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Brospar Daily News

Weekly Road Closures: Sept. 24-30


The weekly list of road and lane closures for Sept. 24-30 is out. Lane closure schedules may change at any time without further notice. All projects are weather permitting.

— MĀMALAHOA HIGHWAY (ROUTE 11) —

1) MOUNTAIN VIEW TO VOLCANO

Shoulder closure on Māmalahoa Highway (Route 11) possible in either direction between Oshiro Road and Ali‘i Koa Street, on Monday, Sept. 24, through Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., for surveying.

2) PĀHALA (WEEKEND WORK)

Single lane closure on Māmalahoa Highway (Route 11) possible in either direction between mile markers 53.5 and 54.5, vicinity of Ka‘alaiki Road, on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., for landscaping and vegetation cutting.

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3) NĀ‘ĀLEHU

Single lane closure on Māmalahoa Highway (Route 11) possible in either direction between mile markers 60.5 and 63.5, vicinity of Whittington Beach Park and Niu Street, on Monday, Sept. 26, through Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for landscaping and vegetation cutting.

4) CAPTAIN COOK (WEEKEND/WEEKLY WORK)

Single lane closure on Māmalahoa Highway (Route 11) possible in either direction between mile markers 107 and 109, Ke‘ei/Rabbit Hill Road and Captain Cook Village Road, on Saturday, Sept. 24, through Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for landscaping, vegetation cutting, and shoulder work.

— KUAKINI HIGHWAY (ROUTE 11) —

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1) HONALO

Single lane closure on Kuakini Highway (Route 11) possible in either direction between mile marker 113.9 and 114, vicinity of Honalo Road, on Monday, Sept. 26, through Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Kuakini Drainage Improvements.

— HAWAI‘I BELT ROAD (ROUTE 19) —

1) HONOMŪ TO HAKALAU (WEEKEND WORK)

Single lane closure on Hawai‘i Belt Road (Route 19) possible in either direction between mile markers 13 and 16, vicinity of Honomū Road and vicinity of Leopolino Road, on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for landscaping and vegetation cutting.

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2) HAKALAU (WEEKEND/WEEKLY WORK)

Single lane closure on Hawai‘i Belt Road (Route 19) possible in either direction between mile markers 14.2 and 14.3, vicinity of Kolekole Stream, on Saturday, Sept. 24, through Friday, Sept. 30, for bridge work.

Saturday and Sunday work will be from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday work will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3) HAKALAU (24/7 RESTRICTION)

Single lane closure over Nanue Bridge at mile marker 18.5 on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) for bridge repair. 

4) ‘Ō‘ŌKALA (WEEKEND WORK)

Single lane closure on Hawai‘i Belt Road (Route 19) possible in either direction between mile markers 27 and 28, Jardine Road and vicinity of Ka‘awalii Stream, on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for vegetation cutting and tree trimming.

— QUEEN KA‘AHUMANU HIGHWAY (ROUTE 19) —

1) KAMUELA (WEEKEND/WEEKLY WORK)

Single lane closure on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway (Route 19) possible in either direction between mile markers 67 and 69, vicinity of Kawaihae Road and Hapuna Beach Road, on Saturday, Sept. 24, through Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for shoulder restoration and vegetation cutting.

— KALANIANA‘OLE AVENUE (ROUTE 19) —

1) KEAUKAHA (NIGHT WORK)

Single lane closure on Kalaniana‘ole Avenue (Route 19) possible in either direction between Kamehameha Avenue and Kuhio Street, nightly from 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, through 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, for the Kalaniana‘ole Avenue Reconstruction.

— KEA‘AU-PĀHOA ROAD/ PĀHOA-KALAPANA ROAD (ROUTE 130) —

1) PĀHOA (WEEKEND WORK)

Single lane closure on Pāhoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130) possible in either direction between mile markers 12 and 14, Pahoa Village Road and vicinity of Nunulu Road, Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for vegetation cutting.

2) PĀHOA

Single lane closure on Pāhoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130) possible in either direction between mile marker 18 and 21, vicinity of Oneele Road and Kaimu Chain of Craters Road, Monday, Sept. 26, through Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for tree trimming, mulching, and landscaping. Note: the tree trimming/mulching may be a separate crew from the landscaping.

— KOHALA MOUNTAIN ROAD (ROUTE 250) —

1) KOHALA

Single lane closure on Kohala Mountain Road (Route 250) possible in either direction between mile markers 9 and 13, vicinity of Ponoholu Ranch, Monday, Sept. 26, through Friday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for road resurfacing.



