Jared C. Tilton/iStock/Thinkstock(CONCORD, N.C.) — The 2017 racing season will be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last behind the wheel.

A press release from Hendrick Motorsports said Earnhardt first met with team owner Rick Hendrick on March 29 about his decision to retire.

Earnhardt, who has been racing since 1999, has been voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for 14 consecutive years and has won 26 Cup races, including two Daytona 500 victories.

His final race will be on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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WPLG/ABC News(TAMARAC, Fla.) — A trapper in Florida sealed his rescue of an injured alligator with a kiss.

The 8-foot alligator was visibly injured and bleeding Sunday while resting on the median strip along a road in Tamarac, Florida, according to authorities.

“It appeared that maybe it was hit by a car, because it had some road rash from the nose up to its spine,” Broward Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Will Medina told ABC Miami affiliate WPLG-TV.

Enter a trapper whose job was to contain the reptile, an ordeal captured on cellphone video that lasted nine minutes.

Wrapping the gator’s mouth with duct tape, the trapper puckered up and delivered the reptile a kiss on its snout.

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J Pat Carter/iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) – Houston Rockets guard James Harden says he’ll be able to play in Tuesday night’s Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder despite a sore ankle.

“Got some treatment, and I’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” Harden told reporters on Monday.

Harden rolled his ankle during the Rockets’ Game 3 loss in Oklahoma City. Harden scored just 16 points in Game 4 on Sunday, the fewest he’s scored this postseason.

“It’s the playoffs, everybody is banged up, so you just got to find a way to fight through it and find a way to help your teammates win games,” Harden said. “For me, it’s not necessarily scoring. I don’t have to score a certain amount of points as long as I’m making the right plays and guys are getting shots, everybody is in a good rhythm — that’s all that matters.”

Harden missed just one game during the regular season.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — ABC News has confirmed that the Trump administration has settled on a new appointment for U.S. Secret Service director.

Former Marine general and Acting Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Randolph “Tex” Alles is the pick for the position, law enforcement and government sources tell ABC News.

Selecting an outsider would be a big shift for the insular agency, which has long promoted its leaders through the ranks.

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Joe Robbins/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Michigan defensive end Jabril Peppers tested positive for a dilute sample at the NFL scouting combine, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter says the NFL has notified teams of the positive test, which may have been a result of overhydrating, as Peppers was ill right before the combine.

Peppers is the second prospect to test positive for a dilute sample, joining Alabama’s Reuben Foster.

Many experts expect Peppers to be selected within the top 20 picks at the NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 27 in Philadelphia.

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Joe Robbins/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Michigan defensive end Jabril Peppers tested positive for a dilute sample at the NFL scouting combine, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter says the NFL has notified teams of the positive test, which may have been a result of overhydrating, as Peppers was ill right before the combine.

Peppers is the second prospect to test positive for a dilute sample, joining Alabama’s Reuben Foster.

Many experts expect Peppers to be selected within the top 20 picks at the NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 27 in Philadelphia.

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iStock/supparsorn(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — Arkansas has executed Marcel Williams, 52, just after 10:30 PM local time on Monday. His was the second execution of the night, making this the first double execution in the country since 2000.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker had halted Williams’ execution while his attorneys argued whether the night’s first execution had gone properly. Williams was sentenced to death for the 1994 rape and murder of 22-year-old Stacy Rae Errickson after kidnapping her at gunpoint from a gas station in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

The first executed inmate, Jack Jones, was declared dead at 7:20pm local time on Monday, at the state’s Cummins Unit. He was sentenced to death for the 1995 rape and murder of 34-year-old bookkeeper Mary Phillips in Bald Knob, Arkansas.

Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before the end of April, when its supply of a lethal injection drug expires. One inmate was put to death last week, though the first three executions were canceled because of court rulings.

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Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Four-time Olympic gold medalist and Basketball Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie was one of the most recognizable figures in the sport across two decades. Since her playing days, she has enjoyed a successful modeling career, earned an MBA, and is an author. She has also continued her involvement in sports, working as a commentator.

Leslie spoke exclusively with ABC News, talking about another one of her passions: eating healthy. She cooks for herself and her kids, and discussed the ways she fuels her family on a daily basis.

