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FAMU GRADE FRAUD TURNS F'S TO A'S

TALLAHASSEE

Three Florida A&M University students have been indicted on federal charges for allegedly changing the grades of more than 90 fellow students, according to a statement Tuesday from the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Between June and December 2007, Marcus Barrington, 23, Christopher Jacquette, 27, and Lawrence Secrease, 22, allegedly accessed the FAMU computer system and changed about 650 grades, increasing the grades for the majority of students and in turn making the students eligible for grants, loans and scholarships. About 114 of the grades were changed from F's to A's, which resulted in students being awarded thousands of dollars worth of credit hours.

All three were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, unauthorized computer access and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, they could get a maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy, five years for unauthorized computer access and a consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of two years for aggravated identify theft.

TAMPA

Fainting reported among early voters

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White says he's heard several reports of people passing out from the heat while waiting in line at early voting sites.

White, who is serving on the county's elections canvassing board, put out a news release Tuesday calling on county Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson to do something about it.

Johnson said the problem is particularly acute at tiny College Hill Library, an early voting site in central Tampa popular among black voters. He said his staff erected a 10- by 10-foot tent there Tuesday because there's little waiting area inside. He said he was aware of only one person passing out, someone a few days away from undergoing surgery.

SPRING HILL

One killed, 2 injured in head-on collision

One man died and two others were seriously injured in a head-on collision Tuesday night in Spring Hill.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a two-door Honda and a Chevy sport utility vehicle crashed on U.S. 41 just north of State Road 52 at 7:27 p.m.

The passenger of the Honda died at the scene, and the driver suffered critical injuries, said patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

The Chevy driver had serious injuries as well, and all three people were airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital. Gaskins said he does not believe the man who died had been wearing a seat belt.

The names of the victims were being withheld until next of kin were notified.

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