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A giraffe unexpectedly gave birth right in front of zoo visitors


in the U. K. Heartwarming footage from *** local safari park of *** baby giraffe being born, the six ft tall baby giraffe, I’ll repeat the six ft baby made *** grand entrance. According to S. W. N. S. Following several meters to the ground and concerning safari staff when having trouble standing. But concerns were shortly alleviated when giraffe mother Arusha was seen taking care of her newborn and according to the safari, the young calf is now walking tall and thriving. The birth of this giraffe is exciting for several reasons. One, the zoo had just built *** brand new giraffe house, completed only this last april to the giraffe is now sadly considered to be an endangered species in the wild due to loss of habitat from deforestation and and three because I like the baby giraffe videos following the safari park tradition and keeping up with all other animals born this year, the new caf’s name will start with the letter K. Might I suggest the name knees, since that’s about where I can reach it. I’m short. That was *** short joke

A giraffe unexpectedly gave birth right in front of zoo visitors

Visitors at the Virginia Zoo had the experience of a lifetime after a giraffe unexpectedly gave birth in front of them.Imara, an endangered Masai giraffe, gave birth to her ninth calf on Sept. 9, according to a Facebook post from the zoo.Masai giraffes, one of four giraffe subspecies, are categorized as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Found throughout Tanzania and Kenya, the giraffes have faced significant population decline due to poaching and habitat loss.The newborn calf was born at 122 pounds and stood six feet tall; fitting, given giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals.The baby was named Tisa, which means “nine” in Swahili, as a nod to her mother’s number of births and her birthday, according to a news release from the zoo.Tisa is “healthy and full of personality,” says the zoo. Shortly after she was born, guests were able to watch the newborn stand and start to nurse.And as of Sept. 19, she’s already learning to run, says the news release.Imara and the baby’s father, Billy, were paired based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, the zoo explained. Because the species is endangered, “the birth of this newest calf is especially important.”With Tisa included, the Virginia Zoo is now home to a total of five giraffes.

Visitors at the Virginia Zoo had the experience of a lifetime after a giraffe unexpectedly gave birth in front of them.

Imara, an endangered Masai giraffe, gave birth to her ninth calf on Sept. 9, according to a Facebook post from the zoo.

Masai giraffes, one of four giraffe subspecies, are categorized as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Found throughout Tanzania and Kenya, the giraffes have faced significant population decline due to poaching and habitat loss.

The newborn calf was born at 122 pounds and stood six feet tall; fitting, given giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals.

The baby was named Tisa, which means “nine” in Swahili, as a nod to her mother’s number of births and her birthday, according to a news release from the zoo.

Tisa is “healthy and full of personality,” says the zoo. Shortly after she was born, guests were able to watch the newborn stand and start to nurse.

And as of Sept. 19, she’s already learning to run, says the news release.

Imara and the baby’s father, Billy, were paired based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, the zoo explained. Because the species is endangered, “the birth of this newest calf is especially important.”

With Tisa included, the Virginia Zoo is now home to a total of five giraffes.



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‘I live in horror’: New records shed light on fatal Boise mall shooting, cite no motive


BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — “Shooter” was what she heard, a witness said, before she pulled her mother and 4-year-old daughter down to the ground at Macy’s. Her mother still held the shoes she intended to buy when they began to run for their lives.

“My 4-year-old daughter still doesn’t want to go to the mall because she is scared that the man will come and kill her,” a mother of five wrote in a witness statement originally in Spanish. “I live in horror listening to my 4-year-old say this. Since that day, I can no longer live my life peacefully without being afraid.”

The shooter walked through the Boise Towne Square mall for 24 minutes before opening fire last October, killing two and injuring several more.

RELATED | Police name Boise mall shooter, say he died in hospital. Coroner identifies victims

Police investigations into the matter detail the minute-by-minute events on the afternoon of Oct. 25, and how a chance encounter with 26-year-old security guard Jo Acker, a transgender woman, prompted a man to open fire on her. He then fired more bullets into a crowded shopping mall and killed a second person, Roberto Padilla Arguelles, a Latino man.

Police were at the scene of the crime in under 3 minutes.

Hundreds of pages of recently released documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman through a public records request — including officer incident reports, investigative documents and witness statements — paint an image of the shooter, who investigators found was estranged from his family and had sent messages to relatives that had disturbed them. The shooter also had a YouTube channel, as previously reported by the Statesman, and was a strident proponent of open-carrying guns.

Bystanders hid in bathrooms, under tables and in racks of clothing. One woman was on the phone with her neighbor when she heard gunshots and hid. She saw Jacob Bergquist come over near where her and others were hiding and “look right at them” before shooting near them. ”I am going to kill you all,” she heard him say.

Bergquist shot himself in the head behind a dumpster near Dave and Buster’s. This took place less than seven minutes after he began shooting in the mall, according to police.

RELATED | Idaho police flagged Boise mall shooter for owning firearms despite Illinois felony

Authorities said they found no motive in the killings and do not think he knew the victims. But his YouTube channel contained hateful comments and racial slurs about Hispanic groups, and in a phone call during the shooting spree his father recalled him saying the word “transgender.”

