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WATCH: Thousands of sea turtles rescued after Hurricane Irma, released back into wild

Thousands of baby sea turtles washed ashore along Florida’s coastline after Hurricane Irma pounded the state last week.

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The hatchlings were rescued and collected by South Florida residents, turtle rehabilitation programs and other groups. On Friday, more than 2,500 rescued turtles were released by Boca Raton’s Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials drove the state collecting rescued sea turtles from Palm Beach, Brevard, Broward counties and others, according to Gumbo Limbo.

The turtles were brought to Gumbo Limbo, then released by the staff in Boca Raton. They captured part of the release on video, which they shared on the center’s Facebook page.

All 2500-plus sea turtles returned to the "weed line" that provides their habitat for the first few years of their lives,” the nature center wrote on Facebook.

“Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is proud to have been a part of this massive effort to return the sea turtles affected by Hurricane Irma to the sea.”

>> Related: Boca Raton: After Irma, is it time to finally bury power lines?

'Move back to Africa': Teacher dismissed after alleged racist Facebook post

A Mississippi teacher has been dismissed from her job after a racist Facebook post appeared on her page.

>> Read more trending news

Officials confirmed to Fox13Memphis that Cammie Rone was dismissed from her position as a teacher at Mississippi’s Batesville Intermediate School. The school serves about 600 students in the second and third grades, according to the school’s website.

>> Related: Mississippi teacher under fire for alleged racist Facebook post

A post on Cammie Rone's Facebook page said: "If blacks in this country are so offended no (one) is forcing them here. Why (don’t) they pack up and move back to Africa where they will have to work for a living." 

It went on to say the government will “pay for it.”

In a second post, Rone claimed that she was hacked.

"If anyone knows me I post about cows, recipes, and home improvements. Not racism,” she wrote.

In a statement to Fox13Memphis, school district officials said Monday that they were aware of the incident and that Rone had been placed on administrative leave. A school district spokesperson told the news station on Wednesday that she was no longer an employee of the South Panola School District.

She has the option to appeal, officials said.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Does your city like to exercise? Find out which areas do and which would rather sit on the couch

There’s the treadmill, jogging, high-intensity interval training, combined group fitness classes, and yoga. It seems like gyms and fitness refimens are popping up more often. But where are Americans the fittest?

A new poll put together by Gallup and Sharecare has ranked the cities that exercise the most, ranking them from 1 to 189. They took a look at the habits of exercisers over a week. They were deemed “regular exercisers” if they worked out 30 minutes a day for at least three days a week.

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More than 350,000 adults, compiled from every state, took part in the survey, Live Science reported.

Boulder, Colorado came in as the most fit city in the nation, with almost 70 percent of those polled saying they regularly exercised. The least fit of the 189 cities was the Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton, North Carolina, region, with 41.8 percent.

Seattle came in at 46. Charlotte and its neighbors ranked at 87. West Palm Beach lumped with Miami and Fort Lauderdale and came in at 95. Boston and its surrounding communities ranked at 104. The Atlanta area came in at 113, and Pittsburgh was 131. Orlando was 143.

Officers’ ‘It’-themed photo takes ‘hot cop’ challenge to scary new level

As law enforcement agencies across the country continued to post “hot cop” photos this week in attempts to best one another, one California police department upped its game to a spooky level.

The Lincoln Police Department on Friday posted a photo to Facebook that meshed the “hot cop” challenge started by Gainesville, Florida, officers during Hurricane Irma and the wildly successful big screen version of novelist Stephen King’s “It.” 

The photo shows four of its officers standing on a street, one of the officers is reaching down to the pavement. On the asphalt is a line of tasty-looking doughnuts leading to a nearby drainage culvert.

In the culvert is someone dressed as the villain in “It,” Pennywise the Clown. Nearby floats one of Pennywise’s trademark red balloons. 

The photo caption reads, “Ok, Gainesville had the ‘hot cops’ and Loudon had the ‘cop on a bucket,’ so the Lincoln (CA) Police Department decided to join the fun.”

“Clown: ‘Hey guys, I have donuts down here!’”

