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A Black family says racism prompted a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their son's birthday. Chris Evans, of Lee's Summit, says he signed a contract to have the party with about 250 guests for his 17-year-old son's birthday on Saturday at the Summit Waves park in Lee's Summit. But an official with the park told the family when they arrived that the party was canceled. The city's Parks and Recreation Department, which operates the water park, said Tuesday that officials had apologized to the family over miscommunications. It said the party was canceled solely out of concern for safety because of the potential size of the party.

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Researchers believe they have uncovered at a battle site in New Jersey the remains of as many as 12 Hessian soldiers who fought during the Revolutionary War. Scientists from Rowan University and county officials announced the discovery Tuesday at Red Bank Battlefield Park. The remains rested in a trench for 245 years until a human femur was found during a archaeological dig in June. Officials believe the skeletal remains are part of a mass grave of Hessian soldiers who were killed by Colonial forces during the 1777 Battle of Red Bank. Scientists hope to eventually find their descendants.

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The Nez Perce Tribe and two conservation groups say Idaho officials violated the Clean Air Act as well as the state's regulations by issuing an air quality permit for a proposed gold mine in west-central Idaho. The groups last week filed a petition with the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality seeking to have the permit withdrawn and sent back to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality for additional work. The department in June issued the permit to Perpetua Resources Idaho for its Stibnite Gold Project about 40 miles east of McCall. The company says the three-year permit process found the project meets strict state and federal clean air requirements.

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Tribes in South Dakota are working with a rural Massachusetts museum to return hundreds of items believed to have been taken from ancestors massacred at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890. It’s a recent example of efforts to repatriate human remains and other items to tribes nationwide. A federal database shows some 870,000 items that should be returned to tribes by law are still in the possession of colleges, museums and other institutions across the country. The holdings include nearly 110,000 human remains. The University of California, Berkeley tops the list, followed closely by the Ohio History Connection.

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A federal appeals court has dismissed an appeal from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in her legal fight to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day last year. She sued in an attempt to overturn the National Park Service’s denial of the state’s application to hold a fireworks display to celebrate the 2021 holiday. The Eighth Circuit of Appeals found that South Dakota’s objections to the Park Service’s decision were moot because it was in the past. The court also found the federal government was within its rights to deny the state from shooting off fireworks on federal land.

Readers say their old books are more than objects: They are physical reminders of love. Your tattered old books remind you of parents and grandparents, of childhood, of grad school, of traditions or trips or memorable moments. Your worn-out books are more than objects: They are physical reminders of love. In response to a column I wrote a couple of months ago about keeping worn-out books, ...

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The sister of a man who died hiking in the Badlands says that he was camping as part of a trip to celebrate his college graduation when he became lost and ran out of water. The Pennington County Sheriff's Office tweeted that Maxwell Right died in the park on Wednesday. Right's sister, Lucille, says her brother and a friend had broken camp in the park but got lost. Right called his parents, who called the National Park Service for help. The sheriff's office initially said Right and his friend were hiking a trail featured in a social media challenge, but later clarified to say they had been following a trail on a hiking app. Lucille Right said her brother and his friend weren't taking part in any challenge.

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island has been given new land in a deal that will protect and manage an ocean bay area that is home to endangered and endemic species and to culturally significant Native Hawaiian artifacts. The nonprofit Trust for Public Land national preservation group transferred its ownership of Pohue Bay and surrounding land to the National Park Service on Tuesday. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to the largest and most active volcanoes on Earth, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Pohue Bay is home to endangered hawksbill sea turtles, green sea turtles, endangered Hawaiian monk seals and other species found only in Hawaii.

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The city of angels is at war with its homeless. Attempting to claim back the city’s public spaces, the city is forcibly removing the homeless from parks and sidewalks across Los Angeles. But where are the unhoused being moved to and will this finally bring the crisis that is being felt across the nation to an end? 

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