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In the news

October 16, 2021 at 3:50 a.m.

• Elaine Westfall, 62, of Royal Oak, Mich., who got five citations after one of her four African caracal cats escaped from its enclosure for several hours, said that while she's been ordered to find new homes for her caracals by Monday, "You can't just hand [them] over to anybody."

• Jacqueline Van Ovost, a U.S. Air Force general who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1988, has become the second woman to lead one of the Pentagon's 11 combat commands, taking charge of the U.S. Transportation Command at a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

• Dennes Garcia, 28, of Atlanta was sentenced to 18 months in prison and Cindi Denton, 63, of Eastvale, Calif., got six months after they pleaded guilty to defrauding the coronavirus small-business relief program by lying about their payroll.

• Talya Tomer, a Jerusalem street artist, said she and other residents of the city's Pat neighborhood are striving for "clean, clean streets," with a new trash bin installed next to a bus stop that says "Thank you very much" when someone drops in a piece of trash.

• Stuart Nitzkin, 45, of Deerfield, Ill., who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $831,000 from a charity he ran for children with disabilities, was sentenced to 3½ years in federal prison.

• Mark Hanna, a former volunteer fire department chief in Marshall County, Miss., and its former secretary, Linda Mannon, face embezzlement charges after being accused of using thousands of dollars in department funds for personal expenses, auditors said.

• Christopher Townsend, 32, of Normandy, Mo., accused of driving 87 mph in a 20 mph zone when his car overturned when he hit a boulder, faces multiple child endangerment counts after a 10-year-old in his car died and two other children were hurt in the crash.

• Eric Zand, prosecuting attorney in Platte County, Mo., said a grand jury declined to indict a man who shot and killed two men, including one who was armed, in a dispute involving about $200 worth of firewood, saying Missouri's "stand your ground" law allows people to use deadly force to protect themselves.

• Victoria Weiss, 27, an elementary school teacher in Lexington, S.C., faces a drug possession charge after one of her students pulled a package of "Stoney Patch Gummies," an edible marijuana item, from a candy-filled classroom prize box, deputies said.

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