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US Casa Bonita, MyPillow poke, Banksy exhibit: News from around our 50 states

10:20  20 september  2021
10:20  20 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Alabama

Huntsville: The Rocket City has overtaken the Magic City as Alabama’s largest, according to new census numbers. Huntsville, with a population of 215,006, is now slightly more populous than Birmingham, according to U.S. census numbers released Thursday. Birmingham, which had long been Alabama’s largest city, has a population of 200,733. And the capital, Montgomery, is biting at its heels in third, with 200,603 residents. However, the Birmingham metro area remains the largest in the state. The Birmingham-Hoover metro statistical area has 1.1 million people, while the Huntsville metro area has just 491,723. Huntsville, with historical ties to the space industry, has seen rapid growth over the past ten years, partly fueled by the tech and manufacturing sectors. The city’s population has jumped by 19% since 2010. “I’m proud that the great things we have going on in Huntsville have grown our city,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle wrote in a tweet. “To tell the truth, we’re more focused on being the best than the biggest.” Birmingham got the nickname the Magic City for its rapid growth and had long been Alabama’s largest city. Much of the recent growth around Birmingham has been concentrated in the surrounding suburban areas, rather than in the city itself.

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Alaska

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Anchorage: U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is spending two days in the state traveling with Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski to showcase what Granholm’s office calls Alaska’s status as “America’s living laboratory.” The visit coincides with the recent passage of the bipartisan infrastructure deal and is intended to show how investments and research and development funding “will bring jobs and help build the state’s clean, secure energy future,” Granholm’s office said. The visit started Sunday in Fairbanks with a tour of the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Cold Climate Housing Research Center, highlighting its training of a local workforce to build and rapidly deploy shelter for climate-threatened communities in an effort to reduce the need for relocation. Also on Sunday’s agenda was a tour of the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility and the Chena Hot Springs Renewable Energy Fair. On Monday, plans call for visiting the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where researchers are developing ways to achieve 100% renewable power for rural villages. In Anchorage, Granholm and Murkowski will speak with Malcolm Woolf, president of the National Hydropower Association. The visit is set to conclude with a meeting with Alaska Native engineering students and alumni.

Springsteen's popular artifacts to feature in Grammy museum

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Arizona

Phoenix: A coalition of educators, parents and advocates for children is asking a judge to overturn several new state laws that restrict the power of local governments and school districts to impose COVID-19 requirements, arguing the statutes violate constitutional rules and pointing out the state is seeing a growing number of coronavirus cases among children. A new lawsuit filed Thursday against the state by the Arizona School Boards Association, a teacher’s union and others challenges a law that prohibits cities, counties and public school districts from imposing mask requirements on students and teachers. At least 11 districts accounting for 140,000 students and more than 200 schools have defied the law by imposing their own mask rules. The coalition also is seeking to overturn a law prohibiting colleges and universities from requiring COVID-19 shots for students and making them reveal their vaccination status, as well as another statute that forbids communities from establishing vaccine passports for people to show they were inoculated. The lawsuit argues elements of the legislative proposals with limits on local government had violated constitutional rules requiring laws to focus on only one subject and have their contents reflected in the title of the bills.

China accuses Washington of 'low political tricks' over Uyghur exhibit

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Arkansas

Little Rock: Most public school students in the state will be required to wear masks when classes begin this week, following moves by dozens of districts in response to a judge blocking Arkansas’ mask mandate ban. At least 60 public school districts and charter schools have approved the requirements in the past week. The pace at which districts have approved the mandates surprised even public health experts who say masks are needed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially as the ultra-contagious delta variant fuels a surge in cases and hospitalizations. “I think those actions are going to prevent some superspreader events that would have occurred,” said Dr. Joe Thompson, president and CEO of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. Some form of mask mandate has been approved in the state’s 10 largest school districts. The biggest, Springdale, approved a requirement but only for students in kindergarten through seventh grade. The Little Rock School Board, which sued over the state’s mandate ban, voted Thursday to require masks be worn indoors by students and staff. Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Friday that she’s appealing Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox’s Aug. 6 preliminary injunction against the mandate ban. Fox ruled the ban violated the Arkansas Constitution.

Fact check: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell spreads false claim about Arizona election results

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California

Oakland: A McDonald’s franchise has settled a lawsuit by employees who said the owner gave them masks made from dog diapers and coffee filters to guard against the coronavirus. Thursday’s settlement requires the owner to provide masks and gloves to all workers and provide other health and safety measures required by a judge last year, such as regular temperature checks. The franchise owner didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement. The measures will remain in place for a year unless government health agencies no longer recommend them. The Telegraph Avenue outlet shut down for a month beginning in May 2020 after 20 workers refused to show up, contending that 25 workers and their families, including a baby, had come down with the coronavirus. After the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, employees asked for masks but received dog diapers and coffee filters as a stopgap measure, and when they eventually received masks intended for one-time use, they had to wear them for several days, the employees alleged. Three of the employees who sued also alleged that they were required to work despite having COVID-19 symptoms, and all later tested positive for the virus.

Colorado

Lakewood: The creators of the irreverent animated television series “South Park” are buying Casa Bonita, a quirky restaurant in suburban Denver that was featured on the show. Matt Stone and Trey Parker said in an interview with Gov. Jared Polis on Friday that they had come to an agreement with the current owners of the restaurant, which closed to diners in March 2020 as the pandemic took hold. It declared bankruptcy in the spring. “We’re excited to work with everybody and make it the place we all want to make it,” Parker said. The Lakewood restaurant has been in business since 1974 but gained wider recognition when it was featured on a 2003 “South Park” episode and when the Denver Broncos announced some of their draft picks there in 2018. The Mexican restaurant is known for its decor, which includes a pink facade and large indoor waterfall, as well as its cliff divers and skits that feature an excitable actor in a gorilla costume. But some have noted there is room for improvement. “The one area that we would all love to see an upgrade – and I think I speak on behalf of everybody who patronizes Casa Bonita – is the food could be a little better,” Polis said. “I think it could be a little more than a little better,” Stone added.

