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POSTED April 24, 2012 8:38 p.m.

ROMNEY EXPANDS LEAD: WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney added to his big lead in the race for convention delegates Tuesday with a five-state sweep of Republican presidential primaries.

Romney won at least 95 delegates when he won primaries in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

A total of 209 delegates were at stake, though the status of Pennsylvania's 59 delegates probably won't be known for several days because delegates were elected directly on the ballot and they were not identified by which candidate they support.

Romney had a total of 793 delegates — just 351 shy of the 1,144 delegates it will take to win the Republican nomination to run against President Barack Obama in November. With former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum out of the race, Romney could collect the needed delegates by the end of May.

The other two Republican candidates still in the race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, were far behind. Gingrich had 137 delegates and Paul had 79.

OBAMA PUSHES LOW-RATE STUDENT LOANS, WOOING YOUNG: CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama went after the college vote Tuesday, pitching cheaper student loans as he courted the one age group where he has a decided advantage over Republican rival Mitt Romney. The twist? Romney, too, has endorsed the idea, though it's unclear whether deficit-leery Republicans in Congress will go along.

In the race for the White House, both the Obama and Romney campaigns see huge opportunities to court younger voters. This week, their efforts are focused on the millions of students — and their parents — who are grappling with college costs at a time when such debt has grown so staggering it exceeds the totals for credit cards or auto loans.

DETROIT JUDGE PROUD OF SHIRTLESS PIC SENT TO WOMEN: DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit judge says the verdict is in: He's proud of his physique and has no reason to be ashamed of sending a shirtless photo of himself to women, including at least one court employee.

A TV station confronted 55-year-old Wayne County Judge Wade McCree this week after the husband of a court employee said the photo turned up on her phone. It shows the very fit judge from the waist up taking his own picture in front of a mirror.

"Hot dog. Yep, that's me," McCree said when WJBK-TV showed him a printout of the photo. "No shame to my game."

The judge then feigned taking off his shirt for reporter Charlie LeDuff and said, "You can always get that here and now."

McCree, who is married, said he also sent the photo "out to other women," noting he's not fully nude in the picture and goes shirtless each day at the YMCA pool.

.NJ WOMAN DENIES TRAPPING MOTHER-IN-LAW IN BASEMENT: NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A northern New Jersey woman charged with elderly neglect after authorities found her mother-in-law living in the basement with the door barricaded said Tuesday that police misinterpreted the situation and she'll fight the charges.

West New York police made the discovery last week while responding to a call about a home overrun with cats.

Capt. Michael Zitt said police, who had received a complaint from a neighbor complaining that dozens of cats were living in the basement of the home, on Thursday found the basement door blocked from the outside by a shovel.

Officers discovered 89-year-old Delphine Linden inside, Zitt said. She appeared disoriented and couldn't answer basic questions, such as her name and the date, he said.

The woman's daughter-in-law, Piedad Linden, returned from church and asked why the officers were questioning her mother-in-law, arguing she'd only left her there for about two hours.

 

GIRL'S MOM SEEKS RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST STUDENT: LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky mother who claims her 9-year-old daughter has been bullied for two school years is seeking a restraining order against a fourth-grade boy she accused of tormenting her daughter, kicking her in the chest and chasing her with scissors.

Joy Furman, the girl's mother, wants the boy to stay at least 500 feet away from her daughter. The children are classmates at Stephen Foster Traditional Academy in Louisville.

The bullying began last year when the children were third graders and has continued as they shared the same classroom as fourth graders, Ted Gordon, the woman's attorney, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

 

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