ORLANDO, Fla. — A once-cent copper coin from the earliest days of the U.S. Mint in 1793 has sold for a record $1.38 million at a Florida auction.
James Halperin of Texas-based Heritage Auctions told The Associated Press on Saturday that the sale was “the most a United States copper coin has ever sold for at auction.” The coin was made at the Mint in Philadelphia in 1793, the first year that the U.S. made its own coins.
The final bid for the coin last week was one of the largest sales at the Florida United Numismatists coin show and annual convention, which runs through Sunday. Halperin said a five-dollar gold piece from 1829 also was sold.
Halperin said there remain a few hundred 1793 coins in different condition, but the one auctioned off Wednesday night is rare because it wasn’t in circulation.
NH House expands gun rights to colleges, other public property
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire House on Wednesday approved a bill that would prohibit public colleges and universities, as well as any group, organization or business that uses public lands or publicly owned or financed buildings from banning firearms.
Gov. John Lynch has vowed to veto House Bill 334, which passed on a 180-144 vote, not nearly enough for an override.
The bill was of particular concern to public college officials who said it would prohibit them from banning firearms on campuses.
The bill would also prohibit banning firearms facilities such as the Verizon Wireless Arena, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the state hospital and at state-owned buildings at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.
Rep. Stephen Shurtleff, D-Concord, said the bill would allow guns at day-care centers on state property, including community colleges, and at the Merrimack County Nursing Home.
Rep. Mark Warden, R-Goffstown, said HB 334 is a common sense bill with two main components: it includes knives with the restrictions on firearms, and it codifies that the general court has exclusive authority over firearms and knives.
Northern Plains hit hard by deer-killing disease
BILLINGS, Mont. — White-tailed deer populations in parts of eastern Montana and elsewhere in the Northern Plains could take years to recover from a devastating disease that killed thousands of the animals in recent months, wildlife officials and hunting outfitters said.
In northeast Montana, officials said 90 percent or more of whitetail have been killed along a 100-mile stretch of the Milk River from Malta to east of Glasgow. Whitetail deaths also have been reported along the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in western North Dakota and eastern Montana and scattered sites in Wyoming, South Dakota and eastern Kansas.
The deaths are being attributed to an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. Transmitted by biting midges, EHD causes internal bleeding that can kill infected animals within just a few days.
In North Dakota, state wildlife chief Randy Kreil described the outbreak as the most extensive and deadly in two decades.
Mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk and pronghorn also are susceptible to EHD, but it is particularly damaging to whitetail herds, animal health experts said. Livestock can be infected but typically show few symptoms.
Venezuelan consul in Miami ordered to leave US
MIAMI — The United States has ordered the expulsion of Venezuela’s consul general in Miami after allegations surfaced that she discussed possible cyberattacks on U.S. soil while she was stationed at her country’s embassy in Mexico.
The State Department said it declared the diplomat, Livia Acosta Noguera, persona non grata and had given her until Tuesday to leave the country.
The Venezuelan government was notified of the decision Friday, giving Acosta 72 hours to depart under standard diplomatic procedure, department spokesman Mark Toner said.
The decision to expel Acosta was made a month after Spanish-language Univision Network broadcast a documentary about Iran’s alleged terrorist activities in Latin America, including a segment in which the consul apparently asks an alleged Mexican cyberpirate to give her the access codes to nuclear facilities in the United States.