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School crisis averted

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A college student with two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a backpack filled with explosives pulled a dorm fire alarm Monday in an apparent attempt to force other students out into the open so he could slaughter them, authorities said. But he instead put a bullet in his head as police closed in.

James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30, was found dead in his dorm room at the 51,000-student Orlando campus of the University of Central Florida. No one else was hurt.

Police shed no light on a motive, but university spokesman Grant Heston said before the episode, the school was in the process of removing Seevakumaran from the dormitory because he hadn't enrolled for the current semester.

Gay marriage OK: Clinton

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's embrace of gay marriage Monday signals she may be seriously weighing a 2016 presidential run and trying to avoid the type of late-to-the-party caution that hurt her first bid.

Her chief Democratic rivals endorsed same-sex marriage as much as seven years ago, and it's widely popular with Democratic and independent voters.

By supporting gay marriage a full two years before the next presidential primary warms up, Clinton may render the issue largely settled among Democrats, should she decide to run.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday shows a dramatic shift in attitudes about legalizing gay marriage, with 58 per cent of Americans now supporting it.

Ex-pastor gets life in jail

STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- A former pastor was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole in the fatal bludgeoning of his second wife in 2008.

Arthur "A.B." Schirmer, 64, was sentenced nearly two months after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the death of Betty Schirmer. The conviction brought an automatic life sentence.

Schirmer is charged separately with killing his first wife, Jewel Schirmer, in 1999. He awaits trial in that case.

Prosecutors said he clubbed Betty Schirmer on the head with a crowbar, then loaded her into their car and staged a low-speed accident in an effort to conceal the crime.

Local police initially believed Betty Schirmer's July 2008 death was the result of a car crash. State police began a more thorough investigation months later, when a man committed suicide in Schirmer's office after learning the pastor was in a romantic relationship with his wife, the church secretary.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 19, 2013 A9

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