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In the news

March 22, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Frank Hibbard, mayor of Clearwater, Fla., abruptly resigned during a tense budget meeting, explaining, "I'm not a quitter, but I'm not the right leader for this council anymore and I'm concerned where the city is going, because this is simple math and we're not doing very well on the test."

Randy McNally, Tennessee's 79-year-old lieutenant governor, will remain speaker of the Senate after a 19-7 vote in the wake of revelations that he repeatedly commented on posts of nearly nude photos of a young gay model and other LGBTQ personalities.

Sharon Cooper of the Georgia House hailed overwhelming passage of a Senate bill now bound for the governor to restrict vaping, saying it "just says if you can't smoke in an area, you can't vape in an area," with fines ranging up to $500.

Thomas McElveen of the South Carolina Senate said "we have to protect the things that belong here" as a subcommittee advanced a bill to elevate the status of the Venus fly trap by making it the state's official carnivorous plant.

Deon Howard was arrested in Green Bay, Wis., and faces charges of abuse of a corpse and unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle after a funeral home van was taken in Rockport, Ill., and found behind a vacant Chicago home, still containing the body.

Brain, an Indian crested porcupine named after a cartoon character, found its way home after disappearing from a zoo in Thale, Germany, with police expressing hope that Pinky the porcupine might soon be found as well.

John Voppen of ProRail, the company that maintains Dutch railroads, appealed for quick action after badgers, which are protected animals in the Netherlands, burrowed under tracks and forced lengthy cancellations on at least two lines.

Gustavo Soter of Brazil, the Detroit Institute of Arts and a third party reached a confidential settlement over control of "The Novel Reader," an 1888 painting by Vincent van Gogh, weeks after a custody fight amid a rare U.S. exhibition.

Hans-Peter Wipplinger of the Leopold Museum in Vienna, Austria, said the museum is showing solidarity with the climate movement as it hangs 15 paintings at an angle to reflect the possible effects of climate change on the landscapes they depict, titling the action "A Few Degrees More (Will Turn the World into an Uncomfortable Place)."

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