She offered some tips for parents on how they too can get build a healthy diet for their kids and maintain that same lifestyle for themselves:

1. “It’s all about balance”

Leslie says it is “all about balance,” and mostly, that applies to how parents balance their time. Leslie starts her days at 5:30 in the morning, packing lunches and putting together bagged snacks, such as cucumbers or carrots, to fuel her and her kids throughout the day.

On the days she is not prepared, she says she “doesn’t make the best choices” when it comes to food.

Leslie also encourages eating protein-filled packaged snacks, such as packaged meat strips from Lorissa’s Kitchen.

2. Put your kids in a position to make the healthy choice

Leslie does not only prepare nutritious meals for her children, but teaches them how to make healthy choices for themselves, showing them how to read the labels on food when they go to the grocery store.

Her advice: “If you choose something that’s packaged, look on the back and figure it out: how much sugar is actually inside of that.”

3. You can have the occasional sweet treat…. sometimes

If her daughter and son are invited to a birthday party or family function, Leslie has no problem letting them have a piece of cake or a cookie. She has young kids, and knows on occasion, or maybe on a few occasions, they desire a sweet treat or two.

However, Leslie says as a parent, she is responsible for “managing the sugar intake that our children are getting and also the nutrients.”

She will not provide her children with juices, sodas, or foods with added sugar, and suggests hydrating kids with water, milk, or coconut water.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) — New Orleans has become the latest place in the South to take down monuments or symbols to the Confederacy.

Workers early Monday dismantled a 35-foot granite obelisk, the Liberty Place monument, which honored whites who tried to defeat a racially integrated government installed in New Orleans after the Civil War. The city will also remove three statues to Confederate military officers in coming days.

“We will no longer allow the Confederacy to literally be put on a pedestal in the heart of our city,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu vowed.

New Orleans’ toppling of Confederate monuments is part of a trend that gained speed and momentum after a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, when avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans in a bible-study session.

In the aftermath of the massacre, calls came from both Republicans and Democrats in South Carolina to take down a Confederate battle flag that flew atop the statehouse in Charleston.

South Carolina’s public grappling with symbols of its history sparked calls from activists and politicians around the country to take down Confederate flags and monuments in other places.

Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy and research organization focused on fighting bigotry and discrimination, published a survey in the wake of the Charleston shooting that found more than 1,503 symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces in the U.S., nearly all of them in the South.

The group asserted in its study that the symbols of the Confederacy can’t be separated from the ideology underlying the Southern states’ defense of slavery after the Civil War.

“There is no doubt among reputable historians that the Confederacy was established upon the premise of white supremacy and that the South fought the Civil War to preserve its slave labor,” the study states.

South Carolina took the Confederate battle flag down from its perch on the statehouse on July 10, 2015, little more than three weeks after the church killings.

Since then, Confederate flags have also been taken down at other locations including the Alabama statehouse, Oklahoma Baptist University and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. Souvenir Confederate flags were also taken off the shelves at major retailers like Sears and Walmart and at small gift shops such as at the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater in Kentucky and at Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland.

Defenders of public displays of Confederate monuments and symbols say they are important markers of history.

Robert Bonner, a 63-year-old who participates in Civil War re-enactments, protested the removal of the Liberty Place monument in New Orleans, telling The Associated Press that the city’s decision to take it down was “terrible.”

“It’s a terrible thing,” Bonner said. “When you start removing the history of the city … you start losing where you came from and where you’ve been.”

Aware of opposition to removing the Liberty Place monument, the workers who took it down did so while it was still dark and wore both masks and bulletproof vests.

Some historians, echoing the view of the Southern Poverty Law Center, say many of the monuments to the Confederacy were put up less to commemorate history than to make a statement after the Civil War against any granting of full rights and political power to former slaves.

“Many of these statues were mounted in the 1890s and during the time of Jim Crow,” when laws enforcing racial separation took hold, said Matt Karp, associate professor of history at Princeton University and author of a book on the legacy of slavery.

“These were political [statements] and not meant to be viewed as neutral symbols” of history, Karp said.

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WFAA-TV(DALLAS) — Two people are dead in what is believed to be a murder-suicide at an office building in Dallas, Texas, police said.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. local time, officers with the Dallas Police Department responded to reports of an active shooter at the office building in question, police said. There, officers found two deceased individuals, one male and one female, in a meeting room. The individuals have not yet been identified.

According to police, it is believed that the male shot the female and then killed himself. Police believe this is not a domestic violence incident and that the female victim was a supervisor killed by her subordinate.

This a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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