Montgomery: At the request of the Department of Homeland Security, through U.S. Northern Command, Maxwell Air Force Base opened Aug. 29 as an Incident Support Base in advance of Hurricane Dorian. Personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Defense Logistics Agency arrived Aug. 29 to begin preparations for receiving trailers of food, water and other necessary supplies FEMA might use after the hurricane passes. In addition to more than a hundred trailers currently on base, Maxwell also received helicopters from Naval Air Station Jacksonville that evacuated in advance of the storm. Maxwell has provided a staging location for supplies and response teams during Hurricanes Irma, Florence and Michael in 2017 and 2018.
Kvwethluk: The community is partnering with an electric utility to build a battery storage system to be utilized during power outages. Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Tuesday that the project involving Kwethluk and the Nuvista Light and Electric Cooperative could help end the small city’s reliance on diesel fuel. Officials said Kwethluk and the electric cooperative received $477,050 from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a 675 kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery. Officials said Kwethluk was required to match 50% of the funds. Officials said a battery of that size could light every home for an hour during peak demand or maintain crucial buildings for more than two hours. Kwethluk is a largely Yupik community with more than 700 residents who live a subsistence lifestyle east of Bethel on the Kwethluk River.
Tonopah: Authorities said strong winds during a rainstorm blew over six big rigs on Interstate 10 in southwestern Arizona, killing one driver and injuring another. Officials said the wrecks involving tractors pulling box trailers occurred Wednesday and that traffic soon was able to get around the wrecks by driving on the shoulder or an unaffected traffic lane. The state Department of Public Safety said the wrecks occurred on both sides of the freeway about 60 miles west of Phoenix and that all affected lanes were cleared by 5 a.m. Thursday. The DPS said the driver who was killed was 69-year-old Ronald Dale Huff of Salem, Oregon. The National Weather Service said preliminary data indicated that winds in the area were in the range of 30 to 40 mph.
Jonesboro: A parent-led booster club supporting an Arkansas school district that was the site of a 1998 shooting is drawing criticism for its plans to auction off an AR-15 rifle. The fundraiser is to help the Westside High School band can go to Florida for a performance. In 1998, four students and one teacher were killed when two students, then ages 11 and 13, opened fire at Westside Middle School near Jonesboro. One shooter, Andrew Golden, changed his name to Drew Grant and died in a car crash earlier this summer. Booster club president, Stacy Walz told The Jonesboro Sun that she understands the criticism but said the district is filled with gun enthusiasts who support the fundraiser. The district’s superintendent said the auction is not a school-sponsored fundraiser.
Sacramento: California on Wednesday became the first state to ban commercial fur trapping, ending the practice nearly 200 years after animals like beavers and otters introduced the American West to international trade. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he signed a bill into law making it illegal to trap animals for the purposes of recreation or to sell their fur. It is still legal to trap animals for other purposes, including pest control and public health. California licenses for fur trappers have declined considerably. In 2018, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said it sold 133 licenses, leading to the harvest of 1,568 animals and the sale of 1,241 pelts. A legislative analysis of the bill noted most furs are sold outside of California, with data suggesting there have been no fur sales in the state for the past three years. Meanwhile, the state has issued about 500 trapping licenses a year for pest control and other uses. People who trap animals for those purposes are not required to report how many animals they capture.
Denver: The firing of a doctor who wanted to prescribe life-ending drugs to a man suffering from incurable cancer has touched off a legal fight testing the state’s medically assisted suicide law. Centura Health, a Christian-affiliated health system in Colorado and Kansas, fired Dr. Barbara Morris last week after she and her patient, 64-year-old Neil Mahoney, tried to get a state court to weigh in on whether the organization could stop her from helping Mahoney. Centura then had the case moved to federal court, where it is challenging whether Colorado’s law violates its religious freedom and its right to discipline employees on religious grounds. Colorado is one of nine states that will allow terminally ill patients to seek life-ending drugs by the end of the year. Colorado’s law, passed by voters in 2016, allows people with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request the drugs from their doctor to administer to themselves when and if they chose. Doctors can choose whether to participate. Centura and other hospitals have said they can opt out of the law, too.
