National briefs: NAACP leader to step down

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WASHINGTON -- NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous, who is credited with boosting the finances and outreach of the nation's largest civil rights organization, said Sunday that he plans to step down at the end of the year.

The Baltimore-based group said that its rosters of online activists and donors have grown tremendously during his five-year tenure. Mr. Jealous was the group's youngest-ever leader when he was hired as its president at age 35 in 2008.

In a written statement Sunday, Mr. Jealous said he plans to pursue teaching at a university and wants to spend time with his young family.

Mr. Jealous plans to step down on Dec. 31.

Mr. Jealous also plans to start a political action committee to raise money to elect diverse progressive candidates to public office, though not necessarily only Democrats, he told USA Today.

Mr. Jealous is credited with improving the NAACP's finances and donor base over the past five years. The group said its donors have increased from 16,000 people giving each year to more than 132,000.

Children hurt at festival

NORWALK, Conn. -- Twelve children were injured when a festival attraction that swings riders into the air lost power at a community fair in Connecticut on Sunday afternoon, but none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, authorities said.

Most of the children suffered minor injuries and were treated at the Oyster Festival in Norwalk, police said. Norwalk police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said preliminary indications are that the injuries were not as severe as first feared.

One hospital reported three in stable condition and another reported three were being evaluated.

Chief Kulhawik estimated that some children fell up to 15 feet to the ground while some hit other riders and some hit the ride itself.

One adult was also among the 13 people transported to hospitals after the mishap.

SWAT team kills man, 107

PINE BLUFF, Ark. -- A 107-year-old man was killed after SWAT officers shot back at him during a standoff at a home, police in the southeastern Arkansas city of Pine Bluff said Sunday.

Police were called to the home Saturday afternoon about a disturbance and say officers arrived to find Monroe Isadore had threatened two people by pointing a weapon at them.

Gasoline rises to $3.58

HOUSTON -- The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 2.61 cents in the past two weeks to $3.5847 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The survey covers the period ended Friday.

The average, which reached a year-to-date peak of $3.795 in the period ended Feb. 22, is about 25 cents below the year-earlier price of $3.8376 a gallon.

3-year-old's death probed

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. -- Yellowstone National Park officials are investigating after an Idaho woman reported her 3-year-old daughter shot herself with a handgun in a campground.

Park rangers responded Saturday morning to Grant Village Campground, but resuscitation efforts failed, resulting in what officials said was the first shooting death in the park since 1978.

-- Compiled from news services



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