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NATIONAL BRIEFS


IDAHO: Online high school credits

Education officials gave final approval Thursday to a plan that makes Idaho the first state in the nation to require high school students to take at least two credits online to graduate. The measure is part of a sweeping education overhaul that phases in laptops for every teacher and student. Proponents say the virtual classes will help save money and better prepare students for college. Opponents say they'll replace teachers with computers and shift state taxpayer money to out-of-state companies that will provide the curriculum and laptops.


FLORIDA: A plumber's rich discovery

In his 50 years as a plumber, Jerry Laliberte has found all kinds of things in walls and under floors: screwdrivers, flashlights, dead rats and squirrels. On Oct. 20, Laliberte discovered $20,000 in $50 and $100 bills and travelers checks. Two aluminum foil-wrapped packages tumbled out of an air return duct as he worked at a house. "I thought it was drugs at first," said Laliberte, 62, a plumbing technician in Holmes Beach. The discovery left him with shaking hands. Laliberte had been called to the empty house to stop a water leak under a second-floor shower floor. He didn't think twice about informing his bosses of his find. "I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night if I had kept any of it," he said. The owners had inherited the house from a relative who had made it clear in her will that cash was stashed in the house.


TEXAS: No charges in '04 beating

Police say a judge who was secretly videotaped beating his teenage daughter with a belt seven years ago won't face charges because the statutes of limitations have passed. Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams could have been charged with causing injury to a child and other assault offenses if the five-year statutes hadn't expired, police said. The state Department of Family and Protective Services has requested that Adams not preside over any of its cases. Hillary Adams, now 23, posted the 8-minute clip of the 2004 beating on YouTube.

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