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Word of rare bird draws tourists to park

CHICAGO (AP) -- Bird watchers are flocking to Chicago to catch a glimpse of a rare bird.

Two teens spotted what appears to be a White-crested Elaenia early last week. If the American Birding Association confirms the sighting, it would be only the second one in the United States. The first was in Texas in 2008.

The tiny green-and-white bird with a white splotch on its crown is native to South America, some 7,000 miles away.

Word of the bird has spread quickly through social media, and binocular-toting tourists are rushing to Douglas Park.

Greg Bretz said he hopped a plane Saturday from Orlando, Fla., after he received an alert from a bird watchers' group. He says this is "one bird short of being the rarest sight ever."


Sound of loud blast linked to meteor

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Astronomers say a loud explosion heard across a large swath of Nevada and California on Sunday morning was likely caused by a meteor.

The sound of the explosion at about 8 a.m. prompted a flood of calls to law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Sierra Nevada in the two states.

The explosion rattled windows and shook houses from Reno to Winnemucca in Nevada, and from the Sacramento to Bakersfield areas in California.

Some people in the two states reported seeing a fireball streak across the sky at the same time.

Dan Ruby of the Fleischmann Planetarium at the University of Nevada, Reno, says the reports indicate the meteor broke up above Earth somewhere over the Sierra southwest of Reno.

There were no reports of earthquakes at the time.


Bullying death spurs paper's unusual move

SIOUX CITY, IOWA (AP) -- In a rare and forceful act of advocacy, an Iowa newspaper devoted the entire front page of its Sunday edition to an anti-bullying editorial after a gay teen committed suicide.

Relatives have said 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. suffered intense harassment, including threatening cellphone calls and nasty comments posted online, after coming out to family and friends about a month ago. He died April 15 from what the local Sheriff's Office described only as a "self-inflicted injury."

The Sioux City Journal's front-page opinion piece calls on the community to be pro-active in stopping bullying and urges members to learn more about the problem by seeing the acclaimed new film "Bully," which documents the harassment of a Sioux City middle school student. It notes that while many students are targeted for being gay, "we have learned a bully needs no reason to strike."

Editor Mitch Pugh said the newspaper has run front-page editorials before but has never devoted the entire page to one.

"We feel we have to be a strong advocate for our community," he said. "And if we don't do that, we're not sure who else is."