Baby Health in Winter Coral threat, woman bites camel, Reagan home in peril: News from around our 50 states

Baby Health in Winter


From USA TODAY Network and wire reports

Published 2: 56 AM EDT Sep 24, 2019

Baby Health in Winter Alabama

Montgomery: A pygmy hippopotamus has been born at the Montgomery Zoo. The zoo last week announced the arrival of the calf born Aug. 4. The calf was born to first-time parents: mom Asali and dad Mikey. Asali gave birth to twins, but the zoo said the other calf lived only two days because of a condition that made it unable to nurse. The zoo said mom and baby will be housed in a temporary habitat located in the South America realm of the zoo, near the flamingos, until the calf is about a year old. The pygmy hippopotamus is a large mammal native to the forests and swamps of western Africa. The species is considered endangered in the wild.

Baby Health in Winter Alaska

Anchorage: The nation’s most expensive wildfire this year is one that started in June and still continues to burn on the Kenai Peninsula. The Swan Lake fire has so far cost about $46 million to fight, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. The Anchorage Daily News reports that puts it ahead of the Walker Fire in California, which the Idaho center says cost about $29 million to fight. A lightning strike in June started the Alaska fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Rain later reduced fire activity, but it flared again in August’s hot, dry conditions. Fire officials said that as of Thursday, it had burned more than 261 square miles and was 57% contained. There were 265 firefighters battling the wildlife.

Baby Health in Winter Arizona

Flagstaff: The expansion plans of Lowell Observatory have it close to opening a new open-deck observatory, a movable-roof facility featuring six telescopes for use both by researchers and by the public. The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the open-deck observatory is getting its finishing touches in preparation for an Oct. 5 grand opening. Its six telescopes include one designed for viewing galaxies and star clusters and another intended for studying the details of the much nearer – at least in astronomical terms – moon and planets in our solar system. Perched on forested Mars Hill overlooking downtown Flagstaff, Lowell is where astronomer Clyde Tombaugh spotted Pluto, then known as Planet X, in 1930. The private observatory was founded by Percival Lowell in 1894.

Baby Health in Winter Arkansas

West Memphis: Carvana, a company that facilitates buying and selling used vehicles online, plans to open a $40 million complex in eastern Arkansas and create more than 400 jobs. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission on Friday announced Carvana will locate an inspection and distribution center in West Memphis. Gov. Asa Hutchinson says Arizona-based Carvana is changing the used car industry through technology and great customer service. Customers can browse thousands of vehicles on Carvana.com to finance, buy, trade in for an existing vehicle, or schedule delivery or pickup via the company’s Car Vending Machines.

Baby Health in Winter California

San Francisco: The city’s famed cable cars are running again after a 12-day service halt to rehabilitate the gearboxes that help run the 19th-century public transportation system. The wooden cars were slowly climbing San Francisco’s hills Monday, with operators ringing their brass bells. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency removed the manually operated cable cars from streets Sept. 11. The gearboxes spin 30-foot-tall wheels in a cable car powerhouse that pull the 12 miles of steel cables under the cable car tracks that lift the engineless cable cars up the city’s steep hills. Officials say the work is part of an upgrade project started in 2017 to repair heavy equipment in service since 1984. It has an estimated cost of about $6 million.

Baby Health in Winter Colorado

Durango: Officials say fish populations in the Animas River have been severely depleted due to suffocation caused by debris from a 2018 wildfire. The Durango Herald reports Animas River fish populations are down about 80% due to runoff filled with ash from the 416 Fire, which burned an estimated 84 square miles of mostly U.S. Forest Service land in the Hermosa Creek watershed in southwest Colorado. State wildlife officials say heavy rains and flooding from July to September 2018 caused the runoff. The first full-scale Colorado Parks and Wildlife survey conducted since then found a 64% decline from the river’s historical average amount of trout. Officials say there was a 95% decline from the river’s historical average of fish longer than 14 inches.

