Hi Kevin Pipher,
Unfortunately, the permissions functionality that you describe in your first point is not achievable at the moment. We have planned implementing permissions inheritance in modules and in that way you will be able to specify both permissions for the whole module and separate entities (Blogs, News, Forums). This is on our TODO list and we are going to implement it in one of the upcoming releases.
Regarding your second question, you can easily achieve the functionality you want with the PostList control. Put the control on a page and go to edit its properties. You will see that you have a value to limit the posts per page, so if you set it to one, it will only display one post. However, you would have to change the order to it displays the latest one. Go to the Advanced tab and find the property SortExpression
in the Behavior section. Remove the DESC part from the default value, so the final new value is Publication_Date. This would do the trick.
the Telerik team