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SOUTHERN DUMPING GROUNDS
‘It smells like death:’ Alabama endures NYC ‘poop train’
PARRISH, Ala. (AP) – A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet.
The “poop train” is just the latest example of the South being used as a dumping ground for other states’ waste.
Parrish, Alabama, mayor Heather Hall says the smell is unbearable.
All kinds of waste have been dumped in Southern states in recent years, including toxic coal ash from power plants around the nation. In South Carolina, a plan to store radioactive nuclear waste in a rural area prompted complaints that the state was being turned into a nuclear dump.
Experts say Alabama’s inexpensive land, permissive zoning laws and a federal ban on dumping New Yorkers’ excrement in the ocean got the poop train chugging.
Bills to curtail LGBT rights are failing in US legislatures
NEW YORK (AP) – Major legislation curtailing gay rights has been completely stymied in state capitols around the country this year.
The shift comes amid anxiety by Republican leaders over igniting economic backlash if they are depicted as discriminatory.
In the thick of this year’s legislative sessions, LGBT activists were tracking about 120 proposed bills that they viewed as threats to their civil rights. Not one of them has been enacted as many sessions now wind down; only two remain under serious consideration.
North Carolina, Indiana and Arizona were among the states that faced backlash in recent years over such legislation.
North Carolina city councilwoman expresses doubt about 9/11
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city councilwoman is questioning the reality of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed about 3,000 people.
The Charlotte Observer reports Charlotte City Council member LaWana Mayfield posted on her Facebook page Monday a link to an article from Awarenessact.com titled “It’s Official: European Scientific Journal Concludes 9/11 Was A Controlled Demolition.”
In the post, Mayfield wrote that she’s waiting for someone to produce pieces of the “alleged plane that opened the doors for US citizens to (lose) all privacy rights.” Mayfield told WFAE-FM in Charlotte that she thought the attacks were used “to not only create a way through government to spy on the American people, but also to privatize a lot of the work that is happening on the ground.”
Mayfield didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking additional comment Tuesday.
DUKE ENERGY-SOLAR POWER
Court tests if NC ban on selling solar power means 1 church
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s highest court is considering whether a clean-energy advocacy group illegally sold solar power to one church to undercut the monopoly power of the state’s electric utilities.
The state Supreme Court on Tuesday sorted through differing descriptions of the 2015 deal which saw the group NC WARN install solar panels atop a Greensboro church. Faith Community Church agreed to pay below-market rates for the power produced.
Attorneys for Duke Energy, Dominion Energy and the state’s official utilities consumer advocate say the contract shows NC WARN is selling the church electricity, something only regulated utilities are allowed to do.
NC WARN’s attorney says the private deal with one church doesn’t fit the description of selling to the public, though the group wanted to repeat the agreement with other nonprofits statewide.
Cat finds new home after initial family rejects him.
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Toby the cat has finally found a loving family after the folks he felt the closest to tried to have him put down.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the SPCA of Wake County said the 7-year-old cat was given away after his original family no longer wanted him. Instead of settling in to his new digs, Toby walked 12 miles and returned to his first humans.
The SPCA said the initial owners still didn’t want Toby, and actually took him to an animal shelter to be euthanized. The SPCA said the shelter instead sought its help in getting Toby a loving home.
Last week, the SPCA reported Toby found a new home and even has an Instagram page. A video of Toby has had more than 5,300 views.
Feds: Gulf states manage red snapper anglers for 2 years
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The federal government says states on the Gulf of Mexico can run their own seasons in both state and federal waters for anglers going after red snapper, a popular catch that’s still recovering from nearly disastrous overfishing.
A Commerce Department news release Tuesday says Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas all received two-year experimental permits to manage the seasons and to test data collection.
The department says each state will set its own private recreational season this year and next, closing each season when its quota is reached.
Louisiana says it asked to manage charter boats, but the federal agency kept that authority.
The National Marine Fisheries Service also is proposing the first South Atlantic red snapper season since 2014. That fishery covers waters from Florida to North Carolina.
CITY COUNCIL-POLICE EXCHANGES
City panel OKs policy banning exchanges with Israeli police
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city council is prohibiting its police department from engaging in international exchanges with agencies whose officers receive military-style training.
News outlets report the Durham City Council voted 6-0 Monday for a policy that resulted from a petition by the activist group Jewish Voice for Peace seeking a ban on any partnership the department might enter into with Israeli defense forces or the Israel police. Proponents say Israeli tactics promote racial bias and police militarization.
Some opponents viewed the petition as a display of anti-Semitism. The Fraternal Order of Police lodge wrote to the council opposing the petition, saying it serves “to push their anti-police agenda.”
A police spokesman said the department hasn’t engaged in any exchanges with Israel and doesn’t plan to.
Newscaster Carl Kasell of NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ dies at 84
NEW YORK (AP) – Newscaster Carl Kasell, a signature voice of NPR who brought his gravitas to “Morning Edition” and later his wit to “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” has died. He was 84.
NPR says Kasell died Tuesday from complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Potomac, Maryland. He retired in 2014.
He was a newscaster for 30 years on “Morning Edition” until 2009. Kasell became the official judge and scorekeeper of the Chicago-based show “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” in 1998. He left his voice on hundreds of answering machines as part of that show’s prize.
Kasell joined NPR as a part-time employee in 1975 for “Weekend All Things Considered” and then announced the news on the first broadcast of “Morning Edition” in 1979 alongside host Bob Edwards.