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Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a moment Saturday morning to pay tribute to his father on what would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 66th birthday.

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Happy Birthday dude,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his Instagram page alongside a photo of himself as a child with his dad.

It had already been quite a week for the younger Earnhardt. He announced Tuesday that he would be retiring at the end of the 2017 NASCAR season and he celebrated the creation of The Dale and Amy Earnhardt Activity Room at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, alongside his wife, Amy.

Besides Dale Earnhardt’s fans, fellow drivers and other members of the Earnhardt family also paid tribute to the NASCAR legend.

“Thinking about my pawpaw today on his 66th birthday,” Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt’s grandson, wrote on his Instagram page. “Some (heroes) wore capes, he wore a fire suit. Big inspiration in my life.”

Climate protesters march to edge of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

An estimated 500 people marched to the edge of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club Saturday, hoping to turn up the heat on a president they say has turned his back on the threat of climate change.

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“The time for denial is over,” said Patrick Ferguson, an event organizer. “The time for climate solutions is now.”

Protesters gathered at George S. Petty Park in West Palm Beach, Florida, walked along Flagler Drive and crossed the Southern Boulevard Bridge into Palm Beach around noon. Toting signs and chanting slogans, they marched down to the Southern Boulevard roundabout, circling it and back toward the bridge and out of town. President Trump is not in town this weekend.

“Sea level rise affects us all, especially in South Florida, and that includes Mar-a-Lago,” said Ferguson, a representative of the Sierra Club Florida.

The protest was part of the People’s Climate March, which originated with a massive demonstration in New York in September 2014. Tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington on Saturday, enduring sweltering temperatures while protesting Trump’s rollbacks of environmental protections and Obama climate policies.

At the Palm Beach event, Alex Newell Taylor of the Women’s March said environmental justice is very much a women’s issue. “As a woman, I want clean water to drink, I want clean air to breathe and I want to see our beautiful planet protected,” she said.

The climate denial problem is bigger than Trump, she said.

“We have too many people in power who put profits and corporate interests over the health of our planet and its people.”

David Gibson, an event organizer and Coconut Creek resident, said embracing climate change solutions means “devoting resources to climate change mitigation, and no more resources to war and fossil fuel extraction.”

Robert Lewis of Lake Worth carried a sign reading “Make America think again.”

Lewis said Trump is bowing to the interests of big oil and big coal while gambling that the nation’s elite will be able to ride out a climate-driven catastrophe. Left behind will be “all those people who will be displaced, who won’t be able to grow food, whose economy will be ruined, whose water will be tainted,” he said.

“Don’t stop being outraged” read the sign toted by Dave Haglund of Tequesta, who said he’s participated in several demonstrations in the 100 days since Trump took office. This is not a time for complacency, he said.

“This involves everyone, and we’re running out of time,” he said.

Palm Beach Police were on hand for crowd control and safety. The Palm Beach portion of the march, which lasted about an hour, was peaceful and occurred without incident, according to Sgt. Scott Duquette. Last weekend, demonstrators came to the island as part of the March for Science.

Child carriers recalled after reports of children falling through openings

Thousands of child backpack carriers were recalled this week after the company that makes them got reports of children falling through the carriers’ leg openings.

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In a recall notice issued Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said at least four children have fallen from Osprey’s Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium child backpack carriers. At least one of the children suffered a fractured skull from the fall.

Nearly 90,000 of Osprey’s Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium child backpack carriers fall under the recall. A majority of those – about 82,000 – were sold in the United States at REI and specialty outdoor stores and online from January 2012 to December 2015. The rest were sold in Canada.

>> See the recall notice

The recalled carriers have production date codes of: S12SBPR1, S12SBPR1B, S12SBPR2, S12SBPR3, S12SBPR4, F12SBPR1, F12SBPR2, S13SB IPO, S13SBPR1, S13SBPR2, S13SBPR3, S13SBPR4, F13SBPR1, F13SBPR2, F13SBPR3, S14SBPR1, S14SBPR2, S14SBPR3, S14SBPR4 and S14SBPR5. The codes can be found stamped on a black label sewn into the interior of the lower, zippered compartment on the back of the carrier.

Officials asked that anyone who has one of the affected carriers stop using it immediately and contact Osprey. The company is giving out seat pad inserts which, combined with the child carrier’s safety straps, secure carried children.

Missing cop faked his death, fled to Mexico, police say

A Texas police officer who was originally reported missing is believed to have attempted to fake his own death and to have fled to Mexico, officials said Friday night.

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Austin police Officer Coleman Martin, 29, is facing a Class A misdemeanor charge of “false report,” as a result.

Martin’s wife told KVUE-TV on Saturday that “Cole recently received a new prescription medication."

"The side effects were causing him to be depressed and think irrationally,” she said. “We want him to know his family loves him unconditionally and wants him home safe." 

Martin’s wife asked to remain anonymous for the interview.

An arrest affidavit for the missing officer said a woman, who was not his wife, shared an email with detectives, in which Martin wrote to her and said his plan for a staged death had been successful.

The affidavit does not say how the woman knows Martin.

Martin’s email to the woman said he had staged a scene by parking his vehicle by a body of water near the U.S. border with Mexico, the affidavit says. Then he rode a bicycle for about 8 miles to a convenience store, took a taxi to the border and rode a bus farther into Mexico, the affidavit says he said in the email.

Police obtained video footage of Martin at a gas station in Del Rio, the affidavit says. They also talked to a clerk at the gas station who had spoken to Martin. Martin told the clerk he had biked from Amistad Park to the store, the affidavit says.

