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POSTED March 25, 2013 9:59 p.m.

$5.6 MILLION BUDGET GAP FOR SACRAMENTO SCHOOLS: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Schools could be shuttered and positions could be eliminated as the Sacramento City Unified School District seeks to close a $5.6 million budget gap next school year.

The deficit is smaller than in recent years but it still could lead to cuts such as the closure of seven elementary schools and the reduction of central office positions, including one high-level administrator.

The newspaper says the district faces rising costs for health care and employee pay, as well as less revenue due to falling enrollment.

Last week district trustees heard and then adopted a staff proposal for closing the gap. District spokesman Gabe Ross described the interim plan as a worst-case scenario.

The district has not yet considered its full 2013-14 budget, which it must adopt by July 1.

 3 PEOPLE STABBED IN PA. TARGET STORE; MAN ARRESTED: PITTSBURGH (AP) — Authorities say a confrontation stemming from an earlier altercation led a man to stab three people inside a Target store in Pittsburgh, including a 16-year-old girl who was seriously injured.

Police say a man brandishing a knife ran into the store in Pittsburgh's East Liberty section shortly after 5:30 p.m. Monday and was pursued by two other men.

A police spokeswoman says the knife-wielding man grabbed a teenage girl standing with family members inside the store and ended up stabbing her and slashing two men. She was listed in serious condition at Children's Hospital.

The injured men were taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, and a bystander was taken to UPMC Shadyside Hospital for chest pains. A police officer was treated for exposure to pepper spray.

NC FATHER KILLS SON, 10, WHILE CLEANING GUN: FAIRMONT, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a 10-year-old boy was killed in North Carolina when he was shot by his father while the parent cleaned a shotgun.

Robeson County deputies say 34-year-old Christopher Stanlane was on the couch in his Fairmont home wiping down the gun around 4 p.m. Sunday when it fired.

Investigators say the boy was sitting in front of his father watching television and was struck in the head. Paramedic declared him dead at the home.

No charges have been filed, and deputies are still investigating the shooting.

NORTHERN IND. MANUFACTURERS PRODUCING MORE RVS: GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — The recreational vehicle industry has had its best February since the economic downturn began, producing 6 percent more units than the same month last year.

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association figures released Monday show manufacturers produced nearly 23,300 towable RVs and more than 2,800 motor homes last month.

Association spokesman Bill Baker tells The Elkhart Truth it was the industry's best February since 2008.

Most RV manufacturers have operations in northern Indiana.

The industry suffered during the recession, sending the unemployment rate in the Elkhart County area spiking above 15 percent in December 2009.

CHILD TELLS US COURT IN DETROIT HE WAS SLAVE LABOR: DETROIT (AP) — Some of the children were only in middle school when a former tennis pro from Africa faked immigration papers and brought them to Michigan, where he forced them to cook and clean while starving and beating them with toilet plungers, broomsticks and electrical cords.

Jean-Claude Toviave presented the children as his own, but authorities and the victims' statements described them as little more than slaves with little chance to escape in a foreign country.

"I prayed at night that God would either help me to be free or allow your assaults to kill me," one boy, now in high school, wrote in a victim impact statement. "The pain is something I will never forget. In the midst of your verbal and physical assaults, you worked the four of us to death."

Toviave, 44, was sentenced Monday to more than 11 years in federal prison after a jury convicted him in October on four counts of forced labor. He previously pleaded guilty to fraud and misuse of visas, mail fraud and harboring aliens.

In a court filing, prosecutors said the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Toviave brought the four children from Togo in 2006 and forced them to work in his home in Ypsilanti, near Ann Arbor, for nearly five years until January 2011. Toviave, who was a tennis pro in Togo until 1990, presented the children as his own and enrolled some of them in middle school when they arrived. They now range in age from teenagers to young adults.

MAN, 22, DIES WHILE SWINGING FROM UTAH ROCK ARCH: SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 22-year-old Utah man was killed trying to swing through the opening of a 110-foot-tall sandstone arch in a stunt made so popular on YouTube that state authorities recently banned the daredevil activity by commercial outfitters.

Kyle Lee Stocking, of West Jordan, left too much slack in the rope he was using, and it sent him crashing into the sandstone base of Corona Arch near Moab, Grand County sheriff's officials said. He died Sunday afternoon.

Viral videos have bolstered the activity, which involves swinging wildly from ropes through arch and canyon openings. One video titled "World's Largest Rope Swing" has racked up more than 17 million views on YouTube since it was posted in February.

"Pendulum" swinging is a relatively new form of recreation in Utah's canyon lands, which see plenty of injuries and deaths from rock climbing and BASE jumping, which involves leaping from a fixed object with a parachute. On March 13, another man, Zachery Taylor, was killed rappelling at Tear Drop Arch in Utah's Monument Valley.

It's part of the recreational "craziness" sweeping the Moab area, where the annual Jeep Safari week got started Saturday, another potentially dangerous activity that involves rock crawling in modified vehicles, said John Weisheit, of Living Rivers, a local environmental group.

The Utah Trust Lands Administration tried to curb Corona Arch's growing appeal by banning commercial jumping effective Jan. 1. But the agency said it can't prevent private parties from using its lands. The agency posted a trailhead warning about the potential for "severe injury or death even if your equipment works."

 

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