Politician Blames Community Colleges: An article published by the Seattle Times yesterday indicates that Washington public school students are falling farther behind the rest of the nation in four-year degree graduation rates. One politician believes the community college system is contributing to that trend. "Because we have grown accustomed to a strong two-year system, we have grown lazy in our sense of obligation to push toward four-year as a central piece of our higher-education strategy," said Rep. Reuven Carlyle.

Students Demand Free Education: Montreal students continued unabashedly yesterday to fight for free university education. Earlier this year student organizations beat back tuition increases proposed by the Quebec Cabinet, but CLASSE, Coalition Large de l' Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Etudiante, still thinks free education is an achievable goal.

Government Unable to Care for Its People: A deeply debt laden Spain is no longer able to pay for prescriptions in the city of Valencia. Government subsidized medical care has dried up and most pharmacies now must charge for medicines, even to the elderly and sick.

They Should Steal Something More Portable Next Time: Three men allegedly broke into a Georgetown commercial yard to steal wire yesterday. The police responded to a burglary alarm to find one man still fenced in and another on the premise.

Were They Going to Hike Back to Seattle?: Six boys escaped from a juvenile detention center in Snoqualmie this morning after knocking out a female guard, according to King County Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy West. They reportedly fled into the woods but were later discovered with the help of ground patrols, K-9 units, and a helicopter crew.

Apparently Scientists Have Depleted Stores of Willing Unpaid College Students: In Washington prisons some inmates are now assisting in ecological research. Tasks include breeding threatened butterflies, growing rare flowers, and handling endangered frog eggs.

Pacific Northwest Uncharacteristically Prays for Rain: Firefighters are on high alert for dry lightning in eastern Washington as pretty much everyone waits for the Table Mountain fire to merge with the Wenatchee fire. Air quality is getting worse as the fires now burn a total of 143 square miles.

Finally if you haven't played Mad Magazine's "Mr Burns or Mitt Romney," treat yourself this Sunday.