Florence: Agriculture experts said corn farmers in northern Alabama are seeing some good yields in this year’s harvest. Extension Service coordinators in Colbert and Lauderdale counties said yields will depend on where the cornfields are located. The TimesDaily reported that farmers have been out in the fields harvesting for several weeks while the weather has been dry. Colbert County Extension Coordinator Danny McWilliams said that elevators are full – a sign of a good year with high yields. McWilliams said farmers are reporting yields of 170 to 200 bushels per acre. Dealona Bozeman, the grain originator at the Alabama Farmers Coop in Florence, said some farmers are nearing 300 bushels per acre.
Utqiagvik: Residents of a northern Alaska community are set to vote on whether to impose the state’s first tax on most sodas and other sweetened drinks. The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that voters in Utqiagvik are scheduled to vote Tuesday on the proposed tax on drinks sold in the city. The proposed ordinance would impose a 1-cent tax per 1 ounce of soda, energy drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages sold in the community at the state’s northern tip. Officials said the tax on a 12-ounce can of soda would be 12 cents. A bottle holding 20 ounces would be taxed 20 cents. Officials said the tax does not cover 100% fruit or vegetable juices, milk products, medicinal drinks, baby formula, weight-loss drinks, or alcohol.
Migrant workers harvest iceberg lettuce at JV Farms in Yuma, Ariz. University of Arizona scientists are embarking on a multiyear study of the Yuma region in the wake of last year’s E. coli outbreak. (Photo: Nick Oza/The Republic)
Yuma: University of Arizona scientists are embarking on a multiyear study of the Yuma region in the wake of last year’s E. coli outbreak. The group will be partnering with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state agriculture officials and local growers to look at the environment and practices in the nation’s “winter vegetable capital.” The University of Arizona announced the effort in a release. Researchers with the UofA Cooperative Extension hope to come away with recommendations for growers. They will collect samples of water, sediment and animal fecal matter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a 2018 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce was responsible for five deaths and the sickening of 200 others. The lettuce was traced to Yuma. Investigators said the bacteria spread through tainted irrigation water.
Little Rock Motorists will pay more to put fuel in their vehicles when new sales taxes go into effect to help maintain roads and highways. Legislation signed into law by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in March will raise $95 million for highway funding and raises fuel taxes in the state for the first time in 20 years. The increase goes into effect on Tuesday. The gas tax will rise by 3 cents to 24.5 cents a gallon and the tax on diesel fuel will increase 6 cents to 28.5 cents per gallon. The new law also taps into at least $35 million in expected revenue from casinos voters approved last year and imposes an additional registration fee on electric and hybrid vehicles. The fee for electric vehicles will increase by $200.
Palm Springs: A Southern California resident has been hospitalized after being stung by bees more than 100 times. The Desert Sun reported Saturday that the person was transported to a hospital after being stung in Banning. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the person was stung around 12:25 p.m. Saturday in the city about 23 miles west of Palm Springs. Authorities said another person had a small number of stings and refused treatment by responders at the scene about 1 mile north of Interstate 10. The second victim drove to the hospital. Neither of the victims was identified and their medical conditions were not known Saturday.
Estes Park: Wildlife officials are warning people to keep their distance from elk during their mating season after a bull charged people, knocked a woman down and repeatedly butted her with its antlers. A video on 9News.com showed the elk running toward people and knocking the woman down Thursday near the visitor center in Estes Park near Rocky Mountain National Park. The woman escaped after public works employee Brian Berg drove a pickup on the sidewalk and got between her and the elk. The elk then rammed the front of the truck. A spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Jason Clay, told KDVR-TV that bull elks aggressively fight over their breeding rights. He said people need to give elk space even in developed areas and let them move away on their own.
Southbury: Officials said a hiker who was knocked to the ground by a black bear has been treated for nonlife-threatening injuries. Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police said a 38-year-old Newtown man was knocked down by a black bear while hiking near Lake Zoar on Saturday. The man was able to get away, and the bear took off into the woods. The man was taken to Danbury Hospital and has since been released. Environmental police have not been able to find the bear. Wildlife biologists have set up a trap in the area. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials are encouraging the public to keep their distance if they see a bear.
New Castle County police officers protested outside the Christiana Hilton Friday morning. They have been working for about six months without a contract. Inside the hotel, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer was giving a speech. (Photo: Damian Giletto/Delaware News Journal)
New Castle: County Executive Matt Meyer was the featured speaker at an event Friday during which dozens of county police officers showed up to protest over ongoing contract negotiations between the government and the local police union. The county police’s contract expired in March, and negotiations have been underway for nearly a year. The negotiations are at loggerheads over health care costs. Friday was at least the second time police officers roasted Meyer in public. In July, his face was put on a giant inflatable rat outside the county’s ice cream festival by picketing police. Jonathan Yard, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, has said the county has offered contract deals that would result in an overall loss of health care benefits for officers and higher health care costs. Meyer has said every officer was offered a raise. New Castle County employs more than 300 police officers, and the department is one of the most expensive facets of local government.
Washington: Residents voiced their concerns about living conditions at a Southeast D.C. apartment complex on Friday night, WUSA-TV reported. For years, tenants of the Congress Park apartment complex in D.C.’s Congress Heights neighborhood have complained about mold and rodent droppings in their housing units. D.C. Councilmember Trayon White held a meeting at the Malcolm X Opportunity Center to listen to concerns about the state of the housing complex. The councilmember was joined by representatives of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the D.C. Office of the Attorney General as well. White admitted the residents’ concerns in Congress Park must be addressed quickly. But, tenants did not get a lot of answers from Congress Park’s property owner and manager Friday night. D.C. tax records show a group named “Southeast Washington Development Associates LP” owns Congress Park, but they did not appear to be at the meeting. The property manager, Edgewood Management of Gaithersburg, Maryland, also appeared to be absent at the meeting. WUSA-TV emailed the company to request a comment regarding the complaints residents have made about upkeep at Congress Park.
Firefighters from Titusville, Fla., rescue a cat that got stuck in the engine compartment of a Mercedes-Benz. (Photo: Titusville Fire Department)
Titusville: Wearing gloves to ward off teeth and claws, firefighters gingerly extricated a cat from the engine compartment of a Mercedes-Benz on Friday morning. The feline rescue happened at a home on Las Palmas Drive, in a neighborhood north of La Cita Country Club. The gray cat, Suba Mae, escaped injury, Titusville Fire Battalion Chief Greg Sutton said. “The owner states that she believes the cat got out an open door last night,” Sutton said. “The cat’s not an outdoor cat. And when she went out looking, she heard the cat meowing under the car.” After being alerted by Suba Mae’s meows, his owner called an emergency dispatcher for help. “As we tried to get the cat from underneath (the vehicle), it moved further and became kind of stuck. That’s when we had to open the hood and get in that way to get the cat out,” Sutton said.”It’s something different every day. Most people think cats are getting stuck in trees — and I think we’ve had as many in cars as we’ve had in the trees,” he said.
Atlanta: A Georgia-based church group has returned sacred land in Ohio to the Wyandotte Nation. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the United Methodist Church Global Ministries transferred the deed during a Sept. 21 ceremony and procession. The land had been held in trust for 176 years by the ministries group, based in Atlanta. The land – about 3 acres – includes a stone church that dates to 1824 and a cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. The chief of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, Billy Friend, called the land transfer “monumental.” He said students, tribal members and elders have visited the site to have a connection to their ancestral land and history. The Wyandotte Nation includes more than 6,600 tribal citizens. Most live in Oklahoma.
Honolulu: An attorney representing a group of Hawaii residents opposed to development in an Oahu beach park said he plans to seek a court injunction against the project. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday that Tim Vandeveer has filed a lawsuit and expects to take further legal action against development within Waimanalo Bay Beach Park. About 140 demonstrators opposing the development gathered Saturday at the park’s woodland area known as Sherwood Forest, which covers 74 acres. A city spokesman said Honolulu wants to clear a plot to build a multipurpose field, playground and 11-stall parking lot on the site. The official said the $1.43 million project is a compromise from the city’s 2012 plan to develop a $32 million sports complex and 470-stall parking lot.
Boise: Officials from Idaho and Taiwan have signed a two-year, $576 million deal calling for Taiwan flour mills to buy Idaho wheat. The Idaho Press reported the deal calls for the purchase of 1.8 million metric tons of wheat. Kuo-Shu Fan, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, said Taiwan is Idaho’s second-largest agricultural export destination and Idaho is Taiwan’s sixth-largest export destination. Gov. Brad Little said he will lead his first official trade mission as governor in October to Taiwan’s capital, Taipei. He said the Taiwan Flour Mills Association has brought delegations to Idaho since 1970. The volume of wheat that Taiwan mills will purchase over the next two years is comparable to the amount purchased over the past two years.
Tinley Park: Two Chicago-area nonprofit organizations have collaborated to build handmade beds for underprivileged children and are looking for more volunteers. David King, president of the Oak Forest chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, said that he and volunteers have built about 100 beds for children in need since he took over the group in March. Steve Vick, vice president of Tinley Park Lions Club, told the Daily Southtown the group decided to partner with King’s organization and help them with constructing beds to mark their 70th anniversary. King noted that Schillings in Mokena donated the lumber for building the beds. But other resources, such as pillows and comforters, were purchased. Vick said their group is always looking for new members. He noted they meet on the third Tuesday of each month.
Construction workers pour concrete as crews assemble the steel framing for the new visitor center and mooring point for the LST 325. (Photo: MIKE LAWRENCE/THE GLEANER)
Evansville: Officials said work could be completed in November on a project for allowing the move of a restored World War II naval vessel to a more prominent location along the Ohio River in downtown Evansville. Crews are now building a visitors center and barges so the LST 325 troop landing ship can move to the former site of the Tropicana Evansville casino boat. Evansville Port Authority chairman Pat Wathen told the Evansville Courier & Press that the $3.6 million project is on track and within budget after high initial construction bids delayed work. The ship took part in the 1944 D-Day landings in France and has been based in Evansville since 2005. LST 325 board member Chris Donahue said the ship’s move is planned for April.
The Rev. William M. Joensen is ordained as the 10th Bishop of the Dioceses of Des Moines by his predecessor, Bishop Richard Pates, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines. Joensen was selected to replace the retiring Bishop Pates. (Photo: Brian Powers/The Register)
Des Moines: The Rev. William Joensen has been ordained as the 10th bishop to lead the Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines. The Des Moines Register reported that more than 1,500 parishioners witnessed the ordination Friday at St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines, the diocese’s largest. Pope Francis selected Joensen, 59, an Iowa native, to replace former Bishop Richard Pates, who retired after holding the role for more than a decade. In his inaugural address, Joensen addressed young people, saying that “some of the church’s actions in the past merit reproach” and that reproach of that by younger parishioners was to be expected. But he implored them to “be open to the wisdom passed down from generation to generation.”
Emporia: Emporia State University students who are too exhausted to get home can now find beds on campus. The university is installing two sleeping pods designed by a San Diego-based company. The soundproof rooms are slightly wider than a twin bed, with a nightstand and a charging station. Curtains and window blinds provide privacy. University spokeswoman Gwen Larson said students often are seen napping in public places such as chairs or with their head on a table. She said the sleep pods are safer places for better sleep. One pod was installed recently in the campus library and another will be installed at Memorial Union. The Kansas City Star reported students stationed near each pod will check students in and ensure that only one student at a time is using the sleeping pod.
Wurtland: An overnight fire in a barn has killed thousands of animals including 3,000 quails. News outlets reported the fire broke out at Bonzo Farm early Saturday. A press release from Greenup Volunteer Fire Department said multiple fire departments responded to the blaze, which involved several barns. Raceland Police said besides the quails, 1,000 chukars and 100 chickens were also killed in the blaze. Neighbor Kayla Wilburn said she could feel the heat from the fire at her home and the flames were about 80 feet in the air. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Bonzo Farm was purchased by the Bonzo family around 1906. Wilburn said the barn was a symbol in the community.
