- - Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Space shuttles get new homes

CAPE CANAVERAL | NASA’s three remaining space shuttles will go to Cape Canaveral, Los Angeles and suburban Washington when the program ends this summer, the space agency said Tuesday.

The announcement came on the 30th anniversary of the first space-shuttle flight and the 50th anniversary of man’s first journey into space.

Shuttle Atlantis will stay in Cape Canaveral at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, just miles from the pair of launchpads where it was shot into space. Endeavour is headed to the California Science Center, miles from the plant where the shuttle was built; and Discovery’s new home will be the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.

The Smithsonian is giving up the prototype Enterprise, which NASA said Tuesday will go to New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Enterprise was used for test flights in the 1970s.


Kindergartners to get iPads in fall

PORTLAND | Kindergarten is supplementing crayons, finger paints and flashcards with iPads, a development that excites supporters but that detractors worry is wasted on pupils too young to appreciate the expense.

Next fall, nearly 300 kindergartners in the central Maine city of Auburn will become the latest batch of youngsters around the country to get iPad2 touch pad tablets to learn the basics about ABCs, 1-2-3s, drawing and music.

The iPad is a powerful education tool with hundreds of teaching applications, said Superintendent Tom Morrill. With its touch pad screen, it’s simple to use and can bring learning to life with imagery and sounds, he said.

The $200,000 that Mr. Morrill is proposing to spend on iPads — which retail for around $500 — might be better spent on some other school program, said Sue Millard of Auburn, who has children in the fourth grade and high school. She also questions whether kindergartners are old enough to appreciate the effort.

Maine was the first state to equip students statewide with computers when it distributed Apple laptops to all seventh- and eighth-graders in 2002. The program has since expanded, with laptops parceled out to about 50 percent of high school students.


Mom who withheld cancer medicine convicted

LAWRENCE | A Massachusetts woman who withheld at-home chemotherapy medications from her autistic, cancer-stricken son was convicted of attempted murder Tuesday by jurors who dismissed her claim that she thought the side effects of the treatment could kill him.

Kristen LaBrie also was found guilty of child endangerment and assault and battery for failing to give her son, Jeremy Fraser, at least five months of cancer medications after the boy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006. He died in 2009 at age 9.

LaBrie, 38, told the jury she stopped giving her son the medications because she couldn’t bear to see how sick the side effects made him.

Prosecutors portrayed her as a single mother seething with resentment because she had to care for Jeremy alone.


School ‘boobies’ bracelets OK’d by court

PHILADELPHIA | A federal judge said the popular “I (heart) boobies!” breast cancer fundraising bracelets aren’t lewd or vulgar, so it’s OK for public school students to wear them.

U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin is siding with students in a free-speech test case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Judge McLaughlin issued a temporary injunction Tuesday that bars the Easton Area School District from enforcing its ban on the $4 rubber bracelets.

The judge heard testimony from Easton middle school students in December. She found that the bracelets are being worn to promote breast cancer awareness.

Easton school officials argue the slogan suggests a sexual double meaning and leads to in-school distractions.

Easton is one of several school districts around the country to have banned the bracelets.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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