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For the advisers of some high-school newspapers, censorship may be a difficult issue. But in the newsroom of Sheboygan South High School's Lake Breeze, the issue is clear cut.

Perusing a recent issue fresh off the press, a faculty adviser to the Wisconsin school's paper decided a touch of post-publication editing was needed on a paragraph in a sports story that he felt contained an overly harsh criticism of a school basketball player.

After consulting with the reporter who wrote the story, the adviser, Thomas Edson, ordered staff members to scissor out the paragraph from the page of all 1,450 issues of the Lake Breeze--a process that took about a half hour.

The newspapers were then delivered with a hole, one column wide and an inch deep, in the middle of the story.

Assistant Principal Michael Harris said the decision was "very reasonable,'' considering that the alternative might have been scrapping the entire batch and paying to reprint them.

What was missing from the other side of the edited page? "I don't remember because it wasn't there,'' said Mr. Harris. "But it wasn't a quote or anything.''

The nation's producers of small amounts of fuel alcohol may win an exemption from a new federal tax--thanks to a one-man lobbying effort by a Karval, Colo., science teacher.

As part of a course he teaches on energy and conservation at Karval High, Gayle E. Culberson each year produces a few quarts of ethanol, an alcohol-based fuel, to demonstrate its potential for operating internal-combustion engines.

But this year, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms told the teacher that his output was subject to a $500 occupational tax. The levy on producers of such fuels, officials explained, was contained in a little-noticed provision of the mammoth budget-reconciliation bill passed by the Congress in December.

Outraged, Mr. Culberson sent a letter protesting the tax to Senator William L. Armstrong.

The pressure tactic worked. The Colorado Republican last month persuaded his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee to adopt an amendment that would exempt small producers of fuel alcohol from the annual tax.

"A schoolteacher from a small farm community on the plains of Colorado has made the gears of government shift in a way that benefits us all,'' said Senator Armstrong. "This is a class in civics and good citizenship as much as good science.''

Lillian Barna, superintendent of Albuquerque schools since 1985, will move into the top school job in Tacoma, Wash., on July 1. The Albuquerque school board voted earlier this year not to renew her contract when it expires June 30.

Ms. Barna made headlines while presiding over the San Jose, Calif., school district during a period of massive layoffs and program cuts under Proposition 13. After the legislature failed to fund previously negotiated pay raises for teachers, she recommended that the district take the rare step of filing for bankruptcy.

Ms. Barna, who earns $78,750 in Albuquerque, will increase her salary to $91,500 as superintendent of the Tacoma schools.

Vol. 07, Issue 28

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