By: - August 5, 2019 12:00 am

TX, OH: Back-to-back outbreaks of gun violence stun country

In a country that has become almost numb to men with guns opening fire on crowds in public, the two bursts of gun violence in Texas and Ohio were enough to leave the nation stunned and shaken. President Donald Trump called for both gun checks and immigration laws as the issue reignited a debate over gun control, and Democrats urged Congress to pass stricter gun control laws.

TX: Texas officers told not to arrest in low-level marijuana cases after new hemp law

All Texas Department of Public Safety officers have been instructed to issue a citation for people with a misdemeanor amount of the suspected drug — less than 4 ounces in possession cases — when possible, according to a memo obtained by The Texas Tribune.

MS: Mississippi’s gubernatorial primary tests limits of conservatism

Mississippi Republicans have a real fight on their hands in this week’s gubernatorial primary. The race pits two distinct brands of conservatism against each other — the slash and burn absolutism of Tate Reeves, and the commonsensical problem-solving of Bill Waller Jr.

AR: Arkansas legislator vows to stay in office despite calls to resign

Despite increased calls for his resignation from leaders in his own party, Arkansas state Rep. Mickey Gates has no plans to step down after pleading no contest this week to failing to pay state income taxes. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Gates should resign “or be removed from office.”

FL: Florida launches school security database with student discipline, health, social media info

The Florida Department of Education rolled out its database of student information that’s designed to enhance school security in the wake of last year’s shooting in Parkland. The data is primarily for police and school staff charged with evaluating threats made by students.

SD: ‘In God We Trust’: Here’s how some South Dakota schools are displaying national motto

School districts are individualizing responses to South Dakota’s new state law requiring each school to display the national motto, “In God We Trust.” The new state law only requires that the displays be at least 12 inches square and located in a prominent location, but it doesn’t provide any funding to create the displays.

KS: First Kansas hemp harvests are underway

Some growers in Kansas are business startups wanting to cash in on the popularity of CBD products. The program also is luring traditional farmers who in recent years have been ravaged by low commodity prices and international trade wars and see industrial hemp as a more lucrative cash crop.

TN: Tennessee House Speaker resigns from post

After three months of scandal, Tennessee’s House Speaker has resigned after a vote of no confidence from Republicans over a scandal largely involving misogynistic text messages he exchanged with his former chief of staff, who resigned in May.

AL: Alabama forges on in census battle after Trump retreats on citizenship question

The battle over placing a citizenship question on the 2020 Census is over but for Alabama, a census fight still awaits inside a federal courtroom. Alabama maintains that undocumented immigrants ought not to be included in a state’s total population count.

MD: Blind voters sue Maryland Board of Elections, alleging discrimination at ballot box

The National Federation of the Blind has filed a federal lawsuit against the Maryland Board of Elections, alleging blind voters are being discriminated against at the ballot box. The suit alleges that blind voters are being denied their right to cast a secret ballot at the polls as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

NC: Forty riptide rescues in one day at North Carolina beach

More than 40 people were rescued from rip currents at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina between 9 a.m., when lifeguards started working, and late afternoon. Riptides account for 4 in 5 of the area’s 60,000 lifeguard rescues each year.

SC: South Carolina sheriff blames killing on federal cell signal law

Michelle Marie Dodge, who was found shot to death two weeks ago, would likely be alive if it wasn’t for a hit arranged on contraband cellphones in the South Carolina prison system, a South Carolina sheriff said. He railed against a federal law that bars South Carolina from blocking cellphone signals in prisons.

VA: Virginia won’t contest ruling against habitual drunkard law

Virginia should have taken the “strange and regressive” law off the books a long time ago, state Attorney General Mark Herring said. A federal appeals court struck down the law banning alcohol possession by anyone labelled a “habitual drunkard” after a lawsuit on behalf of homeless men who had been prosecuted.

CT: A deal between Indian tribes and Connecticut could expand gambling

A deal between the state and Connecticut’s American Indian tribes could lead to casino-style gambling in Hartford. The proposal has surfaced as Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has sought to break a gambling stalemate over casino expansion in the state.

OR: Governor signs Oregon election changes

Oregonians can mail ballots for free in the 2020 elections under bills signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. Voters will also have more information about who’s funding political ads.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

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.