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Only in America
October 7, 2012

A motorcyclist injured when he collided with a panther is suing the state of Florida. Kenneth Nolan, 57, hit the wild cat on a highway in Big Cypress National Preserve, and says a roadside "animal detection system" failed to alert him. "The product is intended to protect not only humans but panthers," said Nolan's attorney. "In this case it did neither." The Week Staff

The Last Frontier
8:06 p.m. ET
Facebook.com/DenaliNPS

The tallest peak in North America is getting a name change: Alaska's Mount McKinley will now be called Denali, the White House announced Sunday.

"With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said. In 1898, a prospector named the mountain after William McKinley, who had just become the Republican nominee for president. The mountain — which stands at 20,320 feet and grows one millimeter every year — has long been called Denali (the Athabascan word for "the high one") by Alaskans. Since 1975, there has been a standing request by the state to change the name back to Denali, but politicians from McKinley's home state of Ohio always fought to keep it.

Obama will arrive in Alaska on Monday for a climate change summit in Anchorage. He will also meet with fisherman in Dillingham, hike a glacier in Seward, and cross the Arctic Circle to visit the rural town of Kotzebue, The Associated Press reports. In addition to bringing attention to melting glaciers and other issues, Obama is expected to detail steps that will be made to assist Alaskan Native communities. Catherine Garcia

les miz
1:52 p.m. ET

Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, 21, died Saturday after falling from his mother's Brooklyn fire escape late the night before, Playbill reports. Jean-Baptiste made history as Broadway's youngest and first black Jean Valjean, the Les Misérables protagonist.

Jean-Baptiste, an understudy, debuted in the role July 23, and performed as Valjean for the last time Friday, hours before his fall. Ramin Karimloo, the current Valjean, gave a curtain call speech after Saturday's matinee and asked for a standing ovation to honor Jean-Baptiste.

The actor posted a photo of himself to Instagram on Friday showing before-and-after shots with his Valjean makeup.

"The tragic loss of Kyle to our company, just as he was on the threshold of a brilliant career, is a numbing reminder of how precious life is," Les Miz producer Cameron Mackintosh wrote. Julie Kliegman

a tale of two walls
1:06 p.m. ET

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) has had a tough time clarifying his immigration platform in recent days, wavering on whether he supports birthright citizenship. The presidential hopeful called that debate a distraction in an interview for NBC's Meet the Press, focusing instead on border security.

Walker took the familiar Republican proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border one giant step further Sunday. He said he'd also consider building one along the U.S.-Canadian border, which runs 5,525 miles long.

"Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire," Walker said. "They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at."

Watch Walker's full interview with Chuck Todd below. Julie Kliegman

Let's make a deal
12:08 p.m. ET

Ann Arbor resident and big-time sneakerhead Matt Neal never expected a hobby could end up saving his life. But with two failing kidneys, the 26-year-old stumbled upon a solution: He could trade his limited-edition Yeezy Boost 350s for a new kidney.

Neal's offer, which he posted to a Facebook sneakerhead group on Thursday and then to his own timeline, started entirely as a joke, he told The Ann Arbor News. To his surprise, strangers actually started getting in touch, many of whom didn't even care about rocking Kanye West's Adidas sneakers, which are going for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

People are always joking that they would give a kidney for a pair of yeezy's!!Well here's your chance, I'm 26 with 2...

Posted by Matt Neal on Thursday, August 27, 2015

"A lot of people have been getting in contact with me to get tested!" he wrote on a Facebook thread Thursday. "I can't believe the love and support I'm getting from random strangers."

Neal started dialysis two years ago after his Berger's disease led to kidney failure. A healthy kidney from a Type B positive donor would last him up to 15 years. He's on the waitlist at University of Michigan Hospital, and is encouraging potential donors to get tested through that facility. But now that he's seen an outpouring of support, he recognizes the potential he has to help other patients, too.

"Now that I've gotten the world's attention, I would like to raise awareness about organ donation," Neal said.

Praise Yeezus. Julie Kliegman

By the numbers
11:25 a.m. ET
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Two men in Washington, D.C., were fatally shot Friday night, bringing the city's 2015 homicide count to 105 so far. That's the same number the nation's capital saw in all of 2014, The Washington Post reports.

"We face complex challenges, which is why I stand here not to give you half-truths or oversimplified answers," Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said Thursday, when she launched a $15 million plan to address the city's 40 percent increase in homicides over the same period in 2014. She said there's not just one reason for the spike, but suggested an increase in synthetic drugs and a small number of repeat violent offenders are possible contributing factors, The New York Times reports.

The mayor's announcement was interrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters, who took issue with her pledge to place more police officers in the city's most violent neighborhoods. Julie Kliegman

space
10:51 a.m. ET

Six people are going to spend the next year of their lives locked inside a tiny dome — for science. The isolation experiment, which started Friday, is NASA's latest and longest attempt at evaluating what interpersonal conflicts would be like during a trip to Mars, which is expected to take one to three years.

Based in Hawaii near a barren volcano, the team will live in isolation together with almost no privacy, Engadget reports. They'll survive in cramped living quarters on basic foods — we're talking canned tuna and powdered cheese.

So, who are these brave souls voluntarily participating in the worst possible Hawaiian vacation? A French astrobiologist, A German physicist, and an American pilot, soil scientist, architect, and a journalist. Technically, team members are allowed to leave the dome on occasion, but not without donning spacesuits first. Julie Kliegman

Gun Violence
10:29 a.m. ET
Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

When Darren Goforth, a white deputy officer, was ambushed and fatally shot Friday night, allegedly by a black man at a gas station outside Houston, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman wasted no time in linking the incident to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests of police brutality.

"We've heard black lives matter; all lives matter. Well, cops' lives matter too," Hickman said Saturday. "At any point where the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated cold-blooded assassination of police officers happen(s), this rhetoric has gotten out of control."

Firearms-related deaths of law enforcement officers in 2015 are down from the same period last year, Reuters reports.

Hickman called the shooting of the 10-year veteran "unprovoked." Deputies arrested 30-year-old Shannon Miles on Saturday. Julie Kliegman

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