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Michelle Obama to attend slain teen's funeral

WASHINGTON -- First lady Michelle Obama plans to attend the funeral Saturday in Chicago of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, according to a White House official.

Pendleton, an honor student and band majorette, was fatally shot last week about a mile from the Obamas' home in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood. She had participated in inaugural festivities near Washington only a few days before her death.

Senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, both Chicagoans, will also attend the funeral.

Pendleton was killed Jan. 29, becoming the latest symbol of Chicago's gun violence. There is a $40,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in her death.

Community activists have urged the Obamas to visit Chicago to speak out about recent violence, and a petition on the White House website calls on them to attend Pendleton's funeral. -- MCT

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