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GARDEN CITY — A prosecutor in New York is investigating whether students in other districts on Long Island took part in cheating on college entrance exams that resulted in the arrest of seven current or former students at a prestigious high school.

The arrests were made Tuesday on allegations that one of the seven associated with Great Neck North High School - a 19-year-old college student - took the SAT exams for the others in exchange for payments of up to $2,500.

Sam Eshaghoff provided fake IDs when he sat in for his classmates on the exams between 2009 and this year, prosecutors said. In one of the cases, he is accused of taking the SAT for a girl, although in that case he did it for free, Nassau County prosecutors said.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records. He is a student at Emory University in Atlanta and also attended the University of Michigan; he posted $500 bail and was released.

Mr. Eshagoff’s six current or former classmates were released without bail after being charged with misdemeanors, prosecutors said.


Woman to be freed after execution commuted

NASHVILLE — Tennessee is freeing a woman who once sat on the state’s death row for hiring a man to kill her husband.

The state Board of Probation and Parole voted Wednesday to release Gaile Owens, 58, whose death sentence was commuted last year by then Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Owens was convicted in 1986 of hiring a man to kill her husband, Ron. He was beaten to death with a tire iron at their suburban Memphis home.

Mr. Bredesen said he commuted the sentence because Owens once had a plea deal to avoid the death penalty that fell through when her co-defendant refused to plead guilty.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Melissa McDonald told the Associated Press that Owens could be released within the next three weeks after paperwork is completed.


Denomination holds first gay ordination

MADISON — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plans to ordain its first openly gay candidate since the denomination struck down barriers this year to clergy who have same-sex partners.

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