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Connecticut

Hartford: Shoppers are getting a one-week tax break. The state’s annual Sales Tax Free Week, which began Sunday and runs through Aug. 21, exempts retail purchases of most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from Connecticut’s 6.35% sales and use tax. The exemption applies to each eligible item costing less than $100, regardless of how many of those items a customer purchases. The sales tax holiday, which costs the state about $5 million in lost tax revenue, applied to clothing and footwear costing less than $300 per item in past years and was ultimately scaled back. However, many retailers are expected to offer additional discounts during the week, which is a popular time for back-to-school shopping. Connecticut Retail Merchants Association President Timothy G. Phelan said the week gives residents an opportunity to save money and also “reconnect with local retail businesses that have endured the business challenges of the past year and a half,” referring to the pandemic. “The COVID-19 economy this year has put retail businesses, particularly smaller independent retailers, under increasing pressure just to stay in business and to stay in business here in Connecticut,” Phelan told state lawmakers earlier this year during a public hearing.

Delaware

Dover: To enter Firefly Music Festival, guests will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours, the festival’s owner announced late last week. The policy will be in place for all events and venues operated by AEG Presents, which purchased Firefly in 2018. “We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano said in a statement, citing the virus’s delta variant and vaccine hesitancy that have pushed statistics “in the wrong direction again” in recent weeks. In the past month, COVID-19 cases have quintupled in Delaware. “We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one,” Marciano said. “We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.” Firefly officials previously said the festival will be limited to 50,000 people for each day of its four days, Sept. 23-26. According to AEG’s website, its festivals will accept a physical copy of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or a digital copy of the card for proof of vaccination. Masks are strongly encouraged, the website says.

MyPillow CEO flees pro-Trump event after losing bid to stop $1.2B suit

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District of Columbia

Washington: A military base in the nation’s capital was locked down for about two hours Friday, causing a brief panic, after an armed man ran onto the grounds during a local police investigation of gunshots on the surrounding streets. A statement from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling said the man’s firearm was discovered after the intrusion, and the intruder himself was detained about 2:45 p.m. during “a thorough sweep of the installation.” The individual, who was not named, was transferred to Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department. The naval support facility at the north end of the base is used by Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the fleet of green helicopters that carry the president and vice president. Col. Mike Zuhlsdorf, the base commander, credited the “thorough and coordinated response” among multiple agencies, including MPD and the Secret Service, with helping to swiftly control the situation. “I remain confident in our security posture,” Zuhlsdorf said in a statement. The 905-acre base in southeast Washington houses Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard units, along with the Washington field office of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the headquarters of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Florida

Gainesville: The University of Florida will open its upcoming semester with in-person classes, reversing itself within hours of telling students the term might begin online because of the state’s renewed COVID-19 outbreak. UF administrators sent an email to students Friday afternoon telling them that after consulting with university epidemiologists, plans were being made to put the first three weeks of school online. But then a few hours later, a second email went out announcing that classes would be conducted in person. No reason was given for the reversal, but UF said in a statement that no schools in the state university system would be conducting classes online. The university is not requiring vaccines or mask-wearing but is recommending both. In an email to students last week, administrators wrote that they “cannot modify the operation of the entire university for a minority of people who may choose not to be vaccinated.” Gov. Ron DeSantis is strongly opposed to vaccine and mask mandates, saying those decisions should be left to each person. He has encouraged vaccination but has stopped wearing masks in public. The state averaged almost 22,000 newly confirmed cases per day last week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, up from about 1,500 per day in mid-June and blowing past last year’s highs.

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Georgia

Savannah: The National Park Service is pushing back after a U.S. government report recommended approval of a launch pad for commercial rockets on the Georgia coast, saying a chance of explosive misfires over a federally protected island popular with tourists and campers poses an “unacceptable risk.” Camden County in Georgia’s coastal, southeast corner has spent nine years and $10 million seeking permission to build what would be the nation’s 13th licensed commercial spaceport. The proposed Spaceport Camden took a big step forward in June, when the Federal Aviation Administration issued a final environmental impact study that concluded building the spaceport would be its “preferred alternative.” Now the Park Service and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, are disputing the FAA’s conclusion that the spaceport poses minimal risks or adverse impacts to Cumberland Island, a federally protected wilderness. The island, known for wild horses and nesting sea turtles, is managed by the Park Service and draws about 60,000 visitors each year. In a July 22 letter to the FAA, the Interior Department said the final study on the spaceport’s impacts noted that a failed launch could result in “fires, explosions, or releases of propellants or other hazardous materials.”

Hawaii

Honolulu: Two visitors from the U.S. mainland were arrested for allegedly using fake vaccine cards to travel into the state. Officials with the Hawaii Attorney General’s office arrested the visitors at Honolulu’s international airport, a spokesman for the agency said in a statement. Investigators said the two were in violation of the state’s travel rules, which require travelers to produce either a negative coronavirus test or proof of COVID-19 vaccination to avoid quarantine when entering the state. Violating the state’s COVID-19 mandates, including falsifying a vaccination card, is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine of up to $5,000, up to a year in prison or both. The visitors were arraigned Wednesday after being arrested over the prior weekend. Authorities responded to a tip from a community member. “Attorney General investigators are committed to ensuring all such leads are investigated and thank the community for their assistance and support,” the AG’s office said. The agency said that while there may be other cases pending with other Hawaii law enforcement divisions, this was the first arrest by the Department of the Attorney General for allegedly falsifying vaccination cards.

