Friday, June 14, 2019

“Dayton tornado: Where to go for help or shelter - WHIO” plus 2 more

“Dayton tornado: Where to go for help or shelter - WHIO” plus 2 more

Dayton tornado: Where to go for help or shelter - WHIO

Posted: 28 May 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Shelters across the region remain open for victims of the Memorial Day tornadoes while some have reached capacity. 

>>Emergency assistance available for low-income people in disaster area


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RELATED: Tornadoes reported in Darke, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery counties

"We will keep shelters open for as long as the need is there or until people find other sustainable housing options," American Red Cross spokeswoman Marita Salkowski said. 



Montgomery County, in partnership with ADAMHS, opened a Family Assistance Center (FAC) on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. It is located at 1500 Shiloh Springs Rd in Dayton (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) with the following hours of operation: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

The Family Assistance Center will initially operate for four weeks. The center will offer access to one-on-one intervention services to assist with trauma and mental health needs for those individuals affected by the tornadoes. Trained specialists will help to identify needs and make referrals to appropriate services. 

Additionally, the Center will serve as a "one-stop" location where individuals can obtain provisional IDs, apply for Job & Family Services benefits, obtain replacement cards for Medicaid/Medicare and receive information regarding senior services, housing and transportation services. 

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County will provide free birth certificates, baby cribs and Hepatitis A vaccines. Additional services will be added as needed. 

Between June 6-11, a free RTA shuttle will run every half hour from 1-8 p.m. between the Family Assistance Center and the Salvation Army's Dayton Kroc Center, where people can apply for services, if eligible, from St. Vincent DePaul, Good Neighbor House, and obtain Salvation Army emergency vouchers for clothing and other household goods. 

The resource center at the Dayton Kroc Center is located at 1000 N. Keowee St. in Dayton. The hours of operation will be: Thursday, June 6 through Saturday June 8 from 1-8 p.m. Closed on Sunday, June 9 Monday, June 10 and Tuesday, June 11 from 1-8 p.m. Call the Kroc Center for more details at (937) 528-5100.


A Montgomery  County Volunteer Reception Center is now open at Sinclair Community College Building 20. Volunteers register, and will be matched to organizations with specific volunteer needs.
Location: Sinclair Community College, Bldg 20, 220 South Edwin C Moses, Dayton (enter off 5th St) 
Hours of Operation: 7 days a week, 8 AM- 6 PM
Phone number: 937-512-5700

Please bring a picture ID. All types of assistance are needed. Licensed professionals in skilled trades, medical, veterinary fields as well as individuals and companies that own and operate equipment (everything from chainsaws to heavy equipment) are very much needed and encouraged to volunteer their time.


Montgomery County Public Health will offer free birth certificates, cribs and Hep A vaccinations for those affected by the tornadoes on Tuesday, Jun 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Margaret's Church, 5301 Free Pike in Trotwood and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.. at the Harrison Township Community Center, 5945 N. Dixie Dr. in Dayton. 

Public Health will have information available about how to get a replacement Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security card. 

Birth certificates may be needed to help members of the public identify themselves to be eligible for relief services and to replace other identification documents. 

Required Information

  • Must be 18 years of age of older (head of households preferred)
  • Proof of Residence (if applicable)
  • Telephone number 
  • Address prior to natural disaster
  • Email address
  • Completion of an application

For more information about birth certificates call: (937) 496-3117


The Montgomery County Recorder's Office is distributing FREE property deeds to homeowners who have been directly and substantially impacted by the tornadoes that ravaged various parts of Montgomery County (Trotwood, Clayton, Riverside, Harrison Township, Butler Township, Brookville, North Dayton and Vandalia).

As a result of the devastation caused by the Memorial Day tornadoes, many citizens may be faced with the challenge of having to provide proof of ownership to obtain financial resources and assistance to repair or replace their home when the documentation is not readily accessible. A property deed is among the best proof one can present to demonstrate ownership of their home.

Property deeds can be obtained in person from 8:00AM-4:00PM at the Montgomery County Recorder's Office, which is located on the 5th Floor of the County Administration Building at 451 W. Third Street Dayton, Ohio 45422, by contacting the Copy Center at 937-225-6381 or by visiting


Optum Public Crisis Line: Toll free emotional support line at (866) 342-6892 is free of charge and available to anyone. Caring professionals will connect people to resources. It will be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990
Nationwide hotline for individuals experiencing emotional distress for any disaster. 
Or text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746

Crisis Cleanup Hotline: 800-451-1954. Relief agencies are staffing a hotline for tarping, tree-cutting, debris removal and home cleanup. Services are free, but not guaranteed due to the expected overwhelming need.


The YMCA of Greater Dayton will open up all 10 of their Greater Dayton facilities to anyone in need of showers or charging cellphones. This will be in effect until 10 p.m. Friday. 


• Property Tax Relief: In Greene County, property owners who have sustained recent tornado damaged may be eligible for relief for the 2019 tax year. To fill out a form, click here or visit the Greene County Auditor's Office.

Operation Blessing International has set up a base of operations on the grounds of Dayton Vineyard Church, 4051 Indian Ripple Rd. in Beavercreek,  and is asking residents/homeowners whose homes were damaged to come and fill out a work order request for free volunteer help. 

Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at Dayton Vineyard Church (4051 Indian Ripple Rd, Beavercreek, OH) daily from 9:30am–4:30pm. All residents must fill out a work order form and sign a release form in person, allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability. Volunteer services offered include debris removal and help finding and sorting salvageable belongings. For more information on how to apply for help: 800-730-2537.

