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Nation in brief: Appointee will fill Kennedy seat

Thu., Sept. 24, 2009

BOSTON – Massachusetts lawmakers fulfilled Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s dying wish Wednesday, granting the governor the power to appoint an interim replacement so President Barack Obama can regain a critical 60th U.S. Senate vote he needs to pass a health care overhaul this year.

Gov. Deval Patrick will announce his appointment today. He planned to declare an emergency, allowing him to override a legislative vote Wednesday that defeated his administration’s effort to make the bill take effect immediately. Normally, legislation faces a 90-day waiting period.

Patrick refused to discuss potential appointees, though a top aide confirmed that Kennedy’s sons had lobbied for former Democratic National Committee chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr.

Dogfighting ring at day care raided

CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. – A home day care was the site of a dogfighting ring, authorities said Wednesday, and investigators who raided the house found a blood-spattered garage floor and battered, malnourished dogs not far from where children played.

Three men were charged Wednesday, including the day care operator’s husband, and authorities were seeking two others.

Nine battered dogs – four of which were puppies – were rescued, police said.

“The dogs were in horrific condition,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at the Animal Welfare League in suburban Chicago Ridge, where several of the dogs were undergoing surgery and rehabilitation.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Kendall Marlowe said the Maywood day care was shut down Wednesday and was under investigation.

College president resigns amid flap

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – University of Illinois President B. Joseph White resigned Wednesday following reports that the school admitted politically connected applicants over more qualified ones at its Urbana-Champaign campus.

White said he sent a resignation letter to Christopher Kennedy, the chairman of the university’s board of trustees. His resignation is effective Dec. 31.

News reports first surfaced in May that politically connected applicants for spots at the university’s flagship campus were given special attention and tracked through a list known as Category I. Those reports and documents later released by the university showed that some of those connected applicants were admitted over more qualified ones.


 

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