Baby Health in Winter Connecticut

Groton: More than $2 million in federal grants has been awarded to a program to help create a clearinghouse for seaweed aquaculture research and promote southern New England shellfish aquaculture. Connecticut Sea Grant, based at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus, will also be a contributor to two additional projects involving the development of model state legislation for seaweed sales and building a diverse seafood processing workforce. The funding is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, which focuses on marine research and sustainable development of marine resources. The National Sea Grant Seaweed Hub will receive $1.1 million in federal funds, while the shellfish initiative will receive $1.2 million.

Baby Health in Winter Delaware

Dover: State agriculture officials are expanding a quarantine in northern Delaware in an effort to combat the spread of the invasive spotted lanternfly. The quarantine now includes all of New Castle County north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. The state Department of Agriculture is urging the public to kill on sight and report the bug to the agency. The invasive pest feeds on more than 70 plant species, including maples, apple trees and hops. Adults resemble colorful moths and are active from July to December. Under the quarantine, businesses must have permits to move regulated articles within or from the area. Regulated items include plants, lumber and construction materials. The general public is urged to follow a compliance checklist.

Baby Health in Winter District of Columbia

Washington: Hundreds of activists blocked major intersections across the nation’s capital Monday, demanding immediate government action on climate change. Under the banner of ShutDownDC, a broad coalition of activist groups sought to bring the morning traffic in the capital city to a standstill. At one site about three blocks from the White House, activists parked a yellow-and-pink sailboat in the middle of the intersection with several protesters handcuffed to the frame. Washington police have a standing policy to avoid mass arrests of protesters, if possible. And even those protesters who had to be cut free from the sailboat with welding equipment were not arrested. The Metropolitan Police Department did arrest 26 people who were blocking the entrance to a major tunnel.

Baby Health in Winter Florida

Orlando: A woman is expressing outrage after her 6-year-old granddaughter was handcuffed, arrested and fingerprinted because of a tantrum at school. Meralyn Kirkland acknowledges that her granddaughter might have been acting out in class last Thursday but says it was because the child had not been sleeping well because of a medical condition. In an interview with WKMG News 6, Kirkland said a staff member at an elementary school was kicked while trying to calm the child. That’s when the school’s resource officer, Dennis Turner, intervened and sent the first grader to a juvenile detention center for fingerprints and a mug shot. Orlando police say they’ve launched an internal investigation to determine if the resource officer followed proper protocol in arresting the girl on battery charges.

Baby Health in Winter Georgia

Atlanta: A mapping program is finding that rural broadband access in the state is worse than federal officials first thought. Lawmakers are trying to find ways of bringing more broadband service to rural areas – and they need to know the extent of the problem. However, WABE Radio reports lawmakers have only had inaccurate maps from the Federal Communications Commission. Deana Perry, who runs the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ rural broadband program, told lawmakers the FCC maps used census blocks. If one person had broadband in a block, the whole block was classified as served. Now, a new state mapping program using different methodology is finding that there are vastly more underserved areas in Georgia than the federal maps showed.

Baby Health in Winter Hawaii

Captain Cook: Just four years after a major marine heat wave killed huge swaths of this archipelago’s fragile reefs, scientists are warning that a return of record-setting hot water in the Pacific will cause more widespread bleaching and possibly coral death. One of the state’s most vibrant coral reefs thrives just below the surface in a bay on the west coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. On a remote shoreline far from the impacts of sunscreen and throngs of tourists, scientists see early signs of what’s expected to be a catastrophic season of coral bleaching in Hawaii. The ocean here is about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for this time of year. Coral can recover from bleaching, but when it is exposed to heat over several years, the likelihood of survival decreases.

Baby Health in Winter Idaho

Boise: A federal judge says a mining company in the state has not complied with court orders and continues to violate clean water rules. The Idaho Statesman reports U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush on Thursday determined Atlanta Gold had not achieved substantial compliance at its Montezuma Creek site above Atlanta in Elmore County. Atlanta Gold’s attorney Michelle Points said Friday that the company would have no comment on the ruling. The judge said Atlanta Gold’s treatment system remains incapable of treating higher volumes of water from annual snow melt or other high-water events such as heavy rains. He said progress has been made, but improvement does not equal substantial compliance with federal rules. Montezuma Creek is a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Boise River.

