Nation briefly, May 21

Mayor who pulled statues honored with JFK award

BOSTON (AP) — The former mayor of New Orleans was honored Sunday night for his leadership in removing Confederate memorials in his city.

Mitch Landrieu was presented with the 2018 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for standing behind his decision to take down four monuments.

“As I stated when they were removed one year ago, to literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal is an inaccurate recitation of our full past, it is an affront to our present and it is a bad prescription for our future,” Landrieu, a Democrat, said in his speech in Boston.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation paid tribute to Landrieu for taking the action despite legal challenges and outright threats from those who insist the Confederacy is an important part of New Orleans’ heritage.

“This is what the fight over the monuments was really about. As much as it was about moving the stone and metal, it was about confronting — and then correcting — the very ideas and attitudes that allowed them to be erected in the first place,” Landrieu said.

Eels break records in Maine, where they sell for big money

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — America’s only significant state fishery for baby eels has blown past records for value as high demand from overseas aquaculture companies is driving prices to new heights.

Fishermen in Maine search for the eels, called elvers, in rivers and streams every spring so they can be sold to Asian aquaculture companies as seed stock. Fishermen have sold more than $20 million worth of the eels so far this season, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

That is the highest total since interstate managers instituted a quota system for the eels in 2014. The previous record was $13.4 million, and fishermen still have until June 7 to catch more of the eels this year.

“Eels are going to get caught up in this next round of tides, I think,” said Darrell Young, co-director of the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association. “You never know what the price is going to be, but this year it’s high.”

The eels are raised to maturity and used in Japanese cuisine. Some are exported back to the U.S. for use in restaurants in dishes such as unagi. The elvers always are extremely valuable, but they are fetching an especially high price this year because eel fisheries had unproductive years in other parts of the world, members of the industry said.

Teen pretends he’s

a cop, robs a man

NEW YORK (AP) — A wily 14-year-old boy who posed as a New York City police officer while snatching a legally blind man’s wallet in a Manhattan subway station on pretense of helping him was arrested Sunday.

His mother turned the baby-faced youth in to police nearly a week after authorities said he fled the subway station at 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, near Macy’s, leaving his victim behind.

On May 14, police said he approached the 64-year-old man, identifying himself as an officer and offering to lead him through the station and past a turnstile to his train.

Surveillance video shows the man standing quietly as the teenager unzips his backpack and takes the wallet. The boy then bolts out with the wallet, which police said contained $85 cash and several credit cards. One card was charged $500 at a nearby store, police determined during an investigation that is ongoing.

Authorities released the video with the victim’s face blurred out and several still images that led to Sunday’s arrest. Though he looks younger than 14, judging by his face, police estimate the suspect is about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs a hefty 150 lbs. In the video, he is wearing a dark blue shirt, black and white pants, boots and has his own backpack strapped on.

The teenager’s name was not released because of his age, nor was the victim’s.

The boy faces charges of grand larceny and criminal impersonation of a police officer.

It was not immediately clear if the young suspect had an attorney, or whether he has been arraigned, appearing in court to admit or deny the alleged offense.