  • American Red Cross is operating a shelter at First Baptist Church of Kettering, 3939 Swigert Road, Beavercreek, for 16 people and also is providing food and supplies.
  • Fresh Thyme in Beavercreek, 2850 E. Centre Drive,  is giving away cases of bottled water —two per family— today while supplies last. The water will be distributed in the parking lot. (Updated May, 29)


  • Coldwater Eagles Lodge, 101 W. Walnut St., Coldwater


  • The American Red Cross, Miami County Emergency Agency, Miami County Public Health, Miami County Job and Family Services and Miami County Auditor will have representatives and information available at the Resource Assistance Center June 3-5 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The center is located in the West Milton Municipal Building, 701 S. Miami St., West Milton.
  • Laura Fire Station, 10 N. Main St. in Laura
  • Hoffman Methodist, 201 S. Main St. in West Milton
  • Ginghamsburg Church's The Avenue, 6759 S. County Road 25A  in Tipp City, is open for those seeking shelter and bottled water is available.


• In Montgomery County: If you would like to report uninsured damage to your home or business, call (937) 225-6217. Please provide your name, address, and whether you have home/business insurance or uninsured losses, we will provide that information to FEMA and our assessment teams. NOTE: You will not be contacted directly by FEMA or the Montgomery County Emergency Operations team after reporting your damage. 

  • Property Tax Relief: In Montgomery County, properties damaged or destroyed in the Memorial Day tornadoes may be eligible for a deduction in taxable property value. Call the Montgomery County Auditor's Office at 937-225-4326 or visit to complete and submit a form.
  • • Operation Blessing International has set up a base of operations on the grounds of Dayton Vineyard Church, 4051 Indian Ripple Rd. in Beavercreek,  and is asking residents/homeowners whose homes were damaged to come and fill out a work order request for free volunteer help. 

    Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at Dayton Vineyard Church (4051 Indian Ripple Rd, Beavercreek, OH) daily from 9:30am–4:30pm. All residents must fill out a work order form and sign a release form in person, allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability. Volunteer services offered include debris removal and help finding and sorting salvageable belongings. For more information on how to apply for help: 800-730-2537.

    • Matthew 25 Ministries has organized Disaster Relief Product Distribution at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 645 Infirmary Rd. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through June 9. Disaster relief products include personal care kits, household and cleaning products, first-aid and safety kits and supplies, diapers, toilet paper, detergent pods, tarps and ice.
    • Mt. Enon Missionary Baptist Church, 1501 W. Third St., has personal items, diapers and care items available 7 days a week between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • In Trotwood, the Chenaulte Dance Studio, 2536 Shiloh Springs Rd. is open Monday through Friday from noon to 9 p.m.  and Saturday and Sunday from noon until  6 assist with relief. They have a charging station, bathrooms, meals to go, fresh fruit, water, toiletry kits for men and women, diapers and wipes and baby blankets. 
    • The American Red Cross is operating shelters at Morton Middle School, 8555 Peters Pike, Vandalia for 68 people; The Ridge Church, 7555 Brookville-Phillipsburg Road, for 16 people; and Corinthian Baptist Church, 700 N. James H. McGee, for 52 people. The sites also are providing food, water and supplies to those in need.
    • The Trotwood Fire & Rescue Department has bottled water and ice at Station 72, 5469 Little Richmond Road. It will be available 24-hours a day until further notice. 
    • City of Dayton is offering free bottled water at the following locations: Greater Dayton Rec Center, 2021 W. Third St. until 9 p.m.; Northwest Rec Center, 1600 Princeton Drive until 9 p.m.; KROC Center, 1000 N. Keowee St. until 9 p.m.; Dayton Fire Station 8, 2636 Stanley Ave. until 8 p.m.; Dayton Fire Station 15, 2801 Wayne Ave. until 8 p.m.
    • The Wesley Community Center, 3730 Delphos Ave., Dayton is extending its pantry hours to Monday - Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    • Food and personal supplies will be available at Northridge Church of Christ, 2211 Needmore Road, Harrison Twp. staring May 30. Personal care kits, baby care kits, boxes of food, cleaning supplies, diapers, shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows. Pick up items between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
    • Ginghamsburg Church's Fort McKinley Campus, 3721 W. Siebenthaler Ave. in Trotwood is open for those seeking shelter and bottled water is available.
    • The 1st District AMVETS are giving out toiletries, food, water and clothing beginning June 2 at 9 a.m. at the AMVETS Post 24 at 1016 Leo Street in Dayton. President Patty Gordon-Orrender said that the organization is also accepting donations of "anything someone can use."
    • The North American Lutheran Church Disaster Relief group is on the corner of E Helena and Stanley Avenue in Dayton distributing food, clothing, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, quilts, blankets, mattresses, sleeping bags, and other goods. They will be there from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day until June 8.
    • Eldar Adam Moradov said that the Osman Gazi Mosque is distributing food, water and hygiene and household items available to give. He said that they will have their stand open every day from 9 a.m. to sundown.
    • Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief organization, is set up outside the Gateway Cathedral, 5501 Olive Road Trotwood, starting at 9 a.m., and offering chainsaw work on trees, help removing belongings and furniture, clearing homes and sanitizing and temporary roof repair for free to homeowners with little or no insurance. 


    If a natural disaster destroyed your housing and you need assistance with moving expenses, rental deposit, rent and utility payments, contact these numbers for assistance & resources:

    Miami Valley Community Action Partnership:(937) 963-9433St. Vincent de Paul Conferences: (937) 222-5555Other: VRBO may also offer reduced rates for shelter in time of disaster:

    If the tornadoes destroyed your rental housing to the point that it is deemed uninhabitable:

    • You should contact your landlord or property management company to ask if there are comparable units available that you can move into. Units should be comparable in pricing, bedroom size, amenities, and location.
    • You can immediately vacate the premises and notify the landlord in writing your intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating.
    • You are entitled to a refund of your security deposit if you have been forced out of your housing unit long term due to a natural disaster situation that's out of your control. 

    Legal Assistance and Fair Housing Resource

    Homeowner Assistance – Home Repair Programs

    • CountyCorp: (937) 225-6328
    • Rebuilding Together Dayton: (937) 223-4893
    • People Working Cooperatively: (513) 351-7921

Photos: The week's worst restaurant inspections in Jacksonville (June 10) - The Florida Times-Union

Posted: 08 Jun 2019 09:01 PM PDT

Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
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Retired monkeys, freeze-dried blood, ‘Hidden Figures Way’: News from around our 50 states - USA TODAY

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 10:08 PM PDT


Montgomery: A sculpture project highlighting the sister-city relationship between the capital of the Heart of Dixie and the Italian city of Pietrasanta points to the idea that we all exist under the the same moon. Artists Craigger Browne and Marcello Giorgi are joining forces on "Nostra Luna," Italian for "Our Moon," which will eventually have a home at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Browne is an artist in residence in Sylacauga whose commissioned work includes a Helen Keller statue in 2017; Giorgi is a master carver from Pietrasanta. Browne says the moon is believed to have two faces in Italian folklore – one side toward the past and one toward the future. Giorgi's side will feature an older woman looking back over Pietrasanta "with prideful approval of many centuries of classical tradition," Brown says. On the other side, he is carving a younger woman "looking forward over Montgomery with joyous hope for the future."


Anchorage: At least 60 ice seals have been found dead along the state's west coast, and federal biologists are trying to determine the cause. Some carcasses had lost hair, and NOAA Fisheries hopes to determine if that was due to decomposition or abnormal molting. The agency noted the importance of ice seals to Alaska Native coastal communities. Bearded, ringed and spotted seals were reported dead south of Nome and north of the Bering Strait. A hunter counted 18 carcasses along 11 miles of shore north of the village of Kotlik and dozens of others along an island near Stebbins. Eight young bearded seals were found Monday on St. Lawrence Island. North of the Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea, a National Park Service biologist counted six dead seals near Kotzebue's airport. NOAA Fisheries also received accounts of up to 30 dead seals between Kivalina and Point Hope.


Phoenix: Sales taxes have gone uncollected because of flaws in a new state program created to make the process more efficient, according to auditors. The Arizona Department of Revenue failed to identify many businesses that weren't paying taxes and erased active businesses from its tracking system, says a recent report by the Arizona auditor general. Some cities and counties, which were assured they no longer had to deal with sales tax collection issues, now are assigning staff again to assure their cities get the money they are owed. The Department of Revenue fully took over auditing and collecting sales taxes for all cities, towns and counties in 2017. More than a year later, the auditor general showed the Department of Revenue was auditing significantly fewer businesses and, at one point, had completely stopped checking whether businesses had licenses.


Little Rock: The Police Department announced Wednesday it is overhauling policies for obtaining no-knock warrants in drug raids, eight months after a man alleged officers blasted down his door and raided his apartment without probable cause. Police Chief Keith Humphrey said at a news conference that the department will now use more detailed information when determining whether a no-knock warrant is reasonable. In October, Roderick Talley said he was suing the department and the city, alleging police lied to obtain a no-knock warrant and used similar boiler-plate language on dozens of other warrants. He showed video footage from outside of his home that he said proved officers lied when they claimed they witnessed a confidential informant buying cocaine from Talley. Footage showed the informant ringing Talley's doorbell and leaving minutes later – after no one answered the door.


Sacramento: State judges say prison inmates can legally have small amounts of marijuana – if they don't inhale. The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that California voters in 2016 legalized recreational possession of less than an ounce of cannabis with no exception – even for those behind bars. The court overturned the convictions of five inmates who were found with marijuana in their prison cells. However, the three-judge court said state law does prohibit smoking or ingesting pot in prison. Also, officials can still punish possession as a rules violation – and corrections officials say pot possession is still against those rules. Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office says it's reviewing the appellate court ruling but didn't say whether it will appeal.


Denver: Casinos in the state saw an increase in combined 2018 revenue that set a record for the state. The Denver Post reports that casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek reaped combined revenue of $842.1 million last year. The American Gaming Association says the figure is a 1.7% increase over the state's $828 million take in 2017 and a nearly 13% increase over 2014. The association's 2019 edition of its "State of the States" roundup found 12 of 24 states with legalized commercial gambling enjoyed record revenues last year. The association says the industry brought in an all-time national high of $41.7 billion in 2018, a 3.5% increase over 2017. Officials say Colorado still lacks legal sports betting, which contributed significantly to the national increase.


