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Gunman spurs police to escort school buses

ATLANTA (AP) -- Police in an Atlanta suburb are escorting school buses and guarding students at bus stops after a man aimed a rifle at a bus with children on board and dropped a notebook that listed bus numbers.

The man fled when witnesses confronted him Monday, but police recovered the rifle and notebook at the scene south of Atlanta.

A witness saw the man pointing the rifle at a passing school bus, Clayton County Police Officer Phong Nguyen said.

The notebook was found with the weapon, said David Waller, a spokesman for the Clayton County schools.

A second witness chased the man but stopped when he fired a second gun at him, authorities said.

Buses carrying students to and from six schools are getting extra police protection.

The plan is to continue the police escorts through Friday, which is the last day of the school year, Nguyen said.


Sebelius will speak despite church protests

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A planned graduation speech by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Georgetown University is going forward, despite criticism from the Archdiocese of Washington that Sebelius is an inappropriate choice for the Jesuit school.

The Archdiocese on Tuesday said in a statement that Sebelius' actions as a public official "present the most direct challenge to religious liberty in recent history." Sebelius helped shape President Obama's 2010 health care law, which includes a mandate that requires employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control for workers. Catholic bishops have led opposition to the mandate.

Sebelius, a former Kansas governor, is scheduled to speak Friday at a ceremony for graduates of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute.

A Georgetown spokeswoman said Wednesday that the plans have not changed.


New standard expected to aid lead diagnoses

ATLANTA (AP) -- For the first time in 20 years, U.S. health officials have lowered the threshold for lead poisoning in young children.

The new standard announced Wednesday means that hundreds of thousands more youngsters could be diagnosed with high levels of lead. Too much lead is harmful to developing brains and can mean a lower IQ.

Most youngsters get it from paint chips or dust in older homes with lead paint.

"Unfortunately, many, many more parents will be getting bad news," said Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing, a Maryland-based nonprofit focused on hazards to kids in homes.

The standard is for children younger than 6. The CDC announced the change Wednesday, adopting recommendations made in January by an advisory panel of experts. The new standard was calculated from the highest lead levels seen in a comprehensive annual U.S. health survey. The CDC plans to reassess that level every four years.