Hartford: Ten states and nearly two dozen members of Congress are joining the National Rifle Association in supporting gun-maker Remington Arms as it fights a Connecticut court ruling involving the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Officials in the 10 conservative states, 22 House Republicans and the NRA are among groups that filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week asking justices to overturn the ruling. Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, made the Bushmaster rifle that was used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at the school in 2012. The state Supreme Court ruled in March that a survivor and relatives of nine victims could sue Remington over how it marketed the rifle. Remington and its supporters said the lawsuit is barred by a 2005 law that shields gun-makers from liability.
Newark: A man who said he was called slurs and beaten at a University of Delaware fraternity party is suing four men and two fraternities. The Delaware News Journal reported Wednesday that Rancel Valdez filed a personal injury lawsuit against Adam Taylor, Nicholas Poluch, Matthew Vincenti and Daniel Weimar, along with two fraternity chapters that reportedly hosted the event. Valdez said the men used derogatory remarks referring to his sexuality and told him to leave their outdoor party in 2018. The suit also accused the men of putting him into a headlock and beating him, leaving him with broken bones. The newspaper reported the men have pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. It’s unclear if they have attorneys who can comment.
District of Columbia
Washington: Officials said city public safety agencies will be updating policies regarding building code violations after a fire at an unlicensed rental that killed two tenants, including a 9-year-old. Police Chief Peter Newsham issued an executive order Tuesday that said the agencies and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs are developing new protocols for reporting and responding to potential fire code violations. In the interim, news outlets report the executive order requires officers to immediately notify a supervisor, who must then respond to the scene and notify the fire department. The officer must then report the possible violations to the regulatory agency. An officer previously warned the city about the unlicensed row house that caught fire last month, but authorities didn’t fully investigate the officer’s complaint.
Melbourne: Hurricane Dorian’s pounding of Florida’s eastern seashore has eroded beaches and exposed clusters of sea turtle eggs. But not to worry, said the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. Beachgoers who come across turtle eggs should not be too concerned by the exposed eggs. In fact, the group told Florida Today that it’s a “banner year” for turtle nests. The group’s chairman, Roger Pszonowsky, said there’s not much to be done because it’s all part of nature’s cycle. Pszonowsky also said there haven’t been widespread reports of sargassum seaweed on beaches. That’s a good sign because too much of the seaweed after a storm isn’t good for baby turtles. The tiny turtles that manage to make it out to see sometimes get swept back onto beaches by clinging onto the seaweed.
Athens: The dog area of an animal shelter is under quarantine after three puppies tested positive for the highly contagious canine parvovirus. News outlets reported Athens-Clarke County Animal Shelter announced Wednesday that the area will be quarantined until Sept. 16. The shelter said several seemingly healthy puppies arrived last week, but by Saturday, one of the puppies became seriously ill and the other two appeared ill. They said the puppies tested positive for parvo and were euthanized after their illness worsened. The shelter said the remaining dogs were vaccinated and are at low risk of infection. The cat area briefly closed in July after some kittens were infected by panleukopenia, which is deadly to unvaccinated felines. Workers euthanized 31 cats. A subsequent test showed negative results for one kitten.
Honolulu: Firefighters and lifeguards were required to assist more than 350 swimmers because of strong currents at an annual event. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday that 29 firefighters assisted swimmers in distress during the 50th annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim. No fatalities or injuries were reported. A Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokesman said a change in tide caused the trouble in the event. Officials said the race started with about 1,000 swimmers before large numbers required assistance returning to shore. Many participants were plucked from the water behind the point where the race started. The fire department’s helicopter conducted searches for swimmers in distress. Ocean safety personnel used two personal watercraft vehicles to bring swimmers to shore. Lifeguards hired by race organizers and others also assisted distressed swimmers.