As the officer reaches for the first in the line of doughnuts, a colleague tries to pull him to clown-free safety.

As of Wednesday, the photo had been shared nearly 200,000 times and garnered about 171,000 reactions, all positive. The image also earned some jokes from commenters.

“But, like, is the clown hot?” one woman asked.

“Looks like a trap,” another commenter said. 

“With sprinkles!” one man added. 

“But why did they put perfectly good donuts on the ground?” another woman asked.

“Donut go down there!” one commenter warned. 

>> Read more trending news

The photo from the Lincoln police officers is the latest in a string of pictures challenging a selfie posted by Gainesville officers earlier this month as they prepared for a 12-hour shift at the height of Hurricane Irma. The photo, posted on Facebook, had commenters praising the officers’ looks and offering to be arrested to get closer to the men. 

The Gainesville photo was removed from Facebook after one of the officers, Officer Michael Hamill, came under fire for alleged anti-Semitic posts on his personal Facebook page. He has been suspended while the department investigates the claims. 

In the days since the Gainesville photo went viral, however, departments across the country have offered their own photos of their finest. On Tuesday, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in southeast Louisiana posted a photo of their finest looking K-9 officers.

“K-9s Hoss, Baretta and Mako wanted in on the #HotCop competition, but they hope to start a new hashtag: #HotDogs!” the caption read. 

In another post, Loudon, Tennessee, police officers pose for the camera. One particularly short officer stands on a bucket.

“Loudon Police Department Adam Squad. We ain’t pretty, but we get the job done,” the post reads.

The challenge has become so popular since the post by the Gainesville officers that it has spawned a Facebook page of its own, Hot Cop Challenge. The page had just over 1,000 followers as of Wednesday. 

Parents outraged after teacher gives profanity-laced homework assignment 

A Georgia middle school teacher is out of the classroom after a controversial assignment for kids, including rap lyrics with racial slurs.

>> Read more trending news 

WSB-TV talked to a child and her mother Tuesday night who said she just had to act.

Mother, Crishana Wright said lessons are an important part of her youngest child’s education as Kalani Wright makes her transition into middle school.

But Wright said one assignment that came home had no place in the classroom.

"It was really against everything I try to teach them, you know?” Wright told WSB-TV.

She said she was stunned to read explicit lyrics on a worksheet that was handed out by a music teacher at DeKalb County's Bethune Middle School.

The assignment contained expletives, violence and sexually suggestive lyrics, all in print.

"I'm reading all these words, and I immediately asked her why she had this and she said it was an assignment," Wright said.

"I saw that and I was like, ‘My mom would be mad,’” sixth-grader Kalani said.

The exercise was for sixth-graders to take the rap lyrics and come up with their own positive words.

"I don't really see how you can make that positive but to say don't do it," Wright said.

Wright said she understands the purpose but says this wasn't thought out. Willis brought Wright's concerns to the school district.

In a statement, the superintendent wrote:

“The assignment was inappropriate, unacceptable and contrary to our standards. The employee responsible has been removed from the classroom and will be held accountable for such poor judgment. While we encourage teacher creativity, the expectation is that the instruction is always standards-based and age appropriate.”

"I think we all kind of know when it may be a problem, then if that's the case don't take the chance," Wright said. "You're dealing with children's minds; you have to be very cautious."

The teacher later issued an apology, saying, “At no time should students be subjected to this type of language at impressionable ages. Regardless of my best intentions, I failed miserably. I should have used better judgment.”

Tom Price chartered 5 planes in 3 days to fly 150 miles

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who has made a career advocating for fiscal responsibility, has been booking private planes for official business at taxpayer expense to the tune of thousands of dollars, according to a report by Politico.

>> Read more trending news

Between September 13 and September 15, Politico reported that Price booked five charter plane trips — including a round-trip to Philadelphia from Washington D.C., even though the two cities are less than 150 miles apart.

On another trip, three other flights took him to a Maine resort for a discussion with a health care CEO, a health center in New Hampshire, and then back to Washington, D.C.

