Auburn: The Auburn University says that its famous Nova Golden Eagle, also known as War Eagle VII, could be in an early stage of heart failure. The university made the announcement Tuesday in a press release. For more than a decade, the 20 year old male eagle has imposed itself over the crowd at college football games. He was dismissed from the pre-game tradition after a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, a chronic heart disease in 2017. Dr. Seth Oster, avian veterinarian at Southeastern College Raptor Center, said that a review recent indicated that the eagle could be at the beginning of heart failure. Veterinarians adjust the doses of drugs to try to treat the disease. Aurea, a five-year-old golden eagle, and Spirit, a 23-year-old bald eagle, have flown pre-game this season.
Ketchikan: The lawyers have launched a class action to cancel the recent rate increase for a group of state-owned homes providing subsistence care. News outlets report the lawsuit in the Ketchikan Superior Court and request a judge to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction against rate increases to Pioneer Homes. The lawsuit quotes the state of Alaska, Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy and officials from the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services as defendants. The seven 1 rate change has increased the cost of a Pioneer Homes bed from 40% to 140%. One of the lawyers who brought the lawsuit said that the state had sharply increased rates, causing damage to residents. An Alaska law department official said the ministry needed to review the complaint, but did not usually discuss ongoing cases.
Flagstaff A proposal to create a "green" perpetual resting place on private land in the Coconino National Forest may not be so relaxing for the 13 tribes who consider the San Francisco summits sacred. Better Place Forests, a San Francisco, California-based company, has purchased the land from a Phoenix landowner and has announced plans to establish its third "Memorial Forest", or cemetery, on the property northwest of Flagstaff. . The company wishes to place cremated remains around a selected tree on the parcel, which is at an elevation of 8,400 feet and includes ponderosa and southwestern pine, aspen, aspen, Douglas fir and a meadow. The project, if it eliminates the regulatory hurdles of states and counties, would be preserved as a conservation area. But the 160-acre site is within the boundaries of the lands considered eligible for designation as "traditional cultural property" surrounding the San Francisco and Kachina Peaks Wilderness summits and, eventually, be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A statement from the Hopi tribe called the plan a "total violation of our religious and cultural beliefs".
Small stone: Teachers in the city are holding demonstrations about the state's removal of collective bargaining power and permanent control of the district. But they offer little clue that they will hit for the first time in decades. Teachers, parents and students organized informal visits to the district of 23,000 students on Wednesday and then went into school buildings together before the classes started showing their support for the union. They are part of a series of actions that union leaders have planned after the National Education Commission's decision to strip away its collective bargaining power. The union's contract with the district expired Thursday. The union president said he had not ruled out a strike, which would be the first in the district since 1987. Arkansas has controlled Little Rock schools for almost five years.
Riverside: Officials canceled the construction project for a new city called Paradise Valley, at the southern end of Joshua Tree National Park, in the southern California desert. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to accept the Board's recommendation for planning and rejecting the project without prorogation. This decision is a victory for environmental advocates and locals who have voiced their concerns about urban sprawl in the inner region of East Los Angeles. This is a blow for GLC Enterprises, which has been trying to get approval for Paradise Valley for 15 years. The developer envisioned a community with 8,500 homes and 1.3 millions of square feet of space for commercial and civic purposes. Supporters say it would have created jobs and $ 5 millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.
Denver: Proposal DD, who will legalize sports betting in the state, has secured the passage. The measure has risen by about 1.4 percent, according to unofficial results released by the secretary of state's office Wednesday afternoon. This difference does not fall within the 0.5% margin of victory to trigger an automatic recount, which means that legal sports betting will be allowed as early as May if the result was in line with the official count. The DD proposal would legalize sports betting in Colorado through established casinos and online via websites operated by one of the 38 casinos currently under state control. The state would take 10% of the net proceeds of sports betting and would spend most of its profits – up to $ 29 million per year – on water projects throughout Colorado.
Hartford: Mobile phone company Lyft offers former detainees free, essential transportation in the city through a new partnership with the city and a nonprofit criminal justice reform group. Louis Reed, the national organizer of the bipartite # cut50, announced Wednesday that a first 60 to 80 code set for free rides in Lyft is now available for distribution at the city's visitor center. Mayor Luke Bronin said transit bus lines were limited and the new partnership would help people get through job interviews or medical appointments. Hartford is the first city to participate in the program, but other cities and organizations in the country are expected to follow, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland and New York, as well as some rural areas.