Baby Health in Winter Illinois

Dixon: Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home may have to close its doors due to financial woes. WREX-TV reports the Ronald Reagan’s Boyhood Home and Visitor’s Center seeks donations to stay afloat. Patrick Gorman, the center’s executive director, says the house in Dixon generates $30,000 annually through tours and the gift shop. Operating expenses cost about $70,000 a year, creating a $40,000 annual deficit. The home is listed on the National Register of Historical Places but receives no government funding. Jerry Schnake, the center’s assistant director, says it borrowed $100,000 from the home’s board of directors in 2016 for a restoration project, leaving it $70,000 in debt. Gorman says having to close the home would be a loss to the community and to anyone interested in history.

Baby Health in Winter Indiana

Gary: The city plans to raze a long-abandoned hospital built 90 years ago to serve the black community at a time when black people weren’t welcome at so-called white hospitals. The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports the St. John’s Hospital building has been vacant since it closed in 1950 and was repeatedly named one of the state’s most endangered buildings by Indiana Landmarks. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says the building deteriorated so badly that demolishing it is necessary for safety, as it could collapse. Northwest Indiana Landmarks Director Brad Miller says St. John Hospital is beyond repair. He says it played a crucial role, employing black doctors and nurses to treat Gary’s black community before hospitals started treating people of all races.

Baby Health in Winter Iowa

West Des Moines: A new whiskey from a local distillery is hitting the shelves this fall – and it’s mostly made with corn. Foundry Distilling Co. is releasing its first-ever batch of Corn Whiskey, which rested for 10 years in used Templeton Rye barrels prior to bottling. Foundry owner Scott Bush says he took an interest in corn whiskey a decade ago while running Templeton Rye. The whiskey is made from 81% corn, 15% rye and 4% barley and bottled at 91 proof. Little more than 800 cases of Corn Whiskey will be made available for sale. A limited number of bottles can be reserved now or purchased beginning Nov. 2 at central Iowa retailers like Hy-Vee and Fareway. This spirit will be sold exclusively in Iowa, with an expected retail cost of $79.99 per bottle.

Baby Health in Winter Kansas

Dodge City: A capuchin monkey is recovering after it was injured while apparently trying to stop an intruder from taking a younger monkey. Officials at the Wright Park Zoo say the older monkey, Vern, was hurt, and his son, Pickett, was found on the outskirts of Dodge City on Sept. 3. The younger monkey was not injured. The Dodge City Daily Globe reports officials initially thought Vern’s injuries were minor, but a veterinarian found injuries apparently caused by blunt force trauma. The monkey underwent surgery at Kansas State University on Sept. 10 to repair broken bones. Zoo spokeswoman Abbey Martin said Monday that Pickett is doing well and back on display. Vern remains in quarantine while he recovers. Dodge City police are investigating the incident.

Baby Health in Winter Kentucky

Frankfort: State officials are preparing to launch a program that aims to increase the number of students seeking higher education after high school. The Council on Postsecondary Education says in a statement that the statewide launch of Gear Up Kentucky is planned for Wednesday at Eastern Kentucky University. Initially, 12 school districts have been chosen to participate in the program that’s being paid for through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs provides free services to help students perform better academically and to increase their knowledge about postsecondary options and financing. Council President Aaron Thompson says the initiative “is a game changing program” that will help close achievement gaps and streamline pathways to college.

Baby Health in Winter Louisiana

Grosse Tete: Authorities say a camel at a truck stop petting zoo sat on a woman after she crawled into its enclosure. Iberville Parish Sheriff’s officials told The Advocate on Sunday that the Florida woman’s husband had been throwing treats to their dog under the camel’s fence. Their dog went into the enclosure, and the woman crawled under barbed wire to retrieve the pet. That’s when the 600-pound camel sat on her. She told deputies she bit the camel to free herself. The woman was brought to a hospital. Deputy Louis Hamilton Jr. said the couple provoked the camel and cited them for a leash law violation. Tiger Truck Stop is about 16 miles outside of Baton Rouge and keeps Caspar the camel as an attraction.