Price has fiercely promoted reducing spending at HHS. Former HHS staffers in the Obama administration said that charter plane flights, especially for short-haul flights like the ones Price took, were a “non-starter” during their time. When reached for comment, HHS said charter planes may be used for travel when commercial travel options are not available, but Politico found commercial flights and Amtrak trains that nearly overlapped Price’s schedule for those trips.

>> Related: Tom Price still holds the keys to Obamacare after Senate bill collapses

Charter plane operators interviewed for Politico’s story say the flights cost over $10,000 a piece. A reasonable estimate for Price’s plane travel for the two-day span is in the vicinity of $60,000, apparently paid for by Health and Human Services. (When contacted, none of the organizations hosting Secretary Price indicated that they had compensated Price for his travel.)

Back when Price was a member of the House of Representatives, he lambasted charter plane travel for members of the federal government.

>> Related: Pentagon commissioned report on waste, but what they found was so bad, they tried to destroy it

Rosh Hashanah 2017: What is it; how is it celebrated?

Wednesday marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and the start of the High Holy Days.

What is the holiday about and how is it observed? Here’s a look at the celebration and the traditions.

What is Rosh Hashanah? Rosh Hashanah means "the head of the year" in Hebrew. It is the start of the observance of the High Holy Days – 10 days of repentance for sins committed during the year. It is also thought to be the day God created Adam and Eve.

What happens during the High Holy Days?During the High Holy Days, Jews are called to seek forgiveness from others whom they have wronged, to make amends and to resolve to act better going forward.The High Holy Days end with Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the “Day of Repentance.”

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When is Rosh Hashanah this year? The celebration begins at sundown on Wednesday and ends at sundown on Friday.

What do you do on Rosh Hashanah?Services are held on the two days of Rosh Hashanah. During the service, a hollowed-out ram’s horn is blown. The horn is known as a shofar. Blowing it symbolizes a call to repentance.

Tashlich, which means “casting off,” is also observed. The tradition calls for a person to go to a body of water and throw in pieces of bread. The act symbolizes the washing away of sin.

In addition, there are feasts featuring apples dipped in honey, fish heads, pomegranates, carrots, dates and black-eyed peas, according to Chabad

Killer soon to be executed wants high-calorie last meal

Keith Tharpe, a Georgia inmate who is scheduled to be executed next Tuesday, has requested high-calorie food for his last meal.

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As is tradition, the Georgia Department of Corrections allowed Tharpe to plan the menu for the day of his execution.

Tharpe has asked for three “spicy chicken breasts,” a roast beef sandwich with sauce, a fish sandwich, onion rings, “tater logs,” apple pie and a vanilla milkshake.

Condemned inmates are allowed almost anything they want for their final meal. One exception, however, is alcohol, which was on the 2015 last-meal request of Marcus Ray Johnson, who wanted a six-pack of beer.

Tharpe, 59, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, 27 years and a day after he murdered his sister-in-law.

If Tharpe is put to death, he will be the second man the state has executed this year. In 2016, Georgia carried out a record nine executions.

Less than a month after Tharpe’s wife had left him and their violent marriage in late summer 1990, he told her in a phone call that if she wanted to “play dirty,” he would show her what dirty was.

On the morning of Sept. 25, 1990, Tharpe intercepted his estranged wife and Jaquelin Freeman -- who was married to Tharpe’s wife’s brother -- as they drove to work.

RELATED: The faces of Georgia’s Death Row

MORE: A reporter describes being inside Georgia’s death chamber

He pulled in front of their car, blocking them, and pulled out the 29-year-old Freeman. Tharpe threw Freeman into a ditch and fired three times from a shotgun, reloading after each trigger pull.

Tharpe kidnapped his wife and later allegedly sexually assaulted her in the car on the side of the road in a nearby county. Tharpe was never tried for rape.

Tharpe was caught because he had driven his ex-wife to Macon to withdraw funds from her credit union. She called police instead.

Tharpe went on trial three months after the murder.

During the sentencing phase that came after the jury convicted him, 13 witnesses -- including his mother, sister, two of his daughters and even the ex-wife he assaulted -- described Tharpe as a good son, brother, father and husband who was emotionally distressed because his marriage was ending.

