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Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall during Tampa show

A Cirque du Soleil acrobat who fell during a Saturday performance in Tampa, Florida, died from his injuries, a hospital spokeswoman told WTSP on Sunday.

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According to a video viewed by WTSP and The Tampa Bay Times, the aerial acrobat lost his grip on a ribbon strap during the company’s “Volta” show and fell 10 feet to the stage below.

A spokesman for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group identified the performer as Yann Arnaud, a longtime aerialist, WFLA reported.

The show was stopped, and Arnaud was taken to Tampa General Hospital. He died from his injuries, spokeswoman Ellen Fiss told WTSP. 

The two performances scheduled for Sunday were canceled, the company in charge of publicizing the show said in a statement.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him," company CEO Daniel Lamarre said. "Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the ‘Volta’ team, as we go through these difficult times together."

Arnuad’s death is the second performer fatality in Cirque du Soleil's history, WTSP reported. According to the BBC, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died during a 2013 show in Las Vegas when she fell 94 feet to the floor when a safety wire detached.

Olivier Rochette, a 43-year-old technician, died in 2016 while setting up for a performance.

Ohio drivers will get license by mail starting July 2; cards get new look

Ohio said Wednesday it's ending the same-day issuing of Ohio driver's licenses and will mail them instead to save money and increase security.

Licenses will arrive about 10 days after they're issued once the change takes effect July 2, the Department of Public Safety said. Drivers will be issued temporary licenses and ID cards in the meantime.

RELATED: Driver’s license suspensions soaring

The agency says the temporary cards will be valid for proof of identity and residence when voting.

Drivers can also request driver's licenses or ID cards that meet federal regulations for travel. Travel restrictions taking effect in October 2020 will require federally compliant driver's licenses to pass through airport security. There's no extra cost for these licenses.

A star in the upper right-hand corner of licenses will designate those compliant with federal regulations. Obtaining that credential will require documents such as birth certificates or passports, copies of social security cards and utility bills showing people's address.

Ohio joins 41 other states that provide licenses and ID cards through the mail. The change announced Wednesday will prevent loss and theft of secure material from motor vehicle bureaus, provide a centralized and more secure printing facility and save money in the form of the cost of upgrading security measures at individual bureaus, the Public Safety department said.

RELATED: Driving while distracted to cost you more 

New restrictions may be coming for some drivers

Ohio lawmakers seem ready to relax some restrictions on the driving privileges of those who have lost their licenses and have little means to pay the reinstatement fees.  

At least three bills related to license suspensions are pending in the Ohio legislature.  In one, co-sponsored by Jim Butler, R-Ohio, limited driving privileges would be restored for those whose driver’s licenses were suspended for issues unrelated to driving or using a vehicle for criminal purposes.  

In Ohio, there are at least 32 ways people can lose their driver’s license, including dropping out of high school.  

In another measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, judges would be allowed to impose community service in lieu of paying reinstatement fees.

The proposed reforms come as license suspensions soar in Ohio. Last year, 1.1 million Ohioans had their driver’s license suspended for one or more reasons — nearly 12 percent of those old enough to drive in the state.

“There’s this permanent underclass that we’ve created,” Huffman said. “If you’re $4,000 or $5,000 down and that’s what it takes to get your driver’s license, you just don’t do it.”

What people are saying about the Sutherland Springs church shooting

A gunman opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday, according to officials. More than 20 have been reported dead in the small town east of San Antonio, with more than 20 wounded. The gunman is also dead, Wilson County Commissioner Paul Pheil said in a TV news interview.

>> Read more trending news 

The news brought an all-too-familiar mix of reactions on social media, including condolences and calls to action. Here’s what people are saying about the shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs:

See photos from the scene here. This is a developing story. Check for the latest.

As local restaurant boycotts NFL games, DirectTV offers fans refunds

The owner of Beef O’Brady’s restaurant in Beavercreek says he will not air NFL games at his restaurant while NFL players kneel during the national anthem.

“They need to return to respect for the flag and the anthem,” restaurant owner Bill DeFries said in an interview Wednesday. “They can certainly exercise their right to free speech — but not during that one period of time, as far as I’m concerned.”

DeFries is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “While I respect the right of every American to express their views and voices freely, the actions demonstrated by NFL players during our country’s national anthem are offensive and disrespectful to me as a proud veteran,” DeFries said in a prepared statement.

PUBLIC RESPONDS: Restaurant owner says response to NFL boycott has been ‘overwhelming’

And CBS Sports and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that DirectTV is letting “at least some” customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason, customer service representatives told the news outlets.

