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January 28, 2019

“BUILD THAT WALL” COOKIE CRITICIZED

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington state baker is apologizing for a politically charged Valentine’s Day cookie that generated an uproar on social media.

KING-TV reports that Ken Bellingham, who owns Edmonds Bakery, has gotten phone calls from frustrated customers about the heart-shaped cookie with “Build that Wall” in frosting letters. The wall refers to President Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a southern-border wall.

The cookie was one of several decorated with messages such as “Addicted to Love” and “Cool Beans.” Bellingham says the cookie was a joke and not meant as a political statement.

A woman, Ana Carrera, posted a photo of the cookie on Facebook, saying that as a person with Mexican heritage it felt personal.

Bellingham says someone taped a sign to the shop calling for a boycott.

CAR CRASHES INTO FUNERAL HOME

SWANSEA, Mass. (AP) — Officials say a car crashed into a funeral home in Massachusetts, disrupting a service that was going on inside.

Swansea Fire Chief Eric Hadjer says two elderly women in the car were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. He says no one inside the Waring-Sullivan Home of Memorial Tribute at Birchcrest was injured.

Hadjer says the car reversed into the front of the home on Saturday morning, struck a fireplace and landed in the lobby. The funeral service was going on in an adjacent room.

Hadjer says the cause of the crash is under investigation.

RUSSIAN PAINTING SWIPED FROM MUSEUM AS PATRONS WATCHED

MOSCOW (AP) — Police say a painting by a noted Russian landscape artist has been stolen from Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery, apparently in front confused witnesses.

The painting of mountain ridges by Arkhip Kuindzhi, titled “Ai-Petri. Crimea,” was reported missing from the Tretyakpv, a premier museum of Russian art, on Sunday.

Russian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk told the Interfax news agency museum guards reported to police that unknown people took the painting off a wall and left.

The Culture Ministry says the art work is valued at $185,000.

The RT television channel said witnesses described a young man removing the painting from the wall and only later realized they’d seen a theft.

VICTIMS OF BANK SHOOTING HONORED

SEBRING, Fla. (AP) — Residents in a small Florida city are gathering to honor the five women killed in a SunTrust branch mass shooting.

Four SunTrust employees and a customer were killed in the bank’s lobby Wednesday. Police arrested 21-year-old Zephen Xaver, who now faces five counts of premeditated murder.

Two families are raising funds for expenses. One of the victims had three young children and seven stepchildren; another had recently begun working at the bank and was planning a trip to her native Mexico.

The other two victims identified were a dedicated longtime bank teller and a customer who got married earlier this month.

Police withheld the fifth victim’s name at the family’s request in compliance with a new law.

BUS PILEUP INJURES FORMER NHL TEAM CAPTAIN

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A former captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team has suffered minor injuries in a bus pileup on a Florida highway.

The Florida Highway Patrol says 38-year-old Vincent Lecavalier and two other men were taken to the hospital Saturday following the charter bus crash. Lecavalier’s agent told The Associated Press in a text message yesterday that the former center was OK. He played in the NHL for 17 seasons, including 14 with Tampa Bay.

The accident delayed Tampa’s Gasparilla Pirate Invasion, an annual parade that attracts about 200,000 people to the city’s downtown waterfront. The three buses that collided were carrying parade participants.

Troopers said two drivers were cited for careless or negligent driving. The injuries were minor.

FORMER WNBA PLAYER CALLS FOR INCREASED MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Former Tennessee and WNBA star Chamique (chah-MEE’-kah) Holdsclaw wants people to “be more honest with themselves” when dealing with mental health issues.

Holdsclaw spoke yesterday as part of the Duke women’s basketball program’s “Mental Wealth Day” before the Blue Devils’ 64-55 loss to No. 13 Syracuse.

Duke partnered with the NBA, the university’s counseling services department and the Jed Foundation to hold what they say was the first such event in women’s college basketball. Both teams wore special shirts during warm-ups to commemorate it.

Holdsclaw, a six-time WNBA All-Star, has become a speaker on mental health issues while discussing her off-court struggles.

She said people need to “be more kind to understand how mental health is impacting us” and that “because of the stigma, people don’t want to talk about it.”

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