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POSTED July 16, 2012 8:52 p.m.

CINCINNATI HELPS STRANDED INDONESIAN COLLEGE CHOIR: CINCINNATI (AP) — An Indonesian choir stuck in Cincinnati after a traveling mishap forced them to miss the World Choir Games was embraced by city residents determined to open their hearts and wallets to get the singers to perform and then to return them home.

The effort to help the 49-member Gema Chandra Cendrawasih University Choir from Papua, Indonesia, included impromptu performances, thousands of dollars in donations, and, finally, a 2,400-mile bus ride, all so the choir can catch a flight home.

The group had purchased round-trip tickets between Jakarta and San Francisco, where it planned to buy round-trip tickets to Cincinnati but had only enough money for one-way tickets. The choir missed its scheduled performances at the games because of travel delays in Jakarta. It arrived in Cincinnati shortly before the closing ceremonies Saturday with little money, nowhere to perform and no way back to San Francisco.

Knowing how far the choir had traveled to sing, organizers arranged for it to do just that on Sunday, at a church and in the lobby of a downtown convention center. Social media helped spread the word, and a few listeners grew to an audience of several hundred people.

The generosity extended to people's wallets. The donations brought the singers to tears.

MAN FALLS FROM ROOF ONTO OFF-DUTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY: KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — An off-duty Idaho sheriff's detective suffered a broken neck and other injuries when a man fell from a roof and landed on him while he was working private security for a weekend street party in Ketchum.

Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says Sgt. Corey Weatherly underwent surgery Sunday at a Boise hospital. Ramsey says Weatherly was listed in "guarded" condition.

Ramsey says Weatherly was working private security for a street party that was part of a weekend music festival when 20-year-old Austin B. Cruz of Hailey fell from a roof and landed on him at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

EFFORT TO UNDO CALIFORNIA GAY HISTORY LAW FAILS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Opponents of a law that requires California public schools to cover the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have again failed to qualify a ballot. measure that would have overturned the requirement.

Pacific Justice Institute lawyer Kevin Snider said the Stop SB48 campaign did not gather enough signatures by Monday's deadline to put an initiative on the 2014 ballot that would exclude sexual minorities from the list of groups whose roles in history and social science schools must teach.

Snider estimates that the all-volunteer petition circulating effort, which focused largely on churches, collected about 446,000 signatures out of the 504,760 required.

Senate Bill 48 took effect in January, but most school districts have not implemented it.

PRODUCE SAFETY TESTING PROGRAM SPARED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Agriculture Department grudgingly extended the life of the nation's largest produce-safety testing program on Monday, just as the initiative was slated to be shut down.

The tiny program samples thousands of high-risk fruits and vegetables for pathogens each year, and has found more than two dozen bacteria-laced examples that prompted recalls of lettuce, tomatoes and other foods from grocery stores.

It was at risk of being scrapped after President Barack Obama's proposed budget slashed the effort's funding earlier this year. But USDA spokesman Justin DeJong said Monday that the Microbiological Data Program will continue operating through December, using existing agreements with the states to keep testing for salmonella, E. coli and listeria over the next six months.

Public health officials and food safety advocates have long argued that getting rid of the program would leave the country without a crucial tool used to investigate outbreaks of deadly foodborne illnesses.

 

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