Nampa: Wildlife officials said the number of sockeye salmon returning to Idaho this year is extremely low. Nampa television station KIVI reported the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has only captured 17 sockeye in their trap near Stanley in central Idaho, and only 81 sockeye have made it past the Lower Granite Dam on their migration to Idaho. The critically endangered fish travel to the Pacific Ocean before returning to the Redfish Lake region to spawn. This year’s sockeye return was hit especially hard because of a low survival rate of the hatchery fish released in 2017. Those sockeye were raised in the hard water of an eastern Idaho hatchery, and when they were released into the soft water of central Idaho, more than 80% perished. Now biologists are holding juvenile sockeye in the medium-hard water at Sawtooth Hatchery before releasing them into the wild.
Springfield: Schools in Illinois are receiving emergency materials to stop victim bleeding in case of serious accident or incident. The Illinois Terrorism Task Force announced Wednesday that it distributed more than 7,000 Stop the Bleed kits after a recommendation from the School Safety Working Group. Stop the Bleed is a national campaign by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to train and equip bystanders to control severe bleeding before professional responders arrive. Alicia Tate-Nadeau, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, said government’s top priority is preventing violence but “we must also be prepared for worst-case scenarios.” Each kit contains a professional tourniquet, gauze and dressing, nitrile gloves, shears and more. School districts have been asked to train five adults in bleeding control.
West Lafayette: Police are investigating after two headstones were apparently removed from a rural cemetery. Sand Ridge Cemetery’s caretaker reported the missing headstones Tuesday, telling Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s deputies the stones had been removed from their concrete bases. The Journal & Courier reported that the caretaker told deputies he last mowed the graveyard just southwest of West Lafayette about three weeks ago and didn’t recall anything out of place at that time. Both of the missing headstones were engraved with the same family name. Deputies said the cemetery’s trustee would be contacting that family to alert them that their deceased relatives’ headstones are missing.
Greenfield: Authorities said a pilot suffered minor injuries when his airplane crashed in a cornfield. The Adair County Sheriff’s Office said a 911 caller reported around 7:10 a.m. Wednesday that a man had walked to the caller’s home and said the small plane he had been flying had gone down nearby. First responders found the single-engine plane lying on its top in the field about a mile northwest of Greenfield. The pilot was taken to a hospital and soon released. He has been identified as 59-year-old Eric Chrystal, of Jefferson. The crash cause is being investigated.
Wichita: Hundreds of superstar hopefuls have auditioned in Wichita to appear on the television show “American Idol.” The Wichita Eagle reported that the stop Wednesday in Wichita was the show’s first scouting visit to the city since it started 17 years ago. Among those in line were hopefuls such as Zephaniah Moore, an aspiring R&B singer who polled friends and family on Facebook about whether he should audition for “Idol.” They said he should. Also in line was Sharane Calister, a 26-year-old singer from Des Moines, Iowa, who in the spring of 2018 placed 11th on another singing competition, NBC’s “The Voice.” Those given the green light in Wichita will have to overcome several more rounds before they get a chance to sing in front of the celebrity judges.
Louisville: African elephant Mikki, 33, debuted her bull calf to the community Wednesday morning at the Louisville Zoo after weeks of off-exhibit bonding. The calf doesn’t yet have a name, but the zoo officials said a naming contest will be announced soon and the public will be able to help give the 300-pound infant his identity. Mikki’s baby is only the second elephant baby born at the Louisville Zoo in its 50 years and his birthmarks a considerable contribution to his species’ gene pool. Mikki gave birth on Aug 2 after a 22-month gestation period. The zoo first announced her pregnancy, which was achieved through artificial insemination, in March 2018. The baby is the Louisville Zoo’s third elephant, joining mom Mikki and Asian elephant, Punch, 49, who is not reproductive. Mikki’s first baby, Scotty, was born in March 2007 and died from complications of colic, a common ailment for elephants and horses. Mikki, who lost around 1,000 pounds when she gave birth, is working her way back up to 9,000 pounds by eating lots of hay. The bull calf is nursing a lot, Taylor said, and sometimes drinks between two and three gallons at a time.