Belle Chasse: The federal government is giving a Louisiana parish a $4 million grant to help improve the water infrastructure. In a news release, the Department of Commerce says the money is being given to Plaquemines Parish to protect businesses from natural disasters. The grant from the Department’s Economic Development Administration will go toward construction of a new raw water intake pump station for the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant. The money comes from a specific federal program designed to help pay for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as wildfires and other natural disasters. The grant must be matched with more than $1 million in local money.
East Machias: An environmental group said it will release thousands of salmon into a river next month as part of an effort to help grow the population of the species. The Downeast Salmon Federation said about 250,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon will be released into the East Machias River. The project is part of the International Year of the Salmon effort that is taking place in different countries. The Atlantic salmon is a focus of conservation in Maine because it’s listed under the Endangered Species Act in the United States. The fish were once plentiful in U.S. rivers, but populations plummeted because of dams, overfishing and pollution. They now return to only a handful of rivers in Maine, including the Penobscot River, numbering usually in the hundreds.
An Assateague Island chestnut mare named Connie’s Girl was struck and killed by a park vehicle on Sunday. (Photo: Assateague Island Alliance)
Assateague Island National Seashore: An Assateague Island horse died over the weekend after being struck by an official park vehicle, according to a National Park Service news release. The incident occurred Sunday morning when a chestnut mare known as Connie’s Girl was standing on the curve of Bayberry Drive in the predawn hours. Officials said a park vehicle struck the horse’s hindquarter before first light. The park employee was not injured in the collision, according to the release, and the incident remains under investigation. Connie’s Girl was born in April 2018 to mare Ms. Macky, with the likely sire being Yankee. The National Park Service said her band frequented the developed area and campground of Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague Island State Park. Connie’s Girl is the 34th Assateague Island horse to be hit by a car and killed since 1982, the park said, with another 17 injured in vehicle collisions.
Lawrence: Crews are beginning the task of restoring service to the approximately 150 homes and businesses whose gas service was disconnected after a leak. Columbia Gas said Saturday all residents displaced by the leak can now return to their homes. Technicians will begin going door-to-door to perform safety checks and relight gas appliances. The city is still reeling from a destructive series of gas explosions and fires a year ago. The company said Friday’s leak was an isolated incident in the street and there was no impact to customers’ homes.
Southfield: Oakland County health officials are confirming two new cases of rabies in skunks found in Southfield and Troy. The confirmations follow a report last week that a skunk’s carcass also found in Southfield, just north of Detroit, tested positive for rabies. In March, officials said a skunk in Rochester Hills was confirmed to have rabies. Rochester Hills is northeast of Southfield. Residents are urged to stay away from skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes, and stray cats and dogs. Rabies symptoms in animals include general sickness, swallowing problems and excessive drooling, slow and unusual movement, no apparent fear of humans and aggression. It can be fatal to humans after symptoms begin to occur. Deaths can be prevented with a vaccine administered immediately after exposure.
St. Paul: Police said there were six drug overdoses in the city in the span of a few hours last weekend. The police department said in a Facebook post Saturday that investigators suspect in some cases people thought they were using cocaine but it’s possible fentanyl or another drug was mixed in. KARE-TV reported that the six overdoses happened over a 21/2-hour period. The incidents prompted police to issue an alert to remind the public people can’t be prosecuted for seeking help for someone who overdoses.
Starkville: Agriculture experts said most of this year’s corn crop in Mississippi is in fair-to-good condition. The Mississippi State University Extension Service said in a news release that the state’s farmers planted 35% more acres in corn this year compared to 2018. Corn planting was delayed by two to three weeks because of heavy rains during the spring. The extension service said when corn can’t be planted at the usual time, farmers often switch to soybeans. But, this year’s market outlook was stronger for corn. The news release said the state’s corn harvest was slow in August because of a later-maturing crop, but it has gone quickly in September. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated most of Mississippi’s corn crop is in fair-to-good condition. Just 7% is considered excellent, and 12% is either poor or very poor.