Dover: Officials are preparing to send potable water to properties near Dover Air Base after it has been discovered that private contaminants exceed the federal government's recommended levels for health. Delaware State News reports city utility committee voted in October 29 to waive the requirement of annexation so that the properties can benefit from the water service of the city. State officials announced in July that military officials had reported to them wells contaminated with perfluorinated substances and polyfluoroalkyls. These chemicals are found in a variety of products, including fire-fighting foam used in military bases across the country. City Manager Donna Mitchell said Dover wanted a waiver in anticipation of the creation of the base and the request for help for the water department, which she did not still done. The base provides bottled water to the affected properties.
District of Colombia
Washington: A former FBI agent told the jury that Donald Trump's confidant, Roger Stone, had quoted his hero, Richard Nixon, as he urged a partner not to contradict his own testimony to legislators. The quote was quoted in a Stone text detailed by ex-agent Michelle Taylor at Stone's lawsuit. Radio host Randy Credico, Stone's associate, was invited in 2017 to appear before the House's Intelligence Committee. That's when Stone sent him a text message: "Stonewall, plead the fifth, all to save the plan …" Richard Nixon. "Stone is on trial in a federal court in Washington on charges of lying to Congress and tampering with a witness." He was charged as part of the investigation of the case. Special advocate Robert Mueller Stone denies having acted badly Stone admires Nixon for a long time and carries on his back a tattoo of the late president.
Wauchula A 33-year-old orangutan who obtained the legal personality of a judge in Argentina settles into her new environment at the Center for Central America's Great Apes. Patti Ragan, director of the Wauchula Center, said that Sandra was "very sweet and curious" and that she was adapting to her new home. She was born in Germany and spent 25 years at the Buenos Aires Zoo before arriving in Florida on Tuesday. In 2015, Judge Elena Liberatori ruled that Sandra was not legally an animal but a non-human person with rights. She stayed at the zoo, which closed in 2016, until she left for the United States. In the center, Sandra joins 21 orangutans and 31 chimpanzees rescued or removed from circuses, shows and exotic pet trade.
Atlanta: For the first time in three decades, the city will not be hosting Peach Drop for the next year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the new Tuesday in an interview with Majic's 107.5 / 97.5 afternoon facilitator Ryan Cameron. Bottoms said officials took a break to re-evaluate the venue and how the event was planned. She says the city no longer owns Atlanta's Underground, which adds complications to the organization of this event, which has sometimes attracted 100,000 people. The Drop Peach debuted in 1989 – a play played in the Times Square ball drop in New York. After a private developer bought Underground Atlanta, the city transferred Peach Drop to Woodruff Park for the 2017 New Year, but brought it back to Underground Atlanta last year.
Honolulu: An agreement has been reached regarding a murderous deadly fire, although the amounts to be paid by the insurance companies to the plaintiffs remain confidential. Honolulu Star-Advertiser announced that a conference for a deal had been concluded on Tuesday over the fire of the Marco Polo building in July 2017, which killed four people. Officials said that the 568 unit building fire was one of the worst in modern Honolulu history, requiring the efforts of about 130 firefighters. . A judge ordered the defendants to make financial disbursements from an escrow account by January. 15. The settlement appears to resolve a number of fire suits that resulted in a loss of $ 107. millions of damage. Lawyers say they are not allowed to discuss settlement amounts that their clients are expected to receive.
Wooded: The state on Thursday granted the US Department of Energy a conditional waiver that could allow the search for quantities of used nuclear fuel in the state after years of blocking these shipments. The agreement announced by Gov. Brad Little and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, both Republicans, means that the National Laboratory of Idaho could receive about 100 pounds of used fuel for experiments as part of a US strategy to develop nuclear energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The waiver requires the Department of Energy that it first proves that it can process 900,000 gallons of high-level liquid waste located over a giant aquifer that provides from water to farms and cities. The energy department spent about 600 dollars Millions of people have tried to do so, failing to date, but signaling good progress earlier this year in its integrated waste treatment unit.
