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Nation in brief: Businessman wins mayoral election

Sun., June 17, 2007

Choosing a wealthy retired businessman over an openly gay city councilman, voters elected Tom Leppert as Dallas mayor Saturday by a wide margin.

Capping a swift rise from political unknown to the top office of the nation’s ninth-largest city, Leppert won the most expensive mayoral race in Dallas history. He received about 58 percent of the vote in the final but still unofficial results of the runoff, beating Ed Oakley by more than 13,000 votes.

Oakley fell short of making Dallas the largest city in the country to elect an openly gay mayor.

“I can’t tell you what it’s been like … to serve Dallas, change Dallas and put Dallas on a path of greatness,” he said. “I truly believe I’ve been part of that.”

Leppert, the former CEO of construction giant Turner Corp., had never run for elected office before. He had scant name recognition when he decided late last year to enter the race to replace outgoing Mayor Laura Miller.

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Rare turtle hatches at aquarium

A rare turtle has hatched at the Tennessee Aquarium, one of only three places in the United States that display the endangered species, aquarium officials announced.

A Beal’s four-eyed turtle, named for two white spots on the back of its head that look like a pair of eyes, hatched from a clutch of three eggs.

“This little turtle in Chattanooga may represent the first successful reproduction of Sacalia bealei in a North American institution,” aquarium herpetologist Enrico Walder said.

There are only 18 known Beal’s four-eyed turtles in the United States and Europe. The Dallas Zoo and the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, Calif., also have the turtles.

The turtles were once common in southern China, and researchers believe their numbers will not grow because of the species’ low reproductive rate.


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