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National

    Pandora, an 'Avatar'-themed land in Disney's Animal Kingdom, opened to the public Saturday, with reported wait times for the two rides inside exceeding three hours. And that's for the people who have already been able to get in to the park. Disney has issued a warning through their app that as of 10:10 a.m., the wait time to enter the land was more than two hours. Matt Beiler, a producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, said that although the film is science fiction, he and his colleagues designed the land with a focus on realism. 'When I go to Africa, this is a real place in Africa,' he said. 'The same thing happens here when guests come here to Pandora. They are going to a real valley.' >> Read more trending news The resort's newest attraction brings the film to life with scenery inspired by the movie, including majestic waterfalls, boat rides down the fictional Na’vi River and a bioluminescent rainforest, which illuminates at night. 'From the moment you walk in, it's astonishing,' visitor Christian Rivera said. Park visitors will be made to feel as if they're walking among floating mountains and soaring on the back of a flying 'banshee,' a dragon-like creature featured in the movie. Park visitors will also be able to beat on drums at Pandora, and Satu’li Canteen serves a movie-inspired menu. 'Walt said, 'It's kind of fun to do the impossible,'' Beiler said. 'And that is what every Imagineer has at their core: They embrace the challenge.
  • The parents of a 16-year-old girl who was filmed urinating in a bathroom stall say officials at a California high school aren't doing enough to punish the perpetrator who received a three-day suspension after she admitted to posting the video on social media. The 17-year-old girl, a star athlete at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, was arrested but allowed to return to school the next day, remain on her team and participate in a championship game, The East Bay Times reported (http://bayareane.ws/2r7SE0z ). The victim's mom, Denise Lynch, accused school district officials of failing to properly respond to the incident by allowing the girl stay in the school. She said her daughter's grades dropped and that she is suffering emotionally by having to face her tormentor at school. 'When it is reported to you, you do nothing, you minimize it, you sweep it under the rug,' Lynch told board members at a meeting Tuesday. 'Had my daughter not told us . or God forbid killed herself, everyone would be asking themselves: 'What more could have been done?' Now is the time to do something,' her husband Sean Lynch said. The Lynches found out about the video when it was posted on Instagram in April, months after it was filmed in November by a cellphone from under a bathroom stall. A San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokeswoman declined to discuss the district's response to the incident, citing student privacy. She said police reported the incident to school officials, who investigated it and took disciplinary action. In general, 'the district uses progressive discipline, meaning that the type of discipline may in part depend on a student's past behavioral history. We are also increasingly using restorative practices when possible,' Elizabeth Graswich said. The girl was arrested and cited for invasion of privacy, which is a misdemeanor, Danville police spokesman Geoff Gillette said. Her case will be reviewed by the Contra Costa County Juvenile Probation Department, he said.
  • Gregg Allman, a survivor of tragedy, knew the blues musically and in a painfully personal way. Raised by a single mother after his father was shot to death, he idolized his guitar-slinging older brother Duane and became his musical partner. They formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band, which helped define the Southern rock sound of the 1970s. Their songs such as 'Whipping Post,' ''Ramblin' Man' and 'Midnight Rider' laid the foundation for the genre and opened the doors for groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band. Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom, died Saturday. He was 69. Allman died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, Georgia, his manager, Michael Lehman, told The Associated Press. He blamed cancer for Allman's death. 'It's a result of his reoccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago,' Lehman said in an interview. 'He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn't.' Allman played his last concert in October as health problems forced him to cancel other 2016 shows. He announced Aug. 5 that he was 'under his doctor's care at the Mayo Clinic' due to 'serious health issues.' Later that year, he canceled more dates, citing a throat injury. In March, he canceled performances for the rest of 2017. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the rock star known for his long blond hair was raised in Florida. In his 2012 memoir, 'My Cross to Bear,' Allman described how his older brother was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ. They spent years in bands together, but failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. It featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Based in Macon, Georgia, the group also had drummers Jai Johanny 'Jaimoe' Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They reached the pinnacle of the burgeoning music scene, partying to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions. Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album 'At Fillmore East' in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom. Considered one of the greatest live albums ever made, the two LP record opened with their version of Blind Willie McTell's 'Statesboro Blues,' with Duane Allman on slide guitar. The album introduced fans to their fusion of blues, rock and jazz. Duane Allman had quickly ascended to the pantheon of guitar heroes, not just from his contributions to the Allman band, but from his session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and with Eric Clapton on the classic 'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs' album. But he was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, just months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley's life. Keyboard player Chuck Leavell joined the band following Duane Allman's death and the band continued to soar. Their follow-up to the Fillmore album, 'Eat a Peach,' became their first top 10 album and featured some of their most popular recordings, including 'Melissa' and 'Blue Sky.' Gregg Allman said in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press that he and Betts mourned his brother's death in music. 