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AP Briefs

May 07, 2003

Sniper victims' fund tops $500,000


ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - Checks for $5,000 will be distributed to the families of 16 people shot in the Washington area sniper shootings, money that comes from $500,000 raised by a victim advocacy group.

The payments are the third by the Victims' Rights Foundation, which has taken donations from across the country to help relatives of those killed and survivors of the sniper shootings.

This round also includes two Prince George's men allegedly shot by sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo in September.

The men, Paul LaRuffa and Muhammad Rashid, were originally left out because they weren't among the victims shot during the October shooting spree.

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Gov. Rendell to forgo scheduled pay raise


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell last month asked the largest state employee union to accept a wage freeze to help ease the state budget crunch.

Now Rendell says he'll do his part, too, and forgo a scheduled pay raise for his $144,463 salary.

Rendell said Monday he would turn down the cost-of-living raise scheduled for next year as a symbolic cost-cutting gesture. The raise likely would have been about $3,000.

On Monday, Rendell sent a memo to his cabinet advising them of his decision, adding, "I strongly recommend that each of you do the same."




Northrup Grumman call center may close


FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) - A Northrop Grumman call service center could close this summer if the company fails to win renewal of its contract with the government's Sierra Tri-Care insurance program for military families.

Northrop Grumman sent a letter last week to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation that said if another company wins the contract, the Frostburg center could shut down as early as June 30.

The call center has been at the former Micro-Integration building since January 2001. It employs 137 people, although 30 people were laid off last week because the number of calls to the center was down.

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