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Briefs

Teacher suspended for critical remarks on gays

– An Indiana special education teacher who said gays have no purpose in life has been suspended.

Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana’s Sullivan County said Wednesday the teacher is on administrative leave out of concern “for the safety and security of everyone in our buildings.”

He said the “administration and one school employee in particular” at North Central Junior-Senior High School have received “aggressive email messages.”

State police and the local sheriff’s department are stationing officers at the Farmersburg school, 75 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Baker did not identify the teacher, but Diana Medley’s comments have circulated widely on social networking sites amid news coverage in nearby Sullivan of a non-school-sanctioned prom that would ban gay students.

“I just ... I don’t understand it,” Medley said when asked whether gays have a purpose in life. She was speaking to WTWO-TV of Terre Haute at a planning meeting earlier this month for the anti-gay dance.

Biden awards 18 the Medal of Valor

Vice President Biden has awarded the Medal of Valor to 18 police officers, firefighters and public safety officers. It’s the nation’s highest honor for public safety officers and recognizes those who risk their own safety to save or protect others. Four of the recipients died in the line of duty. Family and friends accepted the awards on their behalf.

“You all share – you’re all crazy, God love you – you all share a selflessness that’s not easy to explain, a commitment to your fellow man that’s rare, a bravery that inspires,” said Biden, his voice gruff with emotion.

Body recovered in Kansas City blast

A day after a natural gas explosion leveled a popular restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., investigators raced to search the rubble and tried to understand how the blast happened despite suspicions that flammable fuel had been leaking, maybe for weeks, somewhere in the busy outdoor shopping area.

Hours before the explosion, witnesses reported a strong smell of gas, and firefighters were summoned to the scene at one point but left without ordering an evacuation.

As the cleanup got under way Wednesday, search-and-rescue crews recovered a body, and the mayor worried that the debris could be concealing other victims.

The explosion occurred after a construction crew apparently struck a natural gas line, touching off a blast that could be felt for nearly a mile.

Plane crashes in eastern Georgia

An aviation official says a small jet with seven people aboard ran off the end of the runway at an eastern Georgia airport.

A sheriff’s official who answered the phone says there could be at least one fatality. All calls to police, coroner and fire officials are being referred to the airport.

NY Times wants to sell Boston Globe

The New York Times Co. said Wednesday that it is putting the Boston Globe and its related assets up for sale four years after it called off a previous attempt to sell the newspaper.

Mark Thompson, the Times’ chief executive, said in a statement a sale would be in the best long-term interests of both properties, “given the differences between these businesses and the New York Times.”

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