Chicago: Advocacy groups, including the Illinois ACLU, have sued two county sheriff departments for alleged violations of the TRUST law, which limit cooperation between local police and federal authorities. immigration. The groups say it is part of an effort announced Thursday to control the police that the law of 2017 forbids the local police to detain a person in a prison for immigrants, unless a warrant signed by a judge, among others. The lawsuits allege that the Stephenson and Ogle County Sheriff's Departments illegally detained several immigrants in the name of immigration and US Customs after minor traffic violations. Former Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed the TRUST law in 2017 with the support of law enforcement. Democrats have largely supported the idea.
Indianapolis: Despite the warning signs of last summer, Indiana economists say they do not expect a recession in 2020, but the state economy will continue to grow at a slower pace. The tight labor market, weak manufacturing sector and the ongoing trade war with China are expected to contribute to the slowdown in the state's economy. According to the latest economic forecast released by the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Indiana's economic output is expected to increase by about 1.25% next year. According to forecasts, the Indiana economy in 2020 will be anemic. There are currently some positives, such as the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, the increase in the number of people in the job market and the increase in wages. The economists behind the Kelley School forecast, however, said political dysfunctions and international trade frictions have disrupted supply chains, eroding business and consumer confidence.
Cedar Falls: The president of the University of Northern Iowa said he was forming a committee to deal with allegations of systemic racism by minorities and other students on the Cedar Falls campus. In a recent letter to the academic community, President Mark Nook took responsibility for the University's inability to properly achieve the goals set by a group of ad hoc students backed by the student government. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls mail reports that Nook's action follows a social media campaign by the racial and ethnic Coalition student group. Among other things, the group posted video testimonials from minority students about problems they encountered on campus, including dealing with a racist teacher and trying to navigate diversity policies. universities.
Topeka Time is running out to start building a new coal plant before the end of its license. The battle around the factory lasted more than a decade. By the time the Kansas Supreme Court paved the way for construction in 2017, a company involved in the project described the chances of construction as "remote". But reports from Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle that the documents obtained show that the service is behind the project The regulators said that there remained "significant interest" in the construction of the project. ;factory. Sunflower Electric Power Corp. has requested an 18-month extension of a key permit "to finalize the arrangements" for its construction. State regulators renewed the permit until March 2020 and warned that they would not allow more time. Sunflower did not order any entry or exit this week.
Frankfurt: National parks offer discount on active duty military and veterans accommodation until March 31. A statement from Kentucky State Parks states that the US military rebate is available to current members of the armed forces, retired members of the military, veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists. With the discount, rooms start from $ 59.95 a night and those with a room from $ 79.95 a night. Fees are good in most of Kentucky's 17 resort parks, but there is a $ 5 fee for Barren River, Cumberland Falls, Kentucky Dam Village, Barkley Lake, Cumberland Lake and Natural Bridge. The discount is also available at John James Audubon National Park. More information is available online.
New Orleans: Five hundred and seventy-one of the state's public schools, about 44%, have "student groups in permanent struggle" and now need to develop improvement plans. The Louisiana Department of Education released Wednesday its performance data as part of the law's compliance with the federal law, Every Student Succceeds. Of the 571 schools, 271 were identified as requiring "overall improvement", due to the persistence of low grades or a low graduation rate. Three hundred other schools – including some with high overall grades – must work to improve performance among student subgroups, including English-language learners, low-income students, and people with disabilities. The department highlighted promising results, including more schools receiving A and B grades.
Harrington: A lobster shot in an unusual catch 5 miles off the coast – a live deer. Ren Dorr says that he was laying traps when he saw a young deer Monday morning. He added that the deer had stopped swimming and that it was being transported further offshore. He and his team carried the 100-pound male on board. Having a wild animal in a confined space could be a problem. But Dorr told the Bangor Daily News that the stag had been so concealed that he "lay like a dog". He said that it had taken half an hour to get back to Harrington, where the deer had been released. Dorr says that he has already seen deer swimming but that it was different. He says that if he and his crew had not intervened, the deer would have been "crazy".
