Detroit Teachers Vote to Return

DETROIT--Striking teachers voted overwhelmingly yesterday to return to work this morning, ending an extended summer vacation for 180,000 students.

The teachers approved an extension of their old contract while they hold a ratification vote by mail on the new agreement reached Monday between the school district and the 11,500-member teachers union.

The students have missed six days of school.

The teachers went on strike Aug. 30 because they objected to the school board's proposals for merit pay and a longer school day. The board dropped both proposals.

Couple Is Accused In Toddler Deaths

LITTLE ROCK--A Memphis couple was accused of leaving their 18-month-old son to die in the wilderness and are suspected of tossing his 2 1/2-year-old brother to his death in a lake.

The mother, Chantilly Harrell, 21, had told police in June that the children had been kidnapped by their father, Alex Ware, 33. Last week, however, Ware told police that the couple abandoned their children in a ravine and a pond.

Bones believed to be those of 18-month-old Alexander were discovered Friday, and Ware and Harrell were charged with murder and could face execution if convicted.

Prosecutors said they are considering filing murder charges in the case of the older boy, K-Von, whose remains have not been found.

Judge: High Score Can Disqualify Job Applicant

NEW HAVEN, Conn.--A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by a man who was deemed too smart to be a police officer.

U.S. District Judge Peter C. Dorsey said the New London Police Department's rejection of Robert Jordan because he scored too high on an intelligence test did not violate his rights.

Jordan, 48, scored a 33, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. The average score nationally for police officers, as well as office workers, bank tellers and salespeople, is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104.

The city's rationale for the long-standing practice of interviewing people who score 20 to 27 is that candidates who score too high could soon become bored with police work and quit after undergoing costly academy training. Officials said the hiring process will remain the same.


* LITTLE ROCK--Arkansas executed two convicted murderers an hour apart, dismissing a Vatican plea to spare Mark Gardner, 43, and Alan Willett, 52. Gardner was convicted of murdering a Fort Smith couple and their adult daughter and raping the older woman, in 1985. Willett was found guilty of slaying his son and the youngster's uncle in 1993.

* NORCO, Calif.--A 6-year-old girl who spent five years of her life chained to a bed in a filthy room was freed by police who discovered her after receiving an anonymous tip. She was taken to a hospital, where she was being treated for malnutrition. Her mother, Cindy Sue Topper, 39, and grandfather, Loren Bess, 76, were being held on suspicion of child endangerment.

* PORT HURON, Mich.--Prosecutors dropped a charge against Jonathan McDonald, 13, one of four boys accused of plotting a massacre at their middle school. A charge of conspiracy to commit murder against was dropped because Judge James P. Adair ruled a statement he made to police could not be used as evidence.

* SEATTLE--A woman danced topless on an electrical tower beside a freeway bridge for more than an hour as she drank vodka, spit it out and lit it on fire, snarling rush-hour traffic and forcing a power outage to 5,000 homes and businesses. Police talked her down and arrested her for investigation of criminal trespass and indecent exposure.