Baby Health in Winter Maine

Vinalhaven: Four properties owned by the late pop artist Robert Indiana are now in possession of the foundation that intends to transform his Star of Hope island home into an art museum, the foundation’s chairman says. The Vinalhaven properties, assessed at $1.4 million, include Indiana’s Victorian house, along with a large building that could serve as a studio and artist residence, another building that could serve as gift shop and ticket venue, and a small home, Larry Sterrs says. Indiana’s estate remains embroiled in a lawsuit by a company that held the copyright for his iconic “LOVE” series. The lawsuit was filed the day before Indiana’s death last year. With the property transfer this month, the foundation, which isn’t a party to the lawsuit, can continue its work to turning his dilapidated home into a museum to display his artwork and create art and arts education programs.

Baby Health in Winter Maryland

College Park: A federal judge has thrown out a psychotherapist’s lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on treating minors with conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change a client’s homosexual orientation. U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow’s ruling Friday rejected Christopher Doyle’s claims that the law violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and religious freedom. The judge said prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy on minors doesn’t prevent licensed therapists from expressing their personal views about conversion therapy to minor clients. One of Doyle’s attorneys says they will appeal the judge’s decision. Gov. Larry Hogan signed the measure into law in May 2018, making Maryland the 11th state to enact legislation against conversion therapy for minors.

Baby Health in Winter Massachusetts

Boston: Michael Bivins, a founding member of the bands New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe, is turning his attention from music to sports. The Roxbury YMCA in Boston says Bivins has teamed up with Puma to sponsor a basketball league for kids ages 9 to 13. Every Saturday for 10 weeks, eight teams will compete in the league expected to draw 100 youths. Puma and Bivins’ BivFam Foundation are covering all expenses. Bivins is a Boston native who still lives in the city and fondly remembers his own days playing youth basketball. In a statement from the Y, Bivins compared the league to winning a Grammy. “I wanted to – like we say in the music industry – remix it and bring it back,” Bivins says.

Baby Health in Winter Michigan

Detroit: Fire has destroyed a building that is part of the city’s popular outdoor art project known as the Heidelberg Project. Flames were shooting through the roof before firefighters brought the blaze under control Monday morning. The building east of downtown Detroit has “you” painted all over it, one of many buildings with the work of artist Tyree Guyton. The rear was gutted, and piles of bricks were everywhere. Guyton is known for attaching shoes, clocks, vinyl records, stuffed animals and other objects to run-down homes in the neighborhood. A spokesman, Dan Lijana, says the Heidelberg Project has been hit with fire in the past. “Every time we’ve emerged from it stronger,” he says.

Baby Health in Winter Minnesota

St. Paul: A disease spread by insects has killed a wild deer near Caledonia in Houston County and is suspected in the death of another deer nearby. The Department of Natural Resources said Monday that Houston County is the second county in Minnesota where wild deer have contracted epizootic hemorrhagic disease. The viral disease was confirmed in two farmed deer earlier this month near Rushford in Houston County and in four wild deer near St. Stephen in Stearns County of central Minnesota. The state’s first known instance of EHD was last October, when it killed six captive deer in Goodhue County of southeastern Minnesota. EHD is spread by a biting insect called a midge, or no-seeum. It’s not considered a threat to humans but kills deer quickly.

Baby Health in Winter Mississippi

Jackson: The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is offering aid to offset the cost of field trips to the state’s twin history museums in the capital. The department says it has $25,000 to help students who attend most public schools to visit the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and is seeking to raise more. Students in the Biloxi, Jackson and Sunflower County districts are admitted free thanks to an endowment established by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The department says bus company Cline Tours is providing free transportation to students in districts within 50 miles of one of Cline’s six hubs in Ridgeland, Oxford, Starkville, Hattiesburg, McComb and Memphis, Tennessee. Department director Katie Blount says the goal is for every Mississippi student to visit the museums.

