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ISLANDWIDE: State eliminates exams

As expected, state Regents voted unanimously Tuesday to save costs during the next school year by eliminating fifth- and eighth-grade social studies tests.

In addition, Regents agreed to cut additional tests, unless lawmakers add another $7 million to the budget to cover costs. Extra cuts would include all eighth-grade foreign-language proficiency tests, and all high school Regents exams in foreign languages except Spanish and French.

State education officials said they were forced to make cuts, due to shrinking federal and state financial support and to rising costs of federally required English and math tests. Social-studies educators objected that cuts would result in less teaching of history and government.

- JOHN HILDEBRAND>/b>

BAY SHORE: Ground beef recalled

Crown I Enterprises of Bay Shore has recalled about 3,700 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.

According to the USDA, each package bears establishment number EST. 20889 inside the USDA mark of inspection as well the Julian dates of 10164 and 10166.

The ground beef was produced June 11 and 15 and was shipped to food service institutions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure.

There have been no reports of illnesses related to the recalled meat, the USDA said in a statement.

Consumers can contact Kevin Peterson, the company's vice president of operations, at 631-289-8401, ext. 2222 or the USDA at 888-674-6854.

The recalled products include 8 oz., 6 oz. and 4 oz. sizes of W.B. Stockyard hamburgers and 10- and 20-pound boxes of W.B. Stockyard ground beef.

WESTBURY: Ousted member reinstated

A recently ousted member of Westbury's school board who could provide a swing vote to the majority has recaptured his seat - at least temporarily.

State Education Commissioner David Steiner has ordered Pless Dickerson of Westbury returned to his seat, pending the outcome of Dickerson's legal appeal. The order, signed Monday, was released Tuesday.

Dickerson's reinstatement will allow him to join three newly elected members on the seven-member board, backed by the local teachers union, in forming a new majority next month. Earlier this month, Dickerson was ousted by the board's current, more conservative majority, on grounds that he missed three consecutive meetings without a valid excuse.

Dickerson, who also serves as interim school superintendent in Wyandanch, contends that board meetings there led to unavoidable scheduling conflicts.

- John Hildebrand

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