- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014
Truck driver pleads guilty to cargo theft

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Tennessee truck driver has pleaded guilty in Missouri to taking part in a multi-state cargo theft ring.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 49-year-old Michael Lee Sherley, of Memphis, pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of an interstate shipment.

The charge stemmed from the May 2013 theft of a trailer containing $73,000 worth of canned corn from a truck stop in the south-central Missouri town of West Plains.

Sherley worked for Memphis-based Nu World Trucking for about a year.

Prosecutors said members of the ring used Nu World’s resources to drive tractors without trailers attached through truck stops near interstate highways, looking for unattached trailers. They hooked the trailers up and drove to other states to sell the cargo.

The corn stolen by Sherley was bound for an Arkansas food bank.

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Jeb Bush: Follow through on Common Core standards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday urged state officials to follow through on Common Core education standards despite what he called an “avalanche” of criticism from those who oppose them.

Bush said at an education forum with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that the standards are key to improving educational achievement around the country.

“This is a real-world, grown-up approach to a real crisis that we have,” said Bush, who later brushed off reporters’ questions about his presidential aspirations. “And it’s been mired in politics.

“Trust me I know,” he said. “There are not a whole lot of people who are standing up to this avalanche.”

Bush ascribed the opposition to Common Core to what he called “myths” about the standards being part of a federal takeover of local classrooms.

Common Core standards spell out what math and reading skills students should have in each grade. They are designed to make students think and reason more than they do with traditional classroom work.

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