Concession is urged in governor’s race
ATLANTA — Ahead by more than 60,000 votes days after Georgia’s gubernatorial election, Republican Brian Kemp pushed for Democrat Stacey Abrams to concede Saturday as civil rights groups urged her to stay in the fight.
Kemp’s campaign issued a statement that said it was mathematically impossible for Abrams to even force a runoff, much less win outright. It called Abrams’ refusals to concede “a disgrace to democracy” that “completely ignore the will of the people.”
But members of civil rights groups including the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a small rally urging Abrams to keep fighting until every vote is counted.
Abrams is trying to become the first black woman elected governor in the United States.
Rockefeller Center Christmas tree goes up
NEW YORK — The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is in place and will soon be strung with 50,000 LED lights as one of New York City’s most prominent seasonal attractions.
The 72-foot-tall Norway spruce arrived on a flatbed trailer Saturday morning and was hoisted by a crane into a spot overlooking the Rockefeller skating rink.
Crowds will gather Nov. 28 for a televised ceremony to see the tree burst alive with 5 miles of multicolored lights and a 900-pound Swarovski crystal star.
The 75-year-old spruce comes from Wallkill, 60 miles north of New York.
Trapper captures record-setting python
MIAMI — Officials say a Florida trapper has captured a record-setting python as part of a program to remove the invasive species from the Everglades.
A South Florida Water Management District news release says Kyle Penniston captured a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python while hunting in Miami-Dade County.
Officials say the snake weighed in at 120 pounds. It’s the third caught as part of the Python Elimination Program that has measured more than 17 feet.
Python hunters have eliminated 1,859 of the snakes on district lands.
District of Columbia
Trump says 7 to get Medal of Freedom
WASHINGTON — President Trump has announced his first recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including the wife of a major Republican Party donor, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, Elvis Presley and Babe Ruth.
Trump will also posthumously recognize the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Medals are also going to Miriam Adelson, a doctor and wife of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a Republican donor; Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring after more than 41 years; former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and Alan Page, who began a legal career after leaving the NFL.
3 arrested after cyclist injured by booby trap
PORTLAND — Three men authorities say set up a booby trap on a walking and bike path that injured a cyclist have been taken into custody.
KOIN-TV reports that 23-year-old Justin J. Jones, 27-year-old Antonio R. Tolman-Duran and 21-year-old Dakota E. Murphy were arrested Friday and face charges of assault and reckless endangering.
Police say a woman cyclist ran into material strung across the path. A responding police officer spotted woven string across the path, and other officers found three men suspected of putting the material on the path and arrested them.
Lawyer seeks removal of Gen. Lee’s portrait
LOUISA — A defense attorney has made oral arguments seeking removal of a portrait of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee for his African-American client’s upcoming murder trial.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports defense attorney Douglas Ramseur argued before a Louisa County judge on Thursday that his client shouldn’t be tried in the courtroom unless the painting is taken down. The trial is scheduled for May.
Darcel Nathaniel Murphy is charged in the 2016 killing of another man, who also was black.
Ramseur argued the painting of Lee was meant to venerate Confederates who fought to uphold slavery and white supremacy. He said the painting could have a prejudicial effect.
The prosecutor’s office said it doesn’t have a position on the matter.
OSU trustees to hear sex abuse allegations
COLUMBUS — Ohio State University’s trustees will hear directly from former students who say they were sexually abused by a team doctor, allegations that span the late physician’s two decades at the school.
Alumnus Brian Garrett says he and other accusers of Dr. Richard Strauss asked to speak so they can share their stories, seek help and request changes.
The board says it will hear students’ stories at next Friday’s trustees’ meeting.
Strauss killed himself in 2005.
A law firm investigating abuse claims has heard from at least 145 ex-students.