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Naked machete-wielding Florida man tries to rob victim of clothing

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He wanted the shirt off his back.

A naked Florida felon armed with a machete was arrested Monday after demanding a man’s clothes at knifepoint, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim told deputies that Brandon Wright suddenly came running out of bushes where he was picking berries and told him to hand over his garments, wallet, and phone around 10 a.m., officials said.

As he began complying, Wright suddenly hurled the machete at him — along with a handful of palmetto berries.

The weapon bounced off of the victim’s chest and he avoided injury, deputies said.

Still nude, Wright sprinted off and hopped into his white Dodge Challenger and fled the scene.

Soon after, patrons of a nearby gas station told police that Wright had pulled up next to a pump and exited his vehicle.

A police helicopter tracked Wright down and relayed his activities to a dispatcher.

The naked man ran out of bushes demanding the victim to hand over his personal items.
Volusia Sheriff’s Office
NAKED SUSPECT IN ARMED ROBBERY
Brandon Wright tried to harm the victim with his machete.
Volusia Sheriff’s Office
NAKED SUSPECT IN ARMED ROBBERY
Wright surrendered without incident.
Volusia Sheriff’s Office
NAKED SUSPECT IN ARMED ROBBERY ATTEMPT ARRESTED
The nudist is currently in custody without bond.
Volusia Sheriff’s Office

“He’s doing pushups at the entrance to the food store here,” the pilot states at one point.

Video also shows Wright walking in the middle of the street as startled drivers maneuver around him.

As deputies approached, Wright laid down next to his car and surrendered without incident.

The sheriff’s office said Wright had prior convictions for kidnapping, gun possession by a felon, battery on a law enforcement officer, cocaine possession, and resisting arrest.

He remains in custody without bond.

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Texas Man Threatened Boston Doctor Who Treats Gender Nonconforming Children, U.S. Says

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A Texas man was arrested on Friday on a federal charge that he left a voice mail message threatening to kill a Boston doctor who provides care to gender nonconforming children, the authorities said.

The man, Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, was charged with one count of transmitting interstate threats, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. He is being held without bail pending a court hearing next week. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and three years of supervised released and a fine of up to $250,000.

Efforts to reach a lawyer for Mr. Lindner late Friday were unsuccessful.

According to federal prosecutors, false information began to spread online in August that doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital were providing hysterectomies and gender affirmation surgery to patients under the age of 18. The hospital does not perform those procedures on minors, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege that on Aug. 31, Mr. Lindner called the Boston-based National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and left the threatening voice mail for one of the center’s doctors.

Repeatedly using profanity, Mr. Lindner said in the message, “you’re all gonna burn,” according to prosecutors, adding that there was “a group of people on their way to handle” the doctor. “You signed your own warrant,” Mr. Lindner allegedly said, again naming the doctor. “Castrating our children. You’ve woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket.”

Mr. Lindner also called two phone numbers associated with a Rhode Island university where the doctor is a faculty member and called a medical practice where the doctor had previously worked, prosecutors said in the criminal complaint.

The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, which is part of the Fenway Institute, provides educational programs and health care for the queer and transgender communities. The center did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The doctor who received the threat was not publicly named. Prosecutors said she is an advocate for gender-affirming care and the use of puberty hormones and blockers.

Prosecutors said that phone records had been used to identify Mr. Lindner. They also said that they had matched the voice on the call that threatened the doctor with that on videos that Mr. Lindner had previously posted on Facebook.

Rachael S. Rollins, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, said in a statement that she was committed to “vigorously” investigating and prosecuting people who threaten members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, including health care professionals.

“Death threats instill fear and terror in their targeted audiences,” Ms. Rollins said. “Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct — a death threat — is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of workplace violence.”

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Division, said in a statement that the doctor had been targeted because she was caring for gender nonconforming children.

“No one,” he said, “should have to live in fear of violence because of who they are, what kind of work they do, where they are from, or what they believe.”

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82-year-old Alabama woman arrested for not paying $77 trash bill

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An 82-year-old Alabama woman was left in tears after being handcuffed, arrested and thrown in jail for failing to pay a $77.80 trash bill.

Martha Menefield told KTLA she initially thought two officers from the Valley Police Department were joking when they arrived at her home Nov. 27 and told her they were there to arrest her for failing to pay a garbage service bill covering the months of June, July and August.

“Don’t cry, Ms. Martha,” Menefield recalled one of the officers saying, while she again broke out in tears while describing the ordeal.

‘I’m just happy my grandkids weren’t here to see that,” the octogenarian said. “That would have upset them. I was so ashamed, and it’s been bothering me.”

Police Chief Mike Reynolds defended the arrest in a statement.
City of Fayetteville

Her misdemeanor arrest for “failure to pay solid waste fees” drew outrage on social media, along with offers to pick up the bill.

But Valley Police Chief Mike Reynolds on Tuesday posted a statement on Facebook defending the arrest, saying multiple attempts were made collect the debt and that Menefield has history of suspended service.

After she didn’t appear at a September court date for a citation, an arrest warrant for “Failure to Pay-Trash was issued,” he added.

Menefield said she never received a notice to appear in court about her trash fees.
Menefield said she never received a notice to appear in court about her trash fees.
Facebook/Lee Hedgepeth

Menefield said she never received any notice to appear in court. 