Police first got involved on Tuesday night, when Martin’s wife called 911, the affidavit says. She told police that Martin had texted her a photo of a handwritten note that said he was going to drown himself in a lake near the border of Mexico. 

The next morning, officials at the Amistad National Recreation Area said they found Martin’s vehicle with a suicide note inside, the affidavit says. His wallet was also inside the vehicle, but there was no money inside it. His passport was also not in the vehicle.

In response, “a massive search operation was initiated using local, state and federal resources” on Wednesday and Thursday, the affidavit says.

The search team found an inflatable raft in the Amistad Reservoir, which is on the Rio Grande at the border between Mexico and the United States, with Martin’s name, his date of birth, date of death and his and his wife’s initials written on the side, the affidavit says. Inside the raft were remnants of a concrete block as well as scrape marks that indicated that concrete blocks had been pushed over the edge.

Investigators discovered a charge on Martin’s credit card for a new HP tablet from a Best Buy in Austin a few hours before he sent the suicide note to his wife, and the tablet was not found in his vehicle, the affidavit said. Then, investigators learned that someone had accessed Martin’s email from Mexico about five hours after he sent the suicide note text.

According to the affidavit, investigators believe Martin placed “the boat to appear he entered the water, paddled to the middle and jumped overboard with concrete blocks and ropes, and (placed) the raft on the shore to give the appearance it had drifted to shore from where the initial entry place was.”

Investigators tracked down and interviewed the unnamed woman at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.

Shark bites woman at South Carolina beach

A woman was injured Saturday when a shark bit her foot in the waters off South Carolina’s Folly Beach, according to multiple reports.

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The woman, a 36-year-old surfer, was headed back to shore on her surf board when she was bitten on the left heel around 11 a.m., officials told WCBD and The Post and Courier.

Folly Beach firefighters told WCIV that the bite was about 5 inches in diameter. The injured woman was taken to a hospital with injuries that appeared to be minor.

The shark bite is the first reported at Folly Beach this year. Officials told WCBD that they typically get three or four reports of shark bites every year.

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner: What time, what channel, who’s hosting, live-stream

The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is set for Saturday, and while most of Washington’s journalism elite will be on hand, one of its usual guests – the president of the United States -- won't be there.

President Donald Trump will not attend the dinner, which customarily includes a roast of sorts of the commander in chief.

The White House announced that Trump will be at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, not hobnobbing at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

"This wasn't a president that was elected to spend his time with reporters and celebrities," White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on ABC's “This Week.”

"I think it's kind of naive of us to think that we can all walk into a room for a couple of hours and pretend that some of that tension isn't there.”

If you don’t have a ticket but want to catch it, here’s how to watch.

What time: 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Where: The Washington Hilton Hotel

What channel: C-SPAN is on channel 350 for DirecTV subscribers; Channel 230 on AT&T U-verse; Channel 210 on Dish

Livestream: The dinner will be livestreamed on C-SPAN.org 

Host: “The Daily Show’s” senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj is the host for the evening. “Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media,” White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason said in a statement.

Has any president skipped it before?

Yes, President Ronald Reagan missed the dinner in 1981, a few weeks after he was shot in an assassination attempt. Both Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon skipped the dinners at times, Carter in 1978 and 1980 and Nixon in 1972 and 1974. 

What else do they do at the dinner?

The White House Correspondents’ Association hands out scholarships and awards. This year, awards are going to Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post, Edward Isaac-Dovere of Politico and David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, along with Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Police: Man cuts girlfriend's betta fish in half during fight

A domestic dispute in Connecticut ended with significant property damage, including a woman's betta fish being cut in half.

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The incident took place Thursday, according to the New Britain Herald. Police responded to a domestic disturbance call, where a woman, who was not identified, said her boyfriend, Juan Vega, 33, showed up at her home unexpectedly and began arguing with her. During the argument, the woman claims Vega pushed her. He also kicked a TV, breaking it, and cut a betta fish in half, police noted.

Vega gathered his belongings and left the premises, according to the police report.

Police tracked down Vega, who was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and second-degree breach of peace, according to the New Britain Herald. Police said Vega admitted to damaging property and killing his girlfriend's fish.

Police: Florida man’s fight with girlfriend causes neighborhood power outage

A man in Hialeah who got into an argument with his girlfriend ended up causing a power outage in the neighborhood, police said. 

The outage happened when Angel Milian, 18, set his girlfriend’s purse on fire and threw it over a gate at his house, WPLG reports.

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Florida man accused of killing roommate’s baby 

Firefighters said the purse set a $3,000 palm tree on fire, and the flames spread to a Florida Power & Light electrical box, according to WPLG. 

Hialeah police arrested Milian when the girlfriend showed officers a recorded video of him lighting her purse on fire. He was taken to the county jail and faces a second-degree charge of arson. 

Read more at local10.com.

April the giraffe's calf is 2 weeks old and adorable

It has been two weeks since April the giraffe gave birth to a male calf, in a much-anticipated event that captured people's hearts from around the world.

Animal Adventure Park posted a brief update Saturday on their Facebook page. One of the zoo's giraffe keepers is seen nuzzling the calf. The post said April's baby is thriving and growing.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

This is the last weekend to participate in the naming contest for the famous giraffe baby.

For those suffering from April the giraffe live cam withdrawals, good news: There will be a live stream every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to a zoo Facebook post.

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