Baltimore The number of tourists who visited the state last year may have dropped slightly, but a report says that they spent more money than in 2017. report on the economic impact of tourism in Maryland was announced Wednesday at the annual summit on tourism and travel in Maryland. Report says visitors spent more than $ 18 billions of dollars last year, up about 2.1% from the previous year. The total number of visitors decreased by 42.5 million to 41.9 million in 2018, but this decrease was offset by an increase in spending per visitor. This was motivated by longer stays in more destinations in the states. The report states that most visitors to Maryland came by car. However, Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport served a record 27.2 million passengers last year.
Boston: The mayor said that an effort to rename the square in a historically black Nubian place was not dead, despite the failure of a referendum throughout the city. Democrat Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday that his office will meet name change advocates to discuss next steps. Walsh says this includes the official petition of the city's Public Improvement Commission for the name change. He added that voters in the Roxbury area had overwhelmingly endorsed the proposal to rename Dudley Square. According to the Walsh office, 1,986 residents of Roxbury voted 957 against. The non-binding referendum failed throughout the city, with 46% of the votes for and 54% against. Supporters want to rename the mall after the old African empire, as Thomas Dudley played a key role in the slave trade of Massachusetts during the colonial era.
Township of Corwith: The state now has a long-sought-after land base in the north of the country, which includes a lake, forests and rare species within the state's elk herd range. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said it has completed the $ 3.8 million. million purchase of the Storey Lake property. The agreement to purchase about 2,000 acres in the North Central North Peninsula took about two decades to contend. The lands of Otsego and Cheboygan counties lie between other public parcels: the Pigeon River State State Forest and an area of forest land managed by the state. Officials say the property is open to hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and wildlife watching. The public will be invited to participate in the development of an access plan. The land was once in the hands of a Swiss owner.
St.Paul: Governor Tim Walz has asked US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to declare a disaster for 12 counties in northwestern Minnesota, where farmers have a tough harvest season. In his application Thursday, the governor said the unrelenting bad weather of this season had come to add to the challenges that farmers were already facing because of low commodity prices and uncertainties related to trade. He says crops have been hit by floods, illnesses and freezing temperatures. A disaster secretariat statement would make emergency loans available to affected producers. The USDA generally requires that a county undergo a production loss of at least a 30% crop. Walz notes that soybean and sugar beet crops in northwestern Minnesota are late due to heavy rains, while an early frost has ended most of the apple harvest earthen.
Taylor: The mayor abruptly resigned after more than four decades of tenure. The Oxford Eagle reports that James E. Hamilton has resigned from the Taylor Board of Aldermen this week. He has also stepped down as City Planning Administrator. No detail or reasoning has been provided to the public, and the newspaper indicates that his attempts to contact Hamilton were unsuccessful. Mayor Alderman Ellen Meacham said the aldermen had voted unanimously to accept Hamilton's two resignations, though she wanted Hamilton to be able to finish the last two years of his mayoral tenure. The board discussed Tuesday a special election in early 2020. The details are not finalized. Hamilton went unopposed in the last election of 2017.
Kansas City: A cold weather system has pushed locals to want more than a sweater this week, but also to buy nose plugs. The National Weather Service hypothesized, in a tweet, that a cold front that entered the subway on Wednesday night took with it the farm smells and trapped them in the shallow end of the house. atmosphere. One person responded to the explanation by saying, "I thought my dogs hunted in poop from the outside! I am not crazy. Meteorologists then tweeted what they described as a high-resolution reverse trajectory model to explain the likely source of "dubious air quality".
Helena: The Great Divide ski area will be the first ski area in the state to open for the new season this Saturday. Helped by the early cold and snow this fall, the staff has been making snow for a few weeks now. The owner, Kevin Taylor, told the Independent Record that the The opening will be the first to have a chairlift on. Taylor says the ski area has opened nov. 10 last year and november 11 in 2017. The Good Luck chairlift on the low mountain as well as the rear tow rope will be in service on Saturday. The snowmaking continues on some additional tracks, but as the last cold spell was so short, Taylor does not know if other tracks will open this weekend or the next.
Lincoln: Officials plan to reduce the staff of a state-run home for juvenile offenders while increasing the manpower of two other institutions. The Department of Health and Human Services announced the changes Wednesday as part of a larger overhaul of its system of rehabilitation and treatment centers for youth. Department officials announced plans to reduce the YRTC workforce in Geneva starting in January May 6, 2020, because this establishment will not serve so many young people. But they plan to hire additional employees at YRTC facilities in Lincoln and Kearney. Department officials say that staff who lose their jobs will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at other YRTC facilities or elsewhere in the state government. They say that they hope to keep the employees whenever possible.
