Former governor, ambassador dies

BOSTON - Former Massachusetts Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci died of complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 65.

His death was announced Saturday by Dr. Michael F. Collins, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where Cellucci was involved in raising funds for ALS research.

Cellucci was elected lieutenant governor in 1990 and was elevated to acting governor in 1997 when his predecessor, William Weld, resigned to pursue an ambassadorship. Cellucci won election as governor in his own right in 1998. He later served as U.S. ambassador to Canada.

Cellucci was considered a moderate cast in the mold of New England Republicans - fiscally conservative yet middle of the road on many social issues.


Zimmerman hearing adjourned till Monday

SANFORD - A Florida judge suspended until Monday a hearing to determine if voice-recognition experts will be allowed to testify at George Zimmerman's trial.

Circuit Judge Debra Nelson halted the hearing Saturday after an audio expert was unable to testify because he was stuck at an airport. She will issue a ruling after testimony is concluded.

The hearing will continue Monday along with the first day of jury selection in Zimmerman's trial. He has been charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

Audio experts have been giving testimony over the past three days on whether screams heard on 911 calls can be attributed to either Martin or Zimmerman.

New York

Standardized tests called too tough

ALBANY - Thousands of teachers and their supporters have rallied in Albany against what they say is the misuse of standardized tests.

The rally Saturday in front of the state Capitol was organized by the New York State United Teachers.

Union head Richard Iannuzzi told the crowd, "The time is now to reclaim the promise of public education."

The Journal News reported that many speakers complained about statewide tests in math and English students took this spring.

The tests were aligned to the Common Core standards that are intended to increase rigor. Many teachers complained that the tests were too difficult.

New Mexico

Fires throughout state stretch resources

ALBUQUERQUE - More than 2,000 firefighters pressed forward Saturday in battling two large northern New Mexico wildfires as smaller blazes popped up throughout the drought-stricken state, stretching resources and prompting more warnings.

Officials said both the 29-square-miles Thompson Ridge Fire and the 15-square-mile Tres Lagunas Blaze remained 40 percent contained. The infernos were burning on opposite ends of the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico sending smoke to nearby communities,.

Smoke from the wind Thompson Ridge Fire is expected to bring smoke as far south as Albuquerque late Saturday and early today, city environmental officials said.

An evacuation order remains in effect for Thompson Ridge, Rancho de la Cueva and Elk Valley.

Meanwhile, several small fires were reportedly burning in the Gila National Forest. The new fires were blamed on lightning strikes from thunderstorms Friday.

The Associated Press