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Patricia Wright took this photo in Okaton, S.D.


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New Miss America is North Dakota's first winner of pageant

BISMARCK, N.D. | The newly crowned Miss America is the first winner from North Dakota in the history of the nearly century-old scholarship pageant.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that 23-year-old Cara Mund is preparing for a year of traveling throughout the country after winning the pageant Sunday.

Mund says her experience as Miss America will prepare her for her next goal of becoming the first female governor of North Dakota. She says she might also be interested in representing the state in the U.S. Senate but that she wants to begin at the state level.

Mund says she doesn't identify with a specific political party, "but rather just an American."

Mund attracted national attention during the competition when she said President Donald Trump shouldn't have withdrawn from the Paris climate accord.

Larry King operatedĀ on for lung cancer

NEW YORK | Veteran broadcaster Larry King says he battled lung cancer this summer but appears to have the disease at bay.

The former CNN host, who is 83, told Us Weekly that a spot on his lung was noticed this summer during a routine check-up. He said he had surgery in July. The tumor was malignant but King said it was found at such an early stage that his doctor told him he was lucky.

King has had health issues in the past, including a heart attack and prostate cancer. He was a smoker but gave it up after his heart attack in the 1980s.

King keeps working. He told the magazine that his secret wish is to do six months on Broadway, telling stories and taking audience questions.

Robot conducts orchestra in Pisa

PISA, Italy | Tenor Andrea Bocelli has brought down the house at Pisa's Teatro Verdi by performing with an unusual conductor: a robot.

The white, two-armed YuMi robot, designed by the Swiss company ABB for factory assembly lines, led Bocelli and the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra in Verdi's "La Donna e Mobile" on Tuesday night at Pisa's inaugural International Robotics Festival.

Bocelli, who is blind, follows the music and is sensitive to the variabilities brought to a performance by different conductors.

He declared YuMi a capable conductor, saying the robot had been "programmed well."

The Lucca orchestra's regular conductor, Andrea Colombini, praised YuMi but said "he lacks sensitivity, most of all he lacks interaction. If the orchestra should make an error, YuMi doesn't stop."

Bocelli heads a foundation that helped organize the festival.


News
TWO CENTS

I feel much safer, knowing that our Senator Jensen is keeping an eye on the skulls and skin tones of the people of Rapid City.

Come on, South Dakota lawmakers, do not pass such a hateful bill against transgender students. Is South Dakota really this biased and full of hate?

Great. Now that we have a report that we spent "a couple thousand" dollars on which tells us what we already knew; lets raise taxes so we can spend more wisely.

I miss the snow; yes, I said I miss the snow, because now I can see all the dog waste that inconsiderate pet owners refused to pick up while walking their dogs along Willowbend Drive. What's really sad is that the homeowners association even provides dog waste bags so they can pick up after their dogs.

Since the legislators aren't inclined to do the one thing the governor asked them to do, work on education funding, and seem to have all the time in the world to introduce mean-spirited, discriminatory and bigoted bills, perhaps South Dakota only needs a legislative session every other year. And they want to give themselves a raise for all the "hard" work they do; can we bring that to a vote?

Finally we are first in the nation. We passed an unconstitutional discriminatory law.