Hamden: A popular state park is reopening more than a year after it was hit by a tornado that brought down thousands of trees. Gov. Ned Lamont says Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden will reopen to the public beginning at 8 a.m. Friday. State workers and volunteers have spent months clearing the extensive trails in the 1,400-acre park, named for its 2-mile ridge that resembles a man in repose. The park has been closed since the storm hit on May 15, 2018. Final work on restoration of the main Tower Trail was completed earlier this week. The cost of the restoration work has totaled about $735,000. The state anticipates that about 75% of that will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Wilmington: Black-and-white license plates are coveted as a sign of prestige in the First State. They're reserved only for low-digit tag numbers, and people bid thousands of dollars for them. Yet they suddenly seem to be everywhere. Turns out a lot of them are "illegal tags," says C.R. McLeod, community relations manager for the Delaware Department of Transportation. Jordan Irazabal, who is behind the Facebook page and website, has for the past 11 1/years been trying to find and photograph the 3,000 lowest Delaware tag numbers and running into what he says is a disturbing trend. Irazabal says he finds the fakes offensive and has started a petition asking police to crack down on people with unauthorized plates.

District of Columbia

Washington: The street outside NASA's headquarters in the capital has been renamed "Hidden Figures Way" to honor the black female mathematicians who helped send humans to the moon. News outlets report district officials, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and others gathered Wednesday to unveil the new street sign. "Hidden Figures" author Margot Lee Shetterly and the families of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson also attended the event. Shetterly's 2016 book details the struggles of the women as they crunched numbers at the NASA Langley Research Center in the pre-computer age. Cruz in August proposed renaming E Street SW through the Hidden Figures Way Designation Act, which passed in December.


Big Pine Key: Marine researchers have finished a 10-day assessment of the iconic green sea turtle in the Florida Keys. The study completed Wednesday examined where green turtles live and feed in Keys waters and evaluated green turtles' general health. Data acquired from 26 green turtles included measurements, skin biopsies and bloodwork. All were released except for three that are being treated at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital for Fibropapillomatosis, a herpes-like virus that affects turtles worldwide. The effort was a collaboration of the Turtle Hospital, other marine research groups and Force Blue, a nonprofit that aids returning combat veterans through mission-focused programs to help the world's ocean environment. Green sea turtles in the southern Atlantic Ocean are classified as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.


Roswell: The city could begin penalizing hotels that burden police with an outsized number of calls for help. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports a hotel safety ordinance was proposed for Roswell on Tuesday by City Council member Mike Palermo. He says there are just a few hotels in town that burden taxpayers with frequent calls for help. The newspaper says most of the calls involved drug use and prostitution. The proposed bill would punish these hotels by dividing 911 calls by the number of rooms and charging offenders accordingly. A similar act that passed narrowly in Alpharetta last month would require a 100-room hotel making 42 calls for police service in a year to hire an off-duty police officer nightly for $90,000 a year. The law would not penalize medical and fire calls.


Honolulu: A snake stowed away in a man's bag and remained undetected until it completed the trip from Florida to Hawaii, officials said. The southern black racer snake slithered out of the man's backpack when he arrived on Maui on Monday, KGMB-TV reports. Snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a threat to Hawaii's native species. The Virginia man was not aware of the animal until it emerged after he arrived at a vacation rental property in the community of Pukalani, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The non-venomous snake measured about a foot long and a quarter-inch in diameter, officials said. The property owner told the visitor that snakes are illegal in Hawaii and alerted police, who captured the snake along with state Department of Land and Natural Resources personnel.


Boise: The state Supreme Court says law enforcement officers can't arrest someone for a misdemeanor unless they have a warrant or actually saw the crime being committed. The unanimous ruling made Wednesday has advocacy organizations scrambling because it likely means police will have to dramatically change how they respond to domestic violence calls. The ruling came in a drug conviction case, but the high court noted the Idaho Constitution's provision against unlawful search and seizure doesn't allow warrantless arrests without probable cause. That means no misdemeanor arrests unless the officer saw the crime. Officers responding to domestic violence calls often arrest the person they suspect of committing the violence on a misdemeanor charge as a way of separating those involved and defusing the situation.


Springfield: Abraham Lincoln history buffs will have the chance to learn more about the courtship and marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is hosting tours over the summer that will let visitors learn about their unexpected romance. It's called "Abe and Mary: Quite Contrary." Tour guide Jen Brownell says Lincoln and Todd were different on so many levels from education to temperament, yet they seemed to complement each other. The free tours will be offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. until Aug. 7. The tour covers 1.5 miles and will take about an hour. Visitors are encouraged to reserve a space online.


Indianapolis: Butler University is planning a $100 million upgrade and expansion of its science facilities that will become the school's largest single investment to date. The private Indianapolis college announced Thursday that its trustees approved the three-phase project last week. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports the school says the project will create 96,000 square feet of space for a science complex featuring "high-tech classrooms, modern research labs and collaborative working spaces." Construction on the first two phases is expected to be completed within about 18 months. Butler's science program enrollment has increased 70% in the past decade, causing the department to outgrow its space. Administrators hope to raise at least $42 million through philanthropy and have already secured $27.5 million in donations. A bond issue will fund the remainder.


Arnolds Park: The Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's hundreds of inductee exhibits have been moved to a new and bigger space in Arnolds Park. They can be found now in the same building that houses the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum. The Hall of Fame had been in the Roof Garden, an open-air complex next to the amusement park. The garden was demolished and is being rebuilt as part of the multimillion-dollar Restore the Park campaign. The new Hall of Fame museum has three times more space than the old version for the photos, videos and memorabilia from bands, musicians and radio personalities. Highlights include recording equipment from Iowa studios, contracts to perform at the Roof Garden that were signed by the likes of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, and a bright red suit worn on stage by the late Tommy Bolin, a Sioux City native and guitarist for such bands as Deep Purple and the James Gang.


