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Parents Pitch in

When budget cuts forced the end of school lunch last fall in Jeffrey City, Wyo., students' stomachs weren't the only things grumbling.

But disgruntled parents in the town of 1,900 may soon have students eating better than ever.

Since October, parents have financed and prepared lunch for the K-12 school's 40 students on Thursdays and Fridays. But starting next month, bagel pizzas, meatball sandwiches, and turkey enchiladas will return to school as everyday fixtures.

JoDee Jamerman, the business manager for the Jeffrey City School, said parents have turned lunch into their top priority, soliciting donations from neighbors and merchants to provide school meals. One parent also has been volunteering as the school's unofficial chef.

A downturn in income from uranium mining has depleted the district's tax base and created a pessimistic outlook for restoring this year's cuts. "We're hoping we can pay for lunch next year," Ms. Jamerman said. "But that's probably not going to happen."

School Wins Toss

A letter written by Albert Einstein nearly 50 years ago has just been delivered to the Pinellas County, Fla., school system. But the delayed delivery had nothing to do with the U.S. Postal Service. The school system won the letter in a coin toss.

The letter, dated April 1947, was part of the estate of Edward and Sarianne Andrews and was written to Mr. Andrews. In the letter, Einstein offers to send Mr. Andrews a book, and the letter bears the scientist's signature. Einstein died in 1955 at age 76.

Mr. Andrews died in 1973; his wife died in 1991.

Multiple parties were named in the couple's will, including the school system and All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Both wanted the letter, and the school offered to share custody with the hospital. The hospital turned down the offer, saying it wanted to auction the letter.

So with both sides standing their ground, their lawyers decided to flip a coin to decide possession. It was heads and victory for the school system. The letter was delivered to Superintendent J. Howard Hinesley late last month.

"The letter is very unique and will be shared with students in some type of display," said Bob Paskel, a deputy superintendent. As of last week, just how the letter will be exhibited to the system's 103,000 students was still uncertain.

--Lonnie Harp & Adrienne D. Coles

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