Baby Health in Winter Missouri

Spokane: Spokane School District has adopted a four-day week starting this fall to boost staff recruitment and retention. The district can’t offer salaries as high as neighboring districts because it is small and lacks resources. Students attend classes Tuesday through Friday with longer work days. Spokane Superintendent Della Bell-Freeman says this allows the district to offer more benefits to current and future employees. Those benefits include three-day weekends, fewer work days overall, and more family and free time. State lawmakers permitted this option for districts facing tough choices during an economic downturn in 2010, when state funding was limited. Since then, 61 districts have transitioned to a four-day week, including Spokane and 27 other districts this year.

Baby Health in Winter Montana

Billings: Officials say it may take days to clear a rockslide in the city that damaged a home and temporarily trapped a state lawmaker who lives there. The Billings Gazette reports the house at the base of the Rimrocks was crushed early Saturday, and a neighbor helped free Republican Rep. Bill Mercer, an attorney who was trapped inside. The slide left a trail of large boulders blocking the residential street. Billings public works director Dave Mumford says the cleanup will begin after a geotechnical expert assesses the stability of the slide area. Mumford says it may take a few days to clear the street. He says people should avoid the area because the slope and the house both appear unstable.

Baby Health in Winter Nebraska

Falls City: Officials are considering declaring their community “a city of arts.” Station KNCY reports that the City Council is expected to make a proclamation next month. The southeast Nebraska community claims Saturday Evening Post illustrator John Falter as a native son, as well as painter Alice Cleaver, artist and author Alan Tubach and jazz musician Pee Wee Erwin. The curator at Stalder Gallery in Falls City, Christina Wertenberger, says such a proclamation would encourage other cities to adopt a similar proclamation and be a step forward in increasing people’s knowledge of the arts. Library Director Hope Schawang says the proclamation would be apt because the city has been collecting and preserving visual arts for more than 100 years.

Baby Health in Winter Nevada

Reno: A Las Vegas-based developer is proposing to build a 20-story luxury hotel in the heart of downtown Reno. CAI Investments has submitted an application to the city detailing its plans for a high-end hotel on Court Street just south of the Truckee River off South Arlington Avenue. The move comes more than a decade after the company first submitted plans for a massive tower in Reno. CAI Investments CEO Christopher Beavor said in a video posted on the company’s website that it will be the first “ground-up, non-gaming, non-smoking upper upscale hotel ever built in Northern Nevada.” It also is expected to include office space to help meet growing demand in the Reno area.

Baby Health in Winter New Hampshire

Plymouth: High school students in the state who participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition will get an extra chance to show off their skills and possibly earn college scholarships. The Governor’s Cup competition being held Saturday at Plymouth State University will allow up to 50 high school seniors to earn scholarships for one semester at one of the University System of New Hampshire or community college campuses. More than 25 teams from high schools across the state are expected to participate. The off-season competition was created through a partnership involving Gov. Chris Sununu, FIRST New Hampshire, the university and community college systems, Eversource and BAE Systems.

Baby Health in Winter New Jersey

Newark: Sampling in hundreds of homes exposed to lead in drinking water has found that up to 99% of city-issued water filters are working, city and state officials said Monday. Tests over the past several weeks were performed after water in two homes with lead pipes showed elevated lead levels last month despite using the filters. Since then, residents in about 14,000 homes have been receiving bottled water distributed by the city and religious groups. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that about 300 homes were tested and that 97% of the filters worked effectively when the tap was turned on. That number rose to 99% if water ran for 5 minutes before samples were taken. City officials said they would continue distributing bottled water for the time being.

Baby Health in Winter New Mexico

Albuquerque: A federal judge has rejected an effort by a Native American tribe to reclaim Valles Caldera National Preserve. U.S. District Judge James Browning recently issued a sealed opinion denying Jemez Pueblo’s claim that its aboriginal property rights were never extinguished. In a court filing that summarized his findings, the judge said the federal government had clear title to the land, and the case was being dismissed. Jemez Pueblo considers the nearly 140-square-mile swath of federally managed public land as a spiritual sanctuary and part of its traditional homeland. The property is home to vast grasslands, the remnants of a massive volcanic eruption and one of New Mexico’s most famous elk herds.