Wichita: The new owners of a long-abandoned amusement park want to transform it into an outdoor event center and paintball range. The Wichita Eagle reports that the plan is set to go to the City Council next month after winning approval from planners and neighbors. Councilman James Clendenin says he's pleased to see some redevelopment finally occurring at the site. He says the area has been a nuisance since Joyland shut down for good in 2006. After years of vandalism, a fire destroyed much of what remained in August 2018. Three months later, Gregory and Tina Dunnegan bought Joyland's 57 acres at auction for $198,000. A consultant wrote in a site proposal that the owners envision temporary outdoor festivals and amusement rides to "capture the old flavor of Joyland."


Louisville: Donated blood generally has a six-week shelf life, but University of Louisville researchers are testing a way to convert red blood cells into a longer-lasting powder that potentially could save the lives of soldiers, trauma patients and maybe even astronauts. U of L professors Michael Menze and Jonathan Kopechek, as well as Ph.D. candidate Brett Janis, have spent two years developing this "freeze-dried" approach to storing blood, which has drawn interest from the U.S. military, NASA, emergency responders and other groups. "So many people told us, 'We really want this. We really need this,' " Kopechek said. Menze, Kopechek, Janis and U of L students have devised a process of preserving red blood cells though freezing and dehydration. The powder remains viable at a wider range of temperatures than donated blood, which has to be refrigerated.


New Orleans: The U.S. Justice Department says hate crime charges have been filed in connection with three fires that destroyed African American churches earlier this year. A news release from the department says 21-year-old Holden Matthews faces three counts of intentional damage to religious property. He's also charged with three counts of using fire to commit a felony. The indictment says the fires were set "because of the religious character" of the properties. Matthews has pleaded not guilty to related state charges. His attorney declined comment on the federal charges. Three historic African American churches were burned over 10 days, beginning in late March, in and around the city of Opelousas. The June 6 federal indictment was unsealed Wednesday.


Augusta: The state legalized medically assisted suicide Wednesday, becoming the eighth in the nation to allow terminally ill people to end their lives with prescribed medication. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who had previously said she was unsure about the bill, signed it in her office. "It is my hope that this law, while respecting the right to personal liberty, will be used sparingly," Mills said. While still controversial, assisted suicide legislation is winning increasing acceptance in the United States, and this year at least 18 states considered such measures. Maine's bill would allow doctors to prescribe terminally ill people a fatal dose of medication. The bill declares that obtaining or administering life-ending medication is not suicide under state law, thereby legalizing the practice often called medically assisted suicide.


Baltimore: A jury has awarded nearly $3 million to an inmate who was beaten by prison guards almost six years ago in what his attorney called a "systemwide failure." The Daily Record of Baltimore reports jurors awarded $2.7 million to Kevin Younger, who was assaulted by officers at the Maryland Reception, Diagnostics & Classification Center in Baltimore in 2013. Officers beat Younger the day after he witnessed other inmates assaulting a guard. Younger's lawsuit said three officers attacked him as "misplaced retaliation" because they believed he was involved in the attack. Attorney David Daneman said the attack resulted from a "systemwide failure" at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.


Boston: A lawsuit being filed against state officials says the education funding system shortchanges low-income school districts. Advocates planned to announce the lawsuit at the Statehouse on Thursday on behalf of more than a dozen parents around the state. The plaintiffs argue that the current formula used by the state to distribute education money to school districts violates the civil rights of children in underfunded communities. The lawsuit comes amid behind-the-scenes efforts on Beacon Hill to revamp the 1993 formula which many critics view as outdated and responsible for a widening gap in academic achievement between students from wealthier communities and their less-advantaged urban counterparts. Plans to overhaul the spending formula have been introduced by Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, but no consensus has been reached.


Detroit: The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is marking Black Music Month with a concert featuring many of Detroit's prominent musical, visual and literary artists. Singer Joan Belgrave, wife of late jazz trumpeting great Marcus Belgrave, is producing and performing at the June 27 concert, "Our Music Our Lives." The show aims to explore connections between music and the American black experience. It will include works from slavery through modern times and span several genres, including R&B, jazz, gospel, blues and spoken word. Dance and graphic art also will be featured. Scheduled performers also include Mark Scott of the Miracles, Motown Legends Gospel Choir, poet and playwright Bill Harris, and the Lisa McCall Dancers. Black Music Month was recognized by President Jimmy Carter 40 years ago.


St. Paul: President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for spring storms and flooding that caused nearly $40 million in damage to infrastructure across the state. Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that the declaration will provide federal emergency relief money for 51 Minnesota counties and four tribal governments. Walz had requested the federal aid in a letter to Trump two weeks ago. The governor says that "Minnesota is on the road to recovery," and the incoming federal money "will expedite that process enormously." The Federal Emergency Management Agency authorized using federal public assistance funds to reimburse affected communities for response and recovery costs. FEMA will pay 75% of eligible expenses. The state will cover the other 25% from the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account.


