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ARIZONA

Deputy: Smoke flare likely scare cause

WINTERSBURG | A device that caused the entrance to a nuclear power plant west of Phoenix to be closed appears to be a smoke flare, authorities said.

The device was found on the floorboard of an employee’s car at a security checkpoint a mile from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station at about daybreak on Wednesday, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Brian Lee said. At first glance, it looked like a stick of dynamite, so plant security closed the checkpoint to traffic as a precaution.

Power-plant operations weren’t affected, and the checkpoint was reopened after about three hours.

The employee is being questioned, but Lt. Lee says she has not been arrested. An official with plant operator Arizona Public Service Co. said the issue will likely be handled as an internal matter.

CALIFORNIA

Transgender woman sues LPGA over rule

SAN FRANCISCO | A transgender woman is suing the LPGA over a requirement which states that all competitors must be “female at birth.”

Lana Lawless, 57, underwent gender-reassignment surgery in 2005. She filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday claiming that the policy violates California civil rights laws.

Miss Lawless won the women’s world championship in long-drive golf in 2008, but was barred this year because Long Drivers of America — which oversees the event — had changed its policy.

GEORGIA

Hispanics’ longevity high among races

ATLANTA | U.S. Hispanics can expect to outlive whites by more than two years and blacks by more than seven, government researchers say in a startling report that is the first to calculate Hispanic life expectancy in this country.

The report released Wednesday is the strongest evidence yet of what some experts call the “Hispanic paradox” — longevity for a population with a large share of poor, undereducated members. A leading theory is that Hispanics who manage to immigrate to the U.S. are among the healthiest from their countries.

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