Though state and federal courts have upheld his conviction and death sentence, his lawyers still have an appeal pending that claims at least one juror had racist motives for voting for the death penalty. That juror, Barney Gattie, signed a statement for Tharpe’s lawyers, confirming that he believed there were “good black folks” and people like Tharpe, whom he used a slur to describe.

But the state’s lawyers said Gattie, who has since died, told them that he was drunk when he made that statement and didn’t understand what he was signing.

That matter is pending before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jennifer Lawrence responds to critics after movie gets 'F' grade

Jennifer Lawrence is typically a box-office draw, but not even she could save “Mother!”

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The Darren Aronofsky film received a rare F grade from CinemaScore and bombed at the box office, earning just $7.5 million in its opening weekend. That makes it Lawrence’s worst box office performance for a wide release, according to Rare.us.

RELATED: Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence answer some of the internet’s most pressing questions about them

But when asked by “Entertainment Weekly” about the lackluster response to “Mother!” the Academy Award-winning actress said:

“The people who love it, love it and want to see it another time. The people who don’t like it, absolutely despise it ... There is no middle ground. We knew that it was divided. That’s what’s so exciting -- everybody is going to feel something. It’s going to create a conversation. It’s going to create a controversy. Nobody is going to leave not getting something from it.”

Paramount Pictures, which distributed “Mother!” released an official statement that called the film “very audacious and brave.”

Popular movie critic site Rotten Tomatoes awarded the film a rating of 68 percent out of 100.

“There's no denying that ‘Mother!’ is the thought-provoking product of a singularly ambitious artistic vision, though it may be too unwieldy for mainstream tastes,” the Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus reads.

Twitter users were divided about the movie. 

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

How you can help Mexico and people affected by the Mexico earthquake

A massive magnitude-7.1 earthquake in Mexico City has killed more than 200 people as of Wednesday morning.

>> Read more trending news

Volunteer rescue workers, along with officials and other ordinary citizens, dug through the debris of collapsed buildings, including a three-story primary and secondary school, where they found students dead after Tuesday’s quake.

“We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from above or below, from the walls above (crumbling), or someone below calling for help,” volunteer rescue worker Dr. Pedro Serrano told the Associated Press.

>> Related: Buildings damaged following large earthquake in Mexico City

Tuesday’s earthquake is the deadliest in Mexico since the 1985 quake, which took place on the same date and left thousands dead.

It is also the second devastating earthquake to hit the region in less than two weeks.

A week and a half ago, a magnitude-8.1 quake killed about 90 people.

Here’s how to help Mexico and those affected by the earthquake:

1. Donate clothes, water and food

If you’re nearby the tragedy, donate canned goods to relief or collection centers listed here at Elfinanciero.com.

You can also donate goods to nonprofits on the ground, including UNICEF MexicoRed Cross MexicoSave the Children MexicoOxfam MexicoLa Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico or Project Paz.

2. Make a monetary donation

Consider donating to those nonprofits listed above (UNICEF MexicoRed Cross MexicoSave the Children MexicoOxfam MexicoLa Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico or Project Paz).

Topos Mexico, a Mexican rescue brigade, is also accepting PayPal donations

3. Use social media to spread awareness

A simple retweet could get the right person where they need to be or the right information where it needs to go.

While you’re on social media, consider retweeting aid accounts or locals to connect them to the appropriate resources.

For example, Topos Mexico has been sharing lists of areas where they need professional medical care.

Locals are also tweeting photos of areas where help is needed. Here, someone calls for help on Twitter for a collapsed building in Coquimbo, where many were trapped.

Some have even tweeted about open hospitals and where victims can receive free treatment, such as the emergency room at Hospital Ángeles Pedregal below.

There is also a Google spreadsheet of rescued individuals that’s being shared on social media. 

4. If you’re around, volunteer

Mexico City officials have put together a volunteer coordination site, asking those interested to head to the Emergency Rescue Squad (ERUM) building in Chimalpopoca.

But officials warn volunteers to stick to their nearest disaster zones and avoid entering other zones.

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