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The fund was started in 1999. It is financed by the state’s share of a national settlement with major tobacco companies. About $2.3 million has been spent since 2003. A new law has allowed more money to be spent on cessation programs.


Man accused of sandwich assault

PORT ST. LUCIE — A Fort Pierce man faces a domestic battery charge after purportedly hitting his girlfriend with a sandwich.

Police say Emmanuelle Rodriguez, 19, was riding in a car with his girlfriend Friday when he became angry as she drove and hit her in the arm and face with a sandwich, knocking her glasses off.

The victim nearly lost control of the car because she couldn’t see the road, and Mr. Rodriguez then purportedly ripped off the rear-view mirror and used it to shatter the windshield.

Mr. Rodriguez was freed on $7,500 bail. Police haven’t said what type of sandwich was involved.


Board to vote on anti-bullying school

CHICAGO — Pride Campus planners never shied away from touting one of Chicago’s latest proposed high schools as a haven for gay youth seeking refuge from sometimes hostile traditional classrooms.

But under mounting pressure from ministers and gay activists alike, the name has changed and focus broadened to create a school that would be one of the nation’s largest to serve any students who have fallen victim to bullying and harassment.

If approved by the country’s third-largest school district Wednesday, the Social Justice Solidarity High School would join several smaller U.S. campuses aimed at serving students who have been tormented for everything from their religious beliefs to their weight.

It’s a less explicitly gay version of a plan first presented to Chicago’s school board in October by schools chief Arne Duncan, whose name has been floated as a possible Education Secretary under President-elect Barack Obama.

The Social Justice High School: Pride Campus was to open in 2010 and eventually serve 600 students, about half of whom were expected to identify as gay.

The Solidarity plan has the same timeline and enrollment goals, but a different mission.

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