Baby Health in Winter New York

New York: First lady Melania Trump rang the opening bell Monday at the New York Stock Exchange. The exchange’s first female president, Stacey Cunningham, escorted Mrs. Trump and discussed the exchange’s history with her. They were flanked by children from the United Nations International School while standing in front of a backdrop promoting Be Best, the first lady’s youth initiative. Mrs. Trump received applause on the exchange floor and chatted with the children, who looked excited and nervous. Earlier news reports said some parents had objected to what they perceived as a politically themed event. Participation was voluntary. Republican President Donald Trump is in New York for a three-day visit to the United Nations.

Baby Health in Winter North Carolina

Ocracoke: The state’s top education official says hundreds of iPads will be sent to students and teachers on an island damaged by Hurricane Dorian. North Carolina Public Schools said in a press release that Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Monday that the department of public instruction would send 200 iPads to Ocracoke School, where flooding forced 185 students out of their building. The department says it hopes the iPads will help students stay on schedule with schoolwork until their building can be reopened. Students are currently attending classes in a teaching center. The release says the Sept. 6 hurricane flooded Ocracoke School with more than 3 feet of water. Gov. Roy Cooper has asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster area so federal funds can be accessed.

Baby Health in Winter North Dakota

Mandan: City leaders are considering a proposal to solve an ongoing dispute about whether a Western-themed bar should be allowed to keep a mural in front of the building. The Bismarck Tribune reports Lonesome Dove’s artwork and all other existing murals would be permitted under the proposed ordinance, but new murals would have to follow a different set of standards. Lonesome Dove owners Brian Berube and August Kersten sued the city over freedom of speech in May after they were ordered to remove the mural. The painting depicts the name of the bar along with a rearing horseman against brown hills at sunset. Attorney Robert Frommer, who is representing the Lonesome Dove, says the proposed initiative “raises significant constitutional concerns.” City commissioners will vote on the proposal Oct. 1.

Baby Health in Winter Ohio

Columbus: Four transgender people challenging a state rule preventing people from changing the gender listings on their birth certificates have won their day in court. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson denied the state’s request that the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Ohio be dismissed. The lawsuit contends the birth certificate rule imposed by the state Department of Health and the Office of Vital Statistics is unconstitutional. Most states already allow such changes. Ohio and Tennessee are the last two to prohibit them. A federal lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s rule was filed in April. Kansas ended a federal lawsuit there in June, when Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly struck a deal by agreeing to allow gender identity changes on Kansas birth certificates.

Baby Health in Winter Oklahoma

Norman: The new interim president at the University of Oklahoma is condemning the use of blackface after a student’s social media post showed a white man with a black substance painted on his face. OU President Joe Harroz said in a statement late Sunday that while wearing blackface is racist, free speech protections likely prohibit him from removing the student from campus. The university newspaper OU Daily reported that the student said he was wearing a charcoal face mask and had no racist intent. A group of black student leaders notified OU administrators about the post Sunday. Two students withdrew from OU last year after a video surfaced of a woman in blackface, and the university severed ties with a fraternity in 2015 after a racist chant was caught on video.

Baby Health in Winter Oregon

Bend: A university study says a Pacific Northwest bat that migrates south for the winter faces a serious threat from wind turbines. The Bend Bulletin reports a study by Oregon State University-Cascades concludes that the hoary bat faces an uncertain future because its numbers have declined by 2% per year. A study author, Tom Rodhouse, says bats can be killed by collisions with propellers and by barotrauma, which occurs when bats fly through low pressure zones created by spinning blades of a wind turbine. The sudden change in pressure causes bats’ lungs to expand faster than the bats can exhale, resulting in burst vessels that fill their lungs with blood. Rodhouse says hoary bats often fly into danger zones because their sophisticated sonar capabilities can’t detect pressure drops.

