Veterans cemetery needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed to work three hours per week establishing records at the administration building and pre-registering veterans for burial at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 to 4 p.m. at the cemetery.

Disabled American veteran members can receive credit for their volunteer hours by filing paperwork with Theron Johnson. The cemetery is at 11463 State Highway 195, south of Killeen. For more information, call Johnson at (254) 634-7918.

Lawyer: Mom accused in fatal baby abduction upset

CONROE - Neighbors of a Texas woman accused of kidnapping a newborn boy after fatally shooting his mother said Thursday they were shocked when a photo of the friendly, polite woman flashed across their television screens following her arrest.

Verna McClain is accused of shooting 28-year-old Kala Golden outside a suburban Houston pediatric center and abducting her 3-day-old son, who was later found safe.

McClain made a brief court appearance earlier Thursday, where she quietly told a judge she understood she was facing a capital murder charge, which could carry a death sentence. Her court-appointed lawyers said she was confused, visibly upset and mumbling to them during the hearing.

McClain intends to plead not guilty, defense attorney E. Tay Bond said, adding that a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was "certainly something we will be visiting."

The judge delayed a bond hearing until Monday to give McClain's lawyers more time to review the case.

Officials want Texas math standards to excel national ones

AUSTIN - Texas' top education official said the state should hammer out new K-12 math curriculum standards that are better than national requirements adopted almost everywhere in the country - or delay approving anything until it can.

The new, 10-year requirements are up for final passage by the State Board today.

But Education Commissioner Robert Scott said Thursday that making the final product better than national math standards adopted in 45 states is more important than meeting the deadline.

He said if the standards aren't better, the board should call a special meeting to finish the job in May.

Fewer people register for Susan G. Komen races

DALLAS - Many supporters of the Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity have abandoned the group's events after it decided to stop making grants to Planned Parenthood and then reversed that decision.

In the months since the controversy, organizers of individual Race for the Cure events have seen participation decline by as much as 30 percent. Most also saw their fundraising numbers go down, although a couple of races brought in more money.

Race organizers acknowledge the effect of the Planned Parenthood decision, which angered people on both sides of the abortion debate.

- Herald staff, wire reports

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