New chromium form safer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A new form of chromium could help athletes beef up their bodies without dangerous anabolic steroids, enable diabetics to use less insulin and cut cholesterol, a researcher said Tuesday.

Gary Evans, a chemistry professor at Bemidji State University in Minnesota discussed the possible benefits of “chromium picolinate” during a meeting of the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Two Studies at Bemidji State found that the compound “builded up” muscle and cut down body fat, he said. In one study, football players on the same exercise programs took either chromium picolinate or a placebo.

Those taking the chromium picolinate showed an average 42 percent greater growth in lean body mass and a 22 percent drop in total body fat, compared to a 1.06 percent drop for the control group, he said.

Mayor blamed for city’s woes

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP)[[cf1]] – Gov. James R. Thompson says he blames Mayor Carl Officer for this Southern Illinois city’s numerous problems and is vowing that no long-term state aid will be forthcoming until Officer is gone.

“I guess he’s not sending me a birthday card,” Officer responded Tuesday, noting his birthday is two weeks away.

Officer’s personal attorney disputed Thompson’s comments and said the administration will stand its ground even “if it takes going to war with the governor.”

In a copyright story in Tuesday’s editions of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Thompson said the state will provide emergency aid to the city, “but long-term help is impossible under the current administration.”

Wells Fargo heist network crime

ARTFROD, Conn. (AP) – Five men charged in the $7.1 million Wells Fargo robbery didn’t commit the heist itself but were part of a network that planned the crime and spirited the money to a violent Puerto Rican nationalist group, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.

In closing arguments of the five-month trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Esrpinosa Van Kirk said the government had proved that the key defendant planned the theft and helped Wells Fargo guard Victor M. Gerena, who stole the money from a company depot, flee the country.

“We’re not claiming he was in the vault with Victor Gerena,” Van Kirk said of defendant Juan Segarra Palmer, 39. “We are claiming that the evidence has showed that he assisted … in the taking of that money.”

The four other defendants either helped transport the money first to Massachusetts and then to Mexico, or used some of it to buy holiday gifts for poor childern, Van Kirk said.

Math standards released

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s math teachers on Tuesday released standards designed to make sure pupils learn to explore and reason as well as add, subtract, multiply and divide.

“Our children are internationally competitive in … arithmetical skills,” said John Dossey, chairman of the standards commission of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “Measurement and data analysis is where our students are falling short.”

Dossey, a math professor at Illinois State University, cited studies showing that basic skills have improved over the past 20 years. “Yet today only about one-half of American 17-year-olds can say whether 87 percent of 10 is less than 10, greater than 10 or equal to 10, or figure out how much carpet is needed to cover a floor,” he said.

The council’s curriculum and evaluation standards, a collection of 54 guidelines for kindergarten through high school, were two years in the making and aim to raise the level of applied math skills.

Student receives apology

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) – For the second time this school year, administrators at the local high school are apologizing to a black student for racial slurs attributed to the town’s teen-agers, officials said Tuesday.

A group of about 50 freshmen and sophomores at Pekin Community High accosted an unidentified black student who was visting from Champaign Central High School last Thursday, said Chic Renner, president of the school board.

“One or two kids in a group of about 50 started making racial slurs and a mob mentality took over,” Renner said.