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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Tiered tuition backed in Washington; GET would go

College students in Washington could be charged higher tuition for degrees that typically result in higher-paying jobs, starting next fall. That’s the recommendation of two legislative committees that analyzed the state’s tuition system.

Universities not happy with Gregoire’s tuition plan

SEATTLE – Gov. Chris Gregoire’s goal of not raising college tuition over the next two years is not sitting well with the leaders of Washington’s universities, who say the proposal fails to recognize the budget problems they face. A decade ago, state dollars paid about 70 percent of the cost to educate an undergraduate student and tuition covered most of the rest. Those numbers have now flipped.

13 surrender in Illinois fraternity drinking death

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Thirteen of the 22 people facing hazing-related charges following a Northern Illinois University student's death have turned themselves in to police. A DeKalb Police Department spokesman said Tuesday seven people surrendered to police in DeKalb. All seven posted bond and were released.

APNewsBreak: $1 coin backers give to Harkin center

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A South Korean businessman and his Iowa metals company gave $500,000 to a university institute honoring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who is pushing for a dollar coin that could generate tens of millions of dollars in new business for the company, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. The donations to Iowa State University's Harkin Institute of Public Policy, uncovered through an open-records request, fall into a gray area in rules prohibiting companies that lobby from contributing to charitable funds "maintained or controlled" by sitting senators. Iowa Republicans allege that such donations to the powerful Democrat's namesake institute raise a conflict of interest.

Ill. frat members charged in student hazing death

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Nearly two dozen fraternity members at Northern Illinois University have been charged with hazing-related counts after a freshman was found dead at their fraternity house following a night of drinking. DeKalb police and prosecutors issued arrest warrants Monday for 22 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in DeKalb. Five members are charged with felony hazing, while the other 17 members are facing misdemeanor hazing charges.

Tolkien class at Wis. university proves popular

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The vast collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts initially sold senior Joe Kirchoff on Marquette University, so when the school offered its first course devoted exclusively to the English author, Kirchoff wanted in. The only problem: It was full and he wasn't on the literature track. Undaunted, the 22-year-old political science and history major lobbied the English department and others starting last spring and through the summer and "kind of just made myself a problem," he said. His persistence paid off.

U. Iowa adds optional LGBT question to application

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa has become the nation's first public university to include optional questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on its application, a move hailed Wednesday by advocates hoping to improve the college experience for gays and lesbians. University officials say the move sends a strong signal that they value the diversity that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students bring to campus. They say that knowing some students' sexual orientation will allow them to track their enrollment and graduation rates and promote housing, student groups and programs that might improve their social and academic success.

Penn students give out $100K in philanthropy class

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — University of Pennsylvania student Sharree Walls didn't realize when she signed up for a course on philanthropy that she'd actually become a philanthropist at the end of the semester. Then her professors announced that the class would be doling out $100,000 to local nonprofits. Walls said she was thrilled, excited — and "definitely a little nervous."

APNewsBreak: Sotomayor book offers personal look

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says in her upcoming memoir that her lifelong battle against diabetes and the fear that she might die early played a big part in her decision not to have children. The 58-year-old Sotomayor says in an unusually personal book for a Supreme Court justice that she feels an occasional tug of regret at not having borne or adopted children. The memoir, "My Beloved World," is being published by Alfred A. Knopf in January. An early copy was sent by the publisher to The Associated Press.

Sudanese teens at center of recruiting controversy

BATAVIA, Ill. (AP) — Four young men from war-ravaged Sudan tower above their teachers and fellow students on the pastoral grounds of a century-old school in suburban Chicago. Eighteen months after arriving — and just as they are beginning to feel at home — these athletes find themselves at center court in a controversy over high school sports recruiting as officials unravel exactly how they came to tiny Mooseheart High School.

Illegal immigration drops after decade-long rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — New census data released Thursday affirm a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year from a peak of 12 million in 2007, part of an overall waning of Hispanic immigration. For the first time since 1910, Hispanic immigration last year was topped by immigrants from Asia.

Harvard recognizes group promoting safe kinky sex

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Kinky sex has been admitted to Harvard. The nation's oldest university has formally recognized Harvard College Munch, a group promoting discussions and safe practices of kinky and alternative sex. The school has no record of a similar group being recognized in its 376-year history.

Friend: Chiefs LB, slain girlfriend ‘seemed fine’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend briefly lived apart before he killed her and then committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager, a friend of the woman said Sunday. But Brianne York, 21, said that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had gotten back together by Thanksgiving.

Program trains farmworkers to be organic farmers

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — Bending over beds of shriveled strawberry plants, former farmworker Domitila Martinez pulls pieces of black plastic row covers in preparation for next season's planting. Except this time, she's the boss. Martinez, who escaped the civil war in El Salvador three decades ago, used to pack tomatoes and harvest grapes for long hours and little pay in Central California. Then, one day, she heard an announcement on the radio: She could become a grower herself.

Navy fires president, provost of grad school

WASHINGTON (AP) — Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has fired the top two administrators of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., for mismanagement and fostering an atmosphere of defying Navy rules and regulations. The firings of the school's president and provost come after an investigation by the Navy's inspector general. It found that the president, Daniel Oliver, failed to comply with federal and naval regulations, circumvented federal hiring authorities and inappropriately accepted gifts from a private foundation that supports the school.

Schapiro’s SEC successor likely to follow her lead

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission will change next month. Its approach to regulation probably won't. Mary Schapiro will step down as chairwoman after a tumultuous tenure in which she helped lead the government's regulatory response to the 2008 financial crisis.

AP IMPACT: NYC flood protection won’t be easy

NEW YORK (AP) — Inside tunnels threading under a Houston medical campus, 100 submarine doors stand ready to block invading floodwaters. Before commuters in Bangkok can head down into the city's subways, they must first climb three feet of stairs to raised entrances, equipped with flood gates. In Washington, D.C., managers of a retail and apartment complex need just two hours to activate steel walls designed to hold back as much as a 17-foot rise in the Potomac River. If metropolitan New York is going to defend itself from surges like the one that overwhelmed the region during Superstorm Sandy, decision makers can start by studying how others have fought the threat of fast-rising water. And they must accept an unsettling reality: Limiting the damage caused by flooding will likely demand numerous changes, large and small, and yet even substantial protections will be far from absolute.

Iowa straw poll on the outs with GOP establishment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — In the days since Republicans lost an election many in the party thought was theirs, chatter has been bubbling about what the GOP should do to recover. For Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, it starts with the smallest of actions: abandoning the state's now-infamous straw poll.

US abortions fall 5 pct, biggest drop in a decade

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. abortions fell 5 percent during the recession and its aftermath in the biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade, perhaps because women are more careful to use birth control when times are tough, researchers say. The decline, detailed on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, came in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Both the number of abortions and the abortion rate dropped by the same percentage.

Even apes have ‘midlife crises,’ study finds

NEW YORK (AP) — Chimpanzees going through a midlife crisis? It sounds like a setup for a joke. But there it is, in the title of a report published Monday in a scientific journal: "Evidence for a midlife crisis in great apes."