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POSTED December 23, 2012 6:45 p.m.

• AIR MARSHAL PROGRAM A MODEL FOR SCHOOLS?: WASHINGTON (AP) — The former congressman who’s heading the National Rifle Association’s school emergency response program that would include volunteers to help guard children says it makes sense because it’s similar to placing air marshals on planes.

Asa Hutchinson tells ABC’s “This Week” that the air marshal program has provided a deterrent and made flying safer.

He says putting trained guards such as retired police officers or military persons at schools will help protect students. Hutchinson says hiring guards to defend schools is a “very reasonable approach” but it should be a local choice.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a prominent Republican, says the approach will turn schools into an armed camp for kids.



• OFFICIAL: NAVY SEAL DIED OF APPARENT SUICIDE: WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. military officials are investigating the apparent suicide of a Navy SEAL commander in Afghanistan.

Navy SEAL Cdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa., died Saturday of a non-combat-related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

A U.S. military official said the death “appears to be the result of suicide.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the death is still being investigated.

“The Naval Special Warfare family is deeply saddened by the loss of our teammate,” said Capt. Robert Smith, Commander of Naval Special Warfare Group Two, which manages all Virginia-based Navy SEAL teams. “We extend our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family, friends, and NSW community during this time of grieving.”

A U.S. military official confirmed Price was from Virginia Beach, Va.-based SEAL Team 4, which is part of the mission to train Afghan local police to stave off the Taliban in remote parts of Afghanistan. Price is survived by a wife and a daughter.



• MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SEN. INOUYE HELD IN HAWAII: HONOLULU (AP) — The late Sen. Daniel Inouye was remembered Sunday as an American hero whose legacy as a war veteran and longtime senator would be felt across Hawaii for years to come.

The memorial service at Honolulu’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was attended by about 1,000 people, including President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Hawaii’s congressional delegation and a number of other senators, cabinet secretaries and other dignitaries.

“Daniel was the best senator among us all,” Reid told those assembled, adding later: “Whenever we needed a noble man to lean on, we turned to Sen. Dan Inouye. He was fearless.”

The cemetery, a strikingly beautiful site located in an extinct volcano, is the final resting place to thousands of World War II veterans. More than 400 members of the storied Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team — of which Inouye was a part — are buried at the site.



• AUDITS OF BUSINESSES FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RISING: SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reached its highest number yet of companies audited for illegal immigrants on their payrolls this past fiscal year.

Audits of employer I-9 forms increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million. The number of company managers arrested has increased to 238, according to data provided by ICE.

The investigations of companies have been one of the pillars of President Barack Obama’s immigration policy.

When Obama recently spoke about addressing immigration reform in his second term, he said any measure should contain penalties for companies that purposely hire illegal immigrants. It’s not a new stand, but one he will likely highlight as his administration launches efforts to revamp the nation’s immigration system.

“Our goal is compliance and deterrence,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge at ICE’s Seattle office. “The majority of the companies we do audits on end up with no fines at all, but again it’s part of the deterrence method. If companies know we’re out there, looking across the board, they’re more likely to bring themselves into compliance.”



• POLICE: 1 BLACKJACK DEALER STABS ANOTHER IN VEGAS: LAS VEGAS (AP) — A fight between two female blackjack dealers at a Las Vegas Strip resort sent one to the hospital and the other to jail.

Brenda Wilson, 50,  is accused of stabbing the other dealer Friday night in a blackjack pit at the Bellagio hotel-casino.

The incident comes a week after an Illinois man shot and fatally wounded an ex-girlfriend in the hotel lobby at the Excalibur resort on the Strip, then killed himself there.

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