Across the Region

Texas educator to lead Cobb County schools


MARIETTA, Ga. --- The head of the Dallas, Texas, school system was named superintendent of Georgia's second largest school district Sunday.

The Cobb County school board approved a contract for Michael Hinojosa, who will start July 1 at the 100,000-student district. Hinojosa, announced as the lone finalist in May, replaces Fred Sanderson, who is retiring.

"I am truly honored that the school board has selected me to lead this outstanding school district," Hinojosa said in a news release. "Cobb schools have an exceptional reputation, and I am thrilled to now be a part of that success."

District officials say Hinojosa will earn $237,000, in addition to pension benefits worth more than $200,000 annually.

Hinojosa was head of the 150,000-student Dallas school district for six years, running a $1.2 billion budget and overseeing 250 schools. He was named the 2002 Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards and 2005 Superintendent of the Year by the University of Texas at Austin.

He earned nearly $330,000 a year in Dallas.

Passwords taken from Atlanta FBI affiliate

LONDON --- Nearly 180 passwords belonging to members of an Atlanta-based FBI affiliate have been stolen and leaked to the Internet, the group confirmed Sunday.

Hacking group Lulz Security said the passwords belonged to members of a local chapter of Infragard, a public-private partnership devoted to sharing information about threats to U.S. physical and Internet infrastructure. Copies of the passwords -- which appear to belong users from the U.S. Army, cybersecurity organizations and communications companies -- were swiftly posted online.

Lulz Security, which has claimed credit for a string of attacks in the past week, claimed it was acting in response to a recent report that the Pentagon was considering whether to classify some cyberattacks as acts of war.

"Someone did compromise the Web site," InfraGard Atlanta Members Alliance President Paul Farley said in a brief e-mail exchange. "We do not at this time know how the attack occurred or the method used to reveal the passwords."

Georgia Tech holding symposium on shuttle

ATLANTA --- Georgia Tech is holding a symposium this week to explore the U.S. space shuttle program, which ends soon.

The event will be held today through Wednesday at the university's Global Learning Center. It will bring together international scientists, engineers, mission designers, policymakers and others to talk about shuttle missions and the future of space exploration.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will open the symposium Tuesday. Other speakers include astronauts Steve Hawley and Shannon Lucid and NASA deputy chief technologist Michael Gazarik.

Just one flight remains in the shuttle program, with a targeted launch of July 8.

The five shuttles -- Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour -- have flown more than 130 times and carried more than 360 people into space.

All of South Carolina now hit by drought

COLUMBIA --- The committee that monitors drought conditions in South Carolina warns that drier than normal conditions have spread across the entire state.

The Drought Response Committee declared nine mostly coastal counties in an incipient drought last week, meaning the entire state is now in the first stage of the state's four stages of drought conditions.

State Climatologist Hope Mizzell said a hotter and drier than normal May is extending the drought. Charleston had its second driest May ever, with just 0.41 inches of rain.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows more extreme levels of drought spreading toward South Carolina from south Georgia. Seven-day forecasts across the state call for only a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms.