Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama officials say spots remain open for a youth forensic science camp on campus. Middle school and high school students are eligible for the camp run by the university’s Office of Archaeological Research in July. The camp offers experience dusting for fingerprints, examining blood spatter and other forensic science techniques. OAR Cultural Resources Analyst Lindsey Gordon tells the Tuscaloosa News the camp is ideal for students interested in forensic science, anthropology, sociology, human biology and criminal justice. The camp will have two sessions, July 8-12 for middle school students and July 22-26 for high school students. Each session costs $275. Students must register before June 30.
Anchorage: State officials are reconsidering whether special events like outdoor concerts are a responsible use of state park land. The Anchorage Daily News reports a concert in Chugach State Park was canceled following complaints about potential negative environmental impacts. The manager for folk band Blackwater Railroad Company says the proposed concert at Williwaw Lakes was intended to provide an intimate, outdoor experience encouraging conservation. He says the band expected attendance would be no more than 200 people due to the 12- to 16-mile round-trip hike to the event. More than a thousand people registered interest on social media. A park official says some outdoor enthusiasts feared the concert would damage the environment and backcountry experience at the site southeast of Anchorage.
Florence: An outbreak of mumps among immigrants detained in federal facilities in Pinal County is fueling a statewide spike in cases. Mumps in Arizona this year has reached 42 confirmed cases – a 10-year annual high number less than halfway into 2019, state data shows. Mumps is a contagious viral disease that in most infected people will cause swelling of the salivary glands, causing puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. The Arizona numbers likely will go up because the most recent data from the Pinal County Public Health Department indicates a higher case count than the state data reflects. As of Monday, nearly 300 immigration detainees at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in Pinal County were under quarantine after being exposed to mumps, ICE officials said.
Hot Springs: A dapper-dressed statue of gangster Al Capone has been repaired, repainted and returned to a bar after a failed attempt to steal the welcoming figure. The Sentinel-Record reports the redone statue was returned Saturday to a seat near a bench outside The Ohio Club in Hot Springs. Its website describes the business as the oldest bar in Arkansas, established in 1905, and Capone was a known visitor. Investigators say two men in March tried to snatch the statue but dropped and broke it. Both were charged with public intoxication and criminal mischief. Club owner Mike Pettey says repairs cost $3,500. Part of Capone’s white suit has been painted black. About $2,500 generated through T-shirt sales, celebrating Capone’s return, will be donated to the Garland County Historical Society.
Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager will assume command of the 40th Infantry Division on June 29. (Photo: National Guard via AP)
Los Alamitos: The California National Guard has announced the appointment of the first woman to lead a U.S. Army infantry division. Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager will take command of the 40th Infantry Division on June 29 at Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. Yeager currently commands Joint Task Force North, U.S. Northern Command at Fort Bliss, Texas. Yeager was commissioned in 1986 as a second lieutenant from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at California State University, Long Beach. She served as UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot, left active duty when her son was born and continued her military career in the California Army National Guard. Yeager deployed to Iraq in 2011 as deputy commander of the Cal Guard’s 40th Combat Aviation Brigade, then served as a battalion and brigade commander.
Fort Collins: A long-running effort by the city to reduce train horn noise downtown is switching tracks. Officials have hired a lobbying firm to help find a federal legislative path for establishing a “quiet zone” along a section of the BNSF track near the Colorado State University campus. Trains rolling through a designated quiet zone don’t have to sound their horns before crossing intersections as required by Federal Railroad Administration regulations. The city’s move shows how frustrated officials are with trying to get the FRA to do what they want: waive a quiet zone rule that requires gates, lights and bells at every intersection a train crosses within a zone. City officials have argued there is not enough room for gates in all directions at every intersection.
Hartford: The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner will soon be soliciting bids to develop 30% of the state’s entire energy load from offshore wind sources. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont has signed legislation into law that gives the commissioner 14 days to begin the request for proposals process. Lamont says it will mark the largest authorization by load – up to 2,000 megawatts – by any state in the region. Democratic and Republican proponents say they hope Connecticut will become a central hub for the offshore wind industry in New England. Lamont predicts the emerging industry can lead to hundreds of jobs and drive economic growth along the shoreline.
