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In the news

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | October 17, 2021 at 4:02 a.m.

• Ezra Totten of the Gender Sexuality Alliance at Burlington High in Vermont said it was "amazing" and "just so heartwarming" as homecoming-game halftime turned into a drag-ball runway, with students and teachers parading in gowns, wigs and makeup, and the crowd in rainbow colors cheering them on.

• Jeff Dion of the National Compassion Fund said the goal is to help "as much as possible and as quickly, efficiently and fairly as possible" as it was announced that $260,000 has been donated to help victims of the June shooting at an Alabama fire extinguisher plant.

• Chris Carter, a building official in Oxford, Miss., told aldermen, "I don't mean to be dramatic, but the reality is, when elevated balconies fail, people get hurt, people get maimed for life, people die," prompting the board to order five businesses around the Square to get their structures up to code.

• Shawn Wilson, Louisiana's transportation secretary, vowed to "make every effort to preserve as many trees as possible and keep the aesthetic appeal," with two trees to be planted for each one that's cut down to widen Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge.

• LaToya Cantrell, mayor of New Orleans, said a group called Bayou Phoenix was chosen to revitalize the site of a former amusement park vacant since Hurricane Katrina, with plans for the eyesore to blossom into a warehouse and distribution center, educational facility, water park, hotel and e-sports arena.

• Amanda Percle-Stevens and her husband, Chis Stevens, created an 18-by-20-foot mural in downtown Houma, La., using pink, green, yellow and blue paint on large interlocking parts and featuring the word "commUNITY" in big letters, symbolizing residents' work in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

• Kathleen McGuiness, 58, Delaware's auditor, who is responsible for rooting out government fraud, waste and abuse, was indicted on charges of theft, witness intimidation, official misconduct, conflict of interest and noncompliance with state procurement laws.

• Tracey Ray, 48, the fired town clerk of Center, Mo., was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay back $315,000 for using town funds to pay for personal travel, entertainment and store purchases.

• Robert Durst, 78, the real estate heir sentenced in Los Angeles to life in prison in a 20-year-old murder case, has been hospitalized after contracting covid-19, his lawyer said.

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