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Transgender teen files discrimination lawsuit against McDonald's

A transgender teenager says a McDonald's restaurant in Florida discriminated against her when managers refused to interview her for a job, according to a complaint filed Monday.

Zikerria Bellamy, 17, said two managers at an Orlando restaurant wouldn't give her an interview on two separate occasions in July. Later, she said a manager left her a voice mail, using a gay slur to let her know she wouldn't be hired.

A spokeswoman for the local restaurant, Allison Garrett, said in a statement the employee who left the voice mail "acted outside the scope of his authority and was not responsible for hiring." He no longer works at the restaurant.

McDonald's "has a zero tolerance policy prohibiting discrimination or harassment in the restaurant," the statement said.

Bellamy is a male who has been living as a female for about the past six years. She said she completed a job application online, then was called to the store for an interview. When one manager refused to see her, she called later and was granted an interview with another manager.

"He began to laugh at me once he saw me," said Bellamy, who wore a suit to the interview. "He said, 'Oh, I can't interview you today. I'm busy.'"

One of the managers also left her a voice mail saying: "We do not hire f------."

San Diego

Florida-based drones to scan for smugglers

Predator aircraft drones will soon be scanning U.S. waters for smugglers.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it's buying two Predator B aircraft for sea patrols. The models to be rolled out Monday at the manufacturer's plant in Palmdale have radar sensors that can detect boats.

Agency officials say one will be tested in the Caribbean, with a base in Cape Canaveral, but it could be used to aid patrols in the San Diego area.

Another will be based in Corpus Christi, Texas, for use in the Gulf of Mexico.

The remote-controlled drones will look for smugglers of drugs and illegal immigrants. A different Predator version is used for land patrols in Arizona and North Dakota.

Atlanta

3 governors to meet, discuss water rights

The governors of Georgia, Florida and Alabama have agreed to meet Dec. 15 in a fresh effort to resolve their long-standing feud over water rights.

The meeting in Montgomery, Ala., will be the first face-to-face water talks between the three governors — Sonny Perdue of Georgia, Charlie Crist of Florida, and Bob Riley of Alabama — in two years.

The decades-old, three-state water fight has taken on a new urgency for Georgia after a federal judge in July ruled the state has few legal rights to Lake Lanier, the main water supply for metro Atlanta. The judge gave the states and Congress until 2012 to reach an agreement. Otherwise, Atlanta will see its water supply from Lake Lanier reduced dramatically.

Georgia is also appealing the judge's ruling.

Leesburg

2 children injured in parade float collapse

Two children were injured after a float collapsed during a Christmas parade in Central Florida.

The incident happened in Leesburg Saturday evening as the float slowed in front of a judging area. Up to 40 children and adults were on the float when the scaffolding gave way.

Associated Press

Transgender teen files discrimination lawsuit against McDonald's 12/07/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 7, 2009 11:19pm]

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