Afternoon Briefing

Cosby could take stand at sex trial

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Jurors at Bill Cosby’s suburban Philadelphia sexual-assault trial don’t know if they’ll hear from him in person when the defense starts presenting its case Monday.

The jurors have heard accuser Andrea Constand’s side of the story. They’ve heard Cosby’s version in the form of his police statement and his lurid deposition in her 2005 lawsuit.

Cosby’s spokesman says maybe he’ll testify. His lawyers are staying mum.

Experts say the actor and storyteller could charm the jury but the risk would be considerable.

Duquesne University School of Law professor Wes Oliver says Cosby is a “very good actor.” But he says Cosby could open the door to a lot of cross-examination about other women the defense fought to keep out.

Constand says Cosby drugged and molested her. Cosby says any contact was consensual.

Replica of iconic flying car stolen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City theater company is offering a $500 reward for the return of its replica of the iconic flying car in the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

But the company’s CEO says the car is priceless to the business.

The Kansas City Star reports that employees of A to Z Theatrical Supply and Service reported the Thursday morning theft.

CEO James Hunter says the car “has hundreds of hours of highly skilled artisans involved in creating this very unique piece.”

The replica was built by hand in 2015 and is part of a set design package popular with high school and community theater groups nationwide.

The car was stored in a locked trailer parked near the company’s building. Surveillance video captured the trailer being driven away.

Average gas price drops slightly

CAMARILLO, Calif. — An analyst says the average price of regular-grade gasoline has fallen less than a penny per gallon over the last three weeks, to $2.40 per gallon.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that gas prices in the coming weeks may decline unless crude oil prices rebound quickly.

The average price of midgrade gasoline was $2.69 a gallon, while the average price of premium was $2.91 a gallon.

In a survey of the Lower 48 states, the highest average gas price was in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $3.16 a gallon. The lowest was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $1.96 a gallon.

Bear crosses through Colorado race

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Some runners didn’t expect to see a bear on their Colorado race route.

Donald Sanborn says he was about 5 miles into the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run on Sunday when the bear ambled across a roadway near Colorado Springs.

Sanborn says the animal seemed to be trying to decide whether to zip across the road filled with runners when a large enough gap finally emerged for the bear to get through.

He says he’s encountered bears, elk, turkeys, bobcats and other interesting wildlife on training runs, but hasn’t seen an animal like this in a race.

Protesters fear removal of statue

HOUSTON — Hundreds of individuals, some armed, gathered at a Houston park Saturday to protest what they believe are efforts to remove a statue of Texas hero Sam Houston because he owned slaves.

There hasn’t been any organized effort to remove Houston’s statue, which has stood near a city park since 1925.

Protesters, some carrying Confederate flags, said they were concerned local activists have been calling for the statue’s removal. But it’s not clear any such removal efforts have been formally proposed in the wake of other cities around the country taking down Confederate monuments.

By The Associated Press

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