Baby Health in Winter Pennsylvania

Harrisburg: The State Police says it hopes to resume collecting data early next year on the race of drivers whom troopers pull over after a news organization reported the practice ended seven years ago. Spotlight PA said Friday that the agency stopped recording the race of drivers in 2012. A state police spokesman says the change was due to studies indicating there wasn’t evidence of racial disparities in traffic stops. Spotlight PA says state police tracked that data until the mid-1970s, then resumed in 2002. A 2004 report found there wasn’t consistent evidence drivers were being stopped because of their race or ethnicity. The study also found, however, that there were “racial, ethnic, and gender disparities” in how stopped motorists were treated by troopers.

Baby Health in Winter Rhode Island

Providence: Federal justice officials say the city’s school district had failed its English learning student population for years. The Boston Globe reports it received a letter sent to the city by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in 2018, stating the district was setting up English learning students “to struggle and, too often, to fail.” The letter says parents were improperly counseled to waive their child’s right to English language programs. After receiving the letter, the city announced it was overhauling its programs and hiring more teachers certified to teach those students. A city spokeswoman declined to comment on the letter but referenced a settlement into which Providence entered with the Justice Department last year to make sweeping changes and identify students in need of language services. The state is taking control of the struggling district.

Baby Health in Winter South Carolina

Allendale: The state’s smallest county is once again breaking in a new leader, native son William Goodson. Allendale County has had to hire a new county manager about every three or four years in this century so far. It’s hard to keep people without family or other ties in a place with no Walmart and about an hour away from the nearest movie theater or interstate highway. The roughly $72,000 salary, while good for Allendale County, is about on par with the pay for running the parking department in Charleston. The county now has about 9,000 people, losing 14% of its population since the 2010 U.S. census. A half-dozen 1950s-era motels line U.S. Highway 301 through the heart of the county. Once the main New York-to-Miami tourist highway, it lost the vacation traffic decades ago after Interstate 95 opened two counties over.

Baby Health in Winter South Dakota

Rapid City: State regulators will ask the Legislature to require bigger financial guarantees for oil and gas wells in response to a failed 40-well natural gas project in the northwest part of the state. State minerals and mining administrator Mike Lees says the the department will ask for changes to the bonding requirements when legislators meet again this winter. The Rapid City Journal reports his comments came last week during a meeting of the state Board of Minerals and Environment. Lees says the department will propose that all oil and gas drillers be required to post bonds of either $50,000 per well or a $100,000 blanket bond for an unlimited number of wells, regardless of depth.

Baby Health in Winter Tennessee

Nashville: The state Division of Forestry has moved up its outdoor burn permit start date this fall. Burn permits are now required to start all open-air outdoor fires within 500 feet of any forest, grassland or woodland. Burn permits usually begin Oct. 15 and run through May 15. Permits will be issued by phone or online, if conditions allow. Tennesseans are encouraged to check local restrictions in their neighborhoods prior to conducting any burning activity. In Brentwood, Nolensville and Spring Hill, fire officials have suspended issuing burn permits, citing “persistent heat and drought conditions in Middle Tennessee.”

Baby Health in Winter Texas

Dallas: A white police officer who fatally shot a black neighbor in his own home was distracted by a phone call with a colleague with whom she’d been romantically involved, a prosecutor said Monday at the start of the officer’s trial. Amber Guyger, 31, has said the shooting last year happened after she entered the neighbor’s apartment one floor up by mistake. She is on trial for the death of 26-year-old Botham Jean, whom she said she mistook for an intruder in her own home. The case is being heard by a jury that appeared to have a majority of women and people of color. Jean, an accountant from the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, “was doing no harm to anyone, which was his way,” Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus said in an opening statement. He noted Jean was in his living room eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream when Guyger entered.

Baby Health in Winter Utah

St. George: Municipal officials say they want to reevaluate an ordinance that allowed banners for a gay pride festival to be hung from city light posts. Banners in St. George for the Pride of Southern Utah festival Saturday have caused a discussion of possible limits on signage hung from city-owned property. The festival that drew hundreds of people to the city in southwest Utah also caused online debates about the banners on St. George Boulevard. The discussion began after an email from Councilwoman Michele Randall saying she was unhappy with the banners was posted on social media. Randall’s message says the city council should reconsider allowing “political statements” on municipal property. Mayor Jon Pike says the policy that likely predates the current council should be reconsidered.

