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HIPPIE CLIMBER BRIDWELL DIES

PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) 7/8— Jim Bridwell was known as a hard-partying hippie and legendary climber who lived his life vertically on some of the toughest peaks in Yosemite National Park. He died last Friday at the age of 73. His wife told the Associated Press that he had liver and kidney failure from hepatitis C that he may have contracted in the 1980s when he got a tattoo from a headhunting tribe in Borneo. Bridwell was idolized by some and labeled reckless by others, but no one disputed his sheer skill on a rock face. He made some 100 first ascents in the California park and on peaks in Alaska and the Andes. He also helped establish the first formal Yosemite search-and-rescue team, pioneered rescue techniques and invented climbing gear. In the 1970s, he was part of an outlaw group of Yosemite climbers called the Stonemasters. They lived hand-to-mouth in campgrounds, playing music, drinking and smoking marijuana. By some accounts, they managed to recover pounds of marijuana from a smuggling plane that crashed in the park in 1977 with 6,000 pounds of pot aboard.

HOW MUCH PANIC WAS THERE OVER FALSE MISSILE ALERT

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Researchers studying the reaction of Hawaii’s residents after the false missile alert say there was far less panic than they anticipated. University of Delaware researchers said they are not reconstructing a scene from a disaster film, the News Journal in Wilmington reported Saturday. People were not running in a “blind panic.” They searched elsewhere to confirm the alert. At the same time, people were unsure of where to go. Many didn’t know where shelters were or if there were any.

PAYING FOR TEN COMMANDMENT DISPUTE

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico community is considering using online fundraising to pay the $700,000 it owes from a lawsuit that stemmed from a dispute over a Ten Commandments monument outside of Bloomfield City Hal that a court ordered to be taken down, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution and represented a government endorsement of religion. The Farmington Daily Times reports Bloomfield City Manager Eric Strahl says the city has until June 30, 2021 to pay for the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal fees.

WOUND-HEALING SKIN TISSUE TEST

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Human tests have begun on a wound-healing skin tissue developed in Madison. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that ExpressGraft-C9T1 is being tested on up to six patients with diabetic foot ulcers. The technology is being developed by Stratatech, which is now owned by the British pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt. The technology is a genetically engineered, antimicrobial human skin substitute.

BEARS BURNED IN WILDFIRE HEALING

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — Two female bears badly burned in a Southern California wildfire are settling back into their home in the wild. Los Angeles news station KABC-TV reports that recent photos and GPS tracking data show the bears are moving around and appear to be in good health in Los Padres National Forest. They were released into the forest in January, a month after suffering third-degree burns in the largest wildfire in state history.

BABY HIPPO DIES

DALLAS (AP) — The first baby hippopotamus born at a new Dallas Zoo exhibit has died. The Dallas Morning News reports that zoo officials said a female hippo gave birth early Saturday to her first calf, but she did not help the newborn to the surface of the pool soon enough.

RARE PORPOISE MOURNED

MEXICO CITY (AP) —Activists and artists in Mexico held a mournful, dirge-like procession for the critically endangered vaquita porpoise as the species’ numbers fell below 30. With drums, chimes and a carved vaquita skull, hundreds of people made their way through a Mexico City park. Organizers said the procession was not a funeral for the vaquita breed, but experts do say that the population continues to decline by 40% annually.

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