AP Trending SummaryBrief at 4:23 p.m. EDT
Louisiana works out deal for family to keep pet nutria Louisiana has agreed to allow Myra and Denny Lacoste to keep a 22-pound rat-tailed rodent, Neuty, as a pet. The announcement comes after more than 17,000 people signed an online petition demanding the state leave Neuty and his family alone. A South Carolina school district says a ninth grader was stopped during a moment of silence and not the Pledge of Allegiance. A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that says Washington County Jail inmates were given the drug ivermectin to fight COVID-19 without their consent. Lance Reddick, a character actor who specialized in intense, icy and possibly sinister authority figures on TV and film, has died.
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Louisiana works out deal for family to keep pet nutria
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — After much public outcry, state officials now say they will let a Louisiana couple keep a 22-pound nutria -- a beady-eyed, orange-toothed, rat-tailed rodent commonly considered a wetlands-damaging pest -- as a pet. The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Friday that Myra and Denny Lacoste are being allowed to apply for a permit so they can legally keep the animal. Montoucet said details are being finalized. The announcement came after more than 17,000 people signed an online petition demanding the state leave Neuty and his family alone. The department initially said it had arranged to move the rodent to the Baton Rouge Zoo, citing state law banning ownership of nutria..
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina school district says a ninth grader walking in a hallway was stopped during a moment of silence and not the Pledge of Allegiance. Marissa Barnwell says in a lawsuit that she was pushed against the wall by a teacher at River Bluff High School when she didn’t stop to recite the pledge as she walked to class in November. A lawyer for Lexington School District 1 says videos from the hallway shows the teacher touched Barnwell’s shoulder to get her attention but didn’t push her. The district says Barnwell was not quiet during the moment of silence and argued with the teacher until she walked away.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Legislation moving in the Florida House would ban discussion of menstrual cycles and other human sexuality topics in elementary grades. The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Stan McClain would restrict public school instruction on human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and related topics to grades 6 through 12. McClain confirmed at a recent committee meeting that menstrual cycles would also be restricted to those grades. The GOP-backed legislation would also allow parents to object to books and other materials their children are exposed to, require schools to teach that sexual identity is determined biologically at birth and set up more state scrutiny of educational materials.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that says Washington County Jail inmates were given the drug ivermectin to fight COVID-19 without their consent. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the lawsuit contends detainees at the Fayetteville facility didn't learn until July 2021 that they'd received the drug as early as November 2020. The drug is not approved to treat COVID-19. U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks ruled Thursday that the lawsuit could proceed. Brooks said Dr. Robert Karas used detainees as test subjects. Brooks found Karas is not entitled to qualified immunity as a defense because he and his clinic had won a $1.3 million county contract to provide health care to inmates.
Lance Reddick, 'The Wire' and 'John Wick' star, dies at 60
NEW YORK (AP) — Lance Reddick, a character actor who specialized in intense, icy and possibly sinister authority figures on TV and film, including “The Wire,” "Fringe” and the “John Wick” franchise, has died. He was 60. Reddick was often put in a suit or a crisp uniform during his career, playing tall taciturn and elegant men of distinction. He was best known for his role as straight-laced Lt. Cedric Daniels on the hit HBO series “The Wire,” where his character was agonizingly trapped in the messy politics of the Baltimore police department. He earned a SAG Award nomination in 2021 as part of the ensemble for Regina King’s film “One Night in Miami.”
A federal judge is giving Oklahoma and nearly a dozen poultry companies, including the world’s largest poultry producer, Tyson Foods, 90 more days to reach agreement on plans to clean the Illinois River watershed polluted by chicken litter. U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell in Tulsa on Friday scheduled a June 16 hearing, saying both sides requested the extension. Frizzell in January ruled that Arkansas-based Tyson, Minnesota-based Cargill Inc. and other companies polluted the Illinois River and gave the two sides until March 17 to present an agreement on how to remedy the pollution’s effects, which includes low oxygen levels in the river, algae growth and damage to the fish population.
HOUSTON (AP) — Tejano musician Fito Olivares, known for songs that were wedding and quinceanera mainstays including the hit “Juana La Cubana,” has died. He was 75. His wife, Griselda Olivares, says the noted saxophonist died Friday morning at home in Houston. She says he was diagnosed with cancer last year. Fito Olivares was born Rodolfo Olivares in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas on April 19, 1947. He started playing professionally in his teens. In 1980 he and his brothers formed Olivares y su Grupo La Pura Sabrosura and moved to Houston. Other tunes he is known for include “Aguita de Melon,” “El Chicle” and “El Colesterol.”
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police say one person was killed and a second wounded when gunfire erupted in an area of Miami Beach crowded with people on spring break. The Miami Beach Police Department tweeted that two males were shot Friday night and that one person was detained at the scene. It isn't clear if the person being held was the shooter. Police also say three guns were recovered. The shooting happened on South Beach’s Ocean Drive. It is closed to vehicle traffic along its busiest stretch. One of the victims died at a hospital and the second person was listed in critical condition.
Lights out for Philly's famous Boathouse Row, for now
The bright lights of Philadelphia’s famous Boathouse Row are going dark, at least for now. Thousands of lights outline the historic boathouses along the Schuylkill River near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They form one of the most indelible images of the city. Tara Rasheed of Fairmount Park Conservancy calls it “our postcard shot of Philadelphia.” Starting Monday, the lights will be switched off and taken down as work gets underway on a $2.1 million replacement project expected to last eight months. Officials say an upgraded lighting system should be ready for the winter holiday season.
Heathrow security guards to strike for 10 days over Easter
LONDON (AP) — Security guards at London’s Heathrow Airport will walk out of their jobs for 10 days over the Easter break, the latest in a wave of strike action to affect the U.K. The union Unite said Friday more than 1,400 security guards employed by Heathrow Airport will strike from March 31 to Easter Sunday, April 9, to demand better pay. Unite said those striking include guards who work at the airport’s Terminal Five, which is used exclusively by British Airways, as well as those responsible for checking all cargo that enters the airport. The strikes will coincide with the two-week Easter school holidays, traditionally a peak time for travel for many in Britain. The union said workers need to be better paid amid Britain's cost-of-living crisis.