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Polygamy district schools targeted

Mesa, Ariz. The state Board of Education invoked a new Arizona law for the first time Monday, approving the financial takeover of a school district in a secluded community dominated by a polygamist sect.

The board voted 8-1 to approve a settlement between the Colorado City Unified School District and state officials to immediately place the district under the financial oversight of an appointed receiver.

Colorado City and neighboring Hildale, Utah, are dominated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a sect that practices polygamy and broke away from the mainline Mormon church.

San Diego youth wins $100,000 for college


A 16-year-old California boy won a premier high school science competition Monday for his innovative approach to an old math problem that could help in the design of airplane wings.

Michael Viscardi, a senior from San Diego, won a $100,000 college scholarship, the top individual prize in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

Viscardi said he’s been homeschooled since fifth grade, although he does take math classes at the University of California at San Diego three days a week. His father is a software engineer and his mother, who stays at home, has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, he said.

“It’s unbelievable,” Viscardi said of his win. “It’s so incredible that I’m in shock right now.”

N.J. bear hunt gets under way

Vernon, N.J. A bear hunt aimed at thinning New Jersey’s burgeoning bear population got under way Monday with hunters venturing out in freezing temperatures to try their luck – and opponents turning out to denounce them.

The six-day season is expected to lure about 5,000 hunters to New Jersey’s rural northwestern counties. Animal rights groups had unsuccessfully challenged plans for the hunt, approved by the state because of increasing numbers of bear sightings and complaints.

The hunt is restricted to an area of about 1,600 square miles, with hunters required to use shotguns or muzzle-loading rifles.

New York mayor spent $77 million

New York Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent more than $77 million to get re-elected, breaking the $74 million record he set in 2001 during his first try at politics, according to campaign finance reports released Monday.

The spending amounts to more than $103 per vote.

Bloomberg was elected in a landslide Nov. 8 over Democrat Fernando Ferrer.


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