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Census workers got trained, paid but didn't work

WASHINGTON — Thousands of workers hired last year for temporary positions by the U.S. Census Bureau were trained and paid but never worked for the agency, while others who fulfilled assignments overbilled for travel expenses, according to an audit released this week.

A quarterly report by the Commerce Department's inspector general noted that the Census Bureau spent less money than budgeted during the fourth quarter of 2009, but it warned of potential cost overruns as the agency prepares to hire more than 1 million temporary workers this spring — the largest temporary civilian hiring in government history.

Authorities hunt carp in Chicago waterways

CICERO, Ill. —Armed with sprawling fishing nets and boats equipped with electric prods, state and federal fisheries biologists began a "search-and-destroy" mission in Chicago-area waterways Wednesday aimed at rooting out the dreaded Asian carp.

The operation began as officials met in Michigan to address the federal government's plans and recommendations for protecting the Great Lakes from the invasive fish.

Twenty commercial fishers and biologists from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are braving frigid temperatures to search Chicago-area waters for silver or bighead Asian carp that have breached electric fish barriers.

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