News In Brief

It's just a big teddy

Margaret Lowry got quite a surprise when she looked out her window in Adams, Mass., and saw a black bear, apparently asleep. She called police, who tried to wake the four-foot-long creature by sounding their cruiser siren. That didn't work, so they used a device that sounds like a firecracker. Still nothing, so they gave the bear a poke with a long prod. That's when they figured out it was ... stuffed. "It must have been some type of prank," says a local dispatcher. Police are keeping the bear - uncaged - at the station.

don't mess with me

He may have been in his 70s, but this was one determined citizen vigilante in Vancouver, British Columbia. The gentleman, who had been doing business at a local bank, took action against an alleged robber trying to get away on a bicycle, police said. When the crime fighter couldn't catch up on foot, he flagged down a motorist for help. Then the pair called police on a cellphone to bring them into the chase. And the pursuit paid off: "Basically," a police spokeswoman said, "the suspect ran into the arms of police."

Oregon students turn in highest ACT scores overall

This spring, a record number of graduating high school seniors - 1.1 million - took the ACT, formerly known as the American College Testing assessments. Their average composite score was 21 out of a possible 36 - the same as last year, according to the testing organization, which is based in Iowa City, Iowa. Following are the 10 states that had the highest average composite scores, with the percentage of high school students in each who took the test so far this year:

1. Oregon 12%, 22.7

2. New Hampshire 6%, 22.5

3. Washington 18%, 22.4

4. New York 14%, 22.2

(tie) Vermont 9%, 22.2

(tie) Wisconsin 69%, 22.2

7. Iowa 69%, 22.0

(tie) Minnesota 66%, 22.0

9. Massachusetts 7%, 21.9

(tie) Maine 5%, 21.9

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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