Horseshoe crabs spawn along the shores of the Delaware Bay in the spring. There are millions of horseshoe crabs living in the Delaware Bay alone, which supports the largest spawning population in the world. (Photo: Maddy Lauria)
Little Creek: Environmental officials say the state’s once-dwindling horseshoe crab population could be recovering. Data from a federal commission that studies horseshoe crabs along the East Coast shows stability in numbers and even an increase in some regions, now that some states have regulated their harvests. The paper says the crab population suffered for decades from overfishing. It’s used for fertilizer, livestock food, bait and also medicine. The crab has unique properties in its blood that make it coveted for some medical products. Some scientists say an alternative to the crab’s blood could do more to boost the population. A synthetic alternative to crab blood has existed for 15 years but has yet to be widely accepted.
District of Columbia
Washington: The district’s financial leader says he won’t certify the city’s proposed $15.5 billion budget, saying it improperly diverts money that should go toward repaying city debts for a 2003 convention center. The Washington Post reports Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey S. DeWitt notified the City Council of his decision Monday. He previously warned of the rejection. The council moved ahead with it anyway. District law says DeWitt must certify the budget before it can be sent to the mayor or Congress for approval. DeWitt’s denial comes at a time when upcoming spending usually is finalized. The Post says this could lead to the loss of tens of millions of dollars meant for urgent public housing repairs. Chairman Phil Mendelson sought to fund the repairs by diverting money from other reserves.
Panama City: It’s been eight months since Hurricane Michael ripped through the state’s Panhandle, but an effort to help victims is continuing. The News Herald reports local organizations have taken over for FEMA at the Community Recovery Center, offering medical and dental help and guiding victims of the October storm to the appropriate resources. A mobile medical truck is expected to stop at the center every Monday afternoon through the summer. Nurse practitioner Denise Miller says the offer a sliding scale base for people who don’t have insurance. Jo Shaffer, a site administrator for Doorways of Northwest Florida, says the group is in charge of data management at the center. If workers see someone needs something, they find a way to help. She says they connect with agencies like Catholic Charities.
Atlanta: A fundraising bash honoring the 90th birthday of philanthropist Bernie Marcus, one of Home Depot’s founders, has raised more than $117 million for Georgia charities. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Sunday’s star-studded gathering at the Atlanta Aquarium, which Marcus built, quickly raised $102 million in pledges. Arthur Blank, another founder of Home Depot and an owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United of the MLS, contributed an additional $15 million. The event drew hundreds, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The paper says the funds will support charities including the Grady Health System’s Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center and the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta. Home Depot is Georgia’s largest public company based on revenue, according to the newspaper.
Sunrise at iconic Waikiki Beach, with Diamond Head in the distance. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
Honolulu: The state budget passed by the Legislature includes funding for repairs at Waikiki Beach, officials say. Lawmakers approved about $13 million for improvements to the crumbling Royal Hawaiian seawall and other man-made structures at the state’s most visited beach, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports. “This is the largest appropriation for beach improvements on Oahu in recent memory. It allows us to move forward on several projects that have been discussed on and off for decades,” says Dolan Eversole of the University of Hawaii. The $13 million is sufficient to shore up the Royal Hawaiian seawall between the Waikiki Sheraton and Royal Hawaiian hotels and return a seawall to Kuhio Beach – structures officials say have been failing for years. Waikiki’s overhaul is scheduled to start by early fall.
Boise: A Treasure Valley woman is offering a healing practice called forest bathing to teach people how to stop and smell the roses – and maybe taste them, too. Forest bathing aims to ground people in nature using each of their senses. Sari Telpner is the only Association of Nature and Forest Therapy-certified guide in the Boise area. She began leading immersive nature experiences in the Idaho Botanical Garden this spring. There, she helps participants connect to the roses, irises, fir trees and, most importantly, themselves. “My practice is being in nature in a really intentional way,” Telpner told the Idaho Statesman. Sometimes that means feeling the grass beneath your feet or walking at “a pace that’s so slow it’s almost painful” while inspecting the scents, sights and sounds of the garden. Each session ends with a tea ceremony, brewed from plants like lilac and catmint Telpner gathers on-site.
