U.S. May Withhold

Texas Education Funds

AUSTIN -- The Education Department may withhold as much as $7 million from President Bush's home state for failing to tell parents whether schools performed up to standard under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Parents will not be able to request transfers for their children from poorly performing schools until the information is released, and the funding may be withheld until then.

"The law states we're supposed to announce the results before school started, and we did not make that deadline," Debbie Graves Ratcliffe, a Texas Education Agency spokeswoman, told the San Antonio Express-News. State education officials said they might not have final results until February.

Ratcliffe said the school report cards were delayed because federal education officials did not approve the state's plan for assessing progress until the end of July. Much of Texas's plan was scrapped because it did not meet the law's requirements.

Under Bush's No Child Left Behind act, schools must demonstrate year-to-year progress. Students at schools that miss performance benchmarks two years in a row are eligible to transfer to other schools.

State education officials planned to release preliminary data on Nov. 15 and the final list of failing schools on Feb. 23.

That is not soon enough, according to Education Department spokeswoman D.J. Nordquist.

"It won't be February," she said. "We've been working with people at the Texas Education Agency, and those results will be released before that."

Man Charged as Stalker

Used Global Positioning

GLENDALE, Calif. -- Police arrested a man they said tracked his ex-girlfriend by attaching a global positioning system to her car. Ara Gabrielyan, 32, was to be arraigned Wednesday on one count of stalking and three counts of making criminal threats.

"This is what I would consider stalking of the 21st century," police Lt. Jon Perkins said.

Police said Gabrielyan attached a cellular phone to the woman's car on Aug. 16 with a motion switch that turned on when the car moved, transmitting a signal each minute to a satellite. Information was then sent to a Web site that allowed Gabrielyan to monitor the woman's location. She caught him trying to change the phone's battery, police said.

* BOSTON -- The Coast Guard searched the ocean near Martha's Vineyard for possible survivors from a capsized commercial fishing boat. The upturned hull of the Nancy Christine and a life raft were spotted, but there was no sign of crew members Wayne Ingham and Michael Leonardo, the Coast Guard said. The pair sometimes fished with a third man, but it was not immediately known whether he was on the boat.

* MILWAUKEE -- A school bus driver caught on a hidden tape recorder threatening to beat a 9-year-old boy with Down syndrome was sentenced to six months in jail. Brian Duchow, 29, pleaded guilty in May to one count of child abuse that intentionally caused great harm. Jacob Mutulo's parents had placed a voice-activated tape recorder in their son's backpack because of concerns about how he was behaving on the bus.

* OXFORD, Ala. -- A fugitive ex-convict wanted for rape and murder committed suicide, ending a standoff with police after he released a 14-year-old hostage. Walter George Honea Jr., 34, of Anniston shot himself late Friday as authorities prepared to fire tear gas into the motel room from which he had been negotiating with officers, police said. Honea kidnapped Jordan Nichole Todaro late Thursday from the convenience store where he fatally shot her mother, Linda Michelle Davis, 34, and stepfather, Joshua Benjamin Davis, 24, police said.

* HOUSTON -- A 4-year-old girl died when a school bus ran over her moments after she met her brother, who had just got off the bus after school Friday, officials said. Fatima Romero and her father went to meet Fatima's 7-year-old brother in front of their home. She darted to a side of the bus as her brother and others got off, and the driver did not see her, police said. She was run over as the bus pulled away.

* SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court denied an appeal from a man convicted of having five wives who argued that anti-bigamy laws violated his First Amendment right to religious freedom. Attorney John Bucher had argued that polygamy was part of Tom Green's religion and that Utah's laws for cohabitation were so vague that Green had no way to know he was in violation. To gain statehood, Utah banned polygamy in 1890.

-- From News Services