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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   The State of Missouri may have to pay part of the costs for the school transfer program.  The unaccredited Normandy School District will spend between 15 and 18 million dollars to send hundreds of students to Francis Howell and other, better performing districts.  Missouri Education Commissioner Dr. Chris Nicastro told Fox 2 News that at that rate, Normandy will likely run out of money before the end of the school year.

"If Normandy cannot meet their obligations, then there's going to have to be some money come from somewhere," Nicastro said.  "The legislature's the only body I know of that can appropriate those funds." 

   Dr. Nicastro says the costs could go up next year.  That's when new education standards kick in across the state, which she believes will cause more districts to become unaccredited.  

 

   SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A New York man charged with trying to extort money from embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen is scheduled to appear before a federal judge to change his plea.

   Thomas George Paculis was to appear Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Savannah, where he pleaded not guilty during his last hearing in July.

   Court records filed last week say 62-year-old Paculis of Newfield, N.Y., has signed a plea agreement with prosecutors. But details have not been released.

   Prosecutors and Paculis' defense attorney have declined to comment.

   Authorities say Paculis contacted Deen's attorney threatening to reveal damaging statements by the former Food Network star unless she paid him $200,000. That happened after documents became public that showed Deen acknowledged using racial slurs in the past.

 

   LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. (AP) - Two New Jersey officials say 16 workers from a county garage in Toms River have one of the three winning tickets in the $448 million Powerball jackpot.

   The Press of Atlantic City reports that Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department Director Jim Pine and Freeholder Jack Kelly say the employees have the ticket sold at an Acme Markets store in Little Egg Harbor.

   Pine says they're a group of "wonderful, hardworking people," who showed up for work on Thursday.

   Paul White, a 45 year old project engineer from Ham Lake, Minn., claimed his third of the jackpot Thursday. He's taking a lump sum, which will amount to $58.3 million after taxes.

   The holder of the third ticket, also from New Jersey, hasn't come forward yet. That ticket was sold in a supermarket in central New Jersey.

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