'We used to write songs in a graveyard in Macon,' Allman said. 'One thing everybody thought was Duane would come back to haunt us if we did not keep going. He had the most passion for music of any man I've ever seen.' In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, he said Duane remained on his mind every day. Once in a while, he could even feel his presence. 'I can tell when he's there, man,' Allman said. 'I'm not going to get all cosmic on you. But listen, he's there.' The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards. In 1975, Cher and Allman married three days after she divorced her husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono. Their marriage was tumultuous from the start; Cher requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding, although she dismissed the suit a month later. Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name 'Allman and Woman.' They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977. Allman said in an interview with Viva magazine in 1977 that he regretted marrying Cher and said that they probably could have fallen in love if it hadn't been for his drug abuse. The Allman Brothers Band likewise split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years. A changing cast of players has included Derek Trucks, nephew of original drummer Butch Trucks, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes. Starting in 1990, more than 20 years after its founding, the reunited band began releasing new music and found a new audience. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance for 'Jessica' the following year. In 2000, Betts was ousted from the band via fax for alleged substance abuse and poor performance and he hasn't played with the band since. Butch Trucks died in January 2017. Authorities said he shot himself in front of his wife at their Florida home. In his memoir, Allman said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s. He said that after getting sober, he felt 'brand new' at the age of 50. 'I never believed in God until this,' he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1998. 'I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I have started taking on some spiritualism.' However, after all the years of unhealthy living he ended up with hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010. After the surgery, he turned music to help him recover and released his first solo album in 14 years 'Low Country Blues' in 2011. 'I think it's because you're doing something you love,' Allman said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. 'I think it just creates a diversion from the pain itself. You've been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you're just totally engulfed.' The band was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012. ____ Hall reported from Nashville, Tennessee. Associated Press Writer Hillel Italie in New York City contributed to this story.
  • The Latest on the death of the mother of the CEO of ride-hailing company Uber (all times local): 2:30 p.m. Authorities say that the parents of ride-hailing company Uber's CEO were riding a boat on Pine Flat Lake when it hit a rock and sank. The Fresno County Sheriff's office says in a statement that about 5 p.m. Friday, officers were called to the scene of the accident and found a man and woman on a shore of the lake. The sheriff's office says the woman died at the scene, and the man suffered moderate injuries. He told officers the boat had sunk. The sheriff's office says an autopsy of the woman is planned. Uber identified the couple as Bonnie and Donald Kalanick, the parents of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Bonnie Kalanick was 71. The sheriff's office says crews will try to remove the boat from the lake Saturday. ___ 2:05 p.m. Bonnie Kalanick, the mother of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, has died in a boating accident. Kalanick's father, Donald, was injured and is in serious condition. The ride-hailing company says Saturday that the accident took place Friday night in Fresno, California. The couple, in their early 70s, have been longtime boaters. In a memo to Uber staff, Liane Hornsey, the chief human resources officer, called the incident an 'unthinkable tragedy.' She wrote that 'everyone in the Uber family knows how incredibly close Travis is to his parents.' Travis Kalanick, 40, founded Uber in 2009.
  • A naked man was caught on camera Friday wandering around Miami International Airport.  Someone filmed the incident on their phone and posted it to Twitter, showing the man walking around the terminal wearing only black socks as he waved to passersby. >> Read more trending news A woman told WPLG she saw the man starting to take his shirt off and she “got scared.”  Police officers detained the man and took him to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, WPLG reports.
  • The mother of the CEO of the ride-hailing company Uber died in a boat accident Friday evening in Fresno County, the company said. Bonnie Kalanick, 71, died after the boat she and her husband, Donald, 78, were riding hit a rock in Pine Flat Lake in the eastern part of the county, authorities said. They are the parents of Travis Kalanick, 40, who founded Uber in 2009. The company has since grown to become an international operation with a market value of nearly $70 billion. The couple have been longtime boaters. In a memo to Uber staff, Liane Hornsey, the chief human resources officer, called the incident an 'unthinkable tragedy.' She wrote that 'everyone in the Uber family knows how incredibly close Travis is to his parents.' About 5 p.m. Friday, officers were called to the scene of the accident and found a man and woman on a shore of the lake, the Fresno County Sheriff's office said in a statement. The woman died at the scene, and the man suffered moderate injuries, the sheriff's office said. He told officers the boat had sunk. An autopsy of the woman is planned, the office said. Uber identified the couple as the Kalanicks. Donald Kalanick is being treated at a hospital and is in stable condition, the company said. Crews will try to remove the boat from the lake Saturday, the sheriff's office said.