Chicago: A federal judge in the city says he’ll dismiss a lawsuit brought by a parks advocacy group that is trying to stop former President Barack Obama’s presidential center from being built in a lakefront park. U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey said there should be no delay in building the $500 million center after hearing arguments in court Tuesday. Protect Our Parks argued the city illegally transferred land for a park to The Obama Foundation, a private entity overseeing construction of the center. City lawyers accuse the parks group of exaggerating potential environmental problems, misreading the law and misrepresenting how the approval works. The center was supposed to open in 2021, but the lawsuit and a federal review have delayed construction at Jackson Park. An attorney for the parks organization says it plans to appeal.
Katie Wahlstrom, middle, program manager of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, shows Tete Minatagbe, left, and Cecil Khadijah Diakite Kariessy how to use the remote control robots at the Math and Science Center at Camp Dellwood in Indianapolis on May 29. (Photo: Grace Hollars/IndyStar)
Indianapolis: A new school is two years from opening and still needs a leader, a charter and even a location. Yet families are already lining up to get their kids enrolled, says its founder, Jenn Watts. The reason for the fuss? Watts is planning the area’s first all-girls STEM school, in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. The yet-to-be-named school is slated to open in the fall of 2021, eventually serving girls in kindergarten through eighth grade. The idea, Watts says, is to get girls into STEM before they start hearing the message that science, technology, engineering and math aren’t for them. She’s familiar with how early that messaging starts and how it creates a gap that only widens as girls turn into women and enter the workforce, where STEM jobs continue to be dominated by men. The STEM school will be a first for the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.
Newton Correctional Facility inmates Daniel Garcia, right, of Council Bluffs and Joshua Goemaat, left, of Knoxville work on painting a room inside an old barn that is being converted as part of Iowa Prison Industries' new program in which inmates build homes for communities in need. (Photo: Brian Powers/The Register)
Newton: A prison program aims to alleviate a lack of affordable housing while teaching inmates construction skills they can use when they’re released. Newton Correction Facility inmates enrolled in the Iowa Prison Industries program are currently building an office and a classroom. But they will eventually build entire homes that can be moved to rural communities to address the decline in affordable housing. Inmates can also pursue apprenticeships for jobs in demand in the state. The acting warden of the low-and-medium security prison describes the program as a “win-win.” Those who qualify for affordable housing purchase can buy homes for about $125,000. The inmates gain marketable skills for when they leave prison. Families earning below $73,100 annually would qualify to purchase a home.
Lawrence: Local high school students are offering to digitally restore print photographs damaged when a tornado tore through Douglas County. The large storm last month damaged trees, struck power lines and left a trail of debris on the southeastern edge of Lawrence. County officials said six people were treated for injuries at a hospital. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that graphic design students at Free State and Lawrence high schools will start restoring photographs this fall. Lawrence teacher Jennifer Dixon-Perkins says personal items such as photos are irreplaceable and can provide a sense of normalcy after a catastrophe. Free State teacher Michelle Salmans says she tries to find ways for students to apply learning to real-world scenarios. She says students will take the assignments more seriously knowing they’re helping others.
Tompkinsville: The second annual Writers in the Park will be held this week at Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site in Tompkinsville. A statement from Kentucky State Parks says more than a dozen authors will participate in the event Saturday, including Kimberly Bartley and Connie Hughes Goodman. Bartley is the author of “Until Death Parts,” “Life Goes On,” “Go Forth and Multiply” and the newly released “Pickin’ Up the Pieces.” Goodman has written several fiction pieces, a biography, and numerous documentaries including “Monroe County Poor House” and “Tell Me a Tale.” The event will include different writing genres and authors from around Kentucky and elsewhere. Participating authors will discuss, sell and sign books. There will also be a workshop offered for budding writers.
A group called the Voodoo Priestesses participates in a funeral precession for Leah Chase from St. Peter Claver Church to her restaurant, Dooky Chase’s, in New Orleans on Monday. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)
New Orleans: For celebrated Creole chef Leah Chase, the goodbye had all the ingredients of a typical New Orleans sendoff – warm reminiscences and mourning mixed with a Mardi Gras-style celebration of her life. Fellow chefs, musicians, family and friends were among hundreds who filed through a church Monday to pay last respects to Chase, who ran a family restaurant where civil rights strategies were discussed over gumbo and fried chicken in the 1950s and ’60s. She died June 1 at age 96. After a rosary and funeral Mass at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church featuring longtime local musician and singer Deacon John, a brass band, pallbearers, and members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club slow-walked beside her hearse as it drove the few blocks to Dooky Chase’s restaurant – her last trip to the place where she earned renown as a chef, civil rights icon and patron of the arts.