Treasure Valley police also had contact with the shooter prior to that day, in documented reports where officers were suspicious about a man carrying a gun.

After fleeing the mall, the shooter encountered and fired upon police officers. A stray bullet of his struck a woman in the face as she drove on Milwaukee Street.

The 465-police report, released by the Boise Police Department nearly a year after the events, was first reported by the Idaho Press.

Jo Acker
Security guard Jo Acker, a 26-year-old transgender woman, was shot and killed in an October 2021 mass shooting in Boise Town Square mall. | Courtesy photo

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

Bergquist, 27, entered the Dillard’s department store at the mall at 1:26 p.m. Oct. 25. After walking around, he bought food at Sbarro, a pizzeria, and stayed in the mall’s food court until 1:41 p.m., the report found.

He then walked through the mall and was contacted by Acker, who was wearing a bright yellow uniform. At 1:50 p.m. the two spoke for about 20 seconds “before Bergquist turned to walk away, then drew the gun from the holster on his left hip, turned and fired multiple times, striking and immediately killing (Acker),” the report said. He shot Acker four times.

Bergquist then fired into the mall, striking another victim’s clothing.

He went into Macy’s and shot at Padilla Arguelles, 49, who was on an escalator. An officer later found what appeared to be gunshot wounds on Padilla Arguelles’ lower right arm, right chest, back shoulder (two), right cheek and the upper right of his head. He was declared dead at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise around an hour after the shooting.

RELATED | Bullet struck officer’s hat in Idaho mall shooting

Bergquist “continued to fire his gun as he ran through the department store,” including at three women hiding under a table, the report said. The women were injured but not hit by bullets.

After leaving the mall, Bergquist encountered two Boise police officers inside a marked vehicle and fired at them. Bullets hit the car, and one “broke apart” and hit an officer in the eye.

The woman driving on Milwaukee Street was hit by a bullet on the right side of her jaw, and the bullet continued through the driver’s-side window. She survived.

Shortly afterward, Bergquist was seen by an officer sitting and wearing a hooded sweatshirt that was covered in blood, according to the report. An officer who approached the scene did not see him move after that.

‘I CANNOT ERASE THE SHOOTER’S FACE FROM MY MIND’

The mother of five was at Macy’s when she heard gunshots and saw a man in dark clothing shooting outside the store. She pulled her mother and daughter down on the floor. After hearing more gunshots, they ran.

Once at an emergency exit, the woman’s mother still had the shoes she was going to buy.

“She asked me what she should do with them,” the woman said, and she told her to leave the shoes inside. The three of them ran through the parking lot.

“We were very scared, crying because we did not know anything about my grandma,” the woman said. “She was also with us at the mall but she was at a different store.”

The woman stopped a couple in their car and asked for help, and were given a ride to their car.

After talking to a man by her car, the woman finally saw her 81-year-old grandmother walking through the parking lot.

“It was a very, very horrible experience; it is not the same to see a shooting happen on television or for someone to tell you there was a shooting,” she said, noting she has trouble sleeping. “I cannot erase the shooter’s face from my mind. I feel the sound of the bullets in my ears.”

‘STRANGE AND DELUSIONAL’ TEXT MESSAGES

Police identified Bergquist as the “lone suspect” in the mall shooting.

About 37 minutes after he shot himself, Ada County Dispatch received a call from a man believed to be his father who wanted to check on him. The man, whose name is redacted, noted that Bergquist had many guns.

At 1:51 p.m., seconds after Bergquist shot Acker, the man received a call from him, in which Bergquist stated he “had just killed or shot a lot of people,” according to a police interview.

Bergquist told the man that “he and the family were to blame for what happened.” Bergquist was “breathing heavily and was mumbling,” and the man “recalled Jacob saying the word ‘transgender’ during this call,” according to the interview.

Before hanging up, Bergquist said, “I have to go kill myself now.”

Investigators found that Bergquist was “very interested in firearms and open-carried a handgun on his left hip,” the report said. But police said they did not find motivating documents.

RELATED | GoFundMe created for 3-year-old daughter of security guard who died in mall shooting

“No evidence was found during the search of Bergquist’s residence, cellphone and social media that would indicate he had any documented plans to carry out such an act of violence. There is nothing to suggest Bergquist knew any of the victims,” the report said. “Security officers reported having contact with Bergquist in the past, but nothing had been documented.”

Before the shooting, Bergquist had “made efforts” to reconcile with his family after being estranged, police interviews found. He told family he “felt he was going to die soon and believed the family had turned against him and was playing a joke on him.”

One family member believed he worked at a dry cleaning business in Boise, and police said they believed he moved to Idaho at the end of 2020 or in early 2021.

