50 States

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - From staff and wire re­ports

ALABAMA Gulf Shores:

Gov. Kay Ivey be­gan her in­au­gu­ral fes­tiv­i­ties with a cel­e­bra­tion head­lined by coun­try mu­sic star Neal McCoy. Ivey held a Gulf Coast iau­gu­ral cel­e­bra­tion Satur­day night at The Lodge, the state's new ho­tel and con­fer­ence cen­ter at Gulf State Park. She will be sworn in Mon­day.

ALASKA Fair­banks:

Even Fair­banks isn't as cold as it used to be. Tem­per­a­tures in some parts of the city reached 40 be­low re­cently, but a weather ex­pert who mon­i­tors them says the city's leg­endary cold snaps are less fre­quent and less se­vere.


City res­i­dents trea­sure the in­verted pyra­mid-shaped build­ing that's served as City Hall for nearly 50 years and is re­garded as an eye-catch­ing land­mark in the Phoenix sub­urb. But the three-story build­ing hasn't been up­dated since the late 1980s, so Tempe plans ren­o­va­tions to re­configure in­te­rior spa­ces and up­grade its com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem at a cost of about $10 mil­lion, the Ari­zona Repub­lic re­ports.

ARKANSAS Hot Springs:

Af­ter over a year's worth of work, Lake­side High School stu­dent Kayla Streepy de­buted a fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary in late De­cem­ber about her school's cheer­lead­ers.


A rob­ber who climbed into the Chaffee Zoo and was bit­ten on his big toe by a lion has been sen­tenced to pro­ba­tion and told he can't go any­where near the zoo.

COLORADO Wind­sor:

As par­ents and their chil­dren filed into Clearview Li­brary on Satur­day for Drag Queen Story hour, a crowd of more than 100 pro­test­ers and coun­ter­protesters greeted them. For the last month, the story hour has sharply di­vided town officials and res­i­dents.


Chefs from three UConn din­ing halls will put their skills to the test in a cook­ing chal­lenge sim­i­lar to those on the pop­u­lar TV shows “Iron Chef” and “Chopped.”

DELAWARE Win­terthur:

Not us­ing foam cups, re­cy­cling pa­per and serv­ing some meat-free dishes has helped the Vis­i­tor Cen­ter Gar­den Cafe at Win­terthur Mu­seum to be named Delaware's first cer­tified green restau­rant.


Amer­i­can Uni­ver­sity helped fed­eral work­ers take their minds off the shut­down by offer­ing free skills and man­age­ment train­ing cour­ses. The Classes With­out Quizzes event, offered through AU's School of Pub­lic Affairs, in­cluded cour­ses on how to start a pod­cast, project man­age­ment and emo­tional in­tel­li­gence.

FLORIDA Marathon:

Wounded mil­i­tary per­son­nel and their sup­port­ers bi­cy­cled across the Seven Mile Bridge and sec­tions of the Florida Keys Overseas High­way dur­ing the an­nual Soldier Ride event from Key Largo to Key West. Some 45 in­di­vid­u­als par­tic­i­pated in the week­end event.

GE­OR­GIA Litho­nia:

A video shows two At­lanta-area Waffle House em­ploy­ees putting salt, a slice of cheese and ketchup on an un­con­scious, in­tox­i­cated man's head, and now the com­pany says the work­ers have been fired. The video on In­sta­gram also shows the em­ploy­ees play­ing with the man like a pup­pet while he was passed out. The chain says it has apol­o­gized to the cus­tomer.

HAWAII Kailua-Kona:

An an­nual hump­back whale count in Hawaii will take place de­spite the fed­eral gov­ern­ment shut­down.

IDAHO Twin Falls:

When Alex Frand­sen was 18, she was home­less. Now, Frand­sen is the first res­i­dent of the Twin Falls Op­ti­mist Club's Youth House for young adults who have tran­si­tioned out of fos­ter care. Res­i­dents will have a two-year lease and pay $100 per month plus 10 per­cent of the util­i­ties. Life-skills classes, such as how to cook and how to pay bills, will pre­pare res­i­dents for the next step in their lives.

