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FLORIDA

First American in space honored with stamp

CAPE CANAVERAL | The first American in space, Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, finally has his own stamp.

The Postal Service dedicated a stamp Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Shepard’s suborbital flight, Freedom 7. The ceremony took place at Kennedy Space Center on the eve of the anniversary.

Shepard’s three daughters were there, as was Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter. Mr. Carpenter told the crowd it’s fitting that a Forever stamp was chosen to honor Shepard.

Mr. Carpenter said Shepard didn’t like it that Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin beat him into space by less than a month, but he said the success of Shepard’s flight on May 5, 1961, helped lead America to the moon.

Shepard went on to command Apollo 14. He died in 1998.

LOUISIANA

New trial ordered for ex-cop in cover-up

NEW ORLEANS | A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a new trial for a former New Orleans police officer convicted of writing a false report on a deadly police shooting after Hurricane Katrina, saying new evidence “casts grave doubt” on his guilt.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk ruled that Travis McCabe deserves a second trial because the newly discovered evidence - a different copy of the report McCabe is accused of doctoring - surfaced after his December 2010 convictions. Judge Africk, who threw out those convictions Wednesday, said he thinks the jury probably would have acquitted McCabe if it had been presented with the newly discovered narrative report. The judge didn’t immediately set a new trial date.

MASSACHUSETTS

Two in bullying case get probation

NORTHAMPTON | Two teens accused of harassing a 15-year-old classmate who later hanged herself were sentenced Wednesday to a year of probation, the first of five anticipated plea deals in a case that drew worldwide attention to school bullying.

Phoebe Prince’s crying mother approved the deals finalized Wednesday in Hampshire Superior Court, where Sean Mulveyhill and Kayla Narey, both 18, were sentenced for their roles in the bullying that preceded Phoebe’s suicide in January 2010.

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