Baton Rouge: Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards has been discharged from the hospital after an overnight stay. A spokesman for Edwards, 92, said he was discharged Wednesday night from Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center in Baton Rouge. Edwards was hospitalized Tuesday. His daughter said he had suffered a drop in blood sugar after becoming dehydrated. Spokesman Leo Honeycutt said “all tests and vital signs are good” for the former governor. Edwards was elected governor four times, serving in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He was convicted of corruption after his final term. Released from prison in 2011, he soon married his third wife, Trina, then 32. They have a son, born in 2013. Trina Edwards thanked well-wishers on social media Wednesday as the former governor prepared to go home.
Augusta: Deer hunters will learn this week if they’ve been selected for a permit that allows them greater ability to hunt the animals. Maine manages its large deer population with “any deer” permits that allow hunters to hunt antlerless deer and bucks that have antlers less than 3 inches in length. Hunters without such a permit can only take longer-antlered bucks. The any-deer permit lottery is scheduled for Friday. The results will be posted online at noon that day. The state intends to issue a little more than 68,000 any-deer permits this year. That represents a reduction of about 20% from the previous deer season. Hunters harvested more deer than the state’s objective last year. The firearms season for deer takes place in November.
Lanham: The first section of track for Maryland’s $5.6 billion Purple Line was being installed Thursday. The 16.2-mile light rail line will run between New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and Bethesda in Montgomery County in the suburbs of the nation’s capital. There are 21 stations planned for the Purple Line. It will connect MARC, Amtrak and local bus service.
Boston: About 75 workers at a Boston hotel have walked off the job to protest what a union called an unfair contract proposal. Housekeepers, cooks, bellmen, banquet servers, and front desk agents at the Battery Wharf Hotel went on strike Thursday morning. Unite Here Local 26 said hotel management wants to freeze wages, do away with pensions and union health insurance, get rid of provisions protecting job security and eliminate the right to a fair schedule. The union told The Boston Globe the hotel also intends to end its participation in an African-American hiring initiative. The hotel in a statement said it appreciates its employees and is grateful for their patience during the bargaining process. The hotel sid it’s “striving to reach a fair agreement for all involved.”
Grand Rapids: A woman who authored a book chronicling her efforts that helped save hundreds of Jews in the Netherlands during the Nazi Occupation of World War II has died. Diet Eman died Tuesday in Grand Rapids at age 99, according to Seymour Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. A Celebration of Life service is scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday at the church. Eman was born in the Netherlands and was part of an underground resistance following Nazi Germany’s 1940 invasion of the northern European nation. Her 1994 memoirs, “Things We Couldn’t Say,” detailed how Eman provided forged identification cards and shelter for Jews, and how she helped allied pilots shot down by the German military. During a 2015 visit to Grand Rapids, Dutch King Willem-Alexander called Eman one of his country’s “national heroes,” according to MLive.com. Eman immigrated to the United States and moved to Grand Rapids.
St. Paul: Wildlife managers said late-season snowstorms and heavy spring rains have taken a toll on the state’s pheasant population. The Department of Natural Resources’ annual roadside survey indicated that Minnesota’s pheasant numbers are down 17% from 2018. The index is 11% below the 10-year average and 60% below the long-term average. DNR upland game research scientist Tim Lyons said there’s still reason for hunters to be optimistic. He said birds are still abundant in some areas, but hunters might need to be choosier about where they go. The survey indicated that pheasant numbers grew in south-central and east-central Minnesota, and the highest numbers are in west-central and south-central Minnesota. Weather and habitat are the main drivers of Minnesota’s pheasant population trends. Minnesota’s pheasant season runs from Oct. 12 to Jan. 1.