ILLI­NOIS Chicago:

The city set a tourism record last year, at­tract­ing more than 57.6 mil­lion vis­i­tors.

IN­DI­ANA In­di­anapo­lis:

A lime­stone mon­u­ment to Thomas Tag­gart, who was mayor from 1895 to 1901, will be re­stored and be­come the cen­ter­piece of an am­phithe­ater that could bring new life to a city park named for him.

IOWA Sioux City:

Many peo­ple main­tain a work­shop or a man cave in the lower level of their homes. James Rainey keeps state-of-theart record­ing equip­ment in his north­side Sioux City base­ment. That's so Rainey, a Wood­house Auto Deal­er­ship car sales­man, can stream gospel mu­sic 24 hours a day from an on­line ra­dio sta­tion, GITA Ra­dio (www.gi­tara­dio.com).

KANSAS Topeka:

Women need­ing to breast­feed their ba­bies at the Kansas Capi­tol now have a pri­vate lac­ta­tion room just for them. Laura Kelly, the in­com­ing gover­nor, says she thought it was about time the Capi­tol joined more than 300 work sites across the state that ac­com­mo­date breast­feed­ing em­ploy­ees.

KEN­TUCKY Frank­fort:

A Repub­li­can-dom­i­nated board of state law­mak­ers in­ves­ti­gat­ing a Demo­crat's elec­tion by a one-vote mar­gin has ob­tained 17 un­opened ab­sen­tee bal­lots from the Daviess County clerk's office.

LOUISIANA Ba­ton Rouge:

A highly an­tic­i­pated bike share pro­gram in Ba­ton Rouge is closer to a re­al­ity. Down­town De­vel­op­ment Dis­trict Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Davis Rhorer says the bikes should be up and ready to ride by March. Five hun­dred GPS-en­abled e-bikes will be in­stalled in 50 lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Louisiana State Uni­ver­sity, South­ern Uni­ver­sity, City Park and the Ba­ton Rouge Lakes.

MAINE Fal­mouth:

Three Maine school dis­tricts say they've re­ceived re­ports of stu­dents di­ag­nosed with whoop­ing cough.

MARY­LAND Bal­ti­more:

Thou­sands of Mary­lan­ders have died from opi­oid over­doses in re­cent years, with a surge in deaths from fen­tanyl. But the opi­ate epi­demic has a Vic­to­rian pre­cur­sor. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, hun­dreds, if not thou­sands, of Mary­lan­ders died by over­dos­ing on lau­danum, a mix­ture of opium and al­co­hol. Then avail­able at lo­cal phar­ma­cies, the drug was used to treat in­som­nia, headaches, men­strual cramps, colic in ba­bies and more.


The 92-year-old Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst has changed its name and dis­tanced it­self from the neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions of its for­mer moniker. The new name: the Inn on Bolt­wood. Gen. Jeffery Amherst com­manded Bri­tish forces dur­ing the French and In­dian War. His­to­ri­ans say he sug­gested wip­ing out Na­tive Amer­i­cans by giv­ing them blan­kets in­fected with small­pox.

MICHI­GAN Detroit:

De­sign op­tions will soon be re­vealed for a plan that seeks to link nearly a dozen ma­jor in­sti­tu­tions in Detroit to make the area more walk­a­ble and cre­ate a cul­tural cam­pus. The Detroit In­sti­tute of Arts and non­profit Mid­town Detroit Inc. are spear­head­ing the project, known as “DIA Plaza and Mid­town Cul­tural Con­nec­tions,” The Detroit News re­ports.


The new mayor of Rice was ar­rested for driv­ing un­der the influence as he pre­pared to drive an empty school bus.

MIS­SIS­SIPPI Merid­ian:

Famed “Sesame Street” pup­peteer Jim Hen­son's story is be­ing told in a new ex­hibit at The Mis­sis­sippi Arts + En­ter­tain­ment Ex­pe­ri­ence in Merid­ian.

