RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia man who was sentenced to six months in jail for hanging a black-faced dummy by a noose in his front yard has asked the state Supreme Court to overturn his conviction, arguing that his free-speech rights were violated.

Jack Eugene Turner of Rocky Mount was convicted in 2015 of violating a state law that prohibits hanging a noose to intimidate. Turner, who's white, was upset with his black neighbors.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Experts say a rash of noose appearances around the nation's capital shows the growing use of hate symbols in the United States.

Two nooses were found at Smithsonian museums in the past week, one outside the Hirshhorn Museum last Friday and one inside the new museum of African-American history on Wednesday.

Bananas tied to nooses were discovered at American University in Washington last month, while a noose was found at the nearby University of Maryland and a suburban middle school in Crofton, Maryland.

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CROFTON, Md. (AP) - Members of a Maryland middle school community west of Annapolis covered its grounds with positive messages days after a noose was hung there.

Local news outlets report hundreds of people gathered Sunday evening at Crofton Middle School to chalk symbols of positivity on the sidewalks after a noose was discovered hanging outside the school Thursday morning.

Kristen Caminiti says the event was organized by a community group she founded. She says the goal was to spread a message that hate will not be tolerated.

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CROFTON, Md. (AP) - Authorities are searching for two suspects in connection with a noose that was found hanging outside a Maryland middle school.
Anne Arundel County police said in a Facebook post that officers responded to a report from an administrator at Crofton Middle School saying a teacher saw a noose hanging from an exterior light fixture Thursday morning. The noose was immediately removed by a custodian.
Investigators say they recovered school surveillance footage of two people gaining access to the roof of the building and placing the noose.

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Authorities at the University of Maryland are investigating a noose discovered in a fraternity house.

Local news reports say the noose was found inside the house of the school's Phi Kappa Tau chapter on April 27.

Police at the university say they are investigating the matter as a hate/bias incident.

University president Wallace D. Loh said in a Wednesday statement that he condemns "the use of a symbol of violence and hatred for the purpose of intimidating members of our University of Maryland community."

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It was a packed community meeting at The Green on the campus of the University of Delaware yesterday after it was first reported that three nooses were found hanging outside a residence hall.

Those turned out to be paper lanterns from a previous event.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a number of minority students talked about enduring racial insults while on campus.

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At a Millville, New Jersey glass company plant a noose was allegedly placed on their property where two African Americans from Delaware were working construction last month.

The Millville police are investigating the allegations by 43-year old Kyle Winters of New Castle and 46 year old Vance Thorpe from Wilmington that the noose was placed at the Nipro Glass site where they had been working.

Nipro issued a statement saying that the allegations, if true, were contrary to its policies and training provided to contractors it hires.

ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) - Wallops Flight Facility employees will be briefed on NASA's investigation into the discovery of a noose at one of the Virginia center's buildings.

Chris Scolese, director of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will discuss the findings with Wallops employees Thursday.