Augusta: State lawmakers have passed a “Student Loan Bill of Rights” aiming to protect borrowers. The Senate unanimously enacted the legislation Monday. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has 10 days to act on the bill or let it go into law without her signature. Such legislation had failed in the last legislative session under a Republican administration. The bill creates a student loan ombudsman with responsibilities that include reviewing and possibly resolving complaints from borrowers. The ombudsman would also compile and analyze borrower data and help borrowers understand rights and responsibilities. Maine’s bill requires servicers who do business in Maine to obtain a license and undergo an investigation. The bill automatically licenses student loan servicers under contract with the U.S. Department of Education.
A mock-up of a Harriet Tubman $20 bill provided by Women on 20s, a nonprofit, grassroots organization. (Photo: womenon20s.org)
Annapolis: Gov. Larry Hogan is urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to reconsider delaying the redesign of the $20 bill to feature abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman. The Republican governor made the request in a letter Tuesday. Tubman was born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She escaped from slavery to become a leading abolitionist and helped other slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. The Tubman redesign was initially scheduled to be released next year. Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, is now on the $20 bill. Mnuchin said the delay had been prompted by the decision to redesign the $10 bill and the $50 bill first for security reasons. He has said the decision on whether to keep Tubman on the redesigned $20 will be left to whoever is treasury secretary in 2026.
Boston: The Legislature may renew a long-standing debate over whether the state should move to a graduated income tax. A proposal that would allow higher levels of income to be taxed at higher rates, as more than 30 states and the federal government do, could come up Wednesday when lawmakers hold a constitutional convention to discuss the so-called millionaire tax. A graduated income tax would go further than the millionaire tax, which calls for a 4% surtax only on individuals with annual incomes above $1 million. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that he would oppose a graduated income tax, while House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka, both Democrats, did not immediately offer a position.
Father Marquette National Memorial pays tribute to the life and work of Jacques Marquette, a French priest and explorer. (Photo: Michigan Tourist Council file photo)
St. Ignace: Plans are in the works to enhance the Father Marquette National Memorial site in the Upper Peninsula. The state Department of Natural Resources says a draft plan for the site in Straits State Park in Mackinac County will be unveiled June 18 at St. Ignace Public Library. The Straits of Mackinac Heritage Center Collaborative is hosting an open house, and the public will have opportunities to comment online as well. The Meijer Foundation and several individual donors have contributed or pledged funding that will leverage time-limited matching funds from a $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. Those involved in the project initially committed to raise $1.5 million. The site celebrates 17th-century French missionary Father Jacques Marquette, who was among the first Europeans to explore the Great Lakes.
Duluth: The state’s cash assistance program for low-income families will offer a $100 boost in monthly aid starting next year. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that state lawmakers approved the Minnesota Family Investment Program’s monthly grant increase in May. The extra funding will be available beginning February 2020. It’s the first increase to the program since it began 33 years ago. Minnesota officials estimate the change will help more than 30,000 families. Toshieka Washington and her children were homeless for two years, and she’s been relying on the program to get back on track. Washington says the $100-per-month increase will help her get basic necessities she can’t afford now, such as laundry detergent and more toilet paper. Washington says $100 doesn’t seem like much, but she feels like she won the lottery.
Jackson: Officials are reminding charities that hire telemarketers to seek new donors that they now have to register under the state’s no-call law. Beginning July 1, charities that use paid telephone solicitors to prospect for new donors could be fined if they don’t register in Mississippi and allow people to opt out of telemarketing calls. Until now, all charities have been exempt from the rules. Under a law passed earlier this year, though, only charities that are contacting existing donors or making phone calls with volunteers are exempt. Senate Bill 2744 also allows businesses to register for the state’s no-call list. Until now, only individuals could register. The new law makes it illegal to cause a fake number to display on caller identification, a practice known as spoofing.
