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NATIONAL BRIEFS


WASHINGTON: Senate would alter drug disparity

Legislation approved by the Senate on Wednesday would significantly reduce the disparity in sentences for those convicted of crack and powder cocaine. Currently, a conviction for crack possession gets the same mandatory jail time as someone found with 100 times the same quantity of powder cocaine. Under the measure, approved by a voice vote, the ratio would be reduced to 18-1.


ALABAMA: Snack food heir's death a mystery

An angry letter and a bag of Golden Flake chips were taped inside Major Bashinsky's abandoned car near downtown Birmingham. Days later the snack food heir's body was fished out of a golf course pond. His father and grandfather founded Golden Flake, sold across the South for generations. The letter found in Bashinsky's car criticized his family for taking dividends out of Golden Flake. An autopsy report is awaited.


TENNESSEE: 'Leprechaun' bank robber slain

Two robbery suspects, one in a green leprechaun costume, were shot dead Wednesday after a car chase and shootout with police. First State Bank in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin had been held up. The loot was recovered.

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