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Things to Know in the U.S. for Aug. 2

Maine

Lobster boat saves eagle

A lobster boat crew used some Yankee ingenuity to rescue a waterlogged eagle that it spotted struggling offshore in the North Atlantic. Lobsterman John Chipman said Monday that the struggling bird seemed to be relieved to see his boat and even tried to hop on board after Chipman came across the unusual sight of an eagle flopping around about a quarter-mile offshore, near Schoodic Island. "The way he was acting, I knew that he wanted help. He seemed to try to come to the boat on his own and tried to get in. He wanted out of the water," he said. Two retired police officers aboard the boat with Chipman, Kevin Meaney and Michelle Ritzema, fashioned a makeshift raft from a life preserver, a piece of plywood and rope to save the eagle Thursday. The eagle hopped aboard the raft and eventually was hauled onto the stern of the boat, where it dried off, Chipman said. The bird was missing an eye and appeared to be older. Chipman intended to deliver it to game wardens for care and rehabilitation, but the eagle had other ideas. After drying off, it spread its wings and flew away.

Nation

Parole inconsistent for young lifers

Courtroom 801 in Detroit is nearly empty when guards bring in Bobby Hines, hands cuffed in front of navy prison scrubs. It's been more than 27 years since Hines stood before a judge in this building. He was 15 then, answering for his role in the murder of a man. He did not fire the deadly shot, but Hines said something like, "Let him have it," words that led to mandatory life with no chance for parole. The judgment came during a tough-on-crime era. Stoked by fears of teen "superpredators," states enacted laws to punish juvenile criminals like adults and the U.S. became an international outlier, sentencing offenders under 18 to live out their lives in prison for homicide and, in rare instances, rape, kidnapping and armed robbery. But five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole for juveniles in murder cases. Last year, the court went further, saying the more than 2,000 already serving such sentences must get a chance to show their crimes did not reflect "irreparable corruption" and, if not, have some hope for freedom. But prison gates don't just swing open. Instead, uncertainty and opposition stirred by the new mandate have resulted in an uneven patchwork of policies. The odds of release or continued imprisonment vary from state to state, even county to county, in a pattern that can make justice seem arbitrary.

South Dakota

Writing error may doom pot initiative

A writing error could potentially cost a ballot measure campaign its chances of legalizing recreational marijuana in South Dakota next year. The Argus Leader reported cannabis advocacy group New Approach South Dakota is supporting a ballot measure meant to legalize small amounts of marijuana. But the state's interpretation of the wording means it would only legalize marijuana paraphernalia and not the drug itself without affecting state law against recreational marijuana. New Approach said the problem is "just a typo" and can be fixed later by the courts or the Legislature.

New York

Cuomo orders inquiry into black discharge at Niagara Falls

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he doesn't believe a city agency's claims surrounding wastewater discharges that turned the water near the base of Niagara Falls black at the height of a busy tourist weekend. A day after directing state regulators to investigate, the Democrat told reporters Tuesday he thinks there will be a criminal investigation. Cuomo said Monday the expulsion of foul-smelling, black water into the Niagara River on Saturday may have violated state water quality standards.

Nation

White House looks into email prank

The White House is acknowledging that top officials responded to a British email prankster and says it is investigating. CNN identified Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert as one of the officials who fell for the prank. Bossert responded believing he was corresponding with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser. The network said Anthony Scaramucci, ousted Monday after a brief tenure as communications director, also responded to the prankster. The White House said it takes cyber-related issues seriously and is looking into the incidents. Eric Trump, one of the president's sons, said he was contacted but recognized the email as a "sham" and turned it over to the U.S. Secret Service. The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Texas

Which one's the calf, and which is Gene?

KISS frontman Gene Simmons is udderly thrilled by a calf born with strikingly similar markings to the face paint he wears on stage. Simmons tweeted his admiration for the calf Sunday, saying, "This is real, folks!!!" Heather Taccetta, who lives at the ranch near Kerrville with her family, said the calf born Friday belongs to her grandmother. It is named Genie, in honor of Simmons. Taccetta said the calf and its mother are doing fine and that Genie is a family favorite and won't be sold for slaughter.

Virginia

Girl's dog stops attempted abduction

Authorities say a girl's dog stopped her from being abducted by biting a man who grabbed her. Police said on Facebook that a 10-year-old girl was walking her dog when an unknown man grabbed her arm Friday in Woodbridge. Police said the dog's bite caused the man to release the girl and run away. The girl was not injured. Police searched the area but could not find the man. — tbt* wires

Things to Know in the U.S. for Aug. 2 08/01/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 6:20pm]
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  1. Evening update: Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic, second wave follows

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 8 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  2. Trump 'beautiful statues' tweets roil Tampa Bay's own Confederate debate

    National

    It started Thursday at 9:07 a.m., as it does so often these days, with a tweet:

    The Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument stands in front of the old Hillsborough County Courthouse. Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 last month to move it to a private cemetery in Brandon before voting again this week to put a deadline on a public sector fundraising campaign to pay part of the cost. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  4. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]