- - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GEORGIA

18 states, D.C. are grant finalists

ATLANTA | Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have been named finalists in the second round of the federal “Race to the Top” school reform grant competition, giving them a chance to win a share of $3 billion.

Department officials provided the Associated Press with a list of the finalists ahead of a speech by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

The competition rewards ambitious reforms aimed at improving struggling schools and closing the achievement gap.

Two states, Tennessee and Delaware, were awarded a total of $600 million in the first round.

LOUISIANA

Oil spews after boat hits well

NEW ORLEANS | Oil began spewing from a damaged well north of a bay where officials have been fighting the spill from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard said a tow boat called Pere Ana C. hit the wellhead near Mud Lake early Tuesday. No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard did not know who owns the small well or how much oil had leaked. But a sheen was spotted in the lake. Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts said oil was spewing from the wellhead.

Coast Guard Lt. Brian Sattler said a helicopter was dispatched to survey the area, which is accessible only by boat.

Mud Lake is part of a network of bayous and lakes north of Barataria Bay, an ecologically sensitive coastal estuary where authorities have been fighting waves of oil from the BP Gulf spill.

MICHIGAN

Story Continues →