St. Louis: The St. Louis Wheel, a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel, opened Monday at Union Station, where a new aquarium complex is expected to open in December. The Ferris wheel lights up with 1.6 million LED lights. It includes 42 climate-controlled gondolas that can hold up to eight people each. Rides last about 15 minutes and cost $15 for adults and $10 for children. The redevelopment of the former train station complex also includes an 18-hole mini-golf course, a carousel and an old-fashioned soda fountain. Union Station for years housed a shopping mall. But its popularity waned, prompting redevelopment into an aquarium and other attractions.
Billings: A semi hauling a trailer full of roping steers caught fire on Interstate 94 in southern Montana, but none of the cattle was injured. The Montana Highway Patrol told The Billings Gazette the driver was able to safely remove all 103 head of cattle. Area residents, some of them on horseback, helped keep them off the road until someone volunteered the use of a nearby pen. The cattle had been loaded in Billings on Monday morning and had traveled about 85 miles when another motorist spotted the fire in the front axle and got the driver to pull over near Hysham. The fire eventually melted part of the trailer. Trooper Richard Drake said the motorist used a fire extinguisher while the driver unloaded the steers, which are used in rodeo competitions.
Louisville: The Youth Hunter Education Challenge scheduled for Oct. 13 at Platte River State Park offers competitors a chance to hone their shooting skills and learn more about wildlife, survival skills and hunter responsibility. The competition is for youths ages 11 and older who have successfully completed hunter education and not yet graduated from high school. The challenge will feature archery, shotgun, muzzleloader, hunter safety trail, orienteering and a hunter responsibility exam. Competitors can register online at OutdoorNebraska.org. Contact Christy Christiansen at 402-471-5547 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The challenge will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex. The park sits southeast of Ashland and west of Louisville.
Las Vegas: Police are investigating a break-in and vandalism at the Republican Party’s headquarters for metro Las Vegas. Officials said a glass door was kicked in Friday night, papers were strewn inside the office and a coffee-maker was missing. Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael J. McDonald said he hoped that those responsible were apprehended “before they commit any other acts of violence …” McDonald said he suspected that “leftist activists” were behind the break-in, but Clark County Republican Party Chair Dave Sajdak he didn’t think the break-in was politically motivated.
Concord: As the fall hunting season gets underway, the New Hampshire Food Bank is again collecting donated deer and moose meat for distribution to more than 425 food pantries, soup kitchens and other facilities. Last year, the Hunt for the Hungry program took in more than 2,000 pounds of meat. Hunters who participate in the program must process the meat and have it stamped by a USDA approved butcher. Bruce Wilson, the food bank’s director of operations, said such donations fill a big need. He said venison is especially popular. The food bank is not accepting bear, fowl or wild game birds. Deer season for archers began earlier this month; the season for firearms starts in November. Moose hunting season starts in October.
Atlantic City: A lightning strike caused power to go out in several Atlantic City casinos for several hours early Sunday. Atlantic City Electric told the Press of Atlantic City a power line was struck shortly after 1 a.m., leaving about 9,400 customers without power. The city’s fire department said it responded to calls from Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Ocean Casino Resort and Resorts Casino Hotel where patrons were stuck in elevators. Staff at Harrah’s were able to get a person out of a stuck elevator. Gamblers went on social media to describe walking through darkened casino floors. They were unlikely to lose money from slot machines because of the outage. The machines use battery-operated, uninterruptible power supplies. Loyalty program cards also record all play.
Albuquerque: Authorities said bronze shoes at a veterans’ memorial meant to those who served in the U.S. war on terror have been stolen. New Mexico Veterans Memorial Foundation vice president James Lehner said the bronze shoes were stolen Friday night. Michael Burd with the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Board of Directors said the five pairs of bronze shoes are worth thousands of dollars. Lehner says thieves also took an M16 and helmet that was at the Vietnam memorial. Albuquerque police and the New Mexico Veterans Memorial said no arrests have been made.
