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Teacher fired for morbid valentine

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 9, 2003


PHOENIX -- A theology teacher at a Roman Catholic high school lost his job after giving a student a valentine that read "I hate you, I wish you would die."

A police report stated R. Scott Jones passed out similar cards Feb. 14 to his other students at St. Mary's High School, many of whom regarded it as a joke, but one 17-year-old boy said he was "freaked out" by the card.

According to the report, Jones handed the student the card and said "I made this for you."

During class, the report stated, the teacher used an eraser to write the word "Die" on the chalkboard while looking at the boy, then smiled.

Police said the incident remains under investigation. Jones, 44, was placed on administrative leave. He declined to comment.

"A teacher is in a position of authority," said Kim Sue Lia Perkes, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. "It's not right to do something like that to a student. You can't even make a joke about something like that."

Orphaned crash survivor discharged from hospital

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The youngest of three brothers who survived after their family's plane crashed has been discharged from a hospital, a spokesman said Saturday.

The boys survived 18 hours on a snow-covered mountain after the crash last weekend that killed their parents and two siblings.

Ryan Ferris, 2, was discharged from Albany Medical Center on Friday, but remained there with relatives who stayed at the hospital to be with his brothers, spokesman Greg McGarry said.

His brothers, Jordan, 5, and Tyler, 10, who both had broken limbs, were upgraded from serious to fair condition, McGarry said.

All three boys suffered severe hypothermia after the March 2 crash in Massachusetts.

The boys will live with an aunt and uncle in upstate New York.

Presidential hopeful drops hyphen for clarity

CHICAGO -- She was once known as U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, but now the former lawmaker and Democratic presidential hopeful has dropped the hyphen.

Campaign spokesman Kevin Lampe said the decision was made after several media inquiries about how to refer to Braun, who announced in February that she would begin fundraising for a White House bid.

Braun added a hyphen between her maiden name, Moseley, and her ex-husband's surname, Braun, in 1993, just months after being elected to the Senate.

At the time, aides said she didn't want to create confusion or drop her maiden name. She had campaigned without the hyphen and had been referred to as Braun on second reference in media reports.

Lampe said he ran the current style by Braun, who agreed with the change. She wants to be known as Carol Moseley Braun on first reference and Braun on second reference, Lampe said.

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