WATERLOO, Iowa -- A 99-year-old Iowa woman who dropped out of a high school more than 80 years ago despite needing only one credit to graduate has finally received her diploma.
Audrey Crabtree, of Cedar Falls, smiled Monday as she received an honorary diploma for her time at Waterloo East High School.
"And I feel so much smarter," Crabtree quipped.
Crabtree, who began her education at a one-room school house in northeast Iowa, left high school in 1932 due to a swimming and diving accident that forced her to miss several school days. She also had to care for her sick grandmother.
"I was a senior, but I was short a credit, so I would've had to go back the next fall," she told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/15pHtO3).
That would have interfered with her plans to marry her first husband. In 1957, the couple bought the flower shop where Crabtree had worked after their two children started school.
But her husband died of a heart attack two months into their business venture.
Crabtree operated Flowers by Audrey for 28 years. She married two more times and outlived both husbands.
Her family today includes five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Despite Crabtree's professional and family success, those around her had noted her dissatisfaction with not finishing school.
Driver charged in N.H. crash: A 19-year-old woman was driving too fast and without a license when she plowed into a group of cyclists on an annual ride in Hampton, N.H., killing two and injuring two others, police said Tuesday. Darriean Hess was charged with two counts of negligent homicide and two counts of assault in connection with the Saturday morning crash in the beachfront community. Hess, of Seabrook, was driving too fast for the conditions -- specifically the number of cyclists on the road -- when she crossed over the center line and struck a group of riders on a bridge during the 40th annual Granite State Wheelmen Tri-State Seacoast Century ride, said Rockingham County District Attorney Jim Reams.
Could cut thousands of employees: Four former members of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff say the military could shed 60,000 more troops than planned and 50,000 civilian employees without hurting U.S. fighting power. Some $50 billion in budget cuts are recommended in a new report released Tuesday that was written by a 17-member panel including two former vice chairmen of the joint chiefs, a former Air Force chief and former Navy chief. The recommended cuts would replace future rounds of automatic, across-the-board cuts in the Pentagon's budget as part of a deficit reduction deal two years ago.
Fed concerned about early trading: The Federal Reserve is concerned about suspiciously heavy trading of gold futures after its meeting last week that may have been triggered by a premature release of market-sensitive information. In a statement, the central bank said Tuesday that news organizations that receive embargoed information from the Fed agree to withhold information until the time set for its release. Trading in financial markets is now dominated by automated computer systems, which make trades in tiny fractions of a second that can lead to millions of dollars in profit. Receiving the data early -- even by a few milliseconds -- can give an unfair advantage to some firms.
Unlicensed doc gets prison: An 87-year-old unlicensed physician was sentenced Tuesday to 171⁄2 years in federal prison for heading a stem cell scam in Las Vegas that prosecutors said preyed on terminally ill patients and exposed them to risky placenta implant procedures. During the hearing, Senior U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson labeled Alfred Sapse's actions "abhorrent," federal officials compared Sapse to the obsessive horror story character Dr. Frankenstein, and Sapse protested that his trial and sentencing amounted to a "kangaroo court." Then Sapse was handcuffed in court and taken away in custody.
Death toll rises to 130: Mexican authorities say the death toll from last week's floods and mudslides has risen to 130, after eight more bodies were found buried in a landslide. Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said Tuesday that the latest bodies were recovered in Acatepec, a small town in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero. Guerrero was the state hit hardest by Tropical Storm Manuel. Soldiers and emergency workers are still seeking bodies in the biggest mudslide, which smashed into the Guerrero hamlet of La Pintada. A total of 68 people are believed to have died there, although few of their bodies have been recovered.
Fourth Mexico City officer arrested: The number of Mexico City officers arrested in connection with a mass kidnap and killing of 12 young bar-goers in May climbed to four on Tuesday, the city police chief said. Security Chief Jesus Rodriguez Almeida said all four have been turned over to the prosecutor's office and that he has no evidence to conclude they were involved. "We're not prejudging whether they're guilty or not," Almeida told Associated Press. He did not give the officer's name. The case of the after-hours bar known as Heaven, where the 12 were abducted last May in broad daylight, shook the city's image as one of the safer areas of Mexico, relatively free of brutal, drug-related crime. The bodies of the young victims were found in late August in a mass grave outside the city in a rural part of Mexico state.