Participants cross an intersection during the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk in New York City. The race retraces the footsteps of Stephen Siller, a firefighter who was killed on 9/11 after running in full gear through the Battery Tunnel to ground zero. (Photo: Julie Walker/AP)
New York City: Thousands of runners took part in the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk on Sunday. The race retraces the footsteps of Stephen Siller, a firefighter who was killed on 9/11 after running in full gear through the Battery Tunnel to ground zero. A foundation in Siller’s name raises money for wounded veterans and families of fallen first responders.
Greenville: Dan Gerlach, the interim chancellor of East Carolina University, was placed on administrative leave after photos were published of him at a bar with students. University of North Carolina Interim President Bill Roper said in a statement that Gerlach was placed on leave “in light of reports from this past weekend.” Gerlach said in a statement on Sunday that he went to a local pub with two adult male acquaintances on Sept. 25. The statement said videos and photos shared on social media show him “interacting with college-aged young adults and taking selfies.” The agenda for a special phone meeting of the UNC Board of Governors on Tuesday includes a closed meeting to discuss an executive personnel matter. It’s not clear if that discussion concerns Gerlach, who was appointed in April.
Minot: Sara Medalen, who helps grade school students struggling with reading and arithmetic, has been named the North Dakota Teacher of the Year for 2020. Medalen is a reading and math interventionist at Minot’s Sunnyside Elementary School. Medalen also started programs to encourage reading, leadership development, and physical fitness. Gov. Doug Burgum and State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced the award Monday. Baesler and Burgum will hold a celebration for Medalen in mid-October.
Toledo: The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board of directors voted to rename Toledo Express Airport after Toledo native and retired NASA flight director Eugene Kranz. The Blade in Toledo reported the board has joined the Toledo City Council in voting to name the facility the Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport. Kranz, a former fighter pilot, had a 34-year career with NASA and was flight director for the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 moon missions. Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said he casually mentioned the name change before broaching the subject on a radio station in June and the idea gained traction. The Federal Aviation Administration must approve officially renaming the airport before the change could be made.
Above is a view from the park's hill as Kings of Leon perform during the grand opening of Scissortail Park in downtown Oklahoma City. (Photo: Nate Billings/The Oklahoman via AP)
Oklahoma City: Thousands of people visited a $132 million park in downtown Oklahoma City where a weekend grand-opening included a free concert by Grammy-winning rockers Kings of Leon. City officials said 28,000 people attended the show at Scissortail Park, which opened to the public Friday. More visitors streamed through Saturday to try out exercises classes and sample food trucks. The park that will eventually cover 70 acres includes a lake, performance stages and trails. It’s also home to a clone of the “Survivor Tree” that lived through the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The clone will be transplanted to replace the original American elm once it dies.
Authorities said a train derailed north of Salem, Ore., early Sunday, breaking a utility pole that resulted in power outages and causing a small fire. Michael Williams, a spokesman for Portland and Western Railroad, says by email that there were no injuries and no hazardous materials were involved. (Photo: Marion County Fire District 1)
Salem: Authorities said a train derailed north of Salem early Sunday, breaking a utility pole that resulted in power outages and causing a small fire. Michael Williams, a spokesman for Portland and Western Railroad, said by email that there were no injuries and no hazardous materials were involved. He said the cause is under investigation. He said the incident involved the first eight cars of a 29-car train and occurred at Hopmere. Of the eight cars, he said three carried wood pulp, three carried potassium sulfate and two were empty lumber cars. Fire officials in a release said a small, smoldering fire started in the brush as a result of the downed lines and was extinguished.
