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NATION: White House to cut break on No Child law

White House to cut break on No Child law

The Obama administration unveiled plans Monday to give school districts a break from the stringent testing mandates in the No Child Left Behind Law, as long as they pursue other reform efforts.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that President Barack Obama has authorized him to grant the waivers because Congress has failed to act on a long-overdue rewrite of the widely criticized law.

“We can’t have a law of the land that has so many perverse incentives,” Duncan said. “We can’t afford to wait.”

Critics call the law’s benchmarks unrealistic and say they brand schools as failures even if they are making progress.

Woman: Ohio killer of 7 was in estate dispute

COPLEY, Ohio — Police identified the man responsible for shooting and killing seven people in a terrifying rampage over the weekend near Akron, as a woman who knew him said Monday that he was an unpleasant, disliked person who was involved in an estate dispute.

Michael Hance, 51, died in a shootout with police in Copley after the Sunday spree that included an 11-year-old among the victims.

Robin Hancock, a caregiver for a couple slain in the rampage, went to the police station in Copley on Monday to hear updates on the killings and the identification of Hance as the gunman.

“He was quiet and strange,” said Hancock, 53, of Akron.

One shooting victim who survived was Becky Dieter, Hance’s girlfriend of more than two decades, she said. Hance had become embroiled in a dispute over the will of Dieter’s late parents, and a couple next door who were longtime friends with Dieter’s parents got involved, Hancock said.

$500K bond for 3 accused in shooting plot

COVINGTON, La. — A judge has set a cash bond of $500,000 each for three 15-year-old boys accused of plotting to shoot a classmate, faculty member and anyone else in their way on the first day of class.

Rick Wood, spokesman for the St. Tammany Parish district attorney, says parish family court Judge Mary Devereux imposed a gag order on all other details of Monday’s hearing for the students at Lakeshore High School in suburban New Orleans.

The teens were arrested last week. Sheriff Jack Strain said Friday that they apparently spent the summer making detailed plans to shoot a student, faculty member and police.

AZ’s top cop tries to shutter ‘cannabis clubs’

PHOENIX — Arizona’s attorney general is trying to shut down four clubs that he says have been illegally providing medical marijuana to patients with cancer and other diseases.

Tom Horne’s action filed Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court seeks to stop so-called cannabis clubs from giving marijuana to patients for a “membership fee.”

Horne says it’s illegal under Arizona’s medical marijuana law to exchange marijuana for money, even if they’re approved patients. Patients are allowed to grow their own pot.

Polygamist heard on tape training girls for sex

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Softly telling five girls to “set aside all your inhibitions,” convicted polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was heard Monday giving his child brides instructions on how to please him sexually during a graphic 10-minute tape played for a Texas jury.

An FBI agent testified that the 2004 audiotape, in which Jeffs is heard breathing heavily, preceded Jeffs having sex at the same time with all the girls, who were 15 and younger.

Jeffs faces life in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting two of his “brides,” who were 12 and 15.

Ohio serial killer apologizes in deaths of 11

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A man who killed 11 women and dumped their remains around his Cleveland property apologized Monday in front of a jury that must decide whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison.

Prompted by careful questioning from his attorney, Anthony Sowell, 51, said he was sorry and can’t explain what happened.