MIS­SOURI Kansas City:

Kansas City Chiefs offen­sive line­man Jeff Allen thanked the man who helped pull his ve­hi­cle out of the snow with tick­ets to the AFC Cham­pi­onship game this week­end. Allen got stuck on the way to Ar­row­head Sta­dium on Satur­day, but he made it in time for the Chiefs' vic­tory over the In­di­anapo­lis Colts.

MON­TANA Mis­soula:

Uni­ver­sity of Mon­tana Pres­i­dent Seth Bodnar has been sworn in to the Mon­tana Army Na­tional Guard.

NE­BRASKA Lincoln:

A free fam­ily clinic on ice fishing planned for Satur­day at Holmes Lake was can­celed be­cause of a lack of safe ice.

NE­VADA Las Ve­gas:

Fa­tal­i­ties on state roads hit a 10-year high last year. Pre­lim­i­nary data from the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety show 331 peo­ple died in 301 crashes, three-quar­ters of them in Clark County.


New Hamp­shire's Wine Week, which is next week, is cel­e­brat­ing two “wine dy­nas­ties” this year. The hus­ban­dand-wife team of Gina Gallo and Jean-Charles Bois­set are fea­tur­ing a guided wine tast­ing on Jan. 23 at the Pu­ri­tan Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Manch­ester. Bois­set was born into the world of wine in Bur­gundy, France. Gallo is a third-gen­er­a­tion wine­grower from one of Amer­ica's most his­toric wine­mak­ing fam­i­lies.

NEW JER­SEY At­lantic City:

The blue and gold vel­vet booth where the “Sex and the City” stars once sat on a trip to a casino is in Bob and Loretta Pickus' base­ment now. But the booth, signed by the show's four stars, is for sale be­cause the cou­ple is mov­ing to a house with­out a base­ment. A close look at the restau­rant scene in the show re­veals Loretta Pickus sit­ting in the neigh­bor­ing booth with her back to the ac­tresses. “That's her big claim to fame, is that her shoul­der was on tele­vi­sion,” her hus­band says.


The Ge­or­gia O'Ke­effe Mu­seum's di­rec­tor is step­ping down. Un­der Robert Kret's lead­er­ship, the mu­seum or­ga­nized three in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ing ex­hibits, saw growth in its en­dow­ment and es­tab­lished an ac­qui­si­tions fund to grow the col­lec­tion, which now houses more than 3,000 works.

NEW YORK New York:

“Satur­day Night Live” fun­ny­man Michael Che hosted a fundraiser for a cause close to home: New York City pub­lic hous­ing. Che's “Week­end Up­date” co-host Colin Jost and fel­low co­me­di­ans Amy Schumer and Michelle Wolf joined him at the benefit for the non­profit Fund for Pub­lic Hous­ing. Che grew up in a pub­lic hous­ing com­plex on the Lower East Side.


An­other round of ren­o­va­tions will be­gin Mon­day at Char­lotte Douglas In­ter­na­tional Air­port's Con­course C.


Six years af­ter the state Leg­is­la­ture pledged $12 mil­lion to help de­velop a Theodore Roo­sevelt pres­i­den­tial li­brary that never ma­te­ri­al­ized, law­mak­ers are be­ing asked for more than four times that amount for a re­vamped project.

OHIO San­dusky:

Cedar Point is re­mov­ing a cou­ple of em­ployee dor­mi­to­ries that sit near the amuse­ment park's ma­rina. They have been hous­ing em­ploy­ees for decades, but the build­ings ac­tu­ally date to the early 1900s.

OK­LA­HOMA Ok­la­homa City:

The state is set to usher in a new era in state pol­i­tics with the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Repub­li­can Kevin Stitt as gover­nor. The 46-year-old po­lit­i­cal new­comer has promised he'll use his busi­ness acu­men to make state gov­ern­ment more trans­par­ent and fiscally sound.