Idaho

Boise: The state’s budget surplus is up to $1.4 billion, officials said Friday. The Idaho Division of Financial Management said it based the increase on a revised general fund revenue forecast it does every August for the current fiscal year to account for economic conditions and law changes. The agency said the surplus comes from a nearly $900 million ending balance for fiscal year 2021, which ended June 30, combined with another $513 million more than the forecast used by lawmakers to set the state’s budget last May for the current fiscal year, 2022, which ends next summer. The agency also said revenue collections were nearly $40 million more than anticipated in July, the first month of the current fiscal year. State officials said the $1.4 billion surplus could change based on monthly revenue collections. Budget setting for fiscal year 2021 occurred before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and state officials feared a big deficit. But the state received billions of dollars in coronavirus rescue money, and many Idaho residents and businesses received pandemic aid. Federal money was also used to boost unemployment benefits. In addition, Idaho has been one of the fastest-growing states, with new residents bringing in additional money.

Illinois

Chicago: An exhibit of more than 80 works by the graffiti artist known publicly only as Banksy has come to the Windy City. “The Art of Banksy” opened Saturday and runs through Oct. 31 in a shuttered, 45,000-square-foot broadcast communications museum. The pieces – which include canvases, prints and sculptures – are from private collections. Stencils by the street artist have appeared on the walls of buildings – even a British prison, bridges and streets across the globe. Some of his most recognizable stencils and murals include “Flower Thrower,” “Rude Copper,” “Girl with Balloon” and “I Remember When All This Was Trees.” Earlier this year, a Banksy painting honoring health workers in the pandemic sold at auction for more than $23 million. Titled “Game Changer,” the work first appeared on a wall at Southampton General Hospital in southern England in May 2020. The black-and-white picture depicts a young boy sitting on the floor playing with a nurse superhero toy, as Batman and Spiderman toy figures lie in a wastepaper basket next to him. At the time it went up, the hospital said Banksy left a note for workers there saying: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”

Indiana

Chesterton: The National Park Service wants to charge entrance fees for the first time at the Indiana Dunes National Park, citing a dramatic increase in visitors in recent years and the need for more revenue for park maintenance. The federal agency will hold an online public meeting on the proposed fees via Zoom on Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. CDT. If approved, the fees would begin March 31, 2022. The northwest Indiana park has seen a surge in visitors during the past two years, and the new fees would help finance park maintenance, public safety and programming, officials said. “The value of public open spaces has been underscored during the COVID pandemic,” Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz said in a statement. The proposed entrance fees include $15 per person for people walking, bicycling or boating into the park, or $20 for motorcyclists. A commercial motor coach fee would be $100. The other fees would be a $25 seven-day pass for vehicles and a $45 annual pass. Among the other new entrance fees, the Park Service proposes adding six backcountry campsites that would cost $25 per night, with a limit of eight campers. The 15,000-acre park along Lake Michigan’s southern shore, about 50 miles east of Chicago, became Indiana’s first national park in February 2019.

Iowa

Des Moines: Iowa’s Ethics Board has found that Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds didn’t violate any laws when she appeared in a series of taxpayer-funded ads last fall promoting coronavirus public safety measures. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted unanimously Thursday to find Reynolds did not violate a 2018 state law that prohibits statewide elected officials from using public funds for self-promotion. Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand had accused Reynolds of the ethical violation, saying the ad campaign she launched in November was used to promote her own image when she appeared in several of the ads encouraging mask-wearing. Sand, a Democrat, had said the ad campaign was funded with money intended to pay for expanded testing capacity for the coronavirus and improve collection and reporting of data about the pandemic. He also said Reynolds’ office didn’t seek federal approval to spend the money on an ad campaign until after it was announced and well after his office requested invoices for the spending. On Thursday, the Ethics Board found that the law includes an exception for when a governor proclaims a disaster emergency, which Reynolds had done for the pandemic. Sand said the ruling declared “open season” on using taxpayer money for politicians’ self-promotion.

Kansas

Leavenworth: The CoreCivic Leavenworth Detention Center has been on lockdown for more than a week and a half after an inmate died from injuries he suffered in a fight, officials said Friday. Scott W. Wilson, 39, was kicked, punched and struck with a tray Aug. 2. He suffered a broken rib and punctured lung and died two days later, said Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department. Another inmate, a 28-year-old man, has been identified as a suspect, but no charges were filed as of Friday afternoon. The Leavenworth Detention Center houses pretrial detainees for the U.S. Marshals Service. Ryan Gustin, spokesman for CoreCivic, said in an email that the detention center was placed on lockdown Aug. 3, and the lockdown was still in place Friday. Detention center officials are working with U.S. Marshals to determine when normal operations will resume, he said.

Kentucky

Frankfort: State tourism officials are offering a new incentive for residents to get vaccinated. The initiative called Vax and Visit launched Thursday and allows permanent Kentucky residents who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination to enter drawings for travel incentives at state parks, said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Mike Berry. There will be 30 drawings for gift certificates that will include golf rounds, overnight lodging and campground stays, he said. The drawings also raise awareness of how Kentucky residents can get vaccinated, officials said. “Offering vaccine incentives to Kentucky state parks will not only boost travel revenue in local communities but also ensure that Kentucky continues to be seen as a safe travel destination post-pandemic,” Berry said. Winners will be selected beginning Sept. 9, and the final drawing will take place Oct. 7.

Louisiana

a group of people standing in front of a building: Jazz musicians play outside a nearly empty Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans' French Quarter on Aug. 24 before Tropical Storm Marco was expected to hit the Gulf Coast. © Jasper Colt, USAT Jazz musicians play outside a nearly empty Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans' French Quarter on Aug. 24 before Tropical Storm Marco was expected to hit the Gulf Coast.

New Orleans: The French Quarter Festival, in which thousands crowd the streets of the historic New Orleans neighborhood to listen to brass bands, zydeco and other music, has become the latest victim of the state’s fourth coronavirus surge. Festival organizers announced Friday that they were canceling the festival, which had been slated for Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Other events such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival have already canceled events slated for this summer and fall. The event will return to the French Quarter on April 21-24 of next year, organizers said Friday. The Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, which takes place in Lafayette, is also being canceled for this fall, organizers announced. That festival had been slated for Oct. 8-10 and instead will take place March 18-20 of next year. Louisiana has set new daily records for the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 for two weeks. Ninety-one percent of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, according to state health department data. Only 38% of Louisiana’s population is inoculated, putting it among the bottom five states in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the number of people seeking their first shot has increased dramatically over the past month.

Maine

Augusta: The state’s congressional delegation wants the Federal Communications Commission to keep Maine a one-area-code state. All of the Pine Tree State is served by the 207 area code. The four members of the delegation said 207 phone numbers are projected to run out by 2024 if the FCC doesn’t take action, and that would necessitate the creation of a second area code in the state. The delegation told the FCC on Thursday that the 207 area code is “both a cultural touchstone and a matter of efficiency.” It also said adding another area code could be a problem for businesses because so many leave the 207 area code out when posting a phone number or relaying a message. The Maine Public Utilities Commission recently asked the FCC to let Maine try a method that allocates numbers one at a time to phone providers rather than allocating them in large blocks. The congressional delegation said it strongly supports that request, which it said could help maintain the solo area code.

Maryland

Baltimore: Police officials have told all employees they cannot collect overtime pay while on paid vacation, a practice the department says costs the city an average of $300,000 per year. Shallah Graham, the department’s chief financial officer, told City Council members last week that the agency won’t let employees file for overtime pay in addition to vacation pay, The Baltimore Sun reports. A previous payroll system allowed this practice of “double dipping” without a way to identify when it happened, but Graham said a new system has greater transparency. Before an investigation by the newspaper, the department spent nearly $50 million a year in overtime, according to department budget records. The investigation showed many officers made tens of thousands of dollars in paid overtime, including five who logged more than 2,000 hours of overtime each in a single year. While the practice didn’t violate any city policy, the Inspector General’s Office reported last month that “it could be perceived as wasteful.”

Massachusetts

Quincy: Turtles are being temporarily relocated so the city can start a $1.4 million pond restoration project. Starting this week, volunteers from the New England Herpetological Society will trap the turtles and take them to the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth. The trapping process, which involves sardine-baited “hoop traps,” will take four days, according to a news release. Turtles will be taken from the traps each day to the wildlife center. The contractors are scheduled to begin restoration work Aug. 27. The plan is to dredge sediment from the pond and create a gravel stormwater treatment wetland on the north side, the city said. Julie Sullivan, the city’s environmental scientist, said sediment that has settled at the bottom of the pond has become so thick that it interferes with plant life and harms the ecosystem. The idea to move the turtles was sparked after Quincy residents expressed concerns that the restoration of the pond would disrupt wildlife.

Michigan

Lansing: The state has passed the grim milestone of 20,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a top health official warning that people must continue taking precautions. State health officials reported Friday that Michigan had totaled 20,011 confirmed deaths since recording its first one in March 2020. “We’ve seen real devastation and tragedy as a result of COVID-19, and it remains as important now as it (was) a year ago to mitigate the transmission of this virus,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. “Because it is deadly.” Health officials are preparing for a new wave of coronavirus infections caused by the highly transmissible delta variant that is sweeping the country. On Friday, Michigan identified delta variant infections in more than 50 counties and the city of Detroit. Michigan’s COVID-19 deaths have been highest among the elderly and African Americans. Those 70 years and older have accounted for 69% of the total deaths. Confirmed deaths among African Americans have accounted for about about 22% of deaths, whereas Black residents comprise only about 14% of Michigan’s population.

Minnesota

Minneapolis: The city’s police will no longer stop motorists for minor traffic violations, such as expired tags or an air freshener hanging from their rearview mirror, according to a new policy change. Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo, in an internal memo Thursday, said the move comes after examining how officers can better use time and resources. “MPD will no longer be conducting traffic stops solely for these offenses: expired tabs, an item dangling from a mirror, or not having a working license plate light,” Arradondo wrote in the memo obtained by the Star Tribune. Critics have long argued that low-level traffic stops in which officers use a minor traffic or equipment violation as a justification for pulling over someone they want to investigate contribute to racial disparities in the criminal justice system. The memo also said the city attorney will stop prosecuting tickets for driving after suspension if there was no accident “or other egregious driving behavior that would impact public safety.” Mayor Jacob Frey said Friday that police will continue to stop motorists for offenses that are a threat to public safety, such as reckless driving or speeding.

Mississippi

Jackson: A rural community is overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, two weeks after hosting the Neshoba County Fair that drew thousands who lived in cabins, attended shoulder-to-shoulder outdoor concerts and listened to stump speeches – including one by the Republican governor, who decried federal masking guidance as “foolish.” Frustrated by rising COVID-19 infections, the chief executive officer of the 25-bed Neshoba General Hospital posted a message on social media challenging Gov. Tate Reeves to step up and show leadership. “@tatereeves hospitals and healthcare workers need you to help us. Where are you?” Lee McCall wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “We are overwhelmed with the surge of Covid and understaffed to safely care for our patients. Our incredible staff are holding it together but we are all at our breaking point.” Last week alone, Mississippi broke its single-day records of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalized patients multiple times. The previous records were in January, before vaccinations were widely available. Until recent days, Reeves had made few public statements about the coronavirus the past few weeks. In a July 29 speech to a conservative crowd at the Neshoba County Fair, he called federal advice for the fully vaccinated to resume wearing masks indoors “foolish” and “harmful.”

Missouri

Sedalia: Mostly unmasked crowds packed into the Missouri State Fair shoulder-to-shoulder last week as it opened amid soaring numbers of new COVID-19 infections. Fair officials decided in the spring to bring back the full fair after replacing it with a much smaller youth livestock show last year because of safety concerns, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. “We’re not seeing any kind of slowdown in attendance and are expecting an average to good year,” said State Fair Director Mark Wolfe, adding that his staff estimated up to 340,000 people will attend the event before it closes Aug. 22. Among the unmasked was Brian Eggers, a 55-year-old farmer who lives outside Chillicothe. He lost a close neighbor as well as aunts and uncles to COVID-19 and said he hasn’t gotten around to getting a shot. “I’m not anti-vaccine, but I haven’t gotten it myself yet,” he said as he watched a youth livestock show, adding: “If God wants to take me, that’s his choice.” Jessica Miller, who manned the fair’s vaccination station, said five patients had come in for COVID-19 shots in the event’s first 2.5 hours of operation. Some told Miller that their jobs were going to require the vaccine or that they would be allowed to eschew a mask if they got inoculated.

Montana

Missoula: Police on Friday released the name of a 21-year-old man who was shot and killed by a police officer after authorities say he fled a traffic stop. Brendon T. Galbreath, a member of the Blackfeet Nation who lived in Missoula, died in a hospital Thursday. Galbreath’s brother, Terrance LaFromboise, said Friday that the family had received statements from law enforcement officials following his death that did not match up with information publicly released by Missoula police following the incident. In a recording of communications between police officers during the chase and shooting, a police officer can be heard saying the victim shot himself. “Did he shoot or did we?” an officer asks. “Both,” another officer responds. LaFromboise said people who knew his brother find it hard to believe he had a gun or knew how to use one. “He has a strong stance against guns,” he said. Galbreath was the salutatorian of his class in high school and had met former first lady Michelle Obama during a trip to Washington, D.C., through a pre-college program. He moved to Missoula during the coronavirus pandemic, after several relatives contracted COVID-19 and died. He was planning to apply to study at the University of Montana to study medicine or engineering, his brother said.

Nebraska

Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Board of Regents has rejected an anti-critical race theory resolution. The 5-3 vote Friday followed about three hours of public comment from students, faculty and others, the Lincoln Journal-Star reports. Regent Jim Pillen, a Republican candidate for governor, introduced the resolution objecting to “any imposition of critical race theory” in academic curriculum in July, after another candidate for governor criticized him for not taking action on the issue. Critical race theory, a framework for examining the effects race and racism have on institutions, both historically and today, has become a flashpoint in the culture wars. Several legislatures have enacted bills preventing it from being taught. Pillen said most Nebraskans believe critical race theory to be “discriminatory, divisive” and antithetical to the values held by many. But the proposal ran into a buzz saw of opposition from students, faculty, administrators and others, who said it abridged academic freedom and would hurt recruiting and retention, particularly of students and faculty of color. The ACLU of Nebraska, Anti-Defamation League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People bused students from Omaha to Lincoln and handed out T-shirts emblazoned with “Protect Academic Freedom.”

Nevada

Las Vegas: The owner of a hotel that was fined a year ago for defying state coronavirus pandemic restrictions and hosting a beauty pageant and a faith-based Donald Trump campaign rally has lost a court challenge of the governor’s directives that limited meeting sizes. State Attorney General Aaron Ford said Friday’s ruling against Ahern Hotel and Convention Center amounted to a finding by a court that emergency orders issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak after COVID-19 emerged in March 2020 balance the rights and safety of residents. “Today, the court recognized what we already knew – the state has a responsibility to protect the lives of Nevadans,” Ford said. In a verbal ruling, Clark County District Court Judge Nancy Allf decided the lawsuit filed in August 2020 was moot because there are no more occupancy limits imposed by the state, Ford said. The city of Las Vegas and its planning director also were named as defendants. The property was fined nearly $11,000 after holding an “Evangelicals for Trump” event at which a city employee tallied more than 1,100 attendees – far more than the 50-person limit Sisolak had ordered for public and private events at the time. Organizers of the Mrs. Nevada America pageant held days later removed spectators to comply with crowd limits.

New Hampshire

Concord: The state has a new goal of reducing waste sent to landfills by 25% by 2030. The goal is included in a bill signed into law last week. Sen. David Watters, a Dover Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, said it reframes and updates the state’s waste reduction goals and requires more innovation to reduce how much trash is generated and to increase the diversion of trash from landfills through reuse, recycling and composting. The law requires the Department of Environmental Services to update the state’s solid waste plan and make it available to the public.

New Jersey

Trenton: The state has retained its slot as the country’s densest, and Newark kept its crown as New Jersey’s biggest city, according to newly released U.S. census figures. The state’s population per square mile climbed 5.6% over the past decade to 1,263 people up from 1,195.5 – higher than every other state, though behind the District of Columbia. Newark also saw its population climb above 300,000, edging out a growing Jersey City that some expected would overtake Newark. Jersey City will remain the Garden State’s second-biggest, after growing 18% to just shy of 300,000 residents. The new figures also show the state became less white and more Black, Hispanic and Asian. The white population fell from 5.21 million a decade ago to 4.82 million in 2020, while the Hispanic and Asian populations both climbed by nearly 30%. People identifying as Hispanic climbed from 1.55 million in 2010 to 2 million in 2020, while the Asian population went from about 720,000 to roughly 942,000. The Black population grew from 1.13 million to 1.15 million. People under age 18 in New Jersey have declined from 2.07 million in 2010 to 2.01 million. Overall, the state’s population climbed from 8.8 million to 9.3 million. It will keep the 12 House seats it currently has.

New Mexico

Albuquerque: State health officials say an increase in hospitalizations has prompted them to put out an urgent call for volunteer nurses to help boost the state’s medical workforce. The New Mexico Department of Health late Friday called on nurses or anyone with a medical license to volunteer to help because officials believe hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with patients. They want recently retired health workers or anyone qualified to sign up for the state’s Medical Reserve Corps. Hospitals are seeing increased hospitalizations because of long-postponed surgeries and a surge in COVID-19 patients. The delta variant of the coronavirus is much more contagious than previous strains. “We ask our nurses, and anyone with a medical license, to once again volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps,” Dr. David R. Scrase, the acting director of the state health department, said in a statement. “To get through this together, we need everyone who can provide patient care to work side by side with us during this critical time.” The state’s Reserve Medical Corps has filled more than 139 requests during the pandemic, deploying 2,750 volunteers. To sign up, go to the Corps website at nmmrcserves.org.

New York

Albany: State Sens. Jamaal Bailey and Brian Benjamin are emerging as top contenders in the search for the next lieutenant governor, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press. Bailey and Benjamin, both from New York City, are among several candidates being vetted by Kathy Hochul and her team and have emerged as the leading contenders, the person said. Last week Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would resign after increasing calls for his impeachment following an investigation that found he sexually harassed 11 women. He is set to leave office Aug. 24, when Hochul, who has been lieutenant governor since 2015, will take over. The state Assembly will suspend its investigation of Cuomo once he steps down after its leader concluded the Legislature didn’t have the clear authority to impeach a departed official, the chamber’s top Democrat said Friday. In an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Hochul, who hails from the Buffalo area, said she had narrowed her search to focus on candidates from New York City. “Even though I’ve spent thousands of hours in New York City, and I’m well familiar with the challenges, I want someone who lives there,” she said. “I want someone who understands the challenges firsthand.” The position of lieutenant governor has largely been a ceremonial role.

North Carolina

Raleigh: Those who visit indoor spaces within the capital city will now need to wear a face mask to limit the spread of COVID-19, the mayor said Friday. Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin also said city employees who are already fully vaccinated or get to that point by Sept. 17 will receive a $250 reward and two days of bonus leave. “The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in our community and across the state at an alarming rate,” Baldwin said in a statement. “The idea that we can hope COVID-19 will just go away on its own is not a reality. It’s time to take responsible action and today we are taking an important step to make sure the people of this community, and those who visit us, remain healthy and safe.” The move to reimpose the mask mandate will only be within Raleigh city limits, not Wake County. But the requirement does apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The largest city in the state may also soon decide to compel masking indoors for residents and visitors, as Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles backtracked comments she made last week that she lacked the authority to compel people to wear masks indoors. Renewed mask requirements and rewards for vaccinations are coming as the more contagious delta variant sweeps across the state, giving North Carolina its worst coronavirus metrics in months.

North Dakota

Bismarck: State officials say production of oil and gas is holding steady. The latest figures released Friday show the state’s oil production from May to June has plateaued at about 1.1 million barrels per day for both months. “I would have to characterize the Bakken at this point as a sleeping giant,” State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said. “The COVID pandemic kind of put the industry to sleep, and it’s struggling somewhat to wake up.” The state’s oil production has recovered somewhat from last summer’s lows amid the coronavirus crisis, but it’s far from the record 1.5 million barrels per day produced in late 2019, the Bismarck Tribune reports. North Dakota’s natural gas production is also steady at about 2.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day in June. Officials say that if gas production grows, the state will need more pipelines and processing facilities within the next two years if it’s to continue to keep flaring down. “It’s not going to be an easy feat,” North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad said. “Things will have to get moving relatively briskly to meet those time frames.” Helms said he expects oil production will likely increase next year as companies slowly add back rigs in North Dakota, as well as crews needed to frack newly drilled wells so they can start producing oil.

Ohio

Columbus: A concealed weapons permit would become optional, and the requirement that individuals “promptly” notify police officers that they are carrying a concealed weapon would be eliminated, under legislation proposed in the state Senate. The bill is similar to a measure pending in the Ohio House and is one of several GOP-backed proposals in recent years seeking to expand gun rights in the state. The new concealed weapons bill, dubbed “Constitutional Carry” by its backers, was introduced Aug. 5 by state Sen. Terry Johnson, a Republican from southern Ohio’s Scioto County. Keeping the permit optional – as opposed to eliminating it altogether – would allow gunowners who obtain it to carry a concealed weapon in states with reciprocity agreements recognizing such permits. Earlier this year, Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Cincinnati, noted it’s already legal to openly carry a firearm in Ohio without a license or training. “In order to avoid unnecessary hassle from the public or law enforcement, one may decide to put a coat or jacket over their firearm,” Brinkman, sponsor of the House legislation, told the House Government Oversight Committee in April. “Sadly, that individual instantly turns into a felon if they have not gone through some … government-mandated rigmarole first.”

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City: An emergency rule by Gov. Kevin Stitt allows hospitals to renovate conference rooms and other areas to care for COVID-19 patients, the state’s health commissioner said Friday. The rule is not an emergency declaration, which would allow state schools to implement mask mandates, said Dr. Lance Frye, adding that he is not convinced one is needed. “We strictly looked at what do we need to respond (to the virus surge) and is there anything that was … accomplished before in our emergency declaration that we can’t do now,” Frye said. “We are good where we are right now as far as our ability to respond” to the surge that Frye said would be slowed with vaccinations. Unvaccinated patients make up 98% of new cases and 93% of hospitalizations in the state, Frye said. The state health department reported 2,814 new coronavirus cases Friday and a seven-day average of 2,122 new cases daily, up from 1,268 on July 28, along with 1,326 virus-related hospitalizations. Oklahoma’s vaccination rate reached 50% of residents with one dose, according to deputy health commissioner Keith Reed, and 41.1% fully inoculated, compared to national rates of 58.2% with one dose and 49.9% fully vaccinated.

Oregon

Salem: A new state law that suspends a requirement for a basic-skills test in math, reading and writing to graduate high school is being praised by advocates as a way to rethink education standards and sharply criticized by others as a misguided effort that will hurt children’s learning in the long run. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 744 last month without much attention. The measure temporarily eliminates essential-skills testing through the 2022-23 school year. That requirement had been put on a hold amid the pandemic, which forced the closure of many schools and remote learning for students. The Oregon Department of Education has said the new law will allow the state to develop more equitable graduation requirements. Officials have been told to compare diploma requirements in various states and find ways to reduce disparities and ensure graduation requirements are fair. “Senate Bill 744 does not remove Oregon’s graduation requirements, and it certainly does not remove any requirements that Oregon students learn essential skills,” department spokesman Marc Siegel told KATU. Rashelle Chase, founder of Mxm Bloc, an advocacy group led by Black women and focused on education and other social justice issues, said certain children struggle with exams and had been hurt by the testing requirements.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia: Health care workers, college students and higher education employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-October under new mandates announced by the city’s Public Health Department on Friday. The mandates were passed Thursday night by the Board of Health, which provides guidance to the city’s health department, said acting Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole. She said both categories of people will be required to be vaccinated by Oct. 15, but exemptions will be allowed for religious or medical reasons, with added precautions or accommodations for those people. Health care workers with an exemption will be required to wear masks and undergo a coronavirus test twice a week. At colleges, those with exemptions will have to get a PCR test or two antigen tests weekly. Once a college reaches a 90% vaccination rate, Bettigole said those people with exemptions can double-mask and social distance in indoor spaces, or colleges can offer virtual options as an accommodation. City public health officials also made adjustments to mask mandates announced last week in an effort to accommodate parents with young children not yet eligible for the vaccines.