Picayune: A city worker was passing by a home when he noticed it was on fire and saved a girl inside who had woken up to find smoke filling her room. The Picayune Item reports Stanley Hart saw smoke coming from the house Tuesday morning. Hart and a neighbor, Mark Jones, arrived to find a 15-year-old girl inside who was knocking on the window for help to get out. Hart called 911, and then he and Jones broke the window with a cinder block to rescue the teen. Fire officials say the initial investigation shows the fire started near the kitchen stove. The 15-year-old was airlifted to a hospital in New Orleans. No one else was in the home at the time of the fire.


Branson: This tourist town is getting a new science attraction called WonderWorks. The Orlando, Florida-based operation announced this week that the new location will open in November in the former theater for the Baldknobbers, one of the longest-running country music shows in town. WonderWorks bills itself as "the indoor amusement park for the mind." Chief operations officer Janine Vaccarello says it appeals to all age groups, with a lot of hands-on activities and themed areas that cater to the interests of the communities where WonderWorks has a presence. The Branson location will have a military room and a space devoted to the city's history. WonderWorks has five other locations, including in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Panama City Beach, Florida; and Syracuse, New York.


Great Falls: Campers and hikers used to seeing "pack it in, pack it out" signs may soon be seeing some "pull your share" notices as well. The Pull Your Share movement, started by Great Falls High teacher Dan Wilkins three years ago, encourages people to spend five to 15 minutes on their trips pulling out noxious, nonnative knapweed at campgrounds and other sites. An annual Pull Your Share field trip has teachers and students from local high schools heading out to pull the weeds in hopes of encouraging all recreationists to "pull their share." Since the first year, it's grown from two students and one teacher to 190 students and nine teachers. Wilkins says knapweed cannot be used by wildlife or domestic livestock and doesn't have enough nutrition for them to survive.


Lincoln: A city councilman says an ordinance that forces the Muslim owners of a new hookah lounge to serve alcohol in violation of their faith must change. The ordinance requires businesses in Lincoln that allow smoking indoors to have a liquor license. Those businesses must stock and serve booze. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Councilman Roy Christensen has been working with city lawyers to write a new ordinance that would allow businesses like 88 Hookah Lounge to operate in compliance with the owners' faith and local rules. Cigar bars are legal in Nebraska under the state's Clean Indoor Air Act as long as they do not sell anything else. City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick says the difficulty will be drafting a law that allows the hookah lounge to serve non-alcoholic beverages.


Reno: The city is closing down some downtown streets as NASA resumes a series of drone tests in high-density urban settings. Beginning Friday, Lake Street will be closed from 1st to 2nd streets from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. through June 20, and again June 23-25. Chism Street also will be closed from Dickerson to 2nd Street from June 14 to July 2. It's part of the final stage of a four-year effort to develop a national drone traffic management system. NASA and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems conducted initial tests last month, flying drones for the first time above Reno streets beyond the operator's line of sight. They're researching emerging technology that someday will be used to manage hundreds of thousands of small unmanned commercial aircraft delivering packages.

New Hampshire

Rye: Jenness State Beach is getting an upgrade. The state Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a ribbon-cutting celebration for the new bathhouse at the Rye beach on Friday at 1:30 p.m. The design is similar to the style of the facilities at Hampton Beach State Park and North Hampton State Beach. It features exterior changing rooms, rinse-off showers and a family bathroom. The bathhouse is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until Labor Day. It replaces the previous bathhouse, built in 1980. Jenness Beach is one of five state park beaches along New Hampshire's seacoast.

New Jersey

Fort Lee: A little more than a year after the death of celebrity chef and native son Anthony Bourdain, the Garden State is honoring his memory with the launch of the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, a statewide tribute that includes 10 of the restaurants he visited for a 2015 episode of his CNN food and travel show "Parts Unknown." The food trail kicked off Thursday and continues Friday with statewide ceremonies featuring Chris Bourdain, the late chef's brother; New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way; and Jeffrey Vasser, executive director of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism. Thursday's event locations included Hiram's Roadstand in Fort Lee and Frank's Deli in Asbury Park. Sites slated for Friday visits, open to the public, are James' Salt Water Taffy in Atlantic City and Donkey's Place in Camden.

New Mexico

Albuquerque: The U.S. Air Force has begun construction on a facility at Kirtland Air Force Base that officials say will play a role in the proposed "space defense." The Albuquerque Journal reports the Air Force Research Laboratory's $12.8 million Space Control Laboratory will consolidate efforts on the base. The new facility will include office and lab space for 65 civilian and military contractors. It will contain a 5,000 square-foot high-bay laboratory space and more than 5,000 square feet of secure office, laboratory and meeting space. Air Force Col. Eric Felt says space is now "a war-fighting domain." President Donald Trump has proposed creating a new U.S. Space Force – a plan that has hit widespread resistance on Capitol Hill.

New York

Albany: The state would become the 13th to permit driver's licenses for immigrants who entered the country illegally under legislation passed by the state Assembly on Wednesday. The measure has the support of liberal groups, the state's largest business organization and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. Yet its fate remains uncertain in the state Senate, which has not scheduled a vote on the bill. During floor debate in the Assembly, Democrats argued that immigrant families deserve to have the same ability to drive given to other New Yorkers. Licensing immigrants, they said, would improve road safety and help the businesses that rely on immigrant employees. "This bill is common sense," said Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, D-Bronx and sponsor of the legislation.

