The New York Times reports that facing the task of cutting 142 children from the Head Start program in Colorado Springs this fall, the teachers and administrators came up with a creative response: Have the children decorate empty chairs, then sell them for $500 apiece to stave off the worst of the across-the-board federal cuts heading their way. So far, in a month, their “Fill a Seat” fund-raiser has filled just two slots in the program. But in neighboring Wyoming, the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks were able to tap the deep pockets and political influence of affluent donors and the support of neighboring communities to maintain full park operations through the peak tourist season this summer…

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staff and wire services reports