A woman who lived in the same mobile home park as Bergquist told police he had lived there about six months and was always dressed in black and armed with a pistol. Occasionally he carried an AR-15 rifle, she said. Two days before the shooting, she said, she saw him pacing in front of her trailer, talking loudly and looking angry.

The day before the shooting, he sent “strange and delusional” texts to a family member, which “continued into the night” and the following day, up until a half-hour before the shooting, according to one interview.

After the shooting, the man who appeared to be Bergquist’s father told police he was hopeful his son had been confused about what occurred.

“Jacob had not been in trouble for any violent crimes in the past and had moved to Idaho because he could legally open carry his firearms,” the man told police.



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Man accused of killing long-time Indy cab driver says it was ‘misunderstanding’


INDIANAPOLIS — We are learning more details about the moments leading up to the death of long-time Indianapolis tax driver Abdukadir Filanwaa.

Filanwaa, 55, was pronounced dead at the scene by medics after they responded to a report of a person shot about 4 a.m. on Sept. 10 around 11th Street and New Jersey Street.

James Riley, 30, and Alysianna Martin, 29, are charged with murder for their alleged involvement.

According to court documents, video from inside the cab captures Riley and Martin entering the cab. Shortly after, Riley pulls a gun and places it against Filanwaa.

Filanwaa then begins driving to the location that Riley tells him, according to court documents.

Court documents allege, during the drive, Riley shows frustration with Filanwaa and asks him multiple times “Do you wanna die?”.

When the cab stops, Riley asks Filanwaa to turn off the cab lights. According to court docs, this is when Riley shoots Filanwaa multiple times.

After their arrest, Riley admitted to police that he shot Filanwaa because of a “misunderstanding”.

Martin is charged with murder, robbery and kidnapping.

Riley is charged with murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, kidnapping and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.





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A giraffe unexpectedly gave birth right in front of zoo visitors


in the U. K. Heartwarming footage from *** local safari park of *** baby giraffe being born, the six ft tall baby giraffe, I’ll repeat the six ft baby made *** grand entrance. According to S. W. N. S. Following several meters to the ground and concerning safari staff when having trouble standing. But concerns were shortly alleviated when giraffe mother Arusha was seen taking care of her newborn and according to the safari, the young calf is now walking tall and thriving. The birth of this giraffe is exciting for several reasons. One, the zoo had just built *** brand new giraffe house, completed only this last april to the giraffe is now sadly considered to be an endangered species in the wild due to loss of habitat from deforestation and and three because I like the baby giraffe videos following the safari park tradition and keeping up with all other animals born this year, the new caf’s name will start with the letter K. Might I suggest the name knees, since that’s about where I can reach it. I’m short. That was *** short joke

A giraffe unexpectedly gave birth right in front of zoo visitors

Visitors at the Virginia Zoo had the experience of a lifetime after a giraffe unexpectedly gave birth in front of them.Imara, an endangered Masai giraffe, gave birth to her ninth calf on Sept. 9, according to a Facebook post from the zoo.Masai giraffes, one of four giraffe subspecies, are categorized as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Found throughout Tanzania and Kenya, the giraffes have faced significant population decline due to poaching and habitat loss.The newborn calf was born at 122 pounds and stood six feet tall; fitting, given giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals.The baby was named Tisa, which means “nine” in Swahili, as a nod to her mother’s number of births and her birthday, according to a news release from the zoo.Tisa is “healthy and full of personality,” says the zoo. Shortly after she was born, guests were able to watch the newborn stand and start to nurse.And as of Sept. 19, she’s already learning to run, says the news release.Imara and the baby’s father, Billy, were paired based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, the zoo explained. Because the species is endangered, “the birth of this newest calf is especially important.”With Tisa included, the Virginia Zoo is now home to a total of five giraffes.

Visitors at the Virginia Zoo had the experience of a lifetime after a giraffe unexpectedly gave birth in front of them.

Imara, an endangered Masai giraffe, gave birth to her ninth calf on Sept. 9, according to a Facebook post from the zoo.

Masai giraffes, one of four giraffe subspecies, are categorized as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Found throughout Tanzania and Kenya, the giraffes have faced significant population decline due to poaching and habitat loss.

The newborn calf was born at 122 pounds and stood six feet tall; fitting, given giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals.

The baby was named Tisa, which means “nine” in Swahili, as a nod to her mother’s number of births and her birthday, according to a news release from the zoo.

Tisa is “healthy and full of personality,” says the zoo. Shortly after she was born, guests were able to watch the newborn stand and start to nurse.

And as of Sept. 19, she’s already learning to run, says the news release.

Imara and the baby’s father, Billy, were paired based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, the zoo explained. Because the species is endangered, “the birth of this newest calf is especially important.”

With Tisa included, the Virginia Zoo is now home to a total of five giraffes.



