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May 14, 2018

MAMA BAILOUT

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina activists who want to eliminate the cash bail system say they were able to release at least three black women from one county jail who otherwise would have spent Mother’s Day behind bars. For the second consecutive year, about 20 Asheville activists participated in the Black Mamas Bail Out. It’s a national movement that shows support for incarcerated black mothers and protests the cash bail system. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Southerners on New Ground started the bail protest last year. Organizer Nicole Townsend says the group raised more than $140,000 for this year’s Black Mamas Bail Out. In Asheville, organizers raised about $12,000.

QUEER PROM

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — The second annual alternative prom in Logan, Utah designed to make LGBTQ students feel comfortable was organized by teenagers this time and was called “Queer Prom.” The Herald-Journal reports that Oliver Wesley says there’s a push, among younger generations, to reclaim the word “queer.” Wesley, who is transitioning from female to male, says queer was viewed as an insult when his parents were growing up, but this generation sees it as “something beautiful and to be proud of.” The prom, which was held Saturday, was organized by three different LGBT organizations.

OLDEST AMERICAN

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — A 113-year-old woman living in suburban Cleveland is believed to be the oldest person in the United States after the death of a 114-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Cleveland.com reports the 88-year-old daughter of Lessie Brown says her mother remarked, “that’s good” when told she had become the country’s oldest person. Her daughter says Brown was born in 1904 in Atlanta and moved to Cleveland when she was 18. She married and had five children, three of whom are still living. She has more than 50 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Family members have attributed Brown’s long life to her eating a yam every day until she was 110. Delphine Gibson was 114 when she died Wednesday in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

SLIPPER SLAP

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) —A Florida police department is changing its policy on domestic violence arrests after a 95-year-old woman was arrested when she called 911 for help with her defiant granddaughter. When Daytona Beach police arrived at Hattie Reynolds’ home last weekend, she told them she had slapped 46-year-old Janeed Williams with a slipper during an argument. Officers arrested Reynolds on a domestic violence charge. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported a supervisor will respond to any similar future calls to better assess the situation. The state attorney said she would not be prosecuted. Chief Craig Capri acknowledged Reynolds was probably not a threat, but said the law requires an arrest in response to domestic violence calls.

YELLOWSTONE GEYSER ERUPTION

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — The world’s largest active geyser has erupted again in Yellowstone National Park. The U.S. Geological Survey says the Steamboat Geyser erupted early Sunday, its fifth eruption this year. The agency says there’s no indication of any volcanic activity in the park and most geysers are intermittent. But it says the string of eruptions is a good sign summer visitors will get to see some “spectacular geysering.” Steamboat has gone dormant for as long as nine years. Its first eruption since 2014 occurred in mid-March, followed by two other eruptions in April and another on May 4.

A BETTER RUBBER BAND

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — While it may seem a stretch, an Arkansas company and a university in southeastern England want to use Nobel Prize-winning technology to build a better rubber band. Graphene was discovered 14 years ago, and Alliance Rubber in Hot Springs and the University of Sussex in England hope to adapt its electrical and thermal properties. Researchers worldwide are working on ways to use graphene. The rubber researchers envision products helping in health care and agriculture. Sussex professor Alan Dalton said graphene-infused rubber bands could provide an inexpensive means to monitor blood pressure and heart rates. They also think that grocery stores could use fancy rubber bands to ensure perishable items are kept at the right temperature and alert someone if produce spoils.

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