By: - August 3, 2015 12:00 am

CA: California declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, as more than 9,000 firefighters battle 21 major fires in California. Wildfires also are burning in Washington and Oregon, as the West Coast suffers from the effects of drought and summer heat.

WA: Sex-abuse cases grow in Washington prisons; Discipline is rare

From 2012 to 2014, there were 553 allegations of staff sexual misconduct in Washington prisons. Only 58 of these complaints were found to have merit by prison investigators. More commonly, the cases are ruled unfounded or that not enough evidence exists to prove wrongdoing.

US: In most states, home-school teachers don’t need a high school diploma

Just 13 states and the District of Columbia require home-school instructors to have minimum qualifications, in most cases a high school diploma. Fewer than half of the states — 20 — require an assessment of home-schooled students’ academic progress. Just 12 states require home-schooled students to take a standardized test.

KS: Kansas won’t bar single foster parents; Decision pending on gay couples

The state Department for Children and Families won’t bar single Kansans from serving as foster parents for abused and neglected children, but it hasn’t decided whether to allow married same-sex couples to do so.

ND: New North Dakota laws mean earlier booze sales, concealed weapons in parks

North Dakotans can buy a beer at a restaurant an hour earlier on Sundays, carry concealed weapons in more places and legally drive a snowmobile at a younger age after more than 300 new and revised laws took effect over the weekend.

VA: Virginia can ban Confederate flags on license plates, federal judge says

Virginia can ban the Confederate flag from specialty license plates the state issues in the future, a federal judge said. But no decision has been announced on whether existing tags can be revoked.

UT: Utah’s maximum-security prisoners are on a hunger strike

Maximum-security inmates at the Utah State Prison are on a hunger strike, demanding — among other things — that gang leaders be moved elsewhere in the prison.

MS: In Mississippi, even felons can be private investigators

Some felons work as private investigators in Mississippi, one of only five states in the country that fails to require that the profession be licensed.

WV: Thousands of West Virginians seek concealed gun permits

About 13,000 West Virginians received a permit to carry a concealed gun from Jan. 1 through the end of March, a rate that could be the highest in the state’s history. About 8 percent of the state’s residents, or 147,801people, had permits as of the end of last year.

WI: Wisconsin leaders hold fast in opposition to taking ACA dollars

Wisconsin has passed up more than $550 million in federal money available under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican-controlled legislature never seriously considered accepting the federal dollars, instead backing Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s approach of expanding Medicaid but rejecting the federal money.

FL: Florida Legislature: Get elected, get rich?

Of the 160 people in the Florida House and Senate, 114 have increased their incomes and personal net worth while in office. Thirteen have become millionaires. Florida has a part-time legislature, so most lawmakers have other jobs. 

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.