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State representative’s stolen car has been recovered


A Chevy Tahoe belonging to state representative Cherlynn Stevenson was stolen in Lexington on Aug. 30, 2022.

A Chevy Tahoe belonging to state representative Cherlynn Stevenson was stolen in Lexington on Aug. 30, 2022.

A vehicle belonging to state Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson, which was stolen late last month while parked at Lexington Green, has been recovered.

Stevenson said in an interview that the car was found Thursday afternoon at an apartment complex near Fayette Mall. Someone at the complex noticed the car had been parked there for weeks without any interaction and called police, she said.

It appears the vehicle was ditched shortly after it was stolen because it was dusty and had almost the same amount of gas as it did when it was stolen, according to Stevenson. She said the car had no visible damage and most of the valuables inside were left behind, except for a pair of sunglasses.

Stevenson, who represents parts of Fayette and Scott counties in the state legislature, said police checked the car for fingerprints and found nothing. She was disappointed that the thieves won’t be caught but she’s obviously pleased to have her car back.

Stevenson’s Chevy Tahoe is one of hundreds of vehicles reported stolen in Lexington this year, and it’s a growing problem locally and nationally, according to Lexington police and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Last year, 1,057 auto thefts were reported in Lexington, and the city is on track to exceed that this year, police data indicates. Between January and July, Lexington police received 764 auto theft reports, according to the city’s website.

Nationwide, the number of vehicles stolen rose nearly 20 percent from 2019 through 2021, the insurance crime bureau says.





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Pedro Martinez believes Brayan Bello could be a ‘Cy Young type of pitcher’




Red Sox

“It only brings back good memories of who I was and how I was.”

Brayan Bello pitches against the Cincinnati Reds. Aaron Doster/AP Photo

Brayan Bello has a fan in Pedro Martinez.

The former Red Sox ace believes Bello could one day blossom into a star himself.

“Brayan Bello is another kid that has the potential to be a Cy Young type of pitcher in the future,” Martinez said on MLB Network.

Martinez believes the 23-year-old right-hander joined the Red Sox prematurely out of necessity. Bello’s ERA has dipped from 8.82 in July to 4.66 in August to 1.69 in 21.1 innings in September as he’s gotten more comfortable. He’s allowed one run or fewer in three of his last four starts.

Bello weighs around 170 pounds, similar to what Martinez weighed during his pitching days, and the three-time Cy Young winner Martinez sees some of himself in the youngster.

“It only brings back good memories of who I was and how I was,” Martinez said.

Martinez said Bello has started to adjust to pitching at the big league level. He was in an unenviable spot at the beginning, having to learn on the fly against the best hitters in the world, but now he’s figuring it out.

Bello’s sinker reaches 96 miles per hour, his fastball can get up to 100, and his changeup and slider keep hitters honest. Martinez credited him for taking some lumps and responding convincingly to a somewhat unfair situation.

“Sometimes, the struggles will make you lift up your head and come back and fight,” Martinez said. “Take a punch, and you punch back.”





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A giraffe unexpectedly gave birth right in front of zoo visitors


in the U. K. Heartwarming footage from *** local safari park of *** baby giraffe being born, the six ft tall baby giraffe, I’ll repeat the six ft baby made *** grand entrance. According to S. W. N. S. Following several meters to the ground and concerning safari staff when having trouble standing. But concerns were shortly alleviated when giraffe mother Arusha was seen taking care of her newborn and according to the safari, the young calf is now walking tall and thriving. The birth of this giraffe is exciting for several reasons. One, the zoo had just built *** brand new giraffe house, completed only this last april to the giraffe is now sadly considered to be an endangered species in the wild due to loss of habitat from deforestation and and three because I like the baby giraffe videos following the safari park tradition and keeping up with all other animals born this year, the new caf’s name will start with the letter K. Might I suggest the name knees, since that’s about where I can reach it. I’m short. That was *** short joke

A giraffe unexpectedly gave birth right in front of zoo visitors

Visitors at the Virginia Zoo had the experience of a lifetime after a giraffe unexpectedly gave birth in front of them.Imara, an endangered Masai giraffe, gave birth to her ninth calf on Sept. 9, according to a Facebook post from the zoo.Masai giraffes, one of four giraffe subspecies, are categorized as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Found throughout Tanzania and Kenya, the giraffes have faced significant population decline due to poaching and habitat loss.The newborn calf was born at 122 pounds and stood six feet tall; fitting, given giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals.The baby was named Tisa, which means “nine” in Swahili, as a nod to her mother’s number of births and her birthday, according to a news release from the zoo.Tisa is “healthy and full of personality,” says the zoo. Shortly after she was born, guests were able to watch the newborn stand and start to nurse.And as of Sept. 19, she’s already learning to run, says the news release.Imara and the baby’s father, Billy, were paired based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, the zoo explained. Because the species is endangered, “the birth of this newest calf is especially important.”With Tisa included, the Virginia Zoo is now home to a total of five giraffes.

