Schools in Integration Case Free of Federal Supervision LITTLE ROCK -- A judge in one of the nation's longest-running school-desegregation cases released the Little Rock district from federal supervision Friday, nearly 50 years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in Army troops to escort nine black students into all-white Central High.
U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson Jr. said the Little Rock School District is substantially complying with a 1998 desegregation plan.
With African Americans gaining a majority on the school board last September, the judge said he felt comfortable that the 27,000-student district would keep working to improve academic achievements among its 19,000 black students.
In 1957, despite a U.S. Supreme Court order, Gov. Orval Faubus tried to prevent black students from enrolling at Central High, setting off one of the biggest crises of the civil rights era.
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· A computer glitch caused a power failure last year that shut down the Washington-to-New York rail corridor for two hours during the May 25 morning rush, Amtrak said. The incident stranded riders on 112 trains operated by Amtrak, Maryland's MARC and two other systems. Four of the trains were trapped under the Hudson River. Amtrak said procedures are in place to ensure no repeat of the incident.
· FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. --Lawyers for Pfc. Jesse Spielman, 22, an Army soldier accused in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killings of her family, told a judge that he was not involved in planning the attack with other soldiers charged in the case. Two soldiers have pleaded guilty, including a sergeant sentenced Thursday to 100 years in prison. Spielman faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted on rape and murder charges in the attack last year.
· AUSTIN -- A group of families have sued in an attempt to block Republican Gov. Rick Perry's executive order requiring schoolgirls to be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer. The lawsuit challenges Perry's authority to issue the order and seeks to block any state money from being spent on the vaccine until that question is resolved, said an attorney representing the families.
· PARRISH, Fla. -- A 13-year-old boy abducted at gunpoint from a school bus stop made a "miraculous" escape hours later, authorities said. The gunman was still being sought. The boy was not hurt except for scratches and scrapes, Sheriff Charlie Wells said.
· JACKSON, Miss. -- The FBI is considering reopening dozens of unsolved cases involving slayings suspected of being racially motivated in the South during the 1950s and '60s. It was unclear whether any would qualify for federal prosecution under civil rights statutes, but many could still be prosecuted as murders on the local or state level, an official said.
· ST. LOUIS -- Someone has been posing online as Shawn Hornbeck, the teenager held captive for more than four years, to talk to girls on MySpace, authorities told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The real Shawn is not allowed online, according to his lawyer. A MySpace spokeswoman said that she would look into the issue. The page remained online late Thursday.
-- From News Services