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Nation in brief: GOP senators call for earmark reform

Republican senators unveiled an earmark revision plan Thursday as part of an effort to counter their reputations as pork-happy spenders who ran up a deficit while in power and lost the public’s trust in their fiscal oversight.

The main thrust of their proposal calls for earmarks to be detailed in spending bills, not hidden in obscure committee reports. It would make it easier for the public to identify the special budget allocations, said the five GOP senators who developed the proposal for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The legislation also would make it easier for other senators to object to the earmarks if they’re added at the last minute without being vetted by spending committees.

“It truly does achieve what needs to be achieved in regard to earmarks,” said Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, one of the five senators who developed the proposal.

Crapo pushed for one of the committee’s strongest suggestions: to put money from unused earmarks toward the federal deficit.

Santa Ana, Calif.

Gun, ammo found in teacher’s cabinet

An elementary school teacher was arrested here after students found a handgun and ammunition in the drawer of a supply cabinet of her classroom, officials said Thursday.

Jayne DeArmond, a third-grade teacher at Diamond Elementary School, was arrested on charges of felony possession of a firearm on a school campus and misdemeanor child endangerment after students discovered the unloaded handgun and ammunition about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, said Angela Burrell, a Santa Ana Unified School District spokeswoman.

Authorities said they believed the handgun belonged to the teacher. Students had access to the cabinet where the gun was kept, Burrell said.

DeArmond was released on $20,000 bail late Wednesday and is no longer working on campus, Burrell said.

Lansing, Mich.

Lottery winner says ‘I’m out of here’

David Sneath has worked at a Ford Motor Co. parts warehouse for 34 years, but it didn’t take him any time at all to walk out once he discovered he had won a $136 million Mega Millions jackpot.

“I yelled to the boss, ‘I’m out of here,’ ” Sneath said Thursday after going to state lottery headquarters in downtown Lansing to pick up his first $1 million check.

Sneath, of Livonia in suburban Detroit, said the reality of his win has yet to sink in.

“I still haven’t touched base with Earth yet,” he said. When he saw in a newspaper that he had a winning ticket, “my whole body went numb.”

Sneath, 60, plans to buy a cottage on Mullett Lake in northern Michigan and maybe a new fishing boat or two to help him land the walleye he loves to catch. He’s tired of misplacing his glasses and may get laser surgery to correct his vision. And he’ll probably move out of his three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home, although he plans to stay in Michigan.

He’s even considering a return to Eastern Michigan University to finish his bachelor’s degree.


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