News In Brief

DROP A DIME; REPORT A CRIME The armed men robbed a grocery store on Staten Island, N.Y., and sped away in a car. By the time police arrived, the bad guys were long gone. Just another crime that would be tough to solve, right? Actually, it turned out to be easy. First, the getaway vehicle was found abandoned a few blocks away. Then one alert cop noticed a nickel on the ground beside it. A step away was a quarter. Then another nickel. Then ... well, you get the idea. The trail of coins led to a house where the suspects were hiding. It was, said one of the arresting officers, "better than bread crumbs."

ONLY THE AVERAGE NEED APPLY These days - across the vast spectrum of US education - there are charter schools for gifted students and for those with special needs. Now, from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., comes word of a proposed charter school for "C" students. It would need an enrollment of 800 to pay for itself, prompting one administrator to observe: "This is going to require strong marketing."

Top 10 US philanthropists ranked by their total giving

Based on extensive research and the application of stringent guidelines, Worth magazine has published a generosity ranking that attempts to tally lifetime giving. Gifts to personal foundations aren't included until the money is paid. Pledges don't count. Nor do increasingly public popular vows to leave a fortune to charity in one's will. Because donors can be intensely private about their gifts, the following totals are said to be conservative. Worth's most generous and their estimated donations to charitable causes (in millions):

1. George Soros $2.0 billion

2. Walter Annenberg 1.2 billion

3. William/Flora Hewlett 835

4. Charles Feeney 700

5. Laurance S. Rockefeller 386

6. James/Virginia Stowers 331

7. Leslie/Abigail Wexner 303

8. Arnold Beckman 300+

9. Jon/Karen Huntsman 275

10. Joan Kroc 250+

- Price's List of Lists

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