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October 12, 2018

CITY-DISCOUNT FOR VOTING

ATLANTA (AP) — An Atlanta-area city offered residents a $50 discount from citations for registering to vote or confirming their voter status.

The move by the city of South Fulton has raised questions about whether state law barring the exchange of money or gifts for registering voters was violated. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that city solicitor LaDawn Jones said the policy was an example of the city’s “innovative” criminal justice system.

She said that the offer was not simply for gifts or money, but to consider a person’s civic engagement when the city assessed fines.

The Georgia secretary of state’s office told the newspaper they had not received any complaints about the discount offer. The deadline to register was Tuesday. It’s unclear how many people took advantage of the discount offer.

Jones said the city did not inquire about any specific parties or candidates in the process.

GUN RANGE-FAUX PAS BRINGS BAN

HOUSTON (AP) — Two men have been banned from a Houston gun range for life after one pointed an unloaded gun at the other while taking a picture.

Top Gun Range manager Kyle Harrison tells television station KTRK he was alarmed when he saw the one man point the handgun at himself then at his friend’s head while he took a selfie. The safety officer broke it up and ejected the pair, and the gun range posted surveillance video of the incident on Twitter.

Harrison calls the act “a cardinal safety violation,” adding that his children “know better than to do that, and they are two and three years old.”

FASHION-MET EXHIBIT RECORD

NEW YORK (AP) — Fashion and Catholicism have trumped King Tut.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says its just-closed fashion exhibit “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” has broken the record for most-visited exhibition, beating out the massive 1978 King Tut show.

The sumptuous and sprawling “Heavenly Bodies” at the Met’s Costume Institute was spread between the museum’s main Fifth Avenue location and its Cloisters branch uptown. The museum says the show brought in 1,659,647 visitors between the two locales.

In 1978, “Treasures of Tutankhamun” brought in 1,360,957 visitors.

“Heavenly Bodies” was the largest exhibit ever mounted at the Met, covering 60,000 square feet in 25 galleries. It was curated by Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s chief curator.

BRITAIN-BANKSY BUYER

LONDON (AP) — The winning bidder for a Banksy painting that self-destructed during an auction last week has decided to go through with the purchase, auctioneer Sotheby’s said Thursday.

The auction house said a female European collector was the successful bidder, agreeing to pay 1.04 million pounds ($1.4 million) for “Girl With Balloon.” But just after the hammer came down, and to the shock of those in the saleroom, the bottom half of the work passed through a shredder concealed in the frame.

Sotheby’s said the painting has now been retitled “Love is in the Bin” and authenticated by Banksy’s Pest Control agency.

Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art for Europe at Sotheby’s, says it is “the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”

The buyer’s identity was not revealed but Sotheby’s quoted her as saying: “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”

Banksy, who has never disclosed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world’s best-known artists. His mischievous and often satirical images include two policemen kissing, armed riot police with yellow smiley faces and a chimpanzee with a sign bearing the words “Laugh now, but one day I’ll be in charge.”

“Girl With Balloon,” which depicts a small child reaching up toward a heart-shaped red balloon, was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy’s best-known images.

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