Visitors at the Virginia Zoo had the experience of a lifetime after a giraffe unexpectedly gave birth in front of them.

Imara, an endangered Masai giraffe, gave birth to her ninth calf on Sept. 9, according to a Facebook post from the zoo.

Masai giraffes, one of four giraffe subspecies, are categorized as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Found throughout Tanzania and Kenya, the giraffes have faced significant population decline due to poaching and habitat loss.

The newborn calf was born at 122 pounds and stood six feet tall; fitting, given giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals.

The baby was named Tisa, which means “nine” in Swahili, as a nod to her mother’s number of births and her birthday, according to a news release from the zoo.

Tisa is “healthy and full of personality,” says the zoo. Shortly after she was born, guests were able to watch the newborn stand and start to nurse.

And as of Sept. 19, she’s already learning to run, says the news release.

Imara and the baby’s father, Billy, were paired based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, the zoo explained. Because the species is endangered, “the birth of this newest calf is especially important.”

With Tisa included, the Virginia Zoo is now home to a total of five giraffes.



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50 years after the Clean Water Act, the Androscoggin River has changed dramatically


Scott White remembers what the Androscoggin River once was.

He remembers the thick, light brown foam that floated by his childhood home perched on the riverbank in Livermore Falls.

He remembers summer days spent casting lines on a river all but bereft of fish, catching nothing more than river chubs on a good day.

He remembers the raw sewage that flowed directly into the water.

Now, looking back to the Androscoggin River of his childhood in the early 1970s, White said it’s truly been amazing to see its transformation.

The Chisholm Mill of the International Paper Co. at Livermore Falls on the Androscoggin River in June 1973. Foam is visible on the river below the dam. U.S. National Archives photo

Fifty years after the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the river that inspired U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie of Rumford to write his landmark bill is the cleanest it’s been in more than a century.

Game fish have become common throughout the river. Recreational amenities, including Riverland State Park in Turner, have sprung up along its banks. Cities have centered their economic revitalization plans around the newfound draw of the riverfront.

And while some people have even ventured to swim in the river, “that’s still something I wouldn’t do today!” White said.

But perhaps the biggest change from the 1970s to the present is the perception of the river.

“You always had a sense that you got this major water body and it’s looks pretty spectacular, but it wasn’t really something to interact with,” said Jonathan LaBonte, former mayor of Auburn and former executive director of the Androscoggin River Land Trust.

Once viewed primarily as a means to power mills and wash away waste, the Androscoggin River has become a resource for common people to recreate and enjoy. None of this happened overnight. It was the work of countless activists, agencies and officials who recognized the social and economic values of a cleaner, healthier river.

But still, challenges remain.

GOVERNMENT INTERVENES

As paper mills began to spring up along the banks of the Androscoggin River in the late 1800s, communities grew and the health of the river declined.

Up until the mid-1900s, it was thought that waste dumped into the river would be swept away and diluted to a degree that wouldn’t significantly impact the quality of life for residents along its banks.

But that wasn’t the case.

In the summer of 1941, the smell of the river became so terrible that people demanded the government take action. It sued the paper mills in 1942 and won, placing the first restrictions on discharges to the river.

Bark peelings are piled at the Oxford Paper Co. mill in Rumford in 1973. U.S. National Archives photo

That same year, the three major paper mill companies along the river, based in Berlin, New Hampshire, Rumford and Livermore Falls, formed a committee to study the river, mitigate nuisance conditions, and meet state-imposed restrictions.

Bates College chemistry professor Walter Lawrance was hired by the committee as a consultant in 1943 and, after the noxious odor returned in 1947, was appointed rivermaster by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Lawrance was tasked with remediating the river and granted legal authority to limit pollution discharge from the mills.

The mills first created storage lagoons to impound some of their waste during the hot, low-flow summer months, releasing it incrementally as the water flow increased in the fall. But this strategy produced little change in the state of the river.

As the paper mills dragged their feet making significant changes, Lawrance looked to his knowledge of chemistry for a temporary solution to combat the river stench.

Bates College chemistry professor Walter Lawrance stands at the Gulf Island Dam in Lewiston in 1973. Lawrance was the state-appointed rivermaster of the Androscoggin River from 1947 to 1977. U.S. National Archives photo

Under his direction, from 1948 to 1960, more than 6,600 tons of sodium nitrate — roughly equivalent to 470 dump truck loads — were dumped into the Androscoggin River, primarily between the Gulf Island Dam in Lewiston and Turner Center Bridge.

Lawrance theorized that the chemical would prevent the river from creating its noxious smell. However, critics accused the chemist of perfuming the river rather than addressing the core of the pollution problem.

