WASHINGTON

Biden cancels appearances for son’s hospital discharge

Vice President Joe Biden has canceled three appearances Thursday in Rhode Island and Maine, opting to stay in Houston while his son prepares to be discharged from a top cancer center.

Biden and his wife, Jill, said that their son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, had a successful procedure Tuesday and would return to Delaware after being discharged from the hospital on Thursday. The White House wouldn’t say what kind of procedure doctors performed.

The vice president was scheduled to travel Thursday to Rhode Island for two events and to Maine to headline a fundraiser for New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan.

The vice president has been in Texas since Monday, when he accompanied his son to Houston for testing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Beau Biden, 44, suffered a mild stroke in 2010.

ACT exam results cast pall on students’ preparedness

Just more than one-quarter of students who took the ACT college entrance exam this year scored high enough in math, reading, English and science to be considered ready for college or a career, according to test data released Wednesday.

Forty-three percent of Asians, but only 5 percent of blacks showed college readiness in all four subjects.

The ACT is a competitor of the SAT and is now the most popular college entrance exam in the country, with about 1.8 million graduating seniors taking the test this year. That number accounts for about 54 percent of the nation’s graduating seniors, an increase from 1.67 million in 2012.

Overall performance on the ACT has remained virtually unchanged since 2009, with the average score falling slightly this year, from 21.1 to 20.9 out of a possible 36 points. The stagnation raises questions about how well schools are preparing students for future success.

SALT LAKE CITY

Two caught sucking coins from car wash machine

A pair of enterprising thieves took a car wash to the cleaners: They used a powerful shop vacuum to suck quarters out of a coin-operated machine, police said Wednesday.

The duo drew the suspicion of a passing police officer and failed to make a clean getaway.

Todd Herburg, 53, and Scott Luker, 55, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of burglary in the suburb of Cottonwood Heights.

— From news service reports