WASHINGTON - If Congress doesn't get the job done, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says she'll consider using her authority to require states to report high school graduation rates in a more uniform and accurate way.
LEXINGTON, Neb. - Back in August, the rumor around Lexington Middle School was that 25-year-old math teacher Kelsey Peterson had a boyfriend - a 13-year-old former student.
STOCKTON, Calif. - The telegram that arrived on Nov. 15, 1969, was not pessimistic: ''Private First Class Johnny O Brooks was slightly wounded in action.''
WASHINGTON - Congress is taking new whacks at the cigarette industry, banning tobacco sales in Senate buildings and - more importantly - seeking a significant federal tax increase on cigarettes.
NEW YORK - Broadway stagehands went on strike Saturday, shutting down more than two dozen plays and musicals on what is the most popular theatergoing day of the week.
ATLANTA - Melinda Irwin already travels plenty, so using the frequent flier miles piling up in her Delta Air Lines Inc. SkyMiles account for more airplane tickets didn't really appeal to her.
The rate at which infants die in the United States has dropped substantially over the past half-century, but broad disparities remain among racial groups, and the country stacks up poorly next to other industrialized nations.
JOLIET, Ill. - Kathleen Savio tried to get someone to believe that her life was in danger.
ALBANY, N.Y. - An infantryman charges a pillbox in the face of enemy fire. A firefighter rushes up the stairwell of a burning skyscraper as office workers flee. A teacher shields her student from a schoolyard gunman with her body.
NEOSHO, Mo. - A 9-year-old girl who had been missing for a week was found dead Friday in a sinkhole, authorities said.
English golfer Harry Vardon, he of the Vardon grip, said, "More matches are lost through carelessness at the beginning than any other cause."
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Army is spending $2.6 billion on hundreds of European-designed helicopters for homeland security and disaster relief that turn out to have a crucial flaw: They aren't safe to fly on hot days, according to an internal report obtained by The Associated Press.
WASHINGTON - Consumer confidence plunged in early November to the lowest level since Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast and sent oil prices soaring in 2005.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Merck & Co. said Friday it will pay $4.85 billion to end thousands of state and federal lawsuits over its painkiller Vioxx in one of the largest drug settlements ever.
DEAR ABBY: I have a 30-year-old daughter who was happily married to a man she loved. My daughter and son-in-law worked in information technology for many years and did well at it. Because of their intensive work schedules they decided to start a family only last year. When my daughter conceived, our families were overjoyed.
Mr. Cory Wayne Bell
STILLMORE - Bulloch Academy raced out to a 26-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back as the Gators trounced David Emanuel Academy 58-18 here Thursday night.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Kenny Hill looked more than ready to replace Johnny Manziel on the field. He is still getting used to the attention that goes along with the job.
NORTON, Mass. - Phil Mickelson isn't a fan of four straight FedEx Cup playoff events that follows a summer of big events and precedes the Ryder Cup.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith is waiting to select a backup quarterback.
NEW YORK - Mike Minor took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning after hitting a double and single himself, leading the Atlanta Braves over the New York Mets 6-1 Thursday night.
PORTAL - The Portal Panthers ring in a new era as they host Josey tonight at 7:30 p.m. in their 2014 season opener and their first game under new head coach Jon Willoughby.
BROOKLET - The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets enter the 2014 season with expectations of repeating - and building on - last year's trip to the state playoffs.
This time last season, Georgia Southern men's soccer coach Kevin Kennedy didn't know if the Eagles will have a conference to call home.
BROOKLET - The Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets got back in the win column after a seven-game winning streak was snapped on Wednesday, pounding Islands 8-0 Thursday at home.
OK, I know. Telling your kids their artwork stinks sounds horrible. I wouldn't quite say it like that, and I would keep in mind how young the kids are. But if you "ooh" and "aah" at every scribble, pencil mark or blobbed together Play-Doh sculpture, this is for you.
GENEVA - The Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as are known now, the World Health Organization said Thursday as the United States announced plans to test an experimental Ebola vaccine.
NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine - Two columns of tanks and military vehicles rolled into southeastern Ukraine from Russia on Thursday after Grad missiles were fired at a border post and Ukraine's overmatched border guards fled, a top Ukrainian official said.
WASHINGTON - Americans are more anxious about the economy now than they were right after the Great Recession ended despite stock market gains, falling unemployment and growth moving closer to full health.
WINSLOW, Ariz. - A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the history beneath them.