Jefferson City: A new report shows that black drivers in the state are 91% more likely than white motorists to be pulled over by police. Data released by the attorney general shows disparities are sometimes even greater when only comparing stops of local residents. The 2018 report comes nearly five years after Ferguson protesters drew national attention to long-standing concerns about police treatment of black communities. Criminologist Richard Rosenfeld cautioned that the latest data is based on population data from the 2010 census but says changes in racial demographics alone don’t explain the disparity increase. Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Kevin Merritt says law enforcement officials have no tolerance for racial bias. But he says law enforcement want to collect more information, including whether officers knew the race of the driver before stopping them.
Kurt Pilgeram of Dutton, Mont., is in a legal battle with a cryonics company that he claims mishandled his father's remains. (Photo: RION SANDERS/GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE)
Great Falls: A man whose father signed up for cryogenic preservation after death is suing to obtain the older man’s remains. Laurence Pilgeram paid Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation $120,000 to preserve his remains in a frozen state indefinitely. Pilgeram hoped if he were frozen, future technology might someday enable him to be restored to life. He died in 2015. Now, Kurt Pilgeram, of Dutton, Montana, claims in a lawsuit that Alcor severed his father’s head for freezing and sent him the cremated remains of the rest of the body. The son claims his father wanted his entire body preserved. Pilgeram seeks over $1 million in damages and the return of his father’s head. Alcor says it has honored its agreement with Laurence Pilgeram.
Lincoln: The Game and Parks Commission has scheduled special events at four state parks and recreation areas for Father’s Day this Sunday. The commission says there will be a fishing clinic at the Danish Alps State Recreation Area near Hubbard in northeast Nebraska. The event begins at 10 a.m. Bait and equipment will be provided. Barbecued ribs will be served from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during a buffet at Fort Robinson State Park, west of Crawford in northwest Nebraska. There will be a special Father’s Day Buffet from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Platte River State Park near Louisville in eastern Nebraska. A fish fry that includes a Dutch oven cobbler dessert is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ponca State Park, north of Ponca in northeast Nebraska. Park entry permits are required for vehicles. More information is available online.
Las Vegas: Authorities in the city say they’re worried about the risk of explosion in neighborhoods where gasoline thieves are storing flammable fuel. Lt. Shane Womack told reporters the concern is that flammable vapor during hot summer weather could ignite with catastrophic effect. Police are distributing a public service announcement after Womack says 25 people were arrested recently for using fake or stolen credit cards to buy large amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel with plans to resell it. He says the scheme seems to be organized, and suspects have used vans or pickup trucks modified with oversize fuel tanks to get gasoline to storage tanks in residential areas. Deputy Clark County Fire Chief Jon Wiercinski says investigators found almost no cases in which the flammable fuel was stored safely.
Durham: The University of New Hampshire has started a new center focused on the science of sound. The university currently focuses on underwater acoustics. The new Center for Acoustics Research and Education will initially focus on environmental acoustics, which takes into account sound movement through the air, on land and underwater. It will support expansion into fields like music, speech and medicine. Anthony Lyons, the center’s associate director for research, says he’s already heard from industry and government partners interested in opportunities for professional development and collaboration.
Atlantic City: Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a law requiring most of the state’s hotels to provide their workers with wearable panic buttons they can press to quickly summon help in an emergency. The Democratic governor signed the bill Tuesday. He and several nationwide unions say New Jersey is the first state to mandate the devices, although at least two others are considering similar measures. The law takes effect in January and applies to hotels with 100 or more rooms. That includes all nine Atlantic City casinos. Iris Sanchez, a room cleaner at Caesars, says she’s relieved to know she’ll be going home safely each night after working. In 2018, a room cleaner at Bally’s casino was pushed into a room by a man who then sexually assaulted her.
Chuck Hatch of the Hatch Brothers Trading Post in Fruitland, N.M., operates one of the few traditional trading posts left in the Four Corners. (Photo: Mike Easterling/The Daily Times)
Farmington: Once a staple in the Four Corners region that connected Navajo weavers and artists to buyers, trading posts are facing challenges to their survival – increased competition from online retailers and large regional grocery store chains, as well as working to navigate changing demands. The Shiprock Trading Post in Farmington now focuses exclusively on Navajo rugs, jewelry, pottery and other works of art. It used to provide all sorts of goods to Navajo customers. Farmington Museum at Gateway Park director Bart Wilsey says trading posts that have survived into the 21st century have become art galleries that deal almost exclusively in Native art or become convenience stores. Wilsey says they also can become wholesalers for Navajo rugs and art in order to remain healthy.