Baby Health in Winter Vermont

Brandon: The town is drafting a law that would restrict development within its river corridors. The Rutland Herald reports the benefit to the town of Brandon would be that the community would pay less after a federal declared disaster. Ed Bove, of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, says river corridors are where the riverbeds tend to move during or after storms. They are not to be confused with floodplains, which are where water rises and inundates the area. He says the development restrictions for designated river corridors don’t completely prohibit development, but what gets built into them needs to be designed a certain way, and building permits must be sent to the state for review. Some areas of Brandon are prone to flooding.

Baby Health in Winter Virginia

Richmond: Prison officials are unconstitutionally limiting public access to executions in the state by blocking witnesses from seeing certain steps in the process, four news organizations allege in a federal lawsuit filed Monday. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond alleges the department is violating the First Amendment by using curtains to block witnesses from seeing “crucial steps” in carrying out a lethal injection or electrocution – the two execution methods allowed under state law. “These limits on witnesses’ ability to view Virginia’s executions severely curtail the public’s ability to understand how those executions are administered, or to assess whether a particular execution violates either the Constitution or the state’s prescribed execution procedures, or is otherwise botched,” the news organizations state in the lawsuit.

Baby Health in Winter Washington

Olympia: New state rules for selling cattle are scheduled to take effect in October, hiking fees and nudging producers into using USDA-approved radio-frequency identification tags. The Capital Press reports ranchers who use the “840” tags – a three-number international code for the U.S. – will be able to report sales online to the state Department of Agriculture. The department hopes the convenience will motivate more cattlemen to use the tag. The 840 tags allow animal-health officials to track a cow from birth to slaughter. The USDA intends to make 840 tags mandatory by 2023. The federal agency says tracking every cow will limit crippling trade sanctions if a livestock disease breaks out. The 840 tags and online reporting will be voluntary, for now.

Baby Health in Winter West Virginia

Charleston: A bill expected to be introduced during the 2020 legislative session could end greyhound racing in the state. News outlets report Republican Senate President Mitch Carmichael released an opinion piece Tuesday calling for an end to the practice. He’s now facing opposition from some state delegates. The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports the casinos make video lottery payments of about $15 million each year to the West Virginia Lottery Commission. The lottery commission transfers the money into purse accounts at the casinos and the racing commission. Carmichael says the money subsidizes the greyhound industry but could be better invested in roads and education. Democratic Delegate Shawn Fluharty says ending greyhound racing would eliminate as many as 1,700 jobs in West Virginia.

Baby Health in Winter Wisconsin

Madison: A group of lawmakers is introducing a bill that would allow American Indians from anywhere in the United States to pay resident tuition at University of Wisconsin System schools. The bill’s chief sponsors, Democratic state Rep. Nick Milroy, Republican Rep. Jeff Mursau and Democratic Sen. Jeff Smith, say they hope the bill will encourage more American Indians to attend college in Wisconsin, increase campus diversity and serve as a step toward reconciliation after so many tribes lost their land in the 19th century. The bill’s chances are murky. Aides for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald didn’t immediately respond to emails inquiring about the measure’s prospects.

Baby Health in Winter Wyoming

Gillette: An attack by hackers on a health organization’s computer systems has forced a hospital to cancel some surgeries, stop admitting patients and transfer some current patients to other facilities. Campbell County Health spokeswoman Karen Clarke said Saturday the Campbell County Memorial Hospital’s emergency room in Gillette is still operating, but the ransomware attack has made some patient care services unavailable. Clarke said elective surgeries for Monday were canceled, and other surgeries are being evaluated case-by-case. Campbell County Health sent notice Friday that all of its computer systems had been affected by the attack. In a ransomware attack, hackers take a computer system hostage and demand money in exchange for restoring access. Officials say there is no evidence any patient data has been accessed or misused.

From USA TODAY Network and wire reports

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