Stateline Story

WORTH NOTING: New York's Math Tools Come up Short

First a New York minute, now a New York inch? The Empire State's Education Department sent out 1.1 million protractors to state schools so students could use them on state math tests. But the ruler along the bottom of the protractors doesn't measure up: the first inch is 1/16 th of an inch too short, The (Syracuse) Post-Standard reports.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's (R) stash of jelly beans in a glass cowboy hat in his office evokes Harry Potter more than Ronald Reagan. The only two flavors of jelly beans in the governor's candy dish are boogers and earwax, a state senator told The Associated Press.

Hundreds of people turned out to a Hawaii legislative hearing to support bounty hunter and TV reality show star Duane "Dog" Chapman in his legal fight with the Mexican government. Only one person spoke against the measure. Chapman's wife called the opponent a piece of garbage, but Chapman shook his hand. Even if the resolution passes the Hawaii House, it would have little impact on whether Mexico extradites Chapman for his role in capturing a convicted rapist hiding out in Mexico, the Honolulu Advertiser notes.

Neon green license plates could alert Ohio motorists to the presence of certain sex offenders, under an idea being debated in the Legislature there. A similar proposal, using pink license plates, failed last year, in part because of opposition from Mary Kay Cosmetics and breast cancer advocacy groups, The New York Times reports. Ohio motorists convicted of drunken driving must already place yellow tags with red lettering on their cars.

West Virginia already uses John Denver's "Country Roads, Take Me Home," as an unofficial state anthem, but now another of the late crooner's songs could become the official state song of Colorado, according to the Aspen Daily News . State Sen. Bob Hagedorn (D) is championing "Rocky Mountain High" ( listen ) as a replacement for "Where the Columbines Grow" ( listen ). He says not a lot of Coloradans know the current state song, but most can hum along to "Rocky Mountain High."

A bitter fight before the Maine Legislature is brewing over a proposal to prevent pets from dying from drinking antifreeze. State Rep. Emily Cain (D) wants Maine to become the fourth state to require additives in antifreeze to make the normally sweet coolant taste bitter, the Portland Press Herald writes.

Mississippi lawmakers have had enough of Shawn O'Hara. The perennial candidate outdid himself this year by filing to run for every statewide post, a state Senate seat and several local positions in this year's elections. So the Mississippi House fought back, overwhelmingly passing a bill that would prohibit candidates from running for more than one office on the same election day, the AP reports.

Freshman Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) found a way to cut fat from the state budget: stop buying lunch for state employees, The Columbus Dispatch writes. The new administration discovered the state spent close to $3.9 million on meals and snacks since July 2005. The meal ban lasts until at least April 5.

Looking forward: A Maryland Senate panel will likely vote soon on whether to repeal the state's death penalty, according to the Baltimore Sun … The New Hampshire Senate will now take up a measure, passed by the House, repealing the state's abortion notification requirements, the (Manchester) Union Leader . The law was at the center of a legal battle that reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.