Las Vegas: The decision by the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to remove a sacred Native American site document from its website is causing criticism. A department official said the decision to withdraw was made at the request of the state's state preservation office, fearing that the site would be exposed to vandalism or looting. Mais Rupert Steele, président des tribus confédérées de la réserve de Goshute, basées dans l'Utah, dont la tribu compte parmi celles qui considèrent le site comme sacré, a déclaré que personne n'avait consulté la tribu à propos de cette décision. Les tribus Goshute, Ely et Duckwater Shoshone considèrent tous que le site, connu sous le nom de cèdres des marais, est sacré et croient que les arbres sont menacés par une proposition visant à canaliser les eaux souterraines du nord et de l’est du Nevada à Las Vegas. «Je veux ça là-haut», a déclaré Steele à propos du document retiré. "De cette façon, l'information peut circuler librement dans toutes les personnes."
Plymouth: La Plymouth State University a reçu une subvention de 48 000 dollars pour mettre en place un programme d'éducation des adolescents sur les dangers des cigarettes électroniques. Le programme s'appelle «CATCH», un acronyme pour «approche coordonnée de la santé infantile». Il comprend des cours en classe, des activités dirigées par des pairs et un soutien social et communautaire pour éduquer les adolescents. Jusqu'en janvier 2020, les étudiants du programme de certification d'enseignants d'éducation physique et de santé PSU qui se préparent à compléter leurs expériences d'enseignement sur le terrain ou de santé scolaire recevront une formation. Ils mettront en œuvre le programme dans 35 collèges et lycées de l'État au printemps 2020. La subvention provient de la CVS Health Foundation.
Atlantic City: Le gouvernement fédéral a rejeté son objection à ce que certaines villes du sud du New Jersey utilisent du sable provenant d'un site offshore situé à proximité pour reconstituer leurs plages. L’action récente du secrétaire américain à l’Intérieur, David Bernhardt, devrait permettre de réduire les coûts des projets d’élargissement des plages et de protection contre les tempêtes. Cela élimine également le besoin d'une proposition inhabituelle présentée il y a plusieurs mois, qui aurait permis à certaines villes de raser le sable de certaines de leurs plus grandes dunes et de l'utiliser pour élargir leurs plages. Lundi, Bernhardt a écrit au représentant Jeff Van Drew, un démocrate qui représente la région touchée de la côte sud du New Jersey, pour annoncer le renversement de la politique. L'interdiction "créait des formalités administratives inutiles qui avaient l'effet contraire de l'intention initiale", a déclaré Van Drew dans un communiqué.
Roswell: Un avocat de cette ville réputée pour être le lieu d'un prétendu crash d'OVNI de 1947 a déclaré qu'il allait défier le président Donald Trump dans le New Hampshire au vote anticipé. Selon le Roswell Daily Record, l'avocat Rick Kraft a déposé les documents nécessaires pour figurer sur le bulletin de vote en tant que candidat républicain à la première primaire présidentielle. Selon le site Web du secrétaire d’État du New Hampshire, Kraft a déposé sa déclaration de candidature mardi. Kraft, âgé de 61 ans, a annoncé sa décision de se présenter après que son épouse et lui-même se soient rendus à la New Hampshire State House à Concord, dans le New Hampshire, et avaient appris à quel point il était facile d'obtenir le bulletin de vote. Il a qualifié le déménagement de "bucket list-type". Kraft a déclaré qu'il n'envisageait pas de participer à d'autres primaires ou caucus.
