USA TODAY US Edition
Check out the news from all 50 states
We survey the news from every state and the nation’s capital.
ALABAMA Birmingham: The city will pay a $25,000 fine for obstructing the view of a Confederate monument, a judge ordered last week under the direction of the state Supreme Court.
ALASKA Juneau: The Legislature failed to override more than $70 million in vetoes tied to school construction projects and the ferry system.
ARIZONA Phoenix: A 62-year-old man was cited last week after trying to disguise a fake skeleton as a passenger just to use the HOV lane.
ARKANSAS Salem: Thieves have stolen the old school bell at the historic Old Main schoolhouse.
COLORADO Denver: A research center at Colorado State University dedicated to studying the chemical compounds in hemp is expected to open this spring, school officials say.
CONNECTICUT New Haven: The state Department of Motor Vehicles now allows a nonbinary gender designation on driver’s licenses. Starting Monday, three gender options will be available for state-issued license and identification cards – male, female and nonbinary, denoted by the letter X, the New Haven Register reports.
DELAWARE Lewes: The public needs to keep a safe distance from the seals that will be present along beaches and other waterways through April, according to the state’s official marine mammal and sea turtle stranding response organization. The MERR Institute recommends the public stay at least 150 feet from seals and always keep pets on a leash because seals can bite if they feel threatened.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington: The public is invited to the coronation Saturday of Miss Black D.C. USA, WUSA-TV reports. The pageant’s new titleholder, Amini Bonane, is a Harvard graduate student who says one of the reasons she competed for the crown was to expand her platform on mentoring and efforts to find missing women of color.
FLORIDA Miami: Eighty Burmese pythons were caught during a 10-day pre-Super Bowl hunt, designed to raise awareness about the invasive species decimating the Everglades. The game’s organizing committee worked with the state to promote the Python Bowl.
GEORGIA Athens: Hundreds of people have shown their support for an armless street artist whose artwork, supplies and donation box were stolen near the University of Georgia. Nearly $34,000 had been raised online as of Friday for Michael Davenport, known in Athens for sketching the university’s bulldog mascot. He lost his arms as a child and holds a pen in his mouth to create his art.
HAWAII Honolulu: The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the remains of two people found in a burnt-out home where a man allegedly shot and killed two police officers and attacked a neighbor before setting the house ablaze last weekend. Officials on Friday released a statement identifying the homeowner, Lois Ann Cain, 77, as one of the two people found in the house in an upscale neighborhood near Waikiki Beach. The medical examiner also identified the second set of remains but withheld a name pending notification of next of kin.
IDAHO Boise: The number of residents who have signed up for Medicaid under the state’s voter-approved expanded coverage has passed 60,000. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare estimates 91,000 residents meet requirements.
ILLINOIS Chicago: Marijuana was stolen last week from a box placed at Chicago’s Midway International Airport for travelers who dispose of their marijuana before they board a plane, police said Friday.
INDIANA Taswell: The state’s newest nature preserve features dramatic limestone outcrops and a cave inhabited by rare animals adapted to life in total darkness. The Natural Resources Commission recently approved the creation of the Patoka Hills Nature Preserve, which spans nearly 27 acres in southern Indiana’s Crawford County.
IOWA Council Bluffs: Leaders in western Iowa say lingering floodwaters and damage from last year’s Missouri River flooding have led them to again cancel a Memorial Day weekend event, Loessfest, the community’s traditional kick-off to summer.
KANSAS Wichita: Local police are looking into using genetic genealogy databases to help solve cold murder and rape cases. Capt. Jeff Weible said the department isn’t ready to decide whether it will use the technique, which has revolutionized cold-case investigations across the U.S. while also raising legal and privacy concerns.
KENTUCKY Frankfort: State colleges and universities will ask for their first funding increase since the 2007-08 budget, lawmakers have been told. Kentucky has cut higher education funding in each two-year budget since 2008, leaving schools to increase tuition rates.
LOUISIANA New Orleans: Dozens of protesters marched from the site of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel on the edge of the French Quarter to City Hall on Friday, demanding that something be done about the hotel and that the two bodies still inside be recovered.
MAINE Portland: Maine home sales surged at the end of 2019, which was a record-breaking year for real estate in the state.
MARYLAND Annapolis: Lawmakers hope to repeal “archaic” provisions in the state’s spousal defense for sex crimes and sodomy laws with the reintroduction of legislation this session. Lawmakers on Thursday expect to hear a Senate bill that would repeal the use of marriage as a defense to prosecution of some sex crimes, and last week the House introduced a bill that would repeal the crimes of sodomy and unnatural or perverted sexual practice.
MASSACHUSETTS Boston: Lawmakers are planning to hold a public hearing this week for a sweeping bill filed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker that would overhaul the state’s health care system. Baker said the bill would cut down hidden costs that blindside consumers and require walk-in clinics to treat lowincome patients on Medicaid.
MICHIGAN Ganges Township: The owners of a home along Lake Michigan decided to demolish it before nature did the job. Relentless waves and high water have scoured the lakeshore. Helen Curtis-Foster and family members decided to bring down their house, just feet away from the edge of a collapsing dune.
MINNESOTA Robbinsdale: A man scaled a fence last month and shut off oxygen to an entire hospital, according to a search warrant affidavit. No charges have been filed in the Dec. 27 incident at North Memorial Hospital, and the affidavit filed Friday mentions no injuries.
MISSISSIPPI Jackson: Protesters outside the Capitol on Friday condemned conditions in state prisons where inmates have died violently in the past month. People with relatives in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman said at a rally that some prison cells have no working lights or toilets, and inmates are given sparse meals sometimes served with cockroaches on the trays. “Parchman is a prison farm plantation,” said Jaribu Hill, a longtime Mississippi human-rights attorney. “Shut it down!”
