Nation briefs | | gillettenewsrecord.com – Gillette News Record

Police surround Texas house for burglary, find deer instead

LUFKIN, Texas — Police who surrounded a house in eastern Texas because they thought they had a burglary in progress found a deer instead.

The homeowner called Lufkin police early Thursday after she heard glass breaking. The woman hid in a closet and realized she had left her weapon in the kitchen. Officers were worried it could end up in the hands of the suspect.

Video posted on Facebook shows officers entering the home, yelling, “Police! Let me see your hands!” Police say as the officers rounded a corner, they came “face to face with one very frightened doe.”

An officer shouted “It’s a deer! It’s a deer! It’s a deer!”

The officers used chairs to shoo the deer out the door.

Alabama

University trustees may refund $21M gift

TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama board of trustees is expected to vote Friday on returning $21.5 million to a top donor who recently called on students to boycott the school over the state’s new abortion ban.

Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr., a 70-year-old real estate investor and lawyer, pledged a record $26.5 million to the university in September, but in a news release last week urged students to participate in a boycott of the school. Hours later, Alabama announced it was considering giving back his money, the biggest donation ever made to the university, and is expected to remove his name from the law school that was named in his honor.

While Culverhouse said he has no doubt Alabama is retaliating over his call for a boycott, the university said the dispute has nothing to do with that. Instead, officials say it was in an “ongoing dispute” with Culverhouse over the way his gift was to be handled.

California

Automakers urge talks on mileage

SACRAMENTO — Major automobile manufacturers urged the Trump administration and California on Thursday to restart negotiations over vehicle mileage standards to prevent a lengthy legal battle, warning that moving ahead with two sets of standards would create instability in the auto market.

“What works best for consumers, communities, and the millions of U.S. employees that work in the auto industry is one national standard that is practical, achievable, and consistent across the 50 states,” the 17 companies including Honda, Ford and Mercedes-Benz wrote in a letter addressed to Trump.

At issue is a Trump administration roll back of tougher Obama-era mileage standards that would require cars to get 36 miles of real-world driving per gallon of gas by 2025. The goal is for Americans to fill up their gas tanks less frequently, sending fewer climate-changing emissions and pollutants into the air.

Instead, the administration is halting the tougher standards at a 2020 requirement that cars achieve 30 miles per gallon of real-word driving. It also wants to take away California’s long-held ability to set its own, tougher standards, first granted in 1970 under the Clean Air Act as the state dealt with oppressive smog. Under the Obama rules, though, California and the federal government were on the same page.

California, the nation’s most populous state, has considerable influence over the auto market. Roughly a dozen states have used its emissions standards in the past, accounting for about a third of the market.

Colorado

Town bans underage sale of kratom

DENVER — A town south of Denver has banned the sale of the herbal supplement kratom to anyone under the age of 18.

The Castle Rock town council approved an ordinance Tuesday that imposes a $300 fine on anyone caught selling the substance to minors. The town late last year imposed a six-month moratorium on the licensing of any new kratom shops while new rules were established.

Kratom, which is derived from the leaves of a tree that grows in southeast Asia, often is used in the form of an extract or a pill. Many see it as a safe, natural alternative to opioid painkillers. But the Food and Drug Administration says it exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse and dependence.

NEW YORK

NYPD sorry for ’69 raid at Stonewall bar

NEW YORK — Nearly 50 years after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn catalyzed the modern LGBT rights movement, New York’s police commissioner apologized Tuesday for what his department did.

“The actions taken by the NYPD were wrong, plain and simple,” Commissioner James O’Neill said during a briefing at police headquarters.

“The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive,” he added. “And for that, I apologize.”

The apology comes just weeks ahead of the milestone anniversary of the raid and the rebellion it sparked the night of June 27-28, 1969, as patrons and others fought back against officers and a social order that kept gay life in the shadows.

April the Giraffe is going on birth control

HARPURSVILLE — There will be no more babies for April, the giraffe that enthralled viewers worldwide with two livestreamed pregnancies and births.

Jordan Patch of Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, says 17-year-old April will start contraceptives on Friday and retire from the park’s breeding program.

Patch announced on Facebook that the park’s care team decided to retire April following the birth of her fifth calf, Azizi, in March.

More than 300,000 people watched the birth live on YouTube.

April drew more than 232 million views on the site during a seven-week period in 2017 before she gave birth to another calf , Tajiri (tah-JEER’-ee).

Patch says the zoo’s breeding program will continue with a new female, Johari, and April’s former mate, Oliver. April will be housed with Tajiri and Azizi.