Kansas Professor's E-Mail

Leads to Course Cancellation

TOPEKA, Kan. -- A University of Kansas course devoted to debunking creationism and "intelligent design" has been canceled after the professor caused a furor by sending an e-mail mocking Christian fundamentalists.

Twenty-five students had enrolled in the course, "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design and Creationism," which had been scheduled for the spring. Professor Paul Mirecki, chairman of religious studies, canceled the class Wednesday, the university said.

Mirecki recently posted an e-mail on a student organization forum in which he referred to religious conservatives as "fundies" and said a course depicting intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face." He later apologized, and did so again in a statement issued by the university.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway said Mirecki's comments were "repugnant and vile."

"It misrepresents everything the university is to stand for," Hemenway said.

The class was added to the curriculum after the Kansas Board of Education decided recently to include more criticism of evolution in science courses for public school students.

Bush Receives Summons

For Jury Duty in Texas

WACO, Tex. -- President Bush could get a new title: juror No. 286. Someday, but not Monday, when he was summoned for jury duty.

The president was among 600 potential jurors summoned to report to court in McLennan County, where his 1,600-acre Crawford ranch is located. State District Judge Ralph Strother said he expects to get a response about the summons but does not expect Bush to report for duty.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the president intends to serve, just not on Monday, because he has other commitments. McClellan said Bush would like to reschedule his jury duty.

* AUSTIN -- Three Texas watchdog groups asked a county official to investigate former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed, who was hired by lobbyist Jack Abramoff to run an anti-gambling campaign. Texans for Public Justice, Common Cause of Texas and Public Citizen filed their complaint with Travis County Attorney David Escamilla. They said Reed failed to register as a Texas lobbyist in 2001 and 2002, when he received an estimated $4.2 million from Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon to push for the closure of casinos operated by the Tigua tribe of El Paso and the Alabama Coushatta tribe near Livingston in East Texas. A Reed spokeswoman said she had not yet seen the complaint.

* SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jurors recommended the death penalty for Joseph Smith, a mechanic convicted of abducting and killing Carlie Brucia 11, in an attack in 2004 that was taped by a security camera and broadcast worldwide. Judge Andrew Owens will issue the sentence as early as next month.

* FORT WORTH -- Three service members were injured in a shooting at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in Carswell, and a suspect was in custody, an official said.

-- From News Services