Floride: Une épinette de Norvège qui a été exposée il y a des années sur la table basse de son propriétaire se dressera bientôt dans un cadre beaucoup plus grand: le centre du Rockefeller Center. Carol Schultz a acheté le jeune arbre pour la saison de Noël 1959. Après l'avoir affichée dans sa maison du village de Florida, à New York, elle l'a plantée dans son jardin. En 2010, Schultz et son compagnon Richard O’Donnell sont allés sur le site Web du Rockefeller Center et ont lancé l’offre de 14 tonnes pour devenir une vedette. Plus tôt cette année, ils ont appris qu'il avait été choisi. Il a été coupé jeudi et levé par une grue sur un camion à fond plat. Il arrivera samedi au Rockefeller Center, où il sera hissé et entouré d'échafaudages pour le processus de décoration. La cérémonie d'allumage est prévue pour décembre 4
Charlotte: La militante écologiste Greta Thunberg, âgée de 16 ans, a annoncé son intention d'assister à un rassemblement climatique dirigé par des jeunes dans l'état de Tar Heel cette semaine. Thunberg a tweeté mercredi qu'elle se joindrait à la grève vendredi au centre gouvernemental Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Thunberg a attiré l'attention de la communauté internationale lors d'un discours prononcé lors du Sommet des Nations Unies pour l'action climat de septembre. Les médias rapportent que la manifestation de vendredi est organisée par le mouvement N.C. Climate Strike dirigé par des étudiants. Des centaines de personnes ont assisté à un rassemblement organisé par le groupe en septembre. Le même jour, des millions de personnes dans le monde entier ont sauté de l'école et se sont mobilisées pour inciter le gouvernement à prendre des mesures pour lutter contre le changement climatique.
Bismarck: Une étude réalisée à l'automne indique que la population de cerfs mulets continue de se reconstituer dans les Badlands de l'ouest du Dakota du Nord grâce à une autre bonne année de production de faons. Le cerf mulet de la région a connu trois hivers rigoureux qui se sont terminés en 2011, ce qui a entraîné une production record de faons. Selon la Tribune Bismarck, les biologistes ont dénombré 2 218 cerfs mulets lors du relevé d’octobre, soit près de 2 446 l’an dernier. Les ratios de 41 dollars pour 100 biches et de 84 faons par 100 biches sont également restés stables. Le chef de la faune de l’État, Jeb Williams, a déclaré que les chiffres stables sont encourageants bien qu’ils ne représentent pas une augmentation. La chasse au cerf mulet a été interdite pendant quatre saisons consécutives à partir de 2012 pour aider la population à se rétablir. La saison des armes à feu pour le mulet et le cerf de Virginie du Dakota du Nord ouvre à midi vendredi.
Colomb: Le gouverneur Mike DeWine a signé une loi abrogeant la taxe de vente de l’État sur les tampons et autres produits d’hygiène féminine. Le gouverneur républicain a signé la mesure mercredi. Un autre projet de loi prévoyait un crédit d’impôt pour les enseignants qui achètent des fournitures scolaires. Les représentants démocratiques de l'État, Brigid Kelly, de Cincinnati, et de l'État républicain, Niraj Antani, de Miamisburg, ont coparrainé la législation originale abrogeant le soi-disant impôt rose. La plupart des États continuent de taxer les tampons et autres produits menstruels, notamment les serviettes et les tasses. Ils sont souvent classés comme des «articles de luxe» plutôt que comme des nécessités non taxables, comme de la nourriture ou des fournitures médicales. L’Ohio fait partie d’une douzaine d’États qui ont récemment modifié leurs politiques.
Tulsa: A Republican state lawmaker has abandoned his effort to rename a stretch of Route 66 after President Donald Trump. State Sen. Nathan Dahm told the Tulsa World on Wednesday that he’s done trying to rename the 4-mile stretch of the iconic highway in northeastern Oklahoma after Trump. The Oklahoma Route 66 Association and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell both swiftly rejected naming sections of Route 66 after Trump or any other political figure. Pinnell, who oversees Oklahoma’s marketing and branding, and others have been working to establish the route of the former U.S. 66 for tourism. Pinnell says a “uniform branding” will soon be rolled out. State Rep. Ben Loring, who represents the district where the proposed stretch of highway is located, says it could have adversely affected tourism.
Portland: The state Department of Environmental Quality says smoky skies and stagnant air are expected to hang around in Oregon and southwest Washington for another week. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the agency initially issued an air quality advisory Monday but on Wednesday extended the warning. The agency now expects the air quality advisory to be in effect until at least Nov. 12. Stagnant air conditions are trapping smoke and other contaminants near the ground where people breathe. Several county and local health agencies have issued burning restrictions. DEQ asked people to follow burn restrictions in their areas and avoid unnecessary outdoor activity, especially those with lung or heart problems and young children.