MISSOURI Columbia: The University of Missouri is tracking all new students on campus this semester through a cellphone app to learn whether they’re attending class. Supporters of the program say it helps attendance, which in turn improves academic performance. Critics worry the university could someday add uses for the program that will violate student privacy, The Kansas City Star reports.
MONTANA Missoula: The University of Montana is working to learn from criticism after four white students won an essay contest about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, the school said.
NEBRASKA Omaha: The mayor wants voters to decide whether they’re willing to raise their property taxes to fund a long-term plan for improving city streets – often the objects of residents’ wrath. Mayor Jean Stothert says she will ask the City Council to put a $200 million bond issue on the May 12 ballot.
NEVADA Elko: The Silver Dollar Club, an iconic bar dating to the Prohibition era in one of the city’s oldest buildings, is closing.
NEW HAMPSHIRE Langdon: A meeting house built in the early 1800s has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Georgian-style Langdon Meeting House has been where residents have held annual town meetings from 1803 to the present, the longest-running record in the country.
NEW JERSEY Trenton: A former top aide to Gov. Phil Murphy alerted him to allegedly inappropriate behavior by his former campaign manager, including “rank misogyny” and retaliation, according to documents released Sunday. The campaign manager, Brendan Gill, is now one of Murphy’s closest advisers.
NEW MEXICO Albuquerque: Trappers now have to complete an education course, and new restrictions will be imposed on setting wildlife traps and snares around designated trailheads and on select public tracts, under a measure adopted by the state Game Commission.
NEW YORK New York: Some 85,000 artifacts that tell the story of the Chinese migration to the U.S. may have been lost in a fire in the heart of Chinatown, a museum official says. The president of the Museum of Chinese in America told The New York Times most of the thousands of historic and artistic items in its collection were probably lost in the fire that started Thursday night.
NORTH CAROLINA Bakersville: The “world’s worst cat” is available for adoption at the Mitchell County Animal Rescue. The shelter is waiving adoption fees in the hope that someone will take Perdita off its hands. The group says on its Facebook page, “We thought she was sick. Turns out she’s just a jerk.”
NORTH DAKOTA Fargo: State officials say it’s time for property owners in flood-prone areas of the Red River Valley to think about buying flood insurance amid early signs suggesting a heightened risk of flooding this spring.
OHIO Columbus: The state prison system wants to replace or renovate some of its high-security prisons in the near future, saying its current facilities for violent inmates are “functionally obsolete” and creating security risks for the agency.
OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City: Leaders in this conservative state say they are looking for more progress for LGBTQ people this year after notable strides in 2019. A top priority in the upcoming legislative session is pushing for a ban on the widely discredited practice of “conversion therapy.”
OREGON Portland: U.S. Justice Department lawyers said Friday that they’ve found the Portland Police Bureau in substantial compliance with 190 reforms required as part of a city settlement adopted six years ago.
PENNSYLVANIA Mount Carbon: This 44-acre community with fewer than 90 residents may soon end up absorbed by an adjacent city because there isn’t enough citizen interest to keep its government functioning.
RHODE ISLAND Providence: A lawmaker has proposed letting legislators and other officials tint their vehicle windshields to shield them from unhappy constituents.
SOUTH CAROLINA Isle of Palms: The owner of an island home is suing Airbnb, claiming it only reimbursed him for a “fraction” of the damages that a guest who threw a big party did to his home.
SOUTH DAKOTA Pierre: Gov. Kristi Noem says she has “concerns” about a bill in the House that would make it illegal for physicians to administer gender-change treatments to children under 16. But she declined Friday to offer full support or disapproval.
TENNESSEE Nashville: The state has become the latest to assure continued taxpayer funding of faithbased foster care and adoption agencies even if those organizations exclude LGBT families and others based on religious beliefs. Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill Friday without fanfare or an official announcement, making it the first law to be implemented in Tennessee this year.
TEXAS Houston: The mayor and others say they will work to provide assistance to hundreds of residents whose homes were damaged after a massive explosion at a warehouse early Friday killed two workers and injured 20 others.
UTAH Salt Lake City: The state’s unemployment rate is now the lowest ever recorded at 2.3%, which also ties for lowest among U.S. states, state officials said Friday.
VERMONT Montpelier: A bill proposed last week would take vanity license plates into new territory with the introduction of emojis.
VIRGINIA Richmond: Abortion-rights groups laid out their legislative priorities last week, emphasizing a measure to undo GOP-backed state laws including a 24-hour waiting period, as well a requirement that women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound and counseling. A Senate committee passed that bill Thursday, a day after a House committee advanced that chamber’s version.
WASHINGTON Seattle: Seattle Public Schools has agreed to pay almost half a million dollars to resolve a claim involving a former student who was hospitalized after his elementary school released him to the wrong parent in 2010. The student, then 8, was picked up by his father following an “incident” at the school and “seriously assaulted,” according to the settlement authorization document.
WEST VIRGINIA Huntington: Marshall University is investigating three separate incidents of “hate graffiti” on its campus.
WISCONSIN Three Lakes: Three Lakes School District has refurbished an old photography dark room into a place where the basic needs of its students are met. Teachers raised money to furnish the room with a washer and dryer to help students who might not have access to one at home, and it’s also stocked with spare clothing and toiletries.
WYOMING Jackson: Grand Teton National Park stayed near its highest visitation levels in 2019, while Yellowstone National Park had its slowest tourism year since 2014, officials said.