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National news briefs — Compiled Sept. 23

WASHINGTON

IRS official retires

Facing a possible firing, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the agency’s tea party scandal retired Monday, ending one chapter in a ruckus that has engulfed the tax-collection agency since spring. Lois Lerner headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status when she was placed on paid leave in May. While she was in charge, the agency acknowledged that agents improperly targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections. Lerner’s retirement came as a review board was set to propose that she be fired, said a statement by Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

ANAHEIM, CALIF.

Disney alters program

People with disabilities will no longer go straight to the front of lines at Disneyland and Walt Disney World after growing abuse of the system, park officials said. Under the change, visitors will be issued tickets with a return time and a shorter wait similar to the FastPass system that’s offered to everyone. Currently, visitors unable to wait in the regular line can get backdoor access to rides or go through the exit and wait in a shorter line. The move was a response to the phenomenon of disabled “tour guides” who charge money to accompany able-bodied guests and allow them to avoid long lines. Others who don’t have a disability have been able to get an assistance card since no proof of disability is required.

CORSICANA, TEXAS

Family of 5 found dead

A couple and their three children were found shot dead in their North Texas home in what authorities believe was a murder-suicide, a sheriff said Monday. Authorities have yet to determine who fired the shots, though the children’s father was arrested less than two weeks ago on a family violence charge. The father of Israel Alvarez, 33, called 911 on Sunday night after discovering the bodies of his son, 33-year-old daughter-in-law Guadalupe Ronquillo-Ovalle and their children with gunshot wounds to their torsos, Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner said. He said a rifle was found at the home. Tanner said the children were ages 4, 8 and 12. Autopsies have been ordered.

Compiled from wire reports.



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