York: Police officers are alleging in some DUI cases that people who’ve recently smoked marijuana have green tongues. Law enforcement is even told to look for a “possible green coating” in one specialized training program taught all over the world. Police can point to no scientific studies to back up the idea. Yet, for decades, they’ve used the observation as one of several signs to justify probable cause and make arrests in criminal cases. An analysis of more than 1,300 DUI cases that reached the York County Court of Common Pleas in 2018 found at least 28 that mentioned phrases such as “green coating,” “green film” and “green tint.” Scott Harper, a defense attorney in West York, describe it as “kind of junk science.” He recently argued in a DUI case in York County that there’s “no evidence that a ‘green tongue’ is indicative of any specific degree of marijuana impairment (assuming it actually is evidence of anything at all).” The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was more blunt. “The science behind marijuana consumption turning your tongue green is about as sound as the science behind the earth being flat or that lying makes your nose grow,” Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, said in an email.
South Kingstown: Researchers say the state’s rich, moist soil could make it a leader in the production of saffron, an expensive spice. The Providence Journal reports University of Rhode Island researchers found a test plot could yield 12 pounds of saffron per acre each year – more than double the harvest in Iran, which produces 90% of the world’s saffron. Researchers say the domestic demand for saffron is on the rise, with 35 tons imported in 2016 and 50 tons predicted by 2021. Saffron is popular in Middle Eastern, Indian and other cuisines but has other uses. Wholesale prices run about $5,000 per pound. Consumers can pay $20 for a few threads of saffron and $95 for a quarter-ounce. University researchers say saffron is expensive because it’s difficult to harvest.
Reevesville: The ballot for the mayoral race in this small town was blank Tuesday, leaving voters to write in whomever they wanted. The Post and Courier reports Paul Wimberly didn’t know he’d been reelected as Reevesville’s mayor until he spoke with a reporter the next morning. Wimberly has been mayor for 34 years but missed the election registration deadline this year when Dorchester County was put in charge of the race. The hopeful contenders on the Town Council also missed the deadline, meaning the race had no official candidates. Wimberly said he wasn’t too worried, as the 1.6-square-mile town of about 196 people knows his face and name. So he’s now back in the $300-per-year leadership role for the town, which relies mostly on volunteer positions.
Pierre: Gov. Kristi Noem says the state is now more than 99% compliant with federal Real ID requirements ahead of next year’s deadline. Noem said Thursday that early work by the state’s driver licensing program to meet the deadline means that all eligible South Dakotans, with only a few exceptions, already have been issued a Real ID-compliant license or card. She says the October 2020 deadline will have no effect on those with a Real ID license or card issued in South Dakota. The federal Real ID Act sets minimum security standards for licenses. A Real ID-compliant driver’s license will be needed to board domestic flights starting Oct. 1, 2020. South Dakota began issuing Real ID-compliant licenses and identification cards Dec. 31, 2009.
Knoxville: Applications are now open for a new scholarship at the University of Tennessee that guarantees certain students free tuition. A university news release says the UT Promise scholarship is offered to qualifying state residents attending UT’s campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis. It requires that students complete eight volunteer service hours a semester and participate in a mentoring program. To be eligible, current, full-time UT students must have a family household income under $50,000 annually and qualify for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship. Scholarship students will be paired with a mentor in fall 2020. To apply for the scholarship, current students must complete the scholarship application and the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid by Feb. 1. They also must complete eight hours of community service by July 1.
Huntsville: An inmate who was a member of a white supremacist gang was executed Wednesday night for strangling a woman nearly 20 years ago over fears she would alert police about his drug operation. Justen Hall, 38, received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the October 2002 slaying of Melanie Billhartz. Prosecutors said Hall killed Billhartz, 29, with an extension cord from his drug house in El Paso and then buried her body in the desert. His attorneys had asked to stop the execution, alleging he was not competent to be executed and had a history of mental illness. But a judge in El Paso last month denied the request. Hall was the 19th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the eighth in Texas. Three more executions are scheduled in Texas this year.
