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Martin Luther King Day spreads message

April 1968 in Memphis.
     Sponsored by the High Desert Black Heritage Committee (HDBHC) for the eighth-consecutive year, the celebration was held in the Performing Arts Center  (PAC) and nearly every seat was filled.
     Many activities filled the PAC. First-place winners of the MLK Day Art and Literature Contest were awarded, and a number of talented performers graced the stage.   Schalecia Ross of VVC's

Black Student Union enchanted everyone with her vocal performance "Song Tribute." Rafiq Tillman, a student from a neighboring elementary school, read an excerpt from Dr. King's speech, "God Is Marching On."
     VVC president Dr. Patricia Spencer, received a commemorative plaque expressing appreciation of VVC having allowed the use of the campus for MLK Day for so long.

Fiscal Watch List illustrates hard times

least worrisome or third priority.
    All 13 colleges were notified before the list was released to the media the week of Jan. 5, Michalowski said. VVC's Dr. Jim Williams, vice president of administrative services, said Fred Harris of the chancellor's office notified him Dec. 30 that VVC was being placed on the list.
     Even though VVC's report showed the reserve fund at 4.8 percent, Williams recently said  that this was not a true representation of what was actually in the fund.
     He said that VVC has to follow county guidelines for reporting budgets, and the county requires ending balances to be shown as expenditures if the college wants to spend that money in the next fiscal year. So the report sent to the chancellor's office

really overstated VVC's expenditures, and the reserve fund was actually at 5.4 percent and not 4.8 percent.
     Williams said that the fourth-quarter report has been resubmitted to the chancellor's office showing the actual ending balance for fiscal year 2002-2003. He said, for the first two quarters of the current fiscal year, the reserve fund has remained above the 5 percent mark and that was after another round of state budget cuts, which cost VVC an additional $537,000.
     Williams also suspects that some other colleges manipulated figures to stay off the Fiscal Watch List, while others may have done the same to get on the list -- as a means of illustrating the hard times community colleges are facing.