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After Half a Century, Prince Edward Island’s Musical Tradition Takes a Break

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Prince Edward Island’s best-known figure, Anne Shirley, is a fictional character. But that doesn’t deter tourists from around the world, and Japan in particular, from traveling to Cavendish to visit Green Gables, the farm that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel about the sassy orphan from the town of Avonlea, itself another fiction.

And since 1965, except during a pandemic-induced two-year break, most of those tourists have taken in performances of “Anne of Green Gables — The Musical” at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown.

But now anyone planning to make the show part of a trek to pay homage to red-haired Anne will have to do some additional planning. After 57 years, the center has decided that the musical will be performed every second year rather than annually.

The play was the first production staged at the center, and the decision to break its long run was one of many things that emerged from pandemic reflection, Adam Brazier, the artistic director of performing arts at the Confederation Centre, told me.

It was a change that Mr. Brazier, whose family has a long history on the island, took on with some trepidation.

I suffer from being an absolute people pleaser, and this was a such a large systemic cultural change,” Mr. Brazier said. “The unfamiliar always breeds the uncertainty and fear. I have to acknowledge that absolutely exists.”

But in Mr. Brazier’s view, a biennial “Anne” will allow the theater, which currently offers just two shows each season, to “preserve the legacy” of “Anne” itself.

As he anticipated, there was some immediate backlash on the island, and off, when the change was announced.

In a letter published by Saltwire, an online collective of Atlantic Canada newspapers, Paul Smitz of Brookvale, Prince Edward Island, said the decision was “ridiculous” and called for the resignation of Mr. Brazier as well as that of the art center’s chief executive.

“It has huge implications on tourism,” Mr. Smitz wrote.

Kathy and Dino DelGaudio of Vero Beach, Fla., who own a seasonal house on the island, wrote to say that they had attended the production every summer, except during the pandemic-related shutdown of the border, for the past two decades. They too said they were dismayed.

“Anne represents the essence of P.E.I. to us and put P.E.I. on the global map,” the couple wrote. “Big mistake, folks.”

But one of the new projects Mr. Brazier has taken on is, well, more Anne. The theater will create a musical version of “Anne’s Cradle: The Life and Works of Hanako Muraoka, Japanese Translator of Anne of Green Gables.”

During the 1930s, Loretta Shaw, a Canadian missionary, gave Ms. Muraoka a copy of Ms. Montgomery’s book, which Ms. Muraoka went on to translate, along with most of the Canadian author’s other works. Japan’s fascination with Anne, however, developed after 1953, when the translation, titled “Red-Haired Anne,” was included in Japan’s school curriculum.

(Michael B. Pass, a doctoral student at the University of Ottawa, has published a fascinating history and analysis of Japan’s relationship with Anne.)

Interest in the various Anne stories in Canada, of course, has largely been driven by television adaptations. The most recent, known simply as “Anne” when it was first aired by the CBC and then “Anne With an E” for a Netflix release, took a darker approach to the character’s story.

But it’s not just television. Catherine Hong wrote for The New York Times Book Review about the proliferation of book adaptations of the spunky redhead’s story. They include “Anne of Greenville” by Mariko Tamaki. Ms. Hong describes that book as “more a playful riff than a retelling — in which Anne is the half-Japanese, disco-loving, ‘deliriously queer’ adopted daughter of two moms.” She adds, “After the family moves to the conservative small town of Greenville, Anne encounters a scary nativist clique and a thorny love triangle involving two girls.”

[Read: Anne of Everywhere]

The musical production in Charlottetown was partly written by Don Harron, who is best remembered for his comedic performances as Charlie Farquharson, a grizzled Ontario philosopher-farmer. Mr. Brazier told me that the production had undergone many revisions and changes over the past half century.

In 1971, Clive Barnes, The Times’s longtime theater critic, gave a largely positive, if somewhat patronizing, review of a New York production of the musical.

“Simple, innocent and Canadian, this is the kind of show that will appeal most to the unsophisticated in heart — if they are still going to the theater these days,” he wrote.

With a cast of 26 actors and 14 musicians, Anne is a large and expensive production. But Mr. Brazier said that giving it a break every other year was not about saving money and that budgets for the theater had not been trimmed.

And Mr. Brazier said that the theater was committed to preserving what he called “a masterpiece of 1960s musical theater.”

He added: “We cherish this show and everything about it. I believe you can learn anything you need to learn about the musical theater from ‘Anne of Green Gables — The Musical.’”


  • A man already in custody in Manitoba has been charged with murdering three Indigenous women and a fourth unidentified woman.

  • In Opinion, Lulu Garcia-Navarro spoke with Steven Guilbeault, the former climate activist who is now the federal minister of environment and climate change, on “First Person,” a Times podcast about how people have come to their opinions and what it means to live with them.

  • W.M. Akers has reviewed “Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk” by Buddy Levy. In 1913, the flagship of the Canadian Arctic Expedition became trapped in a frozen hell of arctic ice. Mr. Akers writes that the book is “is an ugly tale, very well told,” and says, “The only beauty is in the ice — and that is as cold as beauty can be.”

  • Canada has been eliminated from the World Cup. James Wagner writes about what’s next for the national team and declares that while its result at the tournament may be disappointing, “even reaching this far was an accomplishment.”

  • Borje Salming, a Hall of Fame defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs who led the way for other European hockey players in the N.H.L., has died at the age of 71.

  • Bilal Baig, a queer, transfeminine Muslim artist from Toronto, has returned for a second season of “Sort Of,” a melancholy comedy loosely based on the performer’s life and experiences.


A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported about Canada for The New York Times for the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.


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