Braxton: The remains of a World War II soldier have been returned home to Mississippi nearly 77 years after he died as a prisoner of war. Army Pfc. Harvey Andrew Nichols was a native of Braxton, near Jackson. He was taken prisoner in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. The Mississippi National Guard said Nichols survived the Bataan Death March as he and others walked to a prison camp. According to camp records, Nichols died of malaria and malnutrition on Nov. 19, 1942. He was 27. His remains were identified by DNA testing, and they were returned to Mississippi on Thursday. A funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Braxton. Nichols was one of 16 children. Ten of them served in the military during World War II.
Jefferson City: A paddleboat race on the Missouri River that that was postponed in July because of high water has been rescheduled for October. Organizers of the Missouri American Water MR340 said the event will be held Oct. 15-18. The Missouri 340 is an endurance race across the state. Paddlers begin in Kansas City and end in St. Charles. The annual race was scheduled for July 16-19 but was called off because flooding made the river too dangerous. The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported everyone on the current roster will be able to choose whether to participate in October or defer to next year. New paddlers are welcome.
Billings: Wildlife managers have killed a black bear that had been running around residential areas on the south side of Billings. The Billings Gazette reported that the bear was on the run for a little over an hour after the Billings Police Department was first called about it at around 4 a.m. Thursday. Police received multiple calls about the bear’s activity. No injuries to people or pets were reported. Billings police Sgt. Glenn Gunther said there were concerns from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks about problems the animal could create in a residential area in daylight. So the decision was made to shoot the bear, which occurred about 5:10 a.m. There have been multiple other black bear sightings this summer in and around Billings.
Omaha: The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has announced the birth of an endangered rhinoceros species. The zoo said Wednesday that an Indian rhinoceros calf was born Friday. It’s the first rhinoceros born in the Omaha zoo’s 120-year history. Zoo Director Dennis Pate called he birth one of the most important for the zoo in recent history, saying “it counts when it comes to sustaining this species in zoos; it counts as a backup to vulnerable wild populations.” The calf’s parents are Hellary and Jontu, both 11 years old and housed at the zoo’s Asian Highlands. Both parents weigh about 4,200 pounds. The 140-pound calf is believed to be male and is with its mother in a private area. The calf will be named at a Sept. 13 fundraiser.
Reno: Police at the University of Nevada, Reno have opened an investigation into the discovery of a swastika in the stairwell of a dormitory that opened last month in a downtown hotel-casino tower. School spokeswoman Nichole Shearer said the swastika that was a few inches big and was found Aug. 23 in the 17th-floor stairwell of Wolf Pack Tower at Circus Circus. Shearer said university police are not 100% certain the swastika wasn’t there before the dorm was opened. She said the stairwell was not frequently accessed before students moved in. Police are working with casino security to review surveillance video around the area. About 1,300 students are living in the tower this year after a natural gas explosion in July forced the closure of the university’s two largest residence halls.
Chester: Gov. Chris Sununu was scheduled to pick the ceremonial first apple of the fall season Thursday at Hazelton Orchards in Chester. Tourism officials also were set to release visitation and spending projections for the fall, as well. They also were set to present the fall tourism marketing campaign. The season represents about 25% of New Hampshire’s total annual visitation, the second-largest number of visitors in the state.
Pemberton Township: A newborn two-headed timber rattlesnake has been found the Pine Barrens. Herpetological Associates of Burlington County CEO Bob Zappalorti said the snake has two brains and each head acts independently of the other. Two employees at the organization spotted the reptile in a nest where a timber rattlesnake was giving birth late last month. Zappalorti told NJ Advance Media it’s the only two-headed timber rattlesnake ever found in New Jersey. He said it likely wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild because its heads could get snagged on something. Herpetological Associates will care for the snake.
Carlsbad: Concho Resources of Midland, Texas, announced Tuesday that it would sell its New Mexico assets in the Permian Basin for $925 million to Houston-based Spur Energy Partners, according to a Concho news release. The sale included about 100,000 acres in the company’s New Mexico Shelf, which produce about 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company also planned to start a repurchase program of up to $1.5 billion in of the Concho’s shares of common stock, the release read. Concho Chief Executive Officer Tim Leach said the move would allow the company to leverage itself into newer assets in the booming Permian Basin, while also protecting shareholders’ bottom lines.
Albany: The University at Albany is becoming the latest college to open an on-campus food pantry. The university is opening the pantry for students, faculty and staff on Wednesday at its campus center. Food pantries are becoming more common on campuses. Advocates said many students have trouble getting enough to eat, threatening their academic success. University at Albany officials said almost a third of the 1,800 students they surveyed said they were regularly skipping meals to stretch their food budget. The school has more than 2,000 students coming from homes living on less than $25,000 a year.
Asheville: An assessment team is taking a look at the Nantahala River to see if boaters, rafters and fishermen can use it again. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported a technical team launched boats on the river on Tuesday to assess potential hazards and to lessen risks associated with landslides. A week ago, the U.S. Forest Service closed an 8-mile section of the river to boating because of debris. David Uchiyama, a N.C. Department of Transportation spokesman, said four landslides on Aug. 25 brought down 5,000 cubic yards of debris onto U.S. 19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge. Although the road was cleared on Aug. 26, tons of other debris in the river created potentially hazardous conditions for those who would usually be on the river for Labor Day weekend.
Bismarck: A 2015 pipeline spill of natural gas liquids initially reported as just 10 gallons could top 1 million gallons, a state regulator said Wednesday. The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality reported Tuesday that about 837,000 gallons of natural gas liquids has been recovered from Oneok Partners’ Garden Creek gas plant in western North Dakota. Water Quality Division Director Karl Rockeman said about 90,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater also has been recovered at the plant near Watford City in the past four years. Regulators never updated the public on the size of the spill, even as the Oklahoma-based company updated the state on cleanup. Last year, the company told the state it had recovered 240,000 gallons of the natural gas liquids.
Columbus: Health officials said they’re investigating 11 additional reports of Ohioans who vape who experienced severe breathing illnesses. The Ohio Department of Health on Wednesday also said three previous illnesses under investigation were likely caused by vaping. The agency said those three involved two women and a man from Lucas, Richland and Union counties. All required hospitalization. The state has asked health care providers to report all suspected cases of serious pulmonary illness where the cause is unclear and the patients have a history of vaping or using e-cigarettes. Symptoms have included coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue. Federal health officials said they are looking into more than 200 possible cases in 25 states.
Oklahoma City: A group seeking to stop a new law that would allow people in Oklahoma to openly carry firearms without training or a background check is acknowledging they fell short of the number of signatures needed for a statewide vote on the issue. In a court filing on Thursday, an attorney for the group estimates they gathered between 30,000 and 50,000 signatures. They would have needed nearly 60,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify the question the ballot. Attorney Brian Ted Jones said one reason for the uncertainty is because supporters were dropping off signatures right up until Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline. Led by Democratic state Rep. Jason Lowe and the gun safety group Moms Demand Action, supporters said they were prompted to act after two mass shootings last month.
Coos Bay: An underwater earthquake with an initial 5.9 magnitude has struck off the southern Oregon coast. The U.S. Geological Survey said Thursday that no tsunami was expected from the quake, which happened about 180 miles from land at a depth of 7 miles. There were no reports of damage or injuries. The larger quake happened around 8 a.m. in the same area where a 6.3-magnitude temblor struck on Aug. 29, less than a week ago. The larger quake Thursday was preceded by one with an initial 3.8 magnitude. The earthquakes off the coast of Coos Bay are being caused by slipping along an offshore fault that has nothing to do with the more well-known Cascadia fault, which is believed to be overdue for a major Pacific Northwest earthquake.
Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has donated the monetary award for its Pulitzer Prize to help repair the synagogue where 11 people died in a massacre last year. Staffers won the award on April 15 for their coverage of the October shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. Along with one of the highest honors for journalistic achievement, the newsroom was awarded $15,000. The Post-Gazette reported that publisher John Robinson Block suggested donating the money to the congregation to help repair their bullet-riddled temple. Keith Burris, the newspaper’s executive editor, presented the check to Rabbi Jeffrey Myers and the president of the congregation, Samuel Schachner, on Aug. 29. The synagogue thanked the newspaper in a Facebook post, writing “Pittsburgh is truly home to some amazing neighbors!”
Providence: Federal funding has been awarded to renovate the railroad station in Providence. U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, announced a $12.5 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration, which will be matched by $7.25 million from Amtrak and $5.25 million from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Reed said the improvements will help ensure Providence Station provides a safe, convenient and reliable service to travelers for decades. He said the station will be overhauled, with interior renovations to expand and repurpose existing space, major roof repairs and improved connectivity to Providence. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said convenient, reliable rail service is crucial for economic growth. The transportation department expects construction to be ongoing through the summer of 2022, but parts of the project might be done sooner.
Greer: A Taylors man was close to running out of gas when he stopped at a store and decided to buy a lottery ticket, which turned out to be a $1 million winner. The man bought the ticket for his wife, who he said never remembers to put gas in the car, according to a release from the South Carolina Education Lottery. The unnamed couple won $1 million off the ticket purchased at a Corner Mart store. The couple won the first $1 million prize in the $10 Millionaire Series game, according to lottery officials. Two more million-dollar prizes remain. The couple is planning a trip to Disney World to celebrate. The store where the ticket was sold will receive a commission of $10,000.
Burke: Students are finally returning to school in a town that was torn apart by a tornado early last month. The Burke School District welcomed students back Wednesday after delaying the start of classes by two weeks as it dealt with heavy damage to part of its campus. The elementary side of the school building fared pretty well, but some of the middle and high school rooms were destroyed when winds of up to 100 mph 160 kph) blew through the town where a lumberyard was destroyed, a civic center was mangled and two people were injured on Aug. 6. For now, band and music classes will be held at the town’s churches. Administrative offices have been moved to a local hospital. And volleyball players will use the courts at a school district 30 minutes away, according to the Argus Leader. The district will be back in its building completely by next school year, Person said. In the meantime, the district has enough resources to get the year going, and Person isn’t yet sure what other support is needed.
Knoxville: A woman has died about a week after she was mauled by a pack of dogs. News outlets reported 19-year-old Adrieanna O’Shea succumbed to her injuries last Friday. The Knox County sheriff’s statement said a woman called 911 saying O’Shea was being attacked by her neighbors’ five dogs. O’Shea had been walking up to the caller’s home when she suddenly screamed “Help Me!” and was dragged off by a mastiff, a Rottweiler-lab mix, two mastiff-lab mixes and a pit bull. Deputies found her unconscious, with her clothes ripped off, and covered in wounds. Deputies shot one of the dogs. The owners said the others were euthanized. The report said one of the owners said the dogs were “just doing their job.” Authorities haven’t said if criminal charges will be filed.
El Paso: A special election to fill a presumed vacancy left by City Rep. Cassandra Hernandez was approved by the Council – but just barely. The Council voted 4-3 in favor of calling a special election in November to fill the presumed vacancy on the District 3 seat. The vote also approved City Attorney Karla Nieman to retain the legal services of Lowell F. Denton of the San Antonio-based Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal & Zech law firm. City Reps. Cissy Lizarraga, Sam Morgan, Mayor Pro Tempore Claudia Ordaz Perez and Henry Rivera voted in favor of calling the special election. The Council has not specifically voted on an item confirming whether Hernandez has automatically resigned from her position. Cassandra Hernandez, who is the District 3 representative, was not allowed to vote on the item. At issue is a Facebook page post that appeared briefly Aug. 19 included image showing Hernandez posing with San Jacinto Plaza in the background and read “Cassandra Hernandez for Mayor of El Paso, Texas.” The post was quickly removed and is no longer online. It is not clear yet whether the post can be considered a formal announcement of candidacy because Hernandez said she did not post it. The Texas Constitution has a provision that calls for automatic resignations, also known as resign-to-run laws, when an officeholder announces candidacy for another office.
