\TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICT APOLOGIZES TO VALEDICTORIAN: JOSHUA, Texas (AP) — A North Texas school district has apologized to a high-school valedictorian whose microphone was switched off during a graduation ceremony when he deviated from prepared remarks.
Joshua School District Superintendent Fran Marek apologized to Remington Reimer after meeting with him and his attorney Thursday. In a statement, Marek says she wishes Reimer "success for all future endeavors."
Reimer's microphone was switched off during the June 6 ceremony after he deviated from prepared remarks and began talking about his religious beliefs.
He also alleged that his principal threatened to contact the U.S. Naval Academy, where Reimer has been accepted, to complain about his bad character. But Marek said "the district has never intended to, nor will take, punitive action."
Reimer says he's thankful and knew the school district would support him.
SEVERE EGG ALLERGY? THERE'S NOW A FLU SHOT FOR YOU: ATLANTA (AP) — People with serious egg allergies may no longer have to worry about flu shots.
A federal advisory panel on Thursday said a new vaccine that's made without eggs is an option for adults with severe allergies. Current flu shots are made from viruses grown in eggs and could trigger allergic reactions in some cases.
The new Flublok vaccine is made with cell technology, which is used for other kinds of vaccines. It was licensed in January by Protein Sciences Corp.
Officials don't know how many Americans skip flu shots because they're allergic to eggs.
About 1 in 66 children have egg allergies, though most kids outgrow them. The new vaccine is not an option for kids. So far it's licensed only for adults ages 18 to 49.
DOT DIDN'T FLAG CAUTION ON I-5 SPAN: OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state's transportation department has known since the 1970s that the Interstate 5 bridge that recently collapsed after being clipped by a truck hauling an oversize load had been struck repeatedly before by similar big rigs.
Just last fall, a tall vehicle crossing the Skagit River bridge hit the overhead structure, ripping a 3-inch gash in the steel and deforming three components.
Even knowing that history, state officials didn't take precautions as they often do to prevent truckers from hitting overhead structures, raising questions about whether the state could have done more to prevent the collapse from happening.
The Associated Press found that the DOT regularly puts detailed warnings on its trucking permits when routes are projected to encounter potentially problematic areas of low clearance. But the Skagit bridge — along the crucial I-5 corridor between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia — was never added to that group.
Federal transportation investigators believe an oversize load struck the bridge last month, causing a portion of it to collapse into the river and taking two vehicles with it. Nobody was seriously injured, but the failure has continued to disrupt transportation and renewed attention on the condition of the nation's infrastructure.
WOMAN ACCUSED IN RICIN CASE TO UNDERGO PSYCH EXAM: TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — A federal judge Thursday ordered a psychological exam for the Texas woman accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an attempt to frame her estranged husband.
Shannon Richardson's court-appointed attorney, Tonda Curry, requested the exam, saying Richardson, 35, had displayed "a pattern of behavior" that raised the question about whether she could assist in her defense. Curry's wrote in a motion that her belief was based on a series of conversations with Richardson, who has been jailed since her June 7 arrest on a charge of sending a threatening communication to the president.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven's ruling means Richardson, who is six months pregnant, will be evaluated at a medical facility within the federal Bureau of Prisons, possibly within the next 30 days, to determine whether she can assist in her defense.
OBAMA NOMINATING COMEY AS FBI DIRECTOR FRIDAY: WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday plans to nominate President George W. Bush's former No. 2 at the Justice Department, James Comey, to lead the FBI as the agency grapples with privacy debates over a host of recently exposed investigative tactics.
Comey is perhaps best known for a remarkable 2004 standoff over a no-warrant wiretapping program at the hospital bed of Attorney General John Ashcroft. Comey rushed to the side of his bedridden boss to physically stop White House officials in their attempt to get an ailing Ashcroft to reauthorize the program.
If confirmed by the Senate, Comey would serve a 10-year tenure and replace Robert Mueller, who has held the job since the week before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Mueller is set to resign on Sept. 4 after overseeing the bureau's transformation into one the country's chief weapons against terrorism.
The White House said in a statement that Obama would announce his choice of Comey on Friday afternoon.
ALA MAN GETS PRISON FOR TWEETED OBAMA THREAT: HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A judge has sentenced an Alabama man to a year in federal prison for tweeting a threat against President Barack Obama.
U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith imposed the sentence on Jarvis M. Britton during a hearing Thursday in Huntsville.
Britton must spend three years on probation after finishing the prison term.
The 26-year-old Birmingham man pleaded guilty in March to threatening the president's life. Prosecutors say Britton sent a tweet in September that said, "Let's kill the president. F.E.A.R."
Several people have been linked to a national militia group that prosecutors say was called F.E.A.R. It stands for Forever Enduring Always Ready.