Salt Lake City: A lawmaker who was aiming to be the first Latina mayor of Salt Lake City has conceded the race to a city councilwoman who rose to prominence fighting pollution. Democratic Sen. Luz Escamilla said in a statement Wednesday that she conceded in a phone call to fellow Democrat Erin Mendenhall and wished her the “best of luck.” Mendenhall took a commanding early lead with nearly 59% of the vote Tuesday, but Escamilla vowed to stay in the race until the count was complete. Escamilla says that changed after she got new details on the number of uncounted mail-in ballots. She says the figures were lower than expected, making it impossible for her to overtake Mendenhall. Mendenhall will replace one-term Mayor Jackie Biskupski, who decided not to run again.
Burlington: Famed Vermont ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is accused of misleading its customers about the type of milk and cream used in its products. Environmental advocate and former gubernatorial candidate James Ehlers says parent company Unilever is profiting from false advertising, according to a recent lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington. The federal complaint filed Oct. 29 alleges that Unilever violated its customers’ trust by saying Ben & Jerry’s products were made with milk and cream sourced from “happy cows” on Vermont dairy farms that participate in its humane “Caring Dairy” program. Only a minority of the cream and milk used in the ice cream comes from these types of farms, the complaint alleges. “The remaining milk and cream originates from factory-style, mass-production dairy operations, exactly what consumers who choose Ben & Jerry’s products would like to avoid,” the complaint says.
Abingdon: Voters have defeated a proposal that would have relocated their historic courthouse’s functions to a vacant Kmart building in a strip mall. The Bristol Herald Courier reports every precinct in Washington County voted against the proposal in a referendum this week. The move was proposed because county officials and judges had expressed concern over security issues and a lack of space and parking. But the idea had drawn derision at previous public hearings. County Administrator Jason Berry says the result is a “clear message from the people.” He says a committee studying the issue will now revisit at 2016 engineering study and potentially consider new options.
Olympia: State auditors say an investigation revealed elevators and escalators are not annually inspected as required by state law. KING-TV reports the Department of Labor and Industries did not inspect more than half of the state’s 18,000 conveyances in 2018. Investigators say thousands of conveyances did not have inspections for two or three years, and three were not inspected in over 10 years. Department officials say the backlog was caused by a building boom that generated more elevators and escalators needing inspections. Officials say the state also struggled to retain inspectors, but additional funding has allowed the department to pay higher salaries and add additional inspectors. Officials say private insurance policies require conveyance inspections multiple times a year. The state department only serves as a check and balance.
Daniels: An American Heritage Girls troop has helped to raise funds for its mentor’s cancer treatment. The Register-Herald reports troop members Kate Hontz, Rebekah Stephens and Callie Bethel held a fundraiser last Saturday to help pay for Rachel Quesenberry’s chemotherapy treatments. Callie told the newspaper that the trio “just wanted to do anything we could” to help with Quesenberry’s medical expenses. The 33-year-old Quesenberry was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and has since undergone chemical and surgical treatments that require her to commute between Huntington and Daniels. The newspaper says Quesenberry has had IV transfusions that require her to take additional chemotherapy medication for five years. The newspaper says all proceeds from the event will go directly to Quesenberry, as will any vendor fees.
Madison: New data from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows students at the state’s flagship campus are getting out faster than ever, in light of mounting national concerns and conversations about the rising cost of college. Students who graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in the 2018-19 school year did so in an average of just under four calendar years – 3.96 years, to be exact – according to data from the university’s Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research. It’s the first time since the university started tracking average time to degree four decades ago that the number has been so low. The average, calculated in full calendar years (not academic years), means students are still spending a little more than the eight-semester standard to most bachelor’s degree programs.
Cheyenne: An interim legislative panel has rejected a proposal that would increase the state tax on alcohol to fund substance abuse treatment programs. The proposed bill offered by Republican state Sen. Charlie Scott, of Casper, was voted down 7-6 on Wednesday by the Joint Committee on Labor, Health and Social Services. Proponents of the bill noted that Wyoming’s high suicide rate indicates the continuing substance problems facing the state and that substance abuse programs in the state had seen large funding cuts in recent years. However, opponents contended that the tax increase was unfair and unnecessary because current revenues were sufficient to address the substance abuse programs.
From USA TODAY Network and wire reports