A roundup of news from across the nation

August 9
EDUCATION
Whites to be in minority at schools

For the first time, U.S. public schools are projected this fall to have more minority students than non-Hispanic whites, a shift largely fueled by growth in the number of Hispanic children.

Non-Hispanic white students are still expected to be the largest racial group in the public schools this year at 49.8 percent. But according to the National Center for Education Statistics, minority students, when added together, will now make up the majority.

About one-quarter of the minority students are Hispanic, 15 percent are black and 5 percent are Asian and Pacific Islanders. Biracial students and Native Americans make up an even smaller share of the minority student population.

The shift brings new academic realities, such as the need for more English language instruction, and cultural ones, such as changing school lunch menus to reflect students’ tastes. But it also brings up some complex societal questions that often fall to school systems to address, including issues of immigration, poverty, diversity and inequity.

— Associated Press

MINNESOTA
Vikings player shot in calf in Minneapolis

Minneapolis police were investigating a shooting inside a downtown nightclub that injured nine people early Saturday, including a Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle.

Linval Joseph went to the 400 SoundBar nightclub sometime after Minnesota’s 10-6 win over the Oakland Raiders in the preseason opener Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium. He was shot in the calf, according to a team statement, which also described him as an innocent bystander and the wound as minor.

Two people with serious wounds were in stable condition Saturday and expected to survive, police spokesman Scott Seroka said. He didn’t know the exact condition of the other seven but described most as having minor injuries.

Police were looking for the shooter Saturday.

— Associated Press

GEORGIA
Judge denies motion to dismiss GM suit

A Georgia judge has denied a motion by General Motors to dismiss a wrongful death case against the automaker and set a trial date for April 2016.

The family of Brooke Melton, a 29-year-old nurse who died in a 2010 car crash near Atlanta, sued GM, alleging that a faulty ignition switch in her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt unexpectedly shut off the engine, causing her to lose control of the car.

They settled last year with GM for $5 million, but the case exposed how GM let millions of cars stay on the road even after discovering ignition switch flaws linked to at least 13 deaths. The case led to GM recalling 2.6 million older small cars to replace faulty switches.

The Meltons filed a new complaint in May that GM fraudulently concealed evidence during the first case. Meanwhile, GM had filed for dismissal of the case, saying that it had already been settled, but that was denied Saturday.

— Associated Press

Woman caught at airport with cash stashed in underwear: A 78-year-old Florida woman tried to fly on an international trip from Detroit Metropolitan Airport with almost $41,000 in cash hidden inside her girdle, bra and carry-on bag, federal authorities said. A complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit said the Clearwater woman was trying to board a flight April 2 to the Philippines with her daughter. She initially said she had $200 in cash but submitted a form declaring she had $1,200, prompting questions. During a search, Customs and Border Protection officers found $8,000 in her
carry-on bag, $4,000 sewn into a cloth pouch and nearly $1,000 in envelopes, according to the complaint. She then told them she had $3,000 in her blouse and $2,000 sewn into the strap of her bra. Officers continued to search and said they found about $21,000 in her girdle. Federal law requires travelers to declare if they are carrying more than $10,000.

Injured firefighters released as wildfire battle continues: Eight firefighters injured while battling a wildfire in northern California were released from a hospital Saturday, a fire official said. The firefighters were battling a fire triggered by lightning in Mendocino County that has caused the evacuation of 58 homes, said Lynne Tolmachoff, spokeswoman California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The fire, which is still burning, is in a heavily timbered, rugged area 160 miles north of San Francisco, according to a state’s Cal Fire Web site. Nearly 2,000 people were working to contain the blaze, which has scorched more than 7,100 acres and is 30 percent contained, according to the Cal Fire Web site. The fire began July 30.

Wanted: Repeat bank robber with fondness for hats: Police in New York are on the hunt for a prolific bank robber who wears many hats. Police say the man donned a range of wacky headgear as he committed eight bank robberies in Nassau County over 2 ½ months ending July 23. Surveillance photos show the robber wearing a floppy white hat at one bank. At another, he wore a baseball cap with a picture of President Obama on it. And at another, he donned a hat with a long wig attached. Police believe it’s the same man in all the photos. They say he typically gives tellers a note threatening violence and demanding cash.

— From news services

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