Capital employees march in

Annapolis Independence Day parade

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Staff from the Maryland newspaper where five employees were shot to death walked in the Fourth of July parade in Annapolis.

The Baltimore Sun reports that a few dozen current and former journalists from The Capital participated in the Wednesday evening parade, where they were greeted by supportive whistles, cheers and applause. Several staffers wore T-shirts reading “Journalism Matters,” while others in the parade wore shirts that said, “Press On.”

Capital editor Rick Hutzell says journalists are usually reporting on — not participating in — community events, but he thought it was the right thing for the staff to march this year.

Three current journalists led The Capital’s group by carrying a blue banner with the newspaper’s logo that photographer Paul Gillespie had found in his home.

Pygmy hippopotamus Francesca

dies at Oklahoma City Zoo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Francesca, a female pygmy hippo that “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” singer Gayla Peevey welcomed to Oklahoma City’s zoo in December, has died at age 26.

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden announced Francesca’s death Wednesday and said caretakers examined the hippo last week after she showed signs of illness. Veterinarians diagnosed her with dental and severe gastrointestinal disease and progressive kidney failure.

The zoo said the median life expectancy for a pygmy hippo is just over 26 years. It said in her time there, Francesca was “confident and calm.”

Francesca moved to Oklahoma City from the San Diego Zoo. She was welcomed by Peevey, an Oklahoma City native whose novelty hit inspired a fundraising drive that helped the zoo purchase its first hippo, Mathilda, in 1953.