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AM-Prep: Cooler Copy

August 7, 2018


SAND ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — Wildlife officials say beach volleyball players on a small island off Alabama probably killed hundreds of unhatched birds, moving eggs to make room for their playing court and scaring adult birds from nests.

Birmingham Audubon biologist Katie Barnes tells AL.com that officials quickly put up ropes and signs to tell people about the rookery for least terns on Sand Island. Since then, she says, the least terns and black skimmers nesting there have been left alone.

The damage was discovered over the Fourth of July weekend by Andrew Haffenden, who was conducting a bird survey for Birmingham Audubon.

He says beach-nesting shorebirds sit on their eggs to keep them cool, and eggs without that protection would have baked to death in the hot summer sun.


CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — A 5-year-old English bulldog that belonged to New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and has been missing since June has been found dead inside the home of its trainer.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the dog named Knox died in the custody of a trainer. In an Instagram post yesterday, Mayo writes that trainers hid the dog in a trash bag for two months while making it look like he ran away, was stolen or drowned, sending the family “on a wild goose hunt and our kids on an emotional roller coaster.”

The animal welfare group says the trainer is being charged by the Cranston Police Department with one count of obstruction and could faces charges of animal cruelty.

Police asked for the public’s help after Knox disappeared in June while going on a walk with a trainer.


JAMESTOWN, S.C. (AP) — A bedbug infestation has forced emergency medical service crews to temporarily move out of a South Carolina fire station.

Berkeley County spokeswoman Hannah Moldenhauer told WCSC-TV the bedbugs reappeared at a Jamestown EMS station despite several treatments to remove them.

County officials say they don’t expect EMS services to be affected because of the relocation. Moldenhauer says the ambulance and EMS staff that were relocated from the fire station remain in the Jamestown area.

She says Berkeley County officials are working on a long-term solution to the problem.


BALD HEAD ISLAND, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a shark bit a girl’s calf as she swam off North Carolina’s southeast coast.

The Charlotte Observer reports it happened Sunday morning off a beach on the east side of Bald Head Island.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office released a report saying the shark bit the girl’s right calf as she swam, but she was on a sandbar when she was heard screaming. The girl’s father ferried her to the beach on a surf board and a surfing instructor nearby called 911. She was taken to a hospital in Wilmington.

The Bald Head Island Department of Public Safety said in a statement the girl was “bitten by something believed to be a juvenile shark,” but the wound wasn’t life-threatening.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — After raising nearly $130,000 to cover tuition, a gay Florida valedictorian who says his parents kicked him out will pay nothing to go to college this fall.

News outlets report Georgetown University adjusted 18-year-old Seth Owen’s financial aid package, reducing his expected out-of-pocket contribution from $20,000 to $0.

His aid package had been calculated based on his parents’ ability to pay. But he says they kicked him out in February, following disagreements over his sexuality and a demand that he attend their Southern Baptist church or leave.

Having initially refused to adjust aid, Georgetown has now enrolled Owen in its scholarship program. Georgetown released a statement Friday in which Owen says he hopes to use the GoFundMe set up by his biology teacher to create scholarships for LGBTQ students facing similar circumstances.

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