TWO-HEADED TURTLE HATCHES AT ZOO: SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A two-headed turtle has hatched at the San Antonio Zoo and officials have named her Thelma and Louise. The female Texas cooter arrived June 18 and will go on display Thursday at the zoo’s Friedrich Aquarium. Zoo spokeswoman Debbie Rios-Vanskike (van SKYKE’) said Wednesday that the two-headed turtle appears healthy and is able to swim and walk. She says experts at the zoo don’t foresee any health issues for Thelma and Louise, named for the female duo in the 1991 Oscar-winning road movie of the same name. The San Antonio Zoo is no stranger to two-headed reptiles. The facility was home to a two-headed Texas rat snake named Janus from 1978 until the creature’s death to 1995.
DEEN NAME REMOVED FROM SALADS: NEW YORK (AP) — Paula Deen’s name is being stripped from four buffet restaurants owned by Caesars, part of the continuing fallout over her admission that she used a racial slur in the past. Caesars said Wednesday its decision to rebrand its restaurants in Joliet, Ill.; Tunica, Miss.; Cherokee, N.C.; and Elizabeth, Ind. was a mutual one with Deen. Meanwhile, the celebrity chef’s representatives distributed four letters supporting Deen from other companies that work with her, as she fights to keep her business empire from crumbling. Deen appeared in a “Today” show interview earlier Wednesday, dissolving into tears and saying that anyone in the audience who’s never said anything they’ve regretted should pick up a rock and throw it at her head. The chef, who specializes in Southern comfort food, repeated that she’s not a racist.
COFFEE DRINKERS CHOOSE BABY’S NAME: WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Twenty-five-year-old Jennifer James and 24-year-old Mark Dixon told the New Haven Register (http://bit.ly/1adT5d6 ) they had been struggling between two names for the boy they are expecting in September, so they decided to put it to a vote. They placed signs at the Starbucks on the New Haven Green, where they are regulars, asking people to vote for either the name Jackson or Logan. They received about 1,800 votes in the coffee cup serving as a ballot box. James said that when she realized Dixon would sound similar to Jackson, she began pulling for the name Logan. “I don’t know why I didn’t realize the ‘Jackson Dixon’ thing, but I think once I realized that, he was going to be Logan no matter what,” she said. The name Logan also was favored by the customers, but ultimately both names won.
MARKEY WILL FILL KERRY’S SENATE SEAT: BOSTON (AP) — Longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey defeated Republican political newcomer Gabriel Gomez in a special election on Tuesday for the state’s U.S. Senate seat long held by John Kerry, a race that failed to draw the attention that the state’s 2010 special Senate election did. Markey, 66, won the early backing of Kerry and much of the state’s Democratic political establishment, which was set on avoiding a repeat of the stunning loss it suffered three years ago, when Republican state Sen. Scott Brown upset Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the election to replace the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy.