UT: Feds are investigating whether Utah lied to obtain grants
The U.S. Department of Justice says the Utah Attorney General’s Office is stonewalling its subpoenas as it repeatedly promises but fails to turn over documents as part of an investigation into whether state officials lied to obtain federal grants.
NC: Settlement ends North Carolina bathroom bill battle
The settlement says North Carolina state agencies and universities can’t ban transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with. It applies only to public restrooms and similar facilities in state government buildings.
HI: Unsafe water found at 41% of Hawaii beaches
An Environment America report found 90 of 218 Hawaii beaches, or 41%, were potentially unsafe for swimming for at least one day last year. The report compiled and analyzed federal data collected from states, territories and tribal governments required to monitor recreational waters under the federal Beach Act.
TX: Texas nonprofit stands to benefit from state anti-abortion money
Texas’ fast-expanding Alternatives to Abortion program, which pays private counselors to discourage women from terminating their pregnancies, is on track to more than double its funding with a million infusion — and the Texas Pregnancy Care Network is primed to win big on the state’s largesse.
CA: As rats overrun California cities, state moves to ban powerful pest-killers
California is seeing a troubling resurgence of rodents. At the same time, researchers are finding widely used rodent poisons at sometimes lethal levels in the bodies of beloved California predators such as birds of prey and mountain lions.
MO: Missouri Medicaid panel chief booted after asking about enrollment drop
The chairman of the committee that oversees Missouri’s Medicaid program was quietly removed from the panel last month after he raised concerns about a drop in the number of Missourians receiving health care coverage through the government program.
NY: Trump sues New York and Congress to shield his state tax returns
President Donald Trump sued New York state officials and the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to try to block congressional Democrats from using a recently enacted New York law to obtain his state tax returns. The lawsuit opens a new front in Trump’s fight to keep his tax returns secret.
WI: Wisconsin Indian tribe sues to remove pipeline from reservation
The Bad River band of Lake Superior Chippewa filed a lawsuit against Enbridge Inc. aimed at forcing the company to shut down a pipeline that crosses tribal lands in northern Wisconsin. The pipeline transports oil and natural gas liquids from Canada to Michigan, including a section that runs along the bed of the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
OR: Oregon wants to untangle whales from crab fishery
Oregon fishery managers are changing how the state’s lucrative Dungeness crab fishery will be managed to avoid tangling whales in commercial fishing gear. Though the changes happening this season are relatively minor for commercial fishermen, difficult discussions are on the horizon.
KY: Tax proposed to curb Kentucky’s soaring youth vaping
A group of Kentucky lawmakers, public health officials and advocates will seek to tax electronic cigarettes at the same rate as regular cigarettes to fight their wildly popular appeal among youths.
MT: Montana’s top political cop wants 3 years of state GOP records
The Commissioner of Political Practices is demanding the Montana Republican Party turn over campaign finance and other party records it subpoenaed last year as part of a campaign finance investigation. But the state GOP is refusing, saying the commissioner doesn’t have the authority and that the original complaint, filed by the Montana Democratic Party, is unfounded.
WA: Police drone use expanding around Washington state
With more than a hundred drones, the Washington State Patrol is now estimated to have the largest fleet in the nation of any law enforcement agency. Neighboring Oregon State Police has three.
LA: Louisiana retailers could soon offer alcohol for home delivery
Retailers can now apply for a permit from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control to deliver beer, wine and liquor. Lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year allowing restaurants, grocery stores, package stores and third-party deliverers to bring alcohol to homes if the beverages are transported in a factory-sealed container.
AK: Dozens of convicted criminals hired as cops in rural Alaska
Sometimes, they’re the only applicants. In one Alaska village, every cop has been convicted of domestic violence within the past decade, including the chief. Only one has received formal law enforcement training of any kind.
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