North Carolina

Raleigh: An increasing number of North Carolinians live with hepatitis C, many unaware they're infected. In response to a dramatic statewide spike in infections fueled by the opioid crisis, the state launched a multimillion dollar initiative Thursday to fight the virus, seeking to increase access to screenings and treatment. It is funded by biotech company Gilead Sciences and partners with local health care providers and the Harm Reduction Coalition, which advocates for health services for drug users. The state's health department estimates that 110,000 people in North Carolina live with hepatitis C and that in 2017, 186 people were newly diagnosed, a roughly fivefold increase from a decade earlier. The virus can cause severe liver damage or death. In 2016, the most recent year that data is available, 511 people died in North Carolina of hepatitis C-related causes.

North Dakota

Mandan: State residents are donating blood to fill a shortage this summer that a blood transfusion nonprofit says is leaving hospitals in the region without enough donations to meet their needs. Vitalant serves hospitals in North Dakota and parts of South Dakota. The organization's donor recruitment official, Colleen Scott, tells the Bismarck Tribune that the region's blood supply was critical in February because of people getting sick and snowstorms affecting blood drives. But she says donations have significantly dropped in the summer months, when people are typically busier. Vitalant is hosting daily blood drives, reaching out to loyal donors and encouraging everyone to bring a friend.


Cincinnati: In honor of LGBTQ Pride month, more than 100 Cincinnati Bell employees used Post-it notes this week to create a Pride mural on the north side of the company's Atrium 2 headquarters. The mural extends from the 9th floor to the 16th floor and is made up of approximately 26,000 sticky notes put on 96 windows. And for the first time, Cincinnati Bell illuminated its signage on top of Atrium II using Pride colors Wednesday night. Both the mural and the Atrium 2 illumination will remain through the end of June. The company is a corporate sponsor of Cincinnati's Pride Parade, set for June 22.


Pryor: Google has announced a $600 million expansion project at a data center in Pryor and a $6 million grant for computer science education for students in 4-H chapters in rural areas of 20 states. The announcement was made Thursday outside the data center. The expansion project is expected to add about 100 jobs to the more than 400 now employed at the center that opened in 2011. National 4-H Council President Jennifer Sirangelo said the grant through will focus on computer science training for an estimated 1 million children in rural areas that have limited access to computer science education. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the grant will be used to teach coding and leadership skills to students.


Portland: The city has launched a program to distribute portable toilets in order to reduce cleanup costs and improve public health and hygiene. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Mayor Ted Wheeler proposed the Hygiene Street Response initiative after receiving numerous complaints about human feces in public places. Wheeler says that beyond cleanliness, bathrooms are needed to prevent outbreaks of diseases such as hepatitis A. The city council voted last month to provide $877,000 in funding. Officials say the program will deploy six portable toilets in high-need areas and build mobile bathrooms and shower trailers to be given to nonprofit groups serving the homeless population. A city report says disposal of more than 3,300 gallons of waste, without including other related fees, cost $26,480 for one year.


Philadelphia: Dozens of rare 13-star American flags never before exhibited will be on display at the Museum of the American Revolution. Antique flag dealer and expert Jeff Bridgman has loaned the historic flags to the Philadelphia museum for display starting Friday, which is Flag Day. The flags feature 32 arrangements of 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies. There was no official pattern for the stars until 1912. Flag makers had previously arranged the stars however they wanted. A highlight of the display is a nearly 6-foot flag that features 13 stars that roughly form the letters "U" and "S." Three flags from flag maker Sarah McFadden, known as the "Betsy Ross of New York," will be on display. "A New Constellation: A Collection of Historic 13-Star Flags" runs through July 14.

Rhode Island

Coventry: A man sick of potholes has taken matters into his own hands. WJAR-TV reports that Seth Kerstetter spent his own money Sunday to fill holes on Centre of New England Boulevard in Coventry. Kerstetter was at Home Depot when he decided to purchase supplies and fix the most problematic potholes. He blocked traffic, put out traffic cones and worked for about two hours. The boulevard is lined with shopping centers and apartments. Because it is privately owned, neither the town nor the state is responsible for its upkeep. The road is in receivership and under the supervision of attorney Matthew McGowan. McGowan says because the developer ran out of money, the road was never properly surfaced. He says an effort is underway to find money to fix it.

South Carolina

Greenville: Autumn the giraffe is pregnant again at the Greenville Zoo. The 13-year-old female Masai giraffe is expected to give birth in early July. Autumn gave birth to her first calf, Kiko, in 2012. Kiko now lives at the Toronto Zoo. She had a second pregnancy in 2014 that ended with a stillborn calf. Autumn later gave birth to Tatu in 2016. Tatu was later transferred to the Lehigh Valley Zoo. In January, Autumn gave birth to Kiden, her first calf to be fathered by Miles, a 10-year-old male giraffe who still lives at Greenville Zoo. Miles is also the father of the expected calf. In the past, Autumn's previous calves were transferred before she gave birth. This time, Kiden will remain with his parents through the birth. The public can keep an eye on Autumn's pregnancy progress via the zoo's webcam.

South Dakota

Sioux Falls: Local artists are taking to the streets, literally, in an effort to keep the area's rivers healthy. The city's Downtown Storm Inlet Art Project, now in its third year, aims to remind citizens the dangers of throwing and dumping "litter, debris and hazardous chemicals" into storm drains, which are direct lines to the Big Sioux River running through the heart of Sioux Falls. Artists Molly O'Connor and Ashton Dockendorf painted two of the six new inlets of 2019 on Dakota Avenue last Friday, with motifs depicting the value of aquatic well-being. Eighteen total painted inlets sit along a seven-block stretch. The Big Sioux River could use some help, says Jessica Sexe, the city's sustainability coordinator. Sediment from farms and lawns has left the Big Sioux listed as an "impaired water body" unsafe for swimming, kayaking and canoeing.