Bloomsburg: Authorities said three people were injured in a helicopter crash at a state fair. WNEP-TV reported a pilot and two passengers were in the helicopter when it crashed Saturday about 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the fairground. The fair was filled with people at the time of the crash. No one was injured on the ground. The three people aboard the helicopter were taken to a hospital. Bloomsburg police said the pilot’s condition was first listed as critical but has been upgraded to stable. The two passengers had minor injuries. Police said the helicopter would take fairgoers for a short ride. The crash bent the framing and shattered the windows of several vehicles in the parking lot. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
Newport: The Aquidneck Island Planning Commission has scheduled a forum Wednesday to discuss coyote habits and how humans affect their population size in Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth. Coyote researcher Numi Mitchell of the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study will deliver a presentation on coyotes, followed by a panel discussion. The Newport Daily News reported the forum is an installment in the Smart Island Series, which is aimed at confronting issues the entire island faces. John Shea, executive director of the planning commission, said“What happens in one part of the island generally affects us all.”
Edisto Beach: Biologists will perform necropsies on one whale that died and three that were euthanized after becoming stranded on a beach. Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network Director Lauren Rust told WCSC-TV the whales were found Saturday morning on Edisto Beach, but it was not clear how long they had been there. Marine biologist Peyton Sasnett, who went to the beach, said they appeared to be pilot whales. Rust said pilot whales are usually at least 100 miles offshore, “so when you see them come this close to shore, it’s definitely alarming.” Getting results of the necropsies could take a few week weeks. Rust said tests will determine whether the whales suffered internal injuries, a viral infection or fell ill because of human factors like consuming plastic in the ocean.
Sioux Falls: The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has banned the sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in light of the nationwide outbreak of vaping-related illnesses. The tribal council approved the new ordinance banning e-cigarettes during its meeting last week. The maximum penalty for violating the new ban is either a fine of $250 or a sentence of 30 days in jail, according to the ordinance. Tribal President Julian Bear Runner applauded the council’s “bold action” last week in reaction to the deaths that have occurred nationwide because of vaping-related illnesses. Bear Runner also called for further action on tobacco regulation on the reservation. There have been six cases of vaping-related illness in South Dakota and 805 cases total in the United States. Twelve deaths have been confirmed in 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With the TVA Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant in the background, Brian Thacker stands at the Swan Pond Sports Complex on Dec. 22, 2018, on the 10th anniversary of the Plant's coal ash spill. Thacker, who operated a dredge and heavy machinery, joined hundreds of other coal ash clean-up workers, family, and friends to honor the more than 30 dead and 250 sick or dying coal ash disaster relief workers in a memorial service. (Photo: Saul Young/News Sentinel)
Kingston: The Tennessee Department of Health said testing by the Tennessee Valley Authority and state regulators ruled out the presence of coal ash – a toxic stew of chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive material – in the top 3 inches of dirt underneath the grass-covered soccer fields at the Swan Pond Sports Complex in Roane County. That same testing revealed the presence in the dirt of most of the ingredients in coal ash, though at levels considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency. The health department report showed the dirt is particularly rich in two coal ash ingredients – arsenic and chromium – but also at levels considered safe by the EPA and typical of soil throughout Tennessee. The TVA said the report – made public earlier this month – proves the soccer fields and recreation areas are safe for the public.
Laredo: A boil-water notice has been issued for the border city of Laredo because of low chlorine levels in the municipal drinking water supply. Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz on Saturday night announced the boil-water notice for the city of about 260,000. He said routine testing of Laredo’s drinking water found the city failed to maintain acceptable disinfection levels in parts of the system. Saenz said there’s no water shortage in Laredo but the chlorine issue means a potential health risk. The mayor had no timetable when the boil-water notice, issued as a precaution, will be lifted. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required Laredo to notify all customers to boil their water until further notice. The notice applies to all consumption, including for cooking, personal washing and brushing teeth.
Salt Lake City: ATVs will be allowed on certain roads in the five national parks in Utah under a new rule from the National Park Service that went through without public comment. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the agency informed park administrators last week in a memo about a policy change that allows ATVs on main access roads and back roads. It puts the national parks in compliance with a state law passed in 2008 that allows any “street-legal” vehicle on state and county roads. The rule takes effect Nov. 1 and only applies to national parks in Utah. Agency spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said ATVs still can’t go off-road wherever they want. Off-highway vehicle advocacy groups pushed U.S. government officials to make the change. Conservation groups criticized a rule they said will worsen traffic and parking in parks.
