National News Briefs

Former CIA official, U.N. envoy Walters dies WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Retired Lt. Gen. Vernon A. Walters, an aide to seven presidents and a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Germany, has died. He was 85.

Walters died Sunday of undisclosed causes at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

The internationally decorated Army veteran had a long career in public service. He helped shape the Marshall Plan after World War II, served as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency during Watergate, briefed Henry Kissinger on the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War and became a member of the NATO Standing Group.

“He rose to excellence in every profession he entered – soldier, intelligence officer, diplomat,” CIA Director George Tenet said Thursday.

“With his remarkable knowledge of the world, and his passion to see it changed for the better, he will remain for us an example of what the very best in our field must always be,” Tenet said.

Walters remained involved in government service into the early 1990s. Asked in an interview with The Associated Press in 1991 what kept him going after 50 years of service, the longtime Cold Warrior replied: “My perception that the United States was the only real chance freedom had to survive in the world.”

Born in New York City, Walters’ family moved to Europe when he was 6. There he learned in French, Spanish, Italian and German. He later became fluent in Portuguese, Chinese and Russian.Attorney looking at plagiarism caseKANSAS CITY, Kan. – A district attorney on Thursday began interviewing teachers, administrators and school board members involved in a high school plagiarism controversy that propelled a small Kansas town into the national spotlight.

The controversy began late last year when Christine Pelton, a biology teacher in Piper, gave zeros to 28 students she accused of plagiarizing a botany project from the Internet. The school board overruled her decision on the grades in December, and Pelton resigned in protest.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Nick Tomasic is now investigating whether the school board violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act by discussing plagiarism accusations in private and then directing a change in the grading system without voting on the decision in public.

By law, a public body in Kansas can reach a consensus in secret but cannot act on it without a public vote.

Tomasic issued subpoenas last week for Pelton, members of the Piper school board and others involved in the decision to testify.

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“All we know is they met, they adjourned, and the next morning action was taken,” Tomasic said before beginning the interviews.Bar admits lawyer 97 years after rejection HARRISBURG, Pa. – Saying it wanted to correct an “egregious mistake,” a county bar association voted to admit a man nearly a century after refusing him membership.

W. Justin Carter, who died in 1947, was rejected by the Dauphin County Bar Association in 1904, probably because he was black.

He continued his legal career anyway, working as a prosecutor for the county, a secretary to a lieutenant governor and an adviser to Gov. George Earle. President Taft named Carter to an international commission on race relations.

Carter was also a founding member of the Niagra group, a predecessor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

He was the only person ever rejected without cause by the bar association.

“It was a great injustice that occurred in those days, and we wanted to correct that,” said U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell, who recommended Carter’s admittance.