FL: As hurricane nears Florida, most long-term care facilities haven’t finished backup power plans
When the Florida Legislature passed rules this year requiring emergency power in long-term care facilities, Hurricane Michael was exactly the kind of disaster lawmakers had in mind. Officials have warned of storm surge, flooding and widespread power outages that could last days. But more than half of the 412 assisted-living facilities and nursing homes have yet to implement their emergency power plans, after receiving extensions from the state to comply.
CA: Noncitizens in California may have been added to voter rolls, state DMV says
An internal audit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows about 1,500 customers may have been improperly registered to vote. The DMV said none of the processing errors occurred through the fault of the customer. None of the affected customers are undocumented immigrants.
TN: In Tennessee, a gun or threat is reported at school every 3 days
Near misses — incidents in which a student or adult has a real firearm (as opposed to a BB or toy gun) or other gun at a school but does not carry out a mass attack — happen in Tennessee public schools at far greater rates than most other states. From 2001 to 2017, there were 10 slayings at Tennessee schools involving a gun.
NY: Limo in fatal New York crash failed state inspection, governor says
The limousine in a deadly crash that killed 20 people Saturday in upstate New York had failed inspection last month, and the driver didn’t have the appropriate license to operate the vehicle, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed.
LA: Louisiana seeks to make more room for namesake pelicans
Not so long ago, the Pelican State lost its namesake bird. Today, the brown pelicans are back, and wildlife scientists are celebrating 50 years since the species was reintroduced to the Louisiana coast. While it’s a cause for celebration, researchers also warned that the fight is not over because coastal birds continue to lose their nesting grounds.
PA: An unbridgeable divide? Pennsylvania’s (ongoing) story of gerrymandering and redistricting
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this year struck down the old district map and made a new one. It wipes away the 13-5 GOP advantage. Suddenly, more than a half-dozen Pennsylvania congressional races are newly competitive. That could mean major change in the midterm elections.
TX: Refugee resettlement in Texas at record low under Trump
In the last federal fiscal year, which wrapped up Sept. 30, the number of refugees resettled in Texas dropped to 1,697 from 4,768 the year before. The 64 percent drop in caseloads marks an all-time low for resettlement efforts in the last decade in Texas. Some of the most significant drops are reflected in decreases of refugees from the Middle East.
IA: How inclusive are Iowa cities’ laws for LGBTQ citizens in 2018?
The Human Rights Campaign released its 2018 scores for cities’ municipal laws and regulations to support LGBTQ people. All nine Iowa cities included scored higher than the national average.
ID: Voters may decide whether Idaho cities can raise sales taxes
The Idaho Legislature has repeatedly refused to allow cities to raise sales taxes to support local projects, so proponents may turn to a ballot initiative.
CA: California has a racist past. But removing monuments sparks debate about how to reflect an ugly history
Amid a sweeping reappraisal of California’s history has come the growing acknowledgment that racism is at the heart of the state’s founding: White settlers flooded the region in the mid-1800s looking for riches, and native Californians — along with Asian and Mexican laborers — became the victims.
MN: First lawsuits over disabled access to websites make their way to Minnesota
Echoing a recent trend in other states, a lawsuit has been filed in Minnesota alleging that websites belonging to a county and couple of cities violate disability law. A disability advocate alleges that their digital real estate is so inhospitable that it denies access to people who are disabled.
WY: Wyoming report finds women earn 68 percent of what men earn
The latest, most accurate report on gender pay disparities conducted in Wyoming shows that women across the state — on average — earn just 68 percent of what men make. Republican Gov. Matt Mead signed legislation in 2017 to conduct a study on the issue.
NH: New Hampshire asks federal government to pay for rescues in the White Mountain National Forest
New Hampshire state officials are asking the federal government to cover the cost of search and rescue operations in the White Mountain National Forest, where nearly 50 percent of the rescues take place. The request comes from a legislatively appointed commission studying the future of the Fish and Game Department, which is struggling to maintain financial stability.
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