RELATEDMost Browns players kneel, stand arm-to-arm during anthem

About 150 NFL players took a knee -- or protested in some other way -- before or during the playing of the national anthem this past Sunday. Many did it to protest or call attention to what they feel are instances of racial injustice or police brutality. Others did it to express solidarity with, or support for, fellow players.

“It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel,” San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid wrote in a recent New York Times column. “We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.”

“We’ll do it indefinitely until they (NFL players) can have a conversation among themselves and maybe even include President Trump,” DeFries said in an interview. “When the national anthem is played, if you’re anywhere within earshot of that, you stop what you’re doing, and face towards the flag.”

“They need to pick the right time and place to have that protest,” he added. “We’re going to exercise our right to let them know that what they did was misguided.”

Instead of airing NFL games, DeFries said he will offer a 50-percent discount to all active-duty military and veterans on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays during all NFL games.

Asked how he will respond if his stance hurts his business, DeFries said: “We’re ready.”

He said he assured his servers and bartenders that he will compensate them “out of my own pocket” for any tips or gratuities they miss if business falls as a result of his decision.

Said DeFries: “Even though we may lose business, it’s important for us to be heard as well.”

Beef O’Brady’s is a restaurant at 3347 Seajay Drive in the Beaver Valley Shopping Center.

DeFries has owned and overseen Beef O’Brady’s restaurants in Centerville and Beavercreek for a total of nearly 14 years. He sold the Centerville location five years ago.

Ohio country band booted from Lee Brice concert, rib fest after Charlottesville Facebook post

Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach, a country band from Sylvania, was booted from Northwest Ohio Rib Off and an opening slot for Nashville star Lee Brice after complaints over a Facebook post.

Singer Rodney Parker, on his personal Facebook page, posted Tuesday about the Charlottesville, Va., protests.

The Toledo Blade, which sponsors the Rib Off, made the decision to pull the band.

Parker’s post, which is posted in the Blade article linked above: “Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Communists, PURE TRASH, PERIOD. Certainly in the face of this ongoing relentless behavior from these leftist agitators, White Nationalists (who’re NOT White Supremacists, just so we’re clear) TOTALLY have a legitimate right to SPEAK, BE HEARD, and retaliate. Mainstream media wants to manipulate and keep you timid and full of white guilt, and that empowers these leftists (expletives). DO NOT fall for that communist tactic EVER.”

RELATED: What is the alt-left?

Fact Check: President Trump and the Virginia protesters

Parker’s comments posted after he shared a video of protesters tearing down a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C.

Parker told the Blade he isn’t a racist, and neither was his Facebook post.

“The claims of racism against me are as false as dentures, period; end of story,” Parker told the Blade.

Parker said the allegations came from someone he banned from his page for making racist remarks.

John McAfee, the band’s founder, said the rest of the band had nothing to do with the post, and that the band and Parker weren’t racist.

“If anything we’re about getting along and getting past this government crap,” McAfee said. 

KY GOP official accused of exposing himself in department store bathroom

A Kentucky dentist and chairman of his county’s Republican Party has lost his political post and is facing criminal charges following a weekend arrest in Tennessee on charges of indecent exposure and resisting arrest. 

David Narramore, 54, of Whitesburg, was arrested Saturday night at a Belk department store in Kingsport, Tennessee. WJHL in Johnson City, Tennessee, reported that Kingsport police officers were called to the store by a loss prevention officer. 

The man told the officers that he was in a stall in the store’s men’s room, when the person in the next stall, later identified as Narramore, began rubbing his foot with his own. Narramore is also accused of exposing his genitals to the man, WJHL said.

The employee detained Narramore and held him in the loss prevention office until Kingsport police arrived, the news station said. 

When officers attempted to arrest Narramore, he refused to put his hands behind his back, WJHL reported. When he continued to pull away and fight the officers, they used a Taser on him. 

The Taser had no effect, and the officers wrestled him to the ground to handcuff him, police said. 

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Narramore, who complained at the scene of chest pains, was evaluated by paramedics before being booked into the Kingsport City Jail. He was released the next day after posting $2,250 bail. 

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Narramore resigned his post with the Republican Party’s Letcher County branch following the arrest. 

“Dr. Narramore is clearly going through some personal issues,” Tres Watson, communications director for the state GOP, told the Herald-Leader. “We wish him well as he attempts to deal with (his) personal struggles.”


Gov. Chris Christie shuts down N.J. government

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered a government shutdown at midnight Friday after funding for a new state budget failed, reported.

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The shutdown came after last-ditch attempts to reach a compromise between Christie and New Jersey Democrats who control the state legislature failed.

