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Witness says board had prior anti-evolution bias

By wire services
Published September 28, 2005

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A rural School Board showed bias against teaching evolution before it passed a plan to introduce "intelligent design" to students, a former board member testified Tuesday in a trial over whether the concept has a place in public schools.

Aralene "Barrie" Callahan, who was once on the Dover School Board and is now among the challengers, said she believed the policy to teach intelligent design was religion-based.

Eight families are trying to remove the theory from the Dover Area School District curriculum, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. They say "intelligent design" promotes the Bible's view of creation.

The school district says it is simply letting students know there are differences of opinion about evolution.

Callahan testified that board member Alan Bonsell in 2003 "expressed he did not believe in evolution and if evolution was part of the biology curriculum, creationism had to be shared 50-50."

In October 2004, the board voted to require teachers to read a statement about intelligent design to students before classes on evolution. The statement says Darwin's theory is not a fact, and refers students to an intelligent-design textbook for more information.

Two to share reward in Wendy's finger case

SAN FRANCISCO - A businessman will split a $100,000 reward from Wendy's International Inc. with an anonymous tipster for helping solve the infamous "chili finger" case, the company said Tuesday.

Mike Casey, who runs an asphalt plant in Las Vegas that employed both the man who lost the finger and the husband of the woman who claimed she bit into the digit, had complained last week he hadn't been compensated for the tip that helped authorities unravel the scheme.

"I did what they wanted and they offered it, so I think I have it coming," he said at the time.

Postal Service to face $2-billion deficit in 2006

WASHINGTON - Even with a planned postage rate increase, the Postal Service expects to go nearly $2-billion in the red next year.

Postal chief financial officer Richard J. Strasser told the agency's board of governors on Tuesday that rising costs will result in a $1.8-billion deficiency in 2006.

The agency plans a 5.4 percent rate increase in January, which would raise the cost of sending a letter by two cents - to 39 cents.

Strasser said the agency plans cuts of $1.1-billion, including work reductions of 42-million hours.

[Last modified September 28, 2005, 02:45:05]

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