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How a 2-star Army general took charge of a broken city

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — The man in charge of running Panama City’s recovery from Hurricane Michael is a two-star Army general who started the job just two weeks before the storm.

Mark McQueen is the city manager for the Panhandle city. The 58-year-old was an unusual choice when commissioners picked him out of a candidate pool of 80 people despite having no municipal experience.

But he’s uniquely suited for the recovery, having been the commanding general of the 108th Training Command headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, he commanded some 7,000 soldiers. One of their tasks was to repair the infrastructure of Baghdad.

McQueen’s first day off since the storm was Friday — his retirement ceremony from the military in Washington, D.C.

Associated Press

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