“This order is necessary to maintain the protection, safety and well-being of the people of New Jersey while I attempt to convince the Legislature to send me a fiscally responsible budget that I can sign and reopen New Jersey’s government,” Christie said.

The shutdown is the second in state history and will close government facilities like state parks and motor vehicle service offices, reported. It will not affect organizations like the New Jersey State Police and psychiatric hospitals, and the state lottery will remain in operation.

Trump EPA head praises Great Lakes program administration plans to eliminate

Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt may not be on board with White House plans to cut programs that directly affect the Great Lakes.

Pruitt defended the program before the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, in a report from the Detroit Free Press. Pruitt said cuts to the restoration program may cripple efforts to halt the invasive Asian carp, algae blooms that have become more problematic as agriculture has grown in the state, and efforts to protect drinking water.

STAY UPDATED: DDN’s Ohio Politics Blog

The Trump administration has proposed a 30 percent cut to the agencies budget along with eliminating 3,800 jobs. The budget isn’t expected to pass. 

Congressman Mary Kaptur and David Joyce of Ohio questioned Pruitt on whether there would be room for the program with the cut the administration planned. Both parties have been critical of the budget, which in early planning would cut funding to any geographically centered projects. That would affect funding for the  Great Lakes as well as other areas in Ohio.

Pruitt said he looked forward to working with Congress to make sure the funding remains in the budget for the Great Lakes. Kaptur invited Pruitt for a tour of the lakes. 

Florida captain known to hand-feed sharks hospitalized after bite from ‘sea creature’

The captain of a Florida dive boat that specializes in shark encounters was bitten on the hand Sunday, suffering injuries severe enough that he was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said the sheriff’s Marine One unit picked up Randall Jordan, the captain of Emerald Charters, after a distress call that he was bitten by a “sea creature.” 

Jordan was in good condition, but still in the hospital Tuesday, according to a St. Mary’s Medical Center spokesman. His sister, Deborah Toohey, said he had to undergo “reattachment surgery.”

>> Read more trending news

“He tries to teach people to not be afraid of sharks,” Toohey said. “He’s an avid environmentalist when it comes to sharks.” 

Jordan did not return calls Tuesday.

In 2015, Jordan was sentenced to a year of probation, a $1,500 fine and 100 hours of community service after he was convicted of three misdemeanor charges stemming from illegally feeding sharks in Florida waters. 

Florida banned feeding sharks in state waters in 2001, but it is still legal in federal waters, said Amanda Nalley, public information specialist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management

George Burgess, who investigates bites for the International Shark Attack file at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said a bite that occurs when someone is feeding a shark is considered a “provoked” incident. 

Burgess said he will investigate the bite. 

“The impression that shark diving operations give is that it’s a perfectly safe operation,” Burgess said. “It’s generally safe, but not perfectly safe.” 

Jordan isn’t the first charter operator bitten while on a shark excursion. 

In 2011, Jim Abernethy was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center after being bitten on the arm. The bite happened about 18 miles north of West End, the Bahamas.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley booked into jail, resigns

Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned today after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges, ending two years of scandal and intrigue that resulted from an affair with one of his top political advisors. 

As part of the plea deal, Bentley will submit to 12 months of unsupervised probation, surrender more than $36,000 in campaign funds and will serve 100 hours of public service. He can never run for office. 

Montgomery County Judge Troy Massey sentenced Bentley to 30-day suspended jail sentence – meaning he will spend no time in jail. 

Jail records show that Bentley posted $600 bond. 

He spent Sunday “negotiating terms of a resignation with state lawmakers and law enforcement,” according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

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Bentley, 74, has battled to outlast a scandal involving recordings that surfaced in 2016 of him making sexually explicit comments to his former aide. 

Bentley’s wife of 50 years, Dianne, divorced him in 2015.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, WHNT reported that Bentley will resign Monday.

Last week, the Alabama Ethics Commission said they had found reason to believe he committed four crimes, all of them felonies, in his attempt to cover up the relationship with aide Rebekah Mason. 

“Gov. Bentley directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks intended to protect his reputation,” Sharman wrote in a report released Friday.

According to the Alabama Reporter article, talk of Bentley’s resignation began on Friday with legislators set to begin impeachment hearings Monday.

The Alabama Republican Party on Sunday called for Bentley to step down. columnist John Archibald wrote on Monday that, “Sources in Montgomery say his lawyers have been involved in negotiations to step down from the governorship and plead to lesser charges, allowing Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey to step up as governor. Sources believe he will resign the governorship by Wednesday.”

Archibald added, “It is possible that Bentley, who has changed his mind often during his term, could change his mind.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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