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NEW ORLEANS — Once upon a time, in 2015, a writer in San Francisco named Michelle Tea got the idea for "Drag Queen Story Hour": men in full drag reading children's books to kids and parents in programs aimed at providing "positive and unabashedly queer role models." Since then, Drag Queen Story Hours have been held at libraries or book stores in big cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and costume-loving New Orleans — where over-the-top hair, makeup and gowns and stories about gender fluidity aren't exactly new. In some smaller communities, however, the programs have sparked protests from conservative and religious groups. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 554 words, photos.


— GIRL RAPED: Authorities have arrested a man on rape and other charges in connection to an attack on an 11-year-old girl in her bedroom.

— POLICE DOG KILLED: A police dog riding in a car with his officer in pursuit of a driver who fled from a DWI checkpoint was killed when the officer lost control of his vehicle and hit a utility pole.

— TAXI SHOOTING: Police say a man got into the backseat of a taxi cab and then shot himself in the head.

— DRINKING WATER CONTAMINANTS: County leaders from across New York state are urging state and federal environmental officials to set higher standards for industrial chemicals that have contaminated some communities' water.

— SCHOOL-SHERIFF'S OFFICE: A rural western New York school is joining a growing number of schools that will house a law enforcement substation.





SAN FRANCISCO — In a matchup of two pitchers trying for their 10th victories, right-hander Chris Stratton pitches for the Giants opposite New York Mets righty Noah Syndergaard in the series finale. By Michael Wagaman. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Starts 1:05 p.m. PDT.


NEW YORK — Serena Williams takes on big-hitting Kaia Kanepi, who already eliminated No. 1 Simona Halep, in fourth-round action at the U.S. Open on Sunday. Also on the schedule: defending champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. Play starts at 11 a.m. ET. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.


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NEW YORK — Venus and Serena Williams have been a nearly constant presence at the U.S. Open since the debut of Arthur Ashe stadium 21 years ago. Their 30 combined Grand Slam singles titles have left a mark on aspiring young players and the tennis landscape. Those influenced by the Williams sisters include 14-year-old African-American Coco Gauff and defending U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens. By Melissa Murphy. SENT: 961 words, photos.