Teen pleads guilty in Dartmouth professor murders

HAVERHILL, N.H. James Parker pleaded guilty as an accomplice to second-degree murder of Susanne Zantop as expected Friday during a brief hearing in Grafton County Superior Court, but motive remains a mystery.

Dartmouth professors Half and Susanne Zantop were stabbed to death in their Etna home last January and Parker was initially charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Judge Peter Smith began the hearing by questioning Parker to ensure that the 17-year-old understood the plea bargain and was “knowingly, intelligently, voluntarily” changing his plea to guilty of being an accomplice to second-degree murder.

When Smith asked Parker if he entered the plea because he was indeed guilty, Parker answered, “Yes, sir.”

In return for Parker”s full and truthful account of the murder and events leading up to it, Senior Assistant Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said that prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of 25 years to life for Parker.

Iowa State free speech zone may be extended

AMES, Iowa Campus civil rights advocates and members of the Iowa State University community have expressed their support for ISU President Gregory Geoffroy”s proposal to expand the free speech zone across campus.

Currently, free speech on campus is restricted to the area just west of the Hub and the area south of the Campanile. The proposal would extend the current free speech zones to include all of campus.

Geoffroy, who invited comments on his proposed plan in October, said he has received many suggestions from students and faculty on possible applications of the new free speech zone.

“People have given us a lot of good feedback.” he said. “I think this gives students and the broader community more options to exercise free expression.”

Herman Quirmbach, adviser for the ISU chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he feels the proposal is an important step in making all of Iowa State a free speech zone.

“I think the proposal is a very welcomed step forward,” said Quirmbach, associate professor of economics. “I”m very pleased the president took the initiative to open this issue up for discussion.”

Tom Emmerson, professor of journalism and mass communication, said the whole campus should be open to free speech.

“I think the whole country is a free speech zone,” he said. “Therefore, the whole campus should be a free speech zone.”

U. Wisconsin defers graduation test decision

MADISON, Wis. The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents deferred a plan to require all students entering the UW System to take a high school graduation test for admittance.

Citing time restrictions and falling behind schedule, the regents decided not to enforce the graduation test during its scheduled September 2003 debut.

For now, the board”s decision makes it easier for students to avoid the test, which critics have claimed is biased against students with learning disabilities, returning adult students and schools that develop their own tests.

Currently, students can opt out of the graduation test. However, by requiring students to take the test before entering the UW System, some parents and school officials have claimed the test would be virtually unavoidable.

UW System spokesman Kevin Boatright said the board set no new date for deciding on the issue.

Complied by Daily Staff Reporter Lizzie Ehrle.

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