Notorious B.I.G. (Photo: NONE, XXX NONE)
New York: A street in the city has been named for rapper Notorious B.I.G. Community members and elected officials gathered in a downpour Monday at the intersection of St. James Place and Fulton Street. Rapper Lil’ Kim – embracing the event’s themes of social justice and making a difference – exclaimed: “We did it, Brooklyn!” B.I.G., who was born Christopher Wallace, was shot to death in Los Angeles in 1997. He detailed street life in Brooklyn in songs and on albums that dominated the pop charts. Voletta Wallace recalled telling a friend amid her heartbreak: “My son was well loved.” But she said the street naming evoked “happy tears.” The new Christopher “Notorious B.I.G” Wallace Way is in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill area.
Raleigh: The state House is reconstituting an oversight committee that will keep monitoring challenges state government has had in distributing federal long-term housing grants to hurricane victims in eastern North Carolina. House Speaker Tim Moore announced Tuesday that the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief has been authorized to meet again. The panel met in 2018 and scrutinized why the state was slow giving out $237 million in federal community development grant funds received after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 for housing repairs. A report by the legislature’s government watchdog agency last month quantifying that slowness again led House Republicans from eastern North Carolina to seek the committee’s reauthorization. The agency issued a follow-up report Monday.
Bismarck: The state’s congressional delegation is calling on President Donald Trump’s administration to address North Dakota’s year-old request for $38 million to cover the cost of policing protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The Bismarck Tribune reports that U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong sent a letter Thursday urging Attorney General William Barr and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to settle the state’s claim. North Dakota’s attorney general filed a claim against the Army Corps of Engineers last year, accusing the agency of letting protesters illegally camp on federal land in North Dakota in 2016 and 2017. It also argued the Corps didn’t maintain law and order.
Reynoldsburg: State officials plan to begin aerial treatments aimed at disrupting gypsy moth mating on more than 61,000 acres in 12 counties across the state. The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs and can permanently damage or kill them. The Ohio Department of Agriculture release says the organic product used in the treatments set to begin June 12 slows the spread of the moths by confusing the males as they search for a female mate. It doesn’t kill the moths. Airplanes will apply the treatment from approximately 100 feet above treetops and buildings. Treatments are scheduled for parts of Allen, Franklin, Guernsey, Hancock, Hocking, Jackson, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry and Wyandot counties.
Norman: A judge is declining to approve the state’s proposed $85 million settlement with an opioid maker until he’s assured it complies with a new law targeting such deals. The attorney general’s office says Cleveland County Judge Thad Balkman on Monday ordered attorneys for both the state and Israeli-owned Teva Pharmaceuticals to file additional paperwork before he approves the settlement. Attorney General spokesman Alex Gerszewski says the judge wants both sides to address how distribution of the money conforms to the new law. Concerned about how the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharmaceuticals was structured, the Republican-led Legislature passed a law directing any settlement funds directly into the state treasury.
Portland: Four of the state’s public universities will defend substantial tuition increases this week in front of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission amid protests from frustrated students. The University of Oregon is proposing a 9.7% increase, the Oregon Institute of Technology seeks a 9% increase, Portland State University wants an 11% increase, and Southern Oregon University is looking at a 13.5% jump, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. The commission must OK tuition hikes of more than 5%, and Portland State students have vowed to express their anger at a tuition hike approved by the school’s board at the commission meeting Thursday. Oregon State, as well as Eastern and Western Oregon universities, approved increases that are less than 5%.
This 127th Regiment United States Colored Troops battle flag was carried by one of the 11 black Union regiments during the Civil War. The flag was painted by David Bustill Bowser, an African American artist who was a member of one of the regiments and the son of a fugitive slave. (Photo: Morphy Auctions via AP)
Denver: A hand-painted flag carried into battle by a black Union regiment during the Civil War is going up for auction. Morphy Auctions will sell off the piece of history Thursday. Pre-bidding is underway online. It’s one of 11 such flags painted by African American artist David Bustill Bowser, the son of a fugitive slave. It’s the only known surviving flag. The auction house says seven others are known only from photographs. They were sent to the military museum at West Point in 1906 but were thrown out in the 1940s. The flag up for auction depicts a black soldier waving goodbye to Columbia, the female personification of America, beneath a banner reading, “We Will Prove Ourselves Men.” The 127th Regimental banner is expected to fetch about $250,000.
