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Short takes

VOUCHERS are a major topic of discussion for public schools. More and more taxpayers want their money spent on good schools and not failing ones. These taxpayers are willing to let parents determine where children attend school instead of geography.

Over the years, the Promise scholarships have worked that way. State taxpayers pick up the tuition in state for students who graduate from high school with a B average or better, provided they score above average on the college entrance exams, and keep up their grades in college.

Without having to worry about tuition, students have a better chance of going to the school they really want to go to instead of the one they can afford.

The big winner is West Virginia University, which was the school of choice among 44 percent of Promise scholars, according to the latest data.

Vouchers work in college, why not try them throughout education?

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JAMES Grissom spent 10 years in prison in

California for raping Sara Ylen, a woman he

had never even met. While her story had changed over time, Grissom previously served time for molesting a 6-year-old girl.

Years later, though, police discovered Ylen got his name off a registry of sex offenders to falsely accuse him of the fake rape.

Over the years, Ylen made up other stories, such as having cancer. Donations poured in.

But finally, her years of lying caught up with her. A jury in Port Huron, Mich., this month spent only 30 minutes to convict her of falsely accusing two men of rape in two separate cases.  

The judge set sentencing for Jan. 17.

She should serve a term no shorter than the 10 years behind bars that she made Grissom spend.

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THE Baseball Hall of Fame will induct three managers this summer: Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox. All have excellent

won-loss records and each has at least one World Series ring.  

There's just one problem. Each cheated. Oh, not directly, but they looked the other way while a few of their players broke the law and used steroids to improve their game.

"They owe their success, in part, to the likes of Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens and John Rocker. McGwire and Clemens, of course, would already have been cast in bronze were it not for the taint of allegations about performance-enhancing drugs," wrote Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Mahler.

"So why is it acceptable for managers to ride supposedly PED-inflated statistics into the Hall, but not for players?"

That's an excellent question. In the 1980s and 1990s, professional baseball did not punish its cheaters; instead Major League Baseball rewarded them with huge contracts and great praise.

Suddenly, the two leagues have had a conversion and have decided to keep the cheats out of the Hall of Fame. And rightly so. But since their players don't deserve this honor, the managers don't. Sports are supposed to be about fair play and sportsmanship.

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IN honor of Pearl Harbor Day, Campbell Soup's media managers sent out a tweet: "Take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us." It was a nice message except that they accompanied it with a cartoon SpaghettiOs mascot cheerfully waving a flag.

Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs. The reaction to the self-promotion was swift and brutal. People used Twitter to ridicule the brand without mercy as they depicted the mascot cheering the Hindenburg disaster, the Bataan death march and JFK's funeral.

Finally, after 10 hours of this, the corporate social media experts raised the white flag and apologized.

Speaking of mea culpas, last week's Short Takes said the Japanese air force bombed Pearl Harbor.

It was the Japanese Imperial Navy.

We all make mistakes. The Daily Mail, SpaghettiOs and of course, Japan for bombing the United States and starting a war that ended the Japanese empire.

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OFFICIALS announced this week that in the first two months of Healthcare.gov, 1,237 West Virginians enrolled in health insurance plans through the federal exchange.

There are more students enrolled in 16 of West Virginia's high schools.

Perhaps demand for health insurance was not as great as people were led to believe during passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.


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