Rhode Island

Providence: West Nile virus has been found in a mosquito sample collected in the state for the first time this summer, environmental officials said. A mosquito trapped July 29 in Cranston tested positive for the virus, the state Department of Environmental Management said in a statement Thursday. No mosquito samples this year have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, another mosquito-borne disease. The finding was not unexpected, given that West Nile has been found in multiple samples collected in neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts, indicating that the virus has “established seasonal activity in our area,” the department said. Because the virus is expected to become more prevalent as the season progresses, state environmental and health officials urged residents to limit their exposure to mosquitoes until the first hard frost. That includes eliminating mosquito breedings areas; ensuring windows and doors have screens; avoiding outdoor activities at sunrise and sundown, when mosquitoes are most active; and wearing shirts with long sleeves and long pants and using insect repellant when outdoors.

South Carolina

a small clock tower in front of a house: The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of Central and West Africans. © Nathaniel Cary The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of Central and West Africans.

Hilton Head Island: A new genealogy research project could help preserve vulnerable coastal land belonging to Gullah Geechee families. The Heirs’ Property Family Research Project in Hilton Head Island will assist families with research that could help them obtain valid deeds for land that has been passed down to multiple family members without a will. Organized by the town’s Gullah Geechee Culture and Land Preservation Task Force, the Heritage Library of Hilton Head Island, and the University of South Carolina Beaufort, the project aims to help Black Americans known as Gullah or Geechee. These slave descendants retained much of their African heritage passed down from ancestors who grew up isolated on coastal islands off North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Some of the Gullah Geechee land is particularly vulnerable, project organizers said in a statement, because of the way it was passed down without a formal will. Volunteers with the free program will tap into census records and other documents to create family trees. Sheryse DuBose of the task force said the project could aid several Gullah Geechee families to secure titles for their land.

South Dakota

Sioux Falls: MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell said he was aggressively poked by someone seeking a selfie, which led him to say he was attacked. Lindell, who hosted an election fraud symposium in the city last week, told the conservative talk show FlashPoint that he was approached by a man who wanted a photo Wednesday night. “He put his arm around and stuck his finger, it was so much pressure, I just knew if I did anything something more was coming,” Lindell said, gesturing to his side. “He jammed it in where it was just piercing pain.” Lindell had told the crowd Thursday at the election fraud symposium that he was still in pain and wanted everyone to know about the evil in the world. The Sioux Falls Police Department said it is investigating a report of an assault at a hotel near the symposium. Police spokesman Sam Clemens has declined to identify the victim, citing Marsy’s Law, a state constitutional amendment that protects crime victims. Lindell announced the symposium in July, saying he hoped hundreds of “cyber-forensics experts” would attend and back up his claims that voting machines were hacked to flip votes for former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden in 2020.

Tennessee

Nashville: The governor’s office is pushing back on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation that goes as far as claiming cows are being vaccinated to inoculate unwitting people who eat meat. The confusion over an assortment of outlandish claims illustrates the hurdles that face a state in the bottom 10 for vaccination rates amid a coronavirus resurgence stretching hospitals thin. In an email Thursday to lawmakers, a top deputy of Republican Gov. Bill Lee debunked “several conspiracy theories” about a recent executive order. The email says some components that are being most frequently misinterpreted were included in previous executive orders during the pandemic. Lee’s office said lawmakers seeking information for constituents and constituents themselves have reached out about the claims. The rumors deemed “FALSE” in the governor’s office email are that his executive order creates “quarantine camps”; that the National Guard will round up unvaccinated people and take them to locations to be quarantined or vaccinated, or forcibly vaccinate them in their homes; that the executive order lays the groundwork for permanent lockdowns; and that COVID-19 vaccines are being given to livestock to vaccinate people through meat consumption.

Texas

Dallas: A man who was scheduled for trial on murder charges last week has instead been granted release on bond after Dallas police revealed that material in his case might be among troves of data lost from its computer system. A Dallas County judge granted Jonathan Pitts bond Thursday after prosecutors asked the judge to delay his trial as they worked with police to determine whether case material was part of the information lost while the Dallas Police Department was moving data from a computer network drive. It was not immediately clear when Pitts would be freed from jail. The release of Pitts, who is charged in the 2019 shooting of Shun Handy, was ordered as authorities race to determine how many cases may have had evidence vanish in the 8-terabyte data loss. Prosecutors told Judge Ernie White on Thursday that they needed more time to work with police to audit the materials in Pitts’ case to determine whether anything was lost. On Friday evening, Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said that “all the evidentiary items and data are available for prosecution on this murder case.” White granted Pitts release without paying bail because state law requires a person be freed if prosecutors aren’t ready at the time trial, his defense attorney, George Ashford III, told The Dallas Morning News.

Utah

Salt Lake City: Zion National Park may soon require reservations to hike one of its most famous trails. The Angel’s Landing hike is a narrow trail perched on the edge of a red-rock cliff in southern Utah. The number of people visiting Zion has been growing at a breakneck pace in recent years, and Angel’s Landing is one of the most sought-after destinations. More than 300,000 people made the trek in 2019, according to park officials. The crowding is worrisome on the trail where people regularly fall and die from the trail edged by a sheer cliff, park officials said. The system would start in 2022 and require people to pay $6 to enter an online lottery to get a permit and a $3 per person usage fee if they are chosen. It would apply specifically to the narrowest section of the trail, called the chain section after the metal handholds driven into the rock. Park officials are taking online public comment on the proposal through Sept. 12.