Providence: Environmental officials are asking for the public’s help in tracking the state’s wild turkey population. The Department of Environmental Management is providing a form online that can be submitted when anyone sees a wild turkey, either an adult hen or a young turkey, known as poults. DEM believes the state’s wild turkey population is growing, based on the number of young turkeys reaching maturity and an increase in harvests reported during the spring hunting season that ended last month. The 2019 spring harvest was 270 birds, an increase of 42% from the 2018 season. DEM says the increase of 80 birds is likely due to an increase in the spring season bag limit from one to two birds. DEM receives hundreds of brood reports annually that assist biologists.
Fountain Inn: The owner of a miniature pony named Pikachu believes the animal was stolen from her South Carolina home. Hidden Pasture Farm owner Kate Nichols tells news outlets that the miniature palomino filly disappeared overnight last week. Nichols tells WAPT she has searched for the pony extensively, and there are also no signs that it was taken by a predator. Instead, Nichols thinks someone in the area is to blame. The station reports Pikachu was well-known in the community for making appearances at children’s parties dressed as a unicorn. Pikachu is 2 months old and weighs 60 pounds. Nichols posted on Facebook that she believes Pikachu is in danger and is offering a $1,000 reward for its return. She also wrote that “someone knows where she is.”
Rapid City: A man has scrapped plans to open a museum honoring recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. John L. Johnson of Rapid City had planned to open the museum Aug. 1 at the Rushmore Mall. But he told the Rapid City Journal last month that he has abandoned that plan after receiving threats. Instead, he says he plans to open an art gallery for Native American artists on that date in the same space planned for the museum. Johnson sparked controversy in an interview with the newspaper when he referred to efforts to rescind medals given to U.S. cavalry soldiers for the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. Johnson said many of those soldiers who went on to receive the medal acted heroically.
Brandi Carlile is among headliners at this October's Mempho Music Festival. (Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Memphis: Jack White-led rockers The Raconteurs, multiple Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and rap legends Wu-Tang Clan lead the lineup for the 2019 Mempho Music Festival. The third edition of the annual concert fest will take place Oct. 19-20 at Shelby Farms Park. The festival made its official lineup announcement Monday during a press event at the Sam Phillips Recording Studio. Organizers confirmed most of the nearly 20 acts who will appear at the two-day weekend fest, including Americana favorite Margo Price, West Tennessee native and roots songstress Valerie June, Memphis rap great DJ Paul, New Orleans rockers the Revivalists, and California pop combo lovelytheband.
Scarface, left, of the Geto Boys is running for office in Houston. Bushwick Bill, center, died Sunday. Willie D is at right. (Photo: Rap-A-Lot/Asylum)
Houston: A member of the iconic rap group the Geto Boys is hoping to trade beats and rhymes for politics. Scarface, whose real name is Brad Jordan, announced over the weekend that he plans to run for a Houston City Council seat. The Office of the City Secretary confirmed Monday that Jordan had filed paperwork naming his campaign treasurer. The 48-year-old Jordan first made his announcement on Instagram on Saturday, saying, “I’m offering myself for service as the next Houston City Councilmember for District D.” Jordan, who grew up in Houston, gained fame in the late 1980s with the Geto Boys before launching a successful solo career. The announcement comes after another Geto Boys member, Bushwick Bill, died Sunday of pancreatic cancer.
Victory Schofield plays with a rabbit at her home in Ogden, Utah. She was born intersex, and her parents initially raised her without pushing either gender, but they say she gravitated toward dresses and insisted on wearing her hair long. (Photo: Rick Bowmer, AP)
Ogden: A Utah mom of two intersex children born two decades apart is rejecting the secrecy that often surrounds people born with both male and female traits. After Amie Schofield’s eldest child was injured in a violent attack, she and her husband became determined to speak out for 5-year-old Victory, who was born with ambiguous genitalia. Doctors have long performed surgery on intersex kids to make their bodies more like typical boys or girls, but families like the Schofields are refusing surgery and pushing for intersex kids to be accepted as they are born. Schofield says she’s like any other parent; she doesn’t want her daughter to think there’s anything wrong with her because she’s different.