As Lawrance also raised the limits on discharges into the river, mill executives in the early to mid-1960s were eventually pushed to invest millions of dollars to make their pulping process more efficient and produce less waste.

The Androscoggin paper mill in Jay, which owner Pixelle Specialty Solutions of Pennsylvania announced this week would close early next year, was built in 1965 to replace the pulping operations at the now-defunct Otis Mill on the Jay-Livermore Falls line as part of this effort.

While switching from a sulfite to a Kraft pulping process resulted in some improvement to the river, sewage and industrial waste continued to flow freely into the river. It wasn’t until after the Clean Water Act was passed that the river truly began to recover.

The Clean Water Act called on states to create water quality standards for all navigable waters, regulated point-source pollution and unlocked millions in government funds to assist with the construction of waste treatment facilities. These facilities treated sewage and industrial waste before discharging the remains into the river.

By the late 1970s, fish could survive in much of the Androscoggin River year-round for the first time in decades.

CLEAN WATER ACT JUST THE START

Passing the Clean Water Act was only the start of cleaning up the Androscoggin River. In the decades since, many individuals and entities have continued to push for even greater improvements on the state and federal level.

Rep. John Nutting, D-Leeds, speaks at the early bird breakfast meeting of the Greater Rumford Chamber of Commerce on April 12, 1990, explaining the river foam, odor and color bill, which he authored. Barbara Adams photo, Sun Journal

In 1988, John Nutting of Leeds, then a young Democratic member of the Maine House of Representatives, introduced the color, odor and foam bill at the request of a state working group. The bill, which called on the paper mills to improve the clarity and smell of the river by filtering out tree resin from its discharge, was passed by the Legislature in 1988 and 1989, but vetoed by then-Gov. John McKernan twice.

The Legislature again approved the bill in 1990, but only by a slim margin. A short, surprise appearance by Muskie himself the day of the Senate vote may have made all the difference, Nutting said.

“Muskie, in blistering tone, said to the people, the senators, he says, ‘These are the people’s rivers, not industries’ and the municipalities’ rivers. You need to vote for that young man’s bill,’ and he motioned to me,” Nutting recalled.

The Senate passed the bill 18-17, Nutting said. When it made it to the the governor’s desk for the third time, he finally signed it.

Although both the state Chamber of Commerce and the paper industry lobbied against the bill, the Lewiston-Auburn Chamber of Commerce stood by Nutting, recognizing the economic value of a cleaner river to the Twin Cities, he recalled.

Two of Nutting’s other bills, one to ban the discharge of cancer-causing dioxins from mills and a second that made the color, odor and foam bill even stricter, passed in 1996 and 2004, respectively, cleaning the river further.

While building support for the dioxin ban, Nutting and then-Gov. Angus King jumped into the Kennebec River from the Hallowell boat launch to the shock of the news media and attendees to the event.

“All I said was ‘The governor and I are now going to demonstrate future uses of the rivers,’” Nutting said. “We jumped in and swam, I don’t know, 50, 60 feet, and the place just erupted in applause.”

In a 16-year period, Nutting saw a stark difference in the public’s attitude toward cleaning the river.

Debates on the three bills changed from “very contentious (in 1988-90), to which way should we clean (the river) up in ’96, to ’04 it was like no debate at all,” Nutting said. “One of the biggest problems we have now is people are complaining because they want more access points.”

Since water treatment facilities were built in the 1970s, the state has continued to invest in local infrastructure to reduce sewage overflows and contaminated storm water runoff from reaching Maine’s waters, according to Brian Kavanaugh, Maine Department of Environmental Protection director of the Bureau of Water Quality.

Water pours from a sewer cover July 28 near Festival Plaza in Auburn during a heavy rain. Vanessa Paolella/Sun Journal file photo

“All of these tremendous improvements have come about in very large part because of the investments we’ve made into our public infrastructure,” Kavanaugh said. “It’s really important that we hang onto the gains that we’ve made (and) that we continue to invest in that infrastructure.”

The volume of combined storm water and sewer overflows has decreased by 94% since 1989, Kavanaugh said. However it remains a problem today.

In 2021, 346 million gallons of combined storm water and sewer overflows was discharged to Maine waters. This generally occurs when heavy rain events overload municipal water systems.

Today, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people eat no more than six to 12 meals of fish a year caught from the Androscoggin River due to persistent contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins and DDT.

The Clean Water Act and succeeding legislation primarily targeted “obvious” pollutants,” Kavanaugh said. Now the DEP is focusing on the next phase of improving Maine’s waters, including limiting less obvious pollutants such as excess nutrients and emerging contaminates, including PFAS.

DEFINING MOMENT

Once, being near the river was the last place people wanted to be.

“Nobody would build or want to be near the river,” said Peter Rubins, chairman of the Grow L-A River Working Group. “The buildings that are architecturally influential are all over this city, and it’s beautiful architecture, but nobody wanted to be here.”

