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Registration for annual Stillwater art and science festival for students accepted until Dec. 23

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Registration for annual Stillwater art and science festival for students accepted until Dec. 23

The Partnership Plan is scheduled to hold its annual DaVinci Fest on Jan. 22, celebrating science and art in the St. Croix Valley.

Students in fourth through 12th grades who live within the boundaries of the Stillwater Area Public Schools, regardless of where they attend school, can submit projects in science, art, upcycling and film. Top students who participate in the science fair will be eligible to go on to further competitions.

Registration is open until Dec. 23 and information can be found at partnershipplan.org/davincifest.

The DaVinci Fest is hosted by the Partnership Plan, the non-profit educational fund for Stillwater Area Public Schools. The Jan. 22 festival will be held at Stillwater Area High School. Admission is free and face masks will be required.

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“Tiger King” Joe Exotic resentenced to 21 years in prison in murder-for-hire case involving his chief rival

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“Tiger King” Joe Exotic resentenced to 21 years in prison in murder-for-hire case involving his chief rival

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge resentenced “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison on Friday, reducing his punishment by just a year despite pleas from the former zookeeper for leniency as he begins treatment for cancer.

“Please don’t make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free,” he told a federal judge who resentenced him on a murder-for-hire charge.

Joe Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — was convicted in a case involving animal welfare activist Carole Baskin. Both were featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, Maldonado-Passage still had his trademark mullet hairstyle, but the bleach-blonde was fading to gray.

Baskin and her husband also attended the proceedings, and she said she was fearful that Maldonado-Passage could threaten her.

“He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me,” she said.

Friday’s court proceedings came about after a federal appeals court ruled last year that the prison term he’s serving on a murder-for-hire conviction should be shortened.

Supporters packed the courtroom, some wearing animal-print masks and shirts that read “Free Joe Exotic.” His attorneys said they would appeal both the resentencing and petition for a new trial.

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Illinois Department of Public Health offers 225k free at-home COVID tests

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Illinois Department of Public Health offers 225k free at-home COVID tests

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – 225,000 free rapid COVID-19 self-administered test kits are now available to residents in certain zip codes in 14 Illinois counties from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The tests are available through Project Access Covid Tests (Project ACT). It is a new direct-to-consumer mail-order program that works in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, health care technology company CareEvolation, test manufacture iHealth Labs, Inc., and Amazon.

The tests are available to residents living in the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Kankakee, Lake, Macon, Madison, Marion, Peoria, St. Clair, Will, and Winnebago. Click here to see the specific zip codes.

“Testing is still a critical component for slowing transmission of COVID-19 and helping prevent further infections,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “With readily available at-home testing, individuals can find out very quickly if they are positive and take action to isolate for five days while alerting those with whom they had close contact that they should also test. Readily available tests can help us chart a course for the new normal and help us learn how to coexist with COVID-19.”

Click here to order your free COVID tests.

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Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit about infrastructure

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Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit about infrastructure

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) –A four-lane bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh, prompting rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet while others formed a human chain to help rescue multiple people from a dangling bus.

The collapse comes just hours before President Joe Biden arrived in Pittsburgh to push his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan and efforts to strengthen supply chains in America.

The collapse happened in the Frick Park area of the city Friday morning before 7 a.m. Several cars and a Port Authority bus were involved. It was reported by Pittsburgh Public Safety on Twitter that an odor of natural gas was detected and asked all residents to avoid the area.

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Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said three or four vehicles were involved in the collapse and there were 10 minor injuries with three, who were on the bus, taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were life-threatening, Jones said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted out that President Biden is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time. The President will proceed with his trip planned for today and will stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide.

The Red Cross is also on scene to assist.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said the bridge over Hot Dog Dam Dog Park was inspected just last September, CBS reports.

Nexstar and Associated Press contributed to this story.

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