Dispatches > The Buzz
- Angel Lenin Iglesias Hernandez (far right) left Cuba aboard a single-engine crop-duster plane, owned by the government of Fidel Castro, taking with him nine relatives and friends. One passenger died when the plane went down in the choppy waters of the Gulf of Mexico; a Panamanian freighter rescued the remaining defectors. Although the accident occurred closer to Cuba and Mexico than to the United States, the U.S. Coast Guard transported the survivors to Florida. The Immigration and Naturalization Service says it will grant the nine survivors permission to apply for U.S. residency. Mr. Hernandez, who brought his wife and two sons, said his sons were fearful they would be sent back to Cuba, like Elián Gonzalez.
- The American Association for the Advancement of Science issued a mock report card grading states on how well they teach Darwinism. Six states, including California, received perfect grades while 19 didn't pass. Kansas, which rekindled the issue last year by adopting standards that omitted references to macro-evolution and the big-bang theory, received the lowest grade and a description: "disgraceful." Linda Holloway, former chairman of the Kansas State Board of Education, said the report was deceptive and unfair. "Clearly they have an ax to grind about evolution," she said.
- An argument between a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old last week escalated into a gunfight on the grounds of their New Orleans middle school. Both boys were critically wounded. Witnesses told police that after an argument, someone passed the weapon to the younger boy through a fence. Police say that he shot the other boy, who then grabbed the gun and returned fire. Parents at the school say that a gang turf battle has been going on involving students.
- The board of a New York City school district last week banned its schools from sponsoring Boy Scout troops because of the Scouts' policy of excluding gay leaders. Community School District Two in Manhattan is the first in the city to ban Scout sponsorship. Scout troops may still meet on the campuses of the district's 42 schools.
- Charlie Butcher sold his 120-year-old cleaning supplies company to S.C. Johnson, then split up $18 million in bonuses among his 325 employees. Mr. Butcher, who lives in Boulder, Colo., said it has long been his belief that his employees made The Butcher Co. a success. "I meant it," he said.