“It’s hard to believe that the Industrial Revolution pinpointed this river as an open sewer,” he added.

Now, riverfront property has become desirable for housing and business development, and the Androscoggin River is at the core of Lewiston and Auburn’s downtown revitalization strategies. Officials on both sides of the rivers are working to expand social and recreation opportunities along the river.

Canoes pass each other in June on the Androscoggin River during RiverFest 2022 in Lewiston-Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

“That’s the greatest sign of accomplishment, I think, is that people are embracing the rivers and that it’s part of their economic development and a great social aspect of those communities along the river,” Kavanaugh said. 

However, LaBonte said one of the greatest challenges he faced as the former mayor of Auburn and executive director of the Androscoggin River Land Trust is that many locals still don’t have personal connections with the river.

“It’s the legacy of pollution, that (people) really didn’t build a culture of using the river,” said LaBonte, an Auburn native. “You have longtime residents still that would say that they’ll never touch the river, that it’s still polluted.

As Lewiston, Auburn and many other communities along the river begin negotiating new license agreements with hydroelectric dam owners on the river — something that happens only every 30 to 50 years — LaBonte said there is a “culture of low expectations” from the river.

“Does this community believe they can expect great things from the river and that there’s an obligation that they should be leveraging for others to invest in that vision?” he asked.

Relicensing negotiations provide an uncommon opportunity for community officials to request recreation provisions and investments from the large hydroelectric companies profiting from the river.

But this year, as activists, officials and the public continue to push for cleaner, more accessible rivers, they also have a reason to celebrate.

Balloons drift over the Androscoggin River in August during the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston earlier this year. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file

Earlier this year, the Maine Legislature unanimously endorsed a bill that upgraded the water quality classification of the last 14-mile stretch of the Androscoggin River, between the Worumbo Dam in Lisbon to Merrymeeting Bay, from the rock-bottom C classification, up to B. It was a long-sought decision for the river, which was once considered one of the most polluted in the country.

And 50 years after the passage of Clean Water Act, most everyone agrees on at least one thing.

The smelly, polluted Androscoggin River of Ed Muskie’s childhood is not the Androscoggin River of today.


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See the Minnesota Renaissance Festival’s best-dressed festivalgoers


“People consider [dressing up in costumes] weird, but if you go somewhere that everyone is weird, it’s just normal,” Deshawn Gardner said. That is the sentiment among most of the 300,000 annual attendees of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

People spend months designing and hand-making everything from wizard hats to Viking boots just for the chance to share their passion with total strangers.


Caitlin Mueller poses for a portrait dressed as a viking. “I love that this brings the magic back to your life […] you lose your imagination as an adult but this brings it back,” Mueller said.


Deshawn Gardner poses for a portrait while dressed as the grim reaper. “People consider [dressing up in costumes] weird but if you go somewhere that everyone is weird, it’s just normal,” Gardner said.


Maxwell Skinner, left, and Diego Broth Castro dressed as a king and knight. The boys are neighbors and share a birthday so they wanted to do a costume together. “I wanted to fight the real king to see who the true king is,” Maxwell said.


Abby Thao with her handmade crown of flowers. “I cosplay everywhere, not just at the Renaissance Festival, but this is just a place I don’t feel judged,” she said.


Liviana and Jimmy Worth were dressed as characters of their own invention, “Lil Gnarlsworth and Jameson.” “I love history and I love tinkering and making things myself,” Jimmy said.


Andrew Mueller dressed as a viking. Andrew and his wife, Caitlin, celebrated their anniversary by traveling from Denver to the festival.


Jamison Davis said, “I love the magic of it all and I love bringing an experience to kids.”


John Tverberg dressed as Papa Emeritus from the rock band Ghost. “My favorite part is seeing people get excited about my costume and ask for pictures,” he said.


Robert Williams as Gandalf the Grey. “I love ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ and just love being Gandalf, too,” he said.


Laura Santiago poses in a self-made 18th-century dress. “I work in technology and stare at a screen all day so this is a way to express my creativity,” she said.


Matthew Krikava dressed as a knight. “I love meeting other people who like to immerse in the old culture,” he said.


Rian Vellichor tunes her guitar. “There is nothing like performing at a Renaissance Festival […] it combines a nerdy sensibility with playing music,” she said.


Nick T. posed for a portrait. “It’s adult dress-up once a year,” he said.


Bill Hedrick as Gandalf the Grey. “I love the research and construction and all the ‘omigods’ I get from people as they walk by […] I’ve had 20 people ask me for a picture and I’ve only been here 30 minutes,” he said.


Kristin Thesing poses for a portrait wearing a homemade costume featuring the Minnesota Wild. “I am a goalie and last year I did a Philadelphia Flyers costume but this year I had to represent the home team,” Thesing said.



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