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Assistant principal released in shootings

An elementary school assistant principal who had been arrested in the deaths of his former wife, mother-in-law and three children was released from custody Wednesday night, according to Bakersfield police who concluded they did not have enough evidence to hold him.

Vincent Brothers, 41, walked out of the Pasquotank County jail in North Carolina less than 12 hours after authorities in California had him arrested for "probable cause" and barely a day after he had turned himself in to authorities.

In a news release, Bakersfield police said they still consider Brothers a suspect in the deaths of five family members who were discovered shot to death in their home Tuesday. But they decided to let him go because of "new information received from another state," the statement said.

Factory shooter had taken

anger control classes

MERIDIAN, Miss. _ Doug Williams, who killed five coworkers at a Mississippi plant before shooting himself Tuesday, had been in a meeting with managers about the importance of being responsible in the workplace just hours before the shooting.

Williams, 48, had undergone anger counseling at least once in the past couple of years, co-workers said. Sheriff Billy Sollie said investigators were seeking Williams' personnel records and would not comment on any problems he might have had at work.

Senate votes down malpractice cap bill

WASHINGTON _ Senate Democrats on Wednesday killed legislation limiting the ability of medical malpractice victims to win monetary damages, rejecting Bush administration claims that caps would halt frivolous lawsuits and ease a health care crisis.

The 49-48 vote was 11 short of the 60 needed to overcome Democratic objections. The outcome fell largely along party lines.

"The nation's medical liability system is badly broken, and access to quality health care for Americans is endangered by frivolous and abusive lawsuits," said President Bush, who has made legal reform a priority.

Phoenix suburb is fastest-growing city

WASHINGTON _ Americans on the move are seeking space and sun, turning once-sleepy suburbs in Arizona, Nevada and California into the fastest-growing cities in the country.

The Phoenix suburb of Gilbert has grown by nearly 25 percent in a little over two years to lead the way, according to Census Bureau estimates being released Thursday. Communities around Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego also experienced population booms between April 2000 and July 2002.

New York remains the country's largest city with 8.1-million residents, an increase of just less than 1 percent, or about 76,000 people.

The western Broward County city of Parkland was the fastest-growing Florida city, gaining nearly 12 percent more residents. Jacksonville is the state's largest city, with 762,461 residents, up 3.6 percent.

Elsewhere . . .

CLINTON BOOK SALES TOP 1-MILLION: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has sold more than 1-million copies of her memoir Living History in almost a month, her publisher, Simon & Schuster, said Wednesday. The company ordered 1-million copies for the first printing, an extraordinarily high number for a nonfiction book, and has ordered at least 300,000 more since.

SIX CHILDREN DIE IN FIRE: Fire burned through a mobile home in Midway Park, N.C., early Wednesday, killing six children and injuring six people who were inside, authorities said.

Authorities are trying to determine what started the blaze just outside Camp Lejeune.