Memphis: The Tennessee Valley Authority is ready to clean up and demolish the Allen Fossil plant in South Memphis. But plans to do so are drawing concern from environmental groups that say the cleanup process has not been publicly vetted and involves pumping dangerous amounts of arsenic solids into the Mississippi River. Inactive since March 2018, the once coal-powered Allen plant still contains an estimated 3 million cubic yards of coal ash waste and other combustible residuals. The water near and in these coal ash pits and their stilling ponds was recently ranked among the worst in the nation for contamination due to the high amount of arsenic present in the water. TVA has said its preferred option for cleaning up the coal ash ponds is removal, but doing so involves a process called "dewatering," a plan the Southern Environmental Law Center has criticized.


College Station: Friends and family of former President George H.W. Bush gathered in Texas on Wednesday to mark the first day of issue for the U.S. Postal Service stamp honoring him. The event was held on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, where Bush's presidential library is located. Bush died in Houston on Nov. 30 at the age of 94. Speakers at the event, which was held on what would have been Bush's 95th birthday, talked about the 41st president's prolific letter writing. His grandson Pierce Bush said his grandfather's words, dreams and hopes live on through his letters. "His letters showed his unique ability to lift others up, just at the time they needed to be lifted," he said. George H.W. Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993.


Capitol Reef National Park: Officials say vandals have etched an image of an eye onto a sandstone rock formation at Capitol Reef National Park. Park visitors reported the graffiti on the Temple of the Moon monolith in the remote Cathedral Valley on June 6. Park officials say the etching is more than 2 feet wide and about 1 1/2feet tall. Officials are determining if the graffiti can be removed or hidden. Defacing national park structures is a federal crime punishable by jail time and fines. Park law enforcement officers are investigating the vandalism. Information on the crime can be called in or submitted on the National Park Service website.


Montpelier: State health insurance regulators are planning to tweak Medicaid rules so transgender youth no longer have to wait until age 21 to seek gender-affirming surgery. The changes are aimed at removing barriers for people seeking a suite of surgeries in order to alleviate gender dysphoria, a conflict between a person's gender identity and physical gender, says Nissa James, policy director for the Department of Vermont Health Access. Gender-affirming surgeries covered by Medicaid include 16 types of genital surgery, as well as breast augmentation or mastectomy, a surgery that removes the whole breast. The changes would be "enormously positive" for transgender people, especially those in their late teens, says Dr. Rachel Inker, who runs the Transgender Health Clinic at the Community Health Centers of Burlington.


Richmond: A state agency has issued permits for three new solar projects. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has signed off on two new projects in Halifax County and one project in Orange County. Combined, the new projects are expected to generate more than 200 megawatts, or enough energy to power about 25,000 homes. Virginia has seen a dramatic increase in solar facilities in recent years, driven largely by large technology companies seeking carbon-free energy sources for data centers.


Seattle: The state says drivers won't pay tolls to use the city's downtown Highway 99 tunnel until this fall. The Seattle Times reports Washington State Department of Transportation toll spokeswoman Emily Glad said Wednesday that no specific date has been set. When the four-lane tunnel opened Feb. 4, the state intended to begin collecting money from drivers this summer. But if tolling started now, drivers would encounter even worse congestion on Alaskan Way, where demolition crews are taking down the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and on First Avenue, which is crowded with detouring buses that had used the viaduct. State lawmakers approved the tunnel in 2009 to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct and now have required that tolls raise $200 million toward the $3.2 billion project.

West Virginia

Charleston: A beekeeping garden has been added to the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center in hopes that it will help the building attain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the first urban beekeeping garden in the city was set up last week on the convention center's balcony. Along with three beehives, the garden contains flowers and herbs. Assistant Director Jim Smith says it's also a way to show the public how the center participates in sustainability efforts, as well as recycling and energy management. In its quest for certification, Director John Robertson says the facility is implementing a more efficient air conditioning system and reducing the amount of electric and water used.


Westfield: Izzle, Timon, Batman, River and Mars spent years confined inside a lab, their lives devoted to being tested for the benefit of human health. But these rhesus macaques have paid their dues and are now living in retirement – in larger enclosures that let them venture outside, eat lettuce and carrots, dip their fingers in colorful plastic pools, paint, and hang from pipes and tires – in relative quiet. More research labs are retiring primates to sanctuaries like Primates Inc., a 17-acre rural compound in central Wisconsin, where they can live their remaining years, according to the sanctuaries and researchers. For some monkeys, it's their first time hanging out in the fresh air. There were approximately 110,000 primates in research facilities in 2017, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Casper: The Eastern Shoshone Tribe has joined a growing list of municipalities and groups nationwide in suing the makers and distributers of prescription painkillers. The Casper Star-Tribune reports the tribe announced Tuesday it had filed a federal lawsuit against two dozen companies, claiming they used deceptive marketing to convince doctors to prescribe opioids for treatment of chronic pain. The tribe says the opioid crisis has caused substantial increases in child welfare and social service costs. The lawsuit notes the opioid crisis has disproportionately affected Native Americans. The lawsuit is similar to those filed by other Wyoming entities, including the city of Casper and the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

From USA TODAY Network and wire reports

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