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In the news

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | July 19, 2021 at 3:01 a.m.

• Rey Valdes, spokesman for the Doral, Fla., Police Department, called it "an only-in-Miami story" and said that "you can't make this up," after a man stole a bag of candles from a Bath and Body Works store and sprayed dozens of patrons with bear mace before escaping in a cab.

• Aimee Conlee, a protest organizer, said that "this is not political; this is life" as more than 100 people marched along the stinky waterfront in St. Petersburg, Fla., carrying signs and calling for the state's assistance in dealing with a growing outbreak of red tide, an algae bloom that is toxic to fish.

• Elin Stillingen, 49, who lived the first 40 years of her life as a man before legally changing her name and gender, was embraced with a ceremony by a Lutheran church near Oslo, Norway, in what officials said was the first such event in a place of worship in the Nordic country.

• Linzie Sanders, 15, of Willard, Mo., was hospitalized after a large bolt and nut crashed through the windshield of the SUV she was riding in and struck her in the face.

• Larry Harris Jr., 52, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to 22 years in prison for shooting a bus passenger from the sidewalk as the vehicle pulled to a stop, causing life-threatening injuries.

• Mike Waguespack, an accountant and former Louisiana sheriff who is the state's new legislative auditor, negotiated a pay-package increase, from a salary of $179,000 up to $195,000, plus a $22,800 annual housing allowance and an $18,000 car allowance.

• Jerome Moroux, an attorney who represented Lafayette, La., and some city residents, said that "the Confederacy has surrendered" as members of the group Move the Mindset and other spectators cheered when a statue of Confederate Gen. Alfred Mouton was lifted from its pedestal after 99 years in front of City Hall.

• Jason Mier of Animals Lebanon said that "for the first time in their life, they can actually be bears," as two Syrian brown bears now named Homer and Ulysses, which had long been held in small cement cages in a private zoo, began their long journey to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado.

• Dennis Riecke of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks described plans including drainage improvements and spawning sites for bass and bluegill as Elvis Presley Lake near Tupelo closed for repairs that are expected to be completed around spring 2024.

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