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Regional News: JFK / LBJ Secret Service Agent Dies; Jet and Drone Close Call; Obit - FSU Song Composer; Pitchfork Suspect Arrested

By: ap
By: ap
Secret service agent in iconic LBJ photos dies in Ala... Poarch Creeks give $750,000 to Hubbard Ala AG campaign... FAA: Jet nearly collided with drone near Tallahassee... Composer of FSU fight song dies from illness... 3 giraffes, 1 anteater born at Busch Gardens... Suspect in Ga. pitchfork robbery arrested in Tenn... Road billboards in Ga to display missing woman

An American Airlines Commercial Jet reported a near miss with a drone near Tallahassee in March...the investigation continues...

OBIT-JOHNS
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) -- Thomas "Lem" Johns, a longtime secret service agent present during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and swearing in of Lyndon Johnson, has died. He was 88.
Grandson Mike Johns said the former agent died Saturday at his home in Hoover, Alabama, of natural causes.
Lem Johns is pictured in iconic photos from Nov. 22, 1963 aboard the presidential plane where Johnson was sworn in. One photo shows Johns standing behind former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy as Johnson consoles her following the oath of office.
Johns was assigned to Johnson's security detail at the time of the shooting and was riding in the motorcade when the shots were fired.
Johns' son, Jeff, and grandson Mike also have served in the Secret Service

POARCH CREEKS-ATTORNEY GENERAL ELECTION
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Poarch Creek Band of Indians has made a major contribution to state Rep. Joe Hubbard's campaign for Alabama attorney general.
Al.com reports that the Poarch Creek Band this week gave $750,000 to Hubbard's campaign through three political action committees.
The donations give the Democratic challenger more than $1 million in cash-on-hand for his race against incumbent Attorney General Luther Strange.
Strange reported $1,449,928 in cash-on-hand in his most recent campaign finance report.
Strange has taken aggressive stands against gambling interests in Alabama, including casinos run by the Poarch Creeks on Indian land. Strange sued the tribe to stop electronic bingo operations on its land, but last month that lawsuit was dismissed in federal court.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Federal officials say a U.S. jet airliner nearly collided in March with an airborne drone in the sky over Tallahassee, Florida.
Jim Williams of the Federal Aviation Administration's unmanned aircraft office acknowledged the incident Thursday at a San Francisco drone conference.
Williams cited it as an example of the risks posed by drones.
The near collision was reported to air traffic control on March 22 by the pilot of an American Airlines Group jet as the pilot approached the Tallahassee runway en route from Charlotte, North Carolina.
The pilot said the drone was at an altitude of about 2,300 feet, 5 miles northeast of the airport.
The FAA has investigated the incident, but in a statement released Friday said it was unable to identify the pilot or the drone's operator.
American Airlines said it was investigating.

OBIT-WRIGHT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State officials say the composer of the music for the university's fight song has died. Tommie Wright was 95.
According to the university, Wright died Thursday after a short illness.
Wright joined the faculty as a music professor in 1949 and composed the music for the "FSU Fight Song" in 1950. He retired in 2008. Wright taught more than 58,000 students during his time at the university.
Florida State recognized Wright with an honorary doctorate in music in 2012. He filled a role as an ambassador for the FSU Alumni Association after retiring.
Wright is survived by his wife Rosalinda, who is the head of the foreign languages department at Tallahassee Community College.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Busch Gardens Tampa is celebrating the births of three giraffes and an anteater.
The theme park announced this week that the reticulated giraffes were born March 12, 14 and 18 to three different mothers. Two of the babies were female, while the third was male. The girls stood around 5 feet 6 inches and weighed more than 100 pounds at birth. The boy was more than 6 feet tall and weighed nearly 150 pounds. All three giraffes will on display in the coming weeks.
The park also says that a tamanduas, commonly known as a lesser anteater, was born April 13. The mother and pup remain behind-the-scenes with Busch Gardens' animal care team.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Authorities have arrested a suspect in the pitchfork robbery of a Waffle House in Georgia and a killing in Tennessee.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office says 49-year-old Jeffery Willard Wooten was arrested on Friday.
The sheriff's office says Wooten is charged in the fatal shooting of 44-year-old Randy Lands earlier that day in a Knox County home. Officials say Wooten confronted Lands' relatives outside the house and stole their vehicle before fleeing.
Loudon County officers spotted Wooten driving on Interstate 40, and a chase began. Authorities said Wooten eventually crashed and was taken into custody with non-life threatening injuries.
Officials said Wooten is also charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault after brandishing a pitchfork and taking a cash register from a Waffle House in Norcross, Georgia, on May 1.

MAN KILLED-WIFE MISSING
EATONTON, Ga. (AP) -- Law officers are planning to display the photo of 87-year-old Shirley Dermond, who they fear has been abducted, on digital billboards across Georgia in hopes of generating new leads on her disappearance.
Her husband, 88-year-old Russell Dermond, was found beheaded Tuesday at the couple's home in an exclusive gated community on the shores of Lake Oconee. The whereabouts of his head are unknown.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills tells The Associated Press that the billboard messages are expected to be up and running by this weekend.
It wasn't known Friday how many billboards will display Shirley Dermond's photo and request that people call in tips, but Sills said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping to coordinate the advertising effort and that billboards around the state will have the information.


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