid parking tickets recorded in paper

\nMARYLAND - After a three-year battle, records documenting\nparking ticket abuses by University of Maryland student athletes\nare finally in the hands of the student newspaper, The Diamondback.

\nIn December, Maryland's high court ruled that information about\nunpaid parking tickets charged to student athletes and coaches\nas well as NCAA records of related violations must be open to\nthe public.

Across the country, newspaper thefts abound

\nNewspaper theft has no boundaries as the trend seems to occur\non campuses public and private, in suburbs and cities.

In protest to campus newspaper content, coverage or even reporter\ntreatment, disgruntled students are taking it upon themselves\nto censor the newspaper by stealing many issues, sometimes even\nthe entire press run, costing the publication thousands of dollars\nin reprinting costs and lost advertising revenue.

Some of these students argue that it is their First Amendment\nright to freedom of speech to take piles of the campus paper from\ndistribution sites if they so choose.

Access bills die in committee

\nMICHIGAN - - Two proposed bills that stemmed from a Michigan\nSupreme Court case in which the court ordered that performance\nevaluations of school officials be released are essentially dead.

House Bill 4936, sponsored by former Rep.

College privacy case settled

\nPENNSYLVANIA - An invasion of privacy case involving the\nuse of a college student's image has been settled out of court.\n

Koran Christian, who graduated from Lafayette College in 1996,\nsued the school in 1997 when he discovered the school had used\na photo of him and his mother on a financial aid brochure.