Salt Lake City: The University of Utah has announced a hard enforcement of their campus-wide tobacco-free policy, including public events and football games. The Deseret News reported the rule, which banned smoking for anyone on campus in May 2018, will be fully enforced at university-owned properties like hospitals and parking lots. Football fans attending games at Rice-Eccles Stadium will not be permitted re-entry if they leave. There will be no designated smoking area at the stadium. A student-led initiative helped craft the current policy that encourages people not to use smoking products like electronic cigarettes and vape pens on school property. The university joins more than 1,800 colleges and universities throughout the country that have also adopted “no smoking” policies. University officials have said the policy is intended to promote healthy lifestyles.
Hartford: A golf course has put off a hunt for Canada geese after an outcry from some landowners and area residents. Quechee Club’s property manager Ken Lallier said Tuesday’s hunt was postponed and a variety of options are being considered again to control the birds. The Valley News reported that the club received emails, calls and social media appeals urging it to try other approaches. Those included harassing the birds with herding dogs and letting grass grow higher around ponds and the river to dissuade the birds from straying onto greens and fairways. State wildlife officials said the planned hunt was part of the resident goose hunting season and was a sound management practice done at other golf courses in Vermont.
Arlington: A northern Virginia county is taking down highway signs honoring the president of the Confederacy. In May, a state panel approved Arlington County’s request to change the name of U.S. Route 1 in the county from Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway. County workers were beginning to swap out the signs on Thursday, at a cost of $17,000. The city of Alexandria made a similar change at the start of the year. The highway had carried the Jefferson Davis name since 1922.
Seattle: Federal scientists said they are monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the West Coast. Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday the expanse of unusually warm water stretches from Alaska to California, and it resembles a similar heat wave that disrupted marine life five years ago. It remains to be seen whether this heat wave dissipates more quickly than the last one. NOAA Fisheries said the water has reached temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Scientists dubbed the last West Coast heat wave “the blob.” Its effects included poorer survival rates for young salmon, more humpback whales becoming entangled in fishing gear as they hunt closer to shore and an algae bloom that shut down crabbing and clamming.
Charleston: The fall rafting season on West Virginia’s Gauley River is getting set to start. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin lowering Summersville Lake to its winter level through releases at the Summersville Dam starting Friday. The weekly releases will continue through Oct. 20. The releases form more than 100 rapids on the Gauley, which drops more than 650 feet along its 24-mile route in southern West Virginia. Chief executive officer Roger Wilson of whitewater outfitter Adventures on the Gorge said Gauley season is “as good as it gets anywhere in the world.”
Fond Du Lac: Students and staff at Fond du Lac High School are a bit on edge as the search continues for a missing python. The 3-foot long snake escaped from its cage at the high school sometime over the Labor Day weekend. Principal Matt Steinbarth said there’s some evidence the snake entered the ventilation system at some point. Steinbarth said the snake, called Kai, is nocturnal, so it’s unlikely it would come out of hiding during the day. The school said the snake belongs to an instructor and has no history of harming anyone or striking out. The school has set some traps to lure the snake back into captivity. Voicemails and emails were sent to parents of the school’s 2,000 students earlier this week about the snake’s escape and assuring them Kai does not pose a threat.
Cody: A spreading forest fire east of Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming has forced evacuations of some rural cabins and a Boy Scout camp. The Cody Enterprise reported that Park County Homeland Security Coordinator Jack Tatum said only one person from the evacuated area had checked in Wednesday night. Tatum said that person was from the Boy Scout summer camp and said no one was camping there. The fire began in the Washakie Wilderness last weekend and has burned about 16 square miles. More firefighters are arriving on the scene, which is west of Cody and south of U.S. 14/16/20, which connects Cody to Yellowstone National Park. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 50 states