Montpelier: Proponents of a bill that would have imposed a 24-hour waiting period to buy handguns say a veto Monday by the Republican governor was a political move that will cost the lives of people contemplating suicide and victims of domestic violence. Gov. Phil Scott’s veto also drew condemnation from Democratic leaders of the Vermont House and Senate, which both passed legislation last month that contained the waiting period and a change to an unintended consequence of separate gun legislation signed into law by the governor last year. While gun rights activists said they appreciate Scott’s veto, they are still upset by a series of gun control measures signed by the governor last year. Proponents say the legislation would have helped save lives of people considering taking their own lives because they won’t be able to get firearms as quickly. It was also hoped it would prevent homicides.
A Virginia Is for Lovers LOVE sign is displayed at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Va. (Photo: Monique Calello/The News Leader)
Richmond: The state’s tourism industry generated $26 billion in visitor spending across all communities in 2018, a 4.4% increase over 2017. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday that the tourism industry also provided $1.8 billion in state and local revenue in 2018. That’s an increase of 2.9% compared to the previous year. The slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” was developed in 1969 by Richmond-based advertising firm Martin & Woltz, now the Martin Agency. It is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country. Destinations around the state are participating in the commemoration of “50 Years of LOVE” and celebrating the impact tourism has on Virginia’s economy and communities. The travel industry is the fifth-largest employer in Virginia.
Seattle: The City Council has approved a long-delayed plan to redevelop unused Army land next to Discovery Park into about 240 affordable homes and open spaces. The Seattle Times reports the $90 million plan was updated by Mayor Jenny Durkan in February and approved Monday. It calls for the 34-acre Fort Lawton property in the Magnolia neighborhood to be replaced by 85 studio apartments for formerly homeless seniors, 100 rentals for low-income individuals and families, and up to 52 affordable homes for sale. The city would also convert land into two athletic fields, make 13 grassy acres available for picnicking and incorporate several more wooded acres into Discovery Park. Nonprofits including the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Catholic Community Services and Habitat for Humanity would build the housing using city, state and federal funding.
Glen Jean: New River Gorge National River has several projects planned this summer to improve the area for visitors. The projects include replacing the Sandstone Falls boardwalk and the boardwalk at Brooks Falls, replacing roofs at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center and the Thurmond Depot Visitor Center, upgrading the Army Camp Campground, and adding two new parking areas. New River Gorge Superintendent Lizzie Watts told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that work on the Sandstone Falls boardwalk is expected to last all summer, but the park will try to keep it open on weekends. Goats will also return to the park this summer to remove kudzu and other brush and weeds from the Thurmond area.
A display features peacocks at China Lights at Boerner Botanical Gardens. (Photo: Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Milwaukee: The popular China Lights festival will return to Boerner Botanical Gardens from Sept. 13 through Oct. 20, according to a press release from County Executive Chris Abele. This will be the fourth year in Milwaukee for the colorful China Lights at the gardens. The festival drew more than 100,000 visitors each of the past three years. This year’s event promises new cultural gems re-created as handmade lantern displays ranging from 3 feet to three stories tall. The 2019 China Lights festival also will include an expanded interactive exhibit area, two stages for Asian folk-culture performances, a marketplace, two dining areas, and vendors offering a variety of Asian and Western menu options. More information is available online.
Laramie: Overcrowding is a concern among members of the task force working on a plan to build $300 million worth of new student dormitories at the University of Wyoming. The Laramie Boomerang reports that UW Vice President for Student Affairs Sean Blackburn says large dorms only make the transition to college more difficult for freshmen coming from rural areas of the state. He noted that White Hall has a comparable population to the town of Big Piney. Blackburn is pushing for an approach with the new dorms that will create a “sense of place,” something he says Wyoming students have a particular affinity for. Blackburn is asking for freshmen to be housed in “small-scale communities of 20 to 30 aggregated into a larger building.”
From USA TODAY Network and wire reports
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