OREGON Port­land:

The state Fish and Wildlife Com­mis­sion is ex­pected to vote in March on a plan for man­ag­ing wolves in the state, af­ter years of con­tentious meet­ings.

PENN­SYL­VA­NIA Philadel­phia:

An orig­i­nal 1774 Philadel­phia news­pa­per that was dis­cov­ered at a New Jer­sey Good­will is head­ing to a Philadel­phia phi­los­o­phy so­ci­ety founded by Ben­jamin Franklin. The news­pa­per has the iconic “Unite or Die” snake de­sign on the mast­head and boasts three items signed by John Han­cock.

RHODE IS­LAND Prov­i­dence:

Gov. Gina Rai­mondo will pro­pose within the next week that Rhode Is­land le­gal­ize the sale of mar­i­juana for recre­ational use. The state is fac­ing the “in­evitable” prospect of be­ing en­cir­cled by states that have le­gal­ized recre­ational mar­i­juana, she says.


Officials will meet Tues­day to dis­cuss re­lo­cat­ing South Carolina's his­toric main high­way, U.S. 501, into Myr­tle Beach.


The city achieved an­other record year for con­struc­tion in 2018. The Ar­gus Leader re­ports that Sioux Falls dis­pensed build­ing per­mits worth $787 mil­lion, up slightly more than 6 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year.

TEN­NESSEE Mem­phis:

Florida-based Via Air­lines says it plans to offer flights from Mem­phis to Pitts­burgh and Austin, Texas, start­ing June 25. Prices for one-way flights from Mem­phis to both cities start at about $99.

TEXAS Austin:

Richard Over­ton, the na­tion's old­est World War II vet­eran who at 112 was be­lieved to be the old­est liv­ing man in the U.S., was re­mem­bered Satur­day for his love of coun­try and joy for life. Gov. Greg Ab­bott was among hun­dreds of mourn­ers hon­or­ing Over­ton dur­ing the funeral at Shore­line Church in Austin. Over­ton, who died Dec. 27, served in the all-black 1887th En­gi­neer Avi­a­tion Bat­tal­ion.

VER­MONT Sal­is­bury:

Af­ter the quote marks around “Ver­mont” on its egg car­tons made some peo­ple on an on­line fo­rum sus­pi­cious, Sal­is­bury­based Maple Meadow Farm says the eggs were in­deed laid in Ver­mont. Some on a Red­dit fo­rum spec­u­lated the quotes may be a way to get around reg­u­la­tion of the Ver­mont brand, while oth­ers charged a gen­eral ig­no­rance of punc­tu­a­tion.

VIR­GINIA Ster­ling:

A woman whose hus­band is a fur­loughed fed­eral em­ployee isn't feel­ing the pinch like oth­ers who aren't get­ting pay­checks. Car­rie Walls, of Ash­burn, won the top prize in the Vir­ginia Lot­tery's spe­cial draw­ing. She picked up a Ford Ex­pe­di­tion at a Loudoun County deal­er­ship and a $100,000 check Fri­day.


The city is offer­ing buy­outs to more than 300 work­ers to help deal with an $11 mil­lion bud­get gap.

WEST VIR­GINIA Hunt­ing­ton:

Mar­shall Uni­ver­sity is hon­or­ing NBA Hall of Famer Hal Greer with a statue. The Her­ald-Dis­patch re­ports Mar­shall Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Jerome Gil­bert wanted to see a statue erected on cam­pus fol­low­ing Greer's death last April at age 81.

WIS­CON­SIN Madi­son:

Kim­ber­lyClark Corp. has no­tified Gov. Tony Evers' ad­min­is­tra­tion that it will close its plant in Neenah by May 31. About 100 peo­ple work at the plant.

WY­OMING Cheyenne:

A bill in the state Leg­is­la­ture would over­ride lo­cal gun con­trol laws and al­low peo­ple to carry con­cealed guns on school grounds and in other pub­lic places.

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