Vermont

Montpelier: The state Supreme Court has authorized a one-year pilot project for remote civil jury trials. The move comes after a committee studied how to utilize remote hearing technology to increase access to justice and address civil case backlogs. The issue is especially important as the judiciary continues to navigate challenges associated with COVID-19. “The judiciary has been using remote technology to facilitate operations in order to ensure access to justice and continuity of operations and to promote the health and safety of judges, staff, and court users during the pandemic,” said state court administrator Patricia Gabel. “Considering the ways available technology can assist us in managing our civil docket is an important step in our ongoing effort to leverage technology and adapt our operations to changing conditions,” she said. The pilot project will not affect criminal trials.

Virginia

Roanoke: A federal judge declined to block the blasting of bedrock on a mountain where a natural gas pipeline is supposed to be laid, saying she lacks authority to do so. The decision by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Dillon comes after the property owner on Bent Mountain in Roanoke County sought an injunction to halt the work involving the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Dillon said Friday that her court was not the proper jurisdiction to resolve the dispute, noting that landowner John Coles Terry III had already sought action from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, The Roanoke Times reports. An attorney for Terry’s family asked last week for a temporary injunction on the drilling and blasting. Construction crews had started boring holes to prepare for explosives that would clear a trench for burying the 42-inch-diameter pipe. Terry’s motion said the blasting could contaminate his well water and that of others downstream. But the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and pipeline officials have said they’ve not seen evidence of the potential harm described in the motion. Terry said after Friday’s hearing that crews had yet to reach the portion of his land where construction would most likely impact his water.

Washington

George: More than 160 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed so far among people who attended the Watershed Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington. More than 20,000 fans packed the Gorge, in George, for the three-day outdoor country music festival in late July, The Seattle Times reports. The Grant County Health District said Friday that the cases are tied to residents in counties including King, Grant, Pierce, Skagit, Kittitas, Okanogan, Whatcom, Kitsap, San Juan, Lincoln and Stevens. There’s also one case tied to an Oregon resident. Officials expect more cases associated with the festival to be confirmed in the coming days, and investigators are working with those who have tested positive to identify other cases. Public Health officials urge people who attended the festival to self-quarantine and get tested for the coronavirus. On average, symptoms of the virus develop five to six days after exposure, but the incubation period can be as long as 14 days, officials said. In eastern Oregon, Umatilla County Public Health officials have tied at least 66 COVID-19 cases to the outdoor Pendleton Whiskey Music Fest on July 10. Sixty-one of the people who tested positive were unvaccinated, officials said.

West Virginia

Charleston: Policies that allow state officials to refuse to change a transgender person’s gender on their birth certificates should be declared unconstitutional, according to a new federal lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic on Thursday sued the Department of Health and Human Resources on behalf of two transgender men born in West Virginia, The Exponent Telegram reports. The suit stems from a ruling by the West Virginia Supreme Court last year that said circuit judges could no longer issue court orders telling health officials to change birth certificate gender markers. The lawsuit says the ruling led to health officials refusing to change gender markers and prior legal names on birth certificates of transgender individuals. The Department of Health and Human Resources has the authority under state law to make requested changes without a court order, according to ACLU of West Virginia Legal Director Loree Stark. Denying such requests violates transgender individuals’ constitutional rights to free speech, due process and equal protection, Stark said. West Virginia is “one of the last remaining states in the nation” where the gender marker on birth certificates can’t be changed, Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic Director Alexander Chen said.

Wisconsin

Kenosha: A woman accidentally shot a friend while using the laser sight on a handgun to play with a cat, authorities said. A criminal complaint charging the 19-year-old woman with negligent use of a weapon said she was visiting a Kenosha apartment Tuesday afternoon where a 21-year-old man had brought a handgun. The woman, who a witness said had been drinking, picked up the handgun, “turned on the laser sight and was pointing it at the floor to get the cat to chase it” when the gun went off, the complaint filed Thursday said. The man, who was standing in a doorway, was shot in the thigh, authorities said. He left and went into another apartment, where police found him after responding to a 911 call, the Kenosha News reports. A tourniquet was applied to his leg to stop the bleeding before he was taken to a hospital. There’s no word on his condition, but authorities said he was facing charges for violating bond conditions that prevented him from having a weapon. The woman told police she thought the magazine had been taken out of the gun and said it “accidentally went off,” according to the complaint.

Wyoming

Casper: A new memorial honors the military service of Native Americans who long went unrecognized. The Path of Honor opened Thursday at the Frank B. Wise Business Center in Fort Washakie, where stones along a winding red path symbolize courage and commitment to living a purposeful life, the Casper Star-Tribune reports. Lyle Wadda of American Legion Post 81 spearheaded the project that began in 2008 after the Wind River Development Fund and Post 81 partnered to create the business center. Still, even after the building and memorial’s completion, Wadda found himself in disbelief when it was finally dedicated to the public in a ceremony attended by dignitaries including Gov. Mark Gordon. “We accept anyone in this post,” he said at the dedication ceremony. “You don’t have to be Native American or part of another tribe. Business is open to everyone.” John St. Clair, chairman of the Eastern Shoshone Business Council and a Vietnam veteran, pointed to the dedication and bravery of Native Americans who served as volunteers in the Spanish American War and in World War I, before Native Americans were granted U.S. citizenship. At the Wind River Reservation alone, close to 900 tribal members have served in conflicts ranging from World War I to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From USA TODAY Network and wire reports

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Casa Bonita, MyPillow poke, Banksy exhibit: News from around our 50 states

Reels, Rosebud and R2-D2: The academy museum is set to roll .
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