Burlington: The Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown has become the first black bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. A consecration ceremony was held Saturday for MacVean-Brown. She said her priority will be welcoming people of all backgrounds and ages. MacVean-Brown was raised in Detroit and most recently worked in Indiana. She said she has experienced feeling isolated as a black woman. Now she strives for inclusivity in the church. The Episcopal Church of Vermont has more than 6,100 parishioners in 45 congregations across the state. MacVean-Brown succeeds Bishop Thomas Ely, who served for 18 years and is retiring.
Richmond: Transportation officials are seeking public input of a study of Virginia’s 179 miles of the Interstate 95 corridor. The Commonwealth Transportation Board has initiated a study to develop a plan to identify key problem areas along the corridor, between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria and the North Carolina border. Feedback provided by communities, industries and others will be considered as team members continue study of the corridor and prepare a draft plan report in the fall. The board plans to report to the General Assembly in January. A series of meetings will focus on potential safety and congestion solutions along the corridor. The first meeting will be held in Fredericksburg on Oct. 9, following by one in Richmond on Oct. 15 and one in Woodbridge on Oct. 17.
Everett: A ban on single-use plastic bags is set to go into effect in Everett as part of an effort to encourage the use of recyclable bags. The Everett Herald reported shoppers in Everett will have to purchase paper or thicker-plastic bag for 5 cents each from cashiers as the ban on single-use bags took effect Monday. Officials said the ban also applies to restaurants and carry-out orders, with an exception for bags used to prevent spillage. Officials said dry cleaning and newspaper sacks are permitted under the new ordinance. Employees at a Safeway store in Everett said they have already run out of the thin, plastic bags and switched to paper bags. The store said it will sell reusable bags for $1 each.
Beckley: A festival that celebrates West Virginia’s Rocket Boys has ended its two-decade run. Author and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam told news outlets that the Rocket Boys Festival, which ended Saturday in Beckley, was the last one. The festival had moved to Beckley in 2012 after it was held since 1999 in Coalwood in McDowell County. The festival celebrated the three years from 1957 to 1960 when Hickam and his friends launched rockets while in high school. They eventually won a national science fair. Hickam’s novel, “Rocket Boys,” is about those experiences and growing up in Coalwood. The book was adapted into the 1999 movie “October Sky.”
Superior: Husky Energy said it has been given approval to rebuild its oil refinery after an explosion and a series of fires last year injured 36 people and required much of the city to evacuate. Husky, which does business as Superior Refining Company in Wisconsin, said it will start the $400 million plan immediately with the goal of resuming partial operations in 2021. Wisconsin Public Radio reported that residents and tribal leaders expressed frustration over Husky’s plans to continue using the highly toxic chemical hydrogen fluoride as part of its refining process. The city’s evacuation was largely because of the presence of hydrogen fluoride, which can be hazardous to human health. The tank containing the chemical wasn’t damaged by the explosion, which was caused by a hole in a valve. The mayors of Superior and adjacent Duluth, Minnesota, also called on Husky Energy to remove hydrogen fluoride from its operations. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved the permit. Earlier this year, Company CEO Rob Symonds told Wisconsin Public Radio that company officials explored using alternatives to hydrogen fluoride, but there is no better option. The company has said it plans to make safety improvements to the existing alkylation unit, including a rapid acid transfer system to capture any hydrofluoric acid in case of a release.
Laramie: The Laramie Boomerang reported Friday that Joint Education Committee legislatures voted unanimously Thursday to have the Legislative Service Office draft a bill limiting the amount of Hathaway Scholarship funds used for University of Wyoming graduate school. Officials said 70 students used $270,000 worth of need-based funds to pay for school during the 2017-2018 academic year and the amount is expected to increase in coming years. Officials said a proposed bill recommends allowing funds to be used when paying directly for tuition and fees instead of including books, room and board and other expenses. Officials said another bill would allow students to petition for a funding increase based on maintaining a high grade-point average.
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