  • The Latest on a stabbing on a Portland, Oregon, train that left two dead (all times local): 2:10 p.m. Police say they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of a man suspected of fatally stabbing two other men on an Oregon train after they apparently attempted to intervene when the man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim. Police in a statement Saturday also say 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian of Portland doesn't have any known mental health history listed and he's not flagged as a criminal gang member. Police arrested Christian on Friday following the stabbing. He's being held in the Multnomah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder. He's scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. Police have also identified the two young women on the train, one of whom was wearing a hijab at the time of the stabbing. Their names haven't been released. ___ 1:30 p.m. Authorities have identified two men fatally stabbed on a Portland light-rail train in Oregon. Police on Saturday said 53-year-old Ricky John Best of Happy Valley, Oregon, died at the scene on Friday and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche of Portland died at a hospital. Police say 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher of Portland was also stabbed in the attack and is in serious condition at a Portland hospital. Police say his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Police say the stabbing occurred after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, and other men attempted to intervene. Police on Friday arrested 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian of Portland. He is being held in the Multnomah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder. ___ 9:45 a.m. The 35-year-old Oregon man identified by authorities in the fatal stabbing of two people on a Portland light-rail train has a criminal record that includes stints in prison. Court records located by The Associated Press on Saturday show that Jeremy Joseph Christian was convicted of robbery, kidnapping and a weapons charge in 2002. Christian is being held in the Multnomah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder. Police say two people died Friday and another was hurt in the stabbing after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab. Police say that before the stabbing the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using 'hate speech or biased language.' One person was dead at the scene and another died at a hospital. The third person was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Autopsies are expected later Saturday. ___ 8:25 a.m. Authorities on Saturday identified a 35-year-old Portland man as the suspect in the fatal stabbing of two people on a Portland light-rail train in Oregon. Jeremy Joseph Christian is being held in the Multnomah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder. Police say two people died Friday and another was hurt in the stabbing after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab. Police say that before the stabbing the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using 'hate speech or biased language.' One person was dead at the scene and another died at a hospital. The third person was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
  • A 39-year-old Utah woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her two young children in her car's trunk while she went inside a Wal-Mart store to shop. Riverdale police say witnesses heard the children ages 2 and 5 making noise and saw the car shaking, got the older child to pull the emergency latch and called 911. Tori Lee Castillo remains jailed on suspicion of child abuse after being arrested Thursday evening when she returned to the car. Police Lt. Casey Warren says the state child welfare was contacted and the children were turned over to a responsible party.
  • Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, his manager said. He was 69. Allman died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home near Savannah, Georgia, his manager, Michael Lehman, told The Associated Press. He blamed cancer for Allman's death. 'It's a result of his reoccurrence of liver cancer that had come back five years ago,' Lehman said in an interview. 'He kept it very private because he wanted to continue to play music until he couldn't.' Allman played his last concert in October as health problems forced him to cancel other 2016 shows. He announced on Aug. 5 that he was 'under his doctor's care at the Mayo Clinic' due to 'serious health issues.' Later that year, he canceled more dates, citing a throat injury. In March, he canceled performances for the rest of 2017. Funeral arrangements had not been finalized Saturday. But Lehman said Allman would be buried alongside his late brother, founding Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, where the band got its start nearly five decades ago. 'He'll be laid next to his brother, Duane,' Lehman said. 'That's in his wishes.' Southern rock and country musician Charlie Daniels said via Twitter, 'Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever.' Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the rock star known for his long blond hair was raised in Florida by a single mother. Allman idolized his older brother, Duane, eventually joining a series of bands with him. Together they formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band. The original band featured extended jams, tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, rhythms from a pair of drummers and the smoky, blues-inflected voice of Gregg Allman. Songs such as 'Whipping Post,' ''Ramblin' Man' and 'Midnight Rider' helped define what came to be known as Southern rock and opened the doors for such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band. In his 2012 memoir, 'My Cross to Bear,' Allman described how Duane was a central figure in his life in the years after their father was murdered by a man he met in a bar. The two boys endured a spell in a military school before being swept up in rock music in their teens. Although Gregg was the first to pick up a guitar, it was Duane who excelled at it. So Gregg later switched to the organ. They failed to crack success until they formed The Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Based in Macon, Georgia, the group featured Betts, drummers Jai Johanny 'Jaimoe' Johanson and Butch Trucks and bassist Berry Oakley. They partied to excess while defining a sound that still excites millions. Their self-titled debut album came out in 1969, but it was their seminal live album 'At Fillmore East' in 1971 that catapulted the band to stardom. Duane Allman had quickly ascended to the pantheon of guitar heroes, not just from his contributions to the Allman band, but from his session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and with Eric Clapton on the classic 'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs' album. But he was killed in a motorcycle accident in October 1971, just months after recording the Fillmore shows. Another motorcycle accident the following year claimed Oakley's life. . In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Gregg Allman said Duane remained on his mind every day. Once in a while, he could even feel his presence. 'I can tell when he's there, man,' Allman said. 'I'm not going to get all cosmic on you. But listen, he's there.' The 1970s brought more highly publicized turmoil: Allman was compelled to testify in a drug case against a former road manager for the band and his marriage to the actress and singer Cher was short-lived even by show business standards. In 1975, Cher and Allman married three days after she divorced her husband and singing partner, Sonny Bono. Their marriage was tumultuous from the start; Cher requested a divorce just nine days after their Las Vegas wedding, although she dismissed the suit a month later. Together they released a widely panned duets album under the name 'Allman and Woman.' They had one child together, Elijah Blue, and Cher filed for legal separation in 1977. Cher said via Twitter on Saturday, 'IVE TRIED.WORDS ARE IMPOSSIBLE.' The Allman Brothers Band likewise split up in the 1980s and then re-formed several times over the years. A changing cast of players has included Derek Trucks, nephew of original drummer Butch Trucks, as well as guitarist Warren Haynes. Starting in 1990, more than 20 years after its founding, the reunited band began releasing new music and found a new audience. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance for 'Jessica' the following year. In 2000, Betts was ousted from the band via fax for alleged substance abuse and poor performance and he hasn't played with the band since. Butch Trucks died in January 2017. Authorities said he shot himself in front of his wife at their Florida home. Lehman said Allman had recently finished what would be his final album, titled Southern Blood and scheduled for release in September. 'He actually just listened to a few tracks of it last night and was really passionate and excited for that record to be complete,' Lehman said. In his memoir, Allman said he spent years overindulging in women, drugs and alcohol before getting sober in the mid-1990s. He said that after getting sober, he felt 'brand new' at the age of 50. 'I never believed in God until this,' he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1998. 'I asked him to bring me out of this or let me die before all the innings have been played. Now I have started taking on some spiritualism.' However, after all the years of unhealthy living he ended up with hepatitis C which severely damaged his liver. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010. The statement on Allman's website says that as he faced health problems, 'Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.' After the surgery, he turned music to help him recover and released his first solo album in 14 years 'Low Country Blues' in 2011. 'I think it's because you're doing something you love,' Allman said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press. 'I think it just creates a diversion from the pain itself. You've been swallowed up by something you love, you know, and you're just totally engulfed.' The band was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012. ___ Hall reported from Nashville, Tennessee.
  • A recent fire has put a national laboratory's ability to operate safely into question. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board announced Friday that it will hold a hearing next month to discuss the future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/2qmP0CY). The board is an independent panel that advises the U.S. Department of Energy and the president. A fire broke mid-April at the lab's PF-4 plutonium building where the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons are produced. Lab officials said that the fire was put out quickly and only caused minor injuries. According to the report, the board is unsure if the lab is fit to continue to operate and handle increasing quantities of plutonium in coming years after a series of problems with management in the maintenance and cleanup of the dangerous materials. The Department of Energy has announced plans to increase manufacturing of the plutonium pits at Los Alamos over the next decades. President Donald Trump's budget proposal will also increase funding for weapons work in the next fiscal year. The moves make local nuclear watchdog groups uneasy. 'Fattening up our already bloated nuclear weapons stockpile is not going to improve our national security,' said Jay Coghlan, the director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, in a news release issued Friday. 'New Mexicans desperately need better funded schools and health care, not expanded plutonium pit production that will cause more pollution and threaten our scarce water resources.' The board will have the chance to get the opinion of a number of experts on the matter at its June 7 hearing. ___ Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com