Stateline Story

Can ghost towns vanish?

Just in time for Halloween, Colorado's Secretary of State Mike Coffman is considering whether 10 of the state's historic "ghost towns" still exist. Officials in Douglas County, Colo., where all the towns are located, say the communities should no longer be recognized as municipalities because they haven't held elections in at least five years as required under state law, according to The Denver Post .

A North Dakota judge, presiding in a lawsuit over the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" mascot, was a member of an exclusive student club that wore cartoon caricatures of American Indians and dressed cheerleaders in stereotypical native costumes, The Forum newspaper of Fargo, N.D, found. As a UND student in the 1960s, Judge Lawrence Jahnke, was one of the 30 young men who made up the school's Golden Feather pep club, which created the "Sammy the Sioux" mascot that university sports teams used until the 1970s. Jahnke has sealed all documents in the suit, which is seeking to overturn the NCAA's ban of the Fighting Sioux mascot for postseason competition.

A real-life bomb scare threw a giant monkey-wrench into nation's biggest homeland security exercise, TOPOFF 4, which took place Oct. 18 in Oregon. Drug-sniffing dogs reacted to a car in a Portland, Ore., parking garage attached to a hotel where U.S. homeland security Secretary Michael Chertoff was scheduled to arrive, The Oregonian reports. But turns out the good guys were the culprits. Police said it was likely that one or more cars of experts who train with explosives carried some residue that alerted the dogs.

 

Photo courtesy of the Washington State Patrol
Washington State Troopers were judged the "Best Dressed Law Enforcement." You can see the application, including photos, here (PDF) .
Women who like men in uniform, might keep an eye out in Washington where state troopers were judged the "Best Dressed Law Enforcement" by a national trade group. The troopers wear a black bow tie with a long-sleeved blue shirt that has darker blue pocket flaps, epaulets and cuffs. The blue pants carry a dark blue stripe down the side, and the ensemble is topped off by a peaked, flat-brimmed dark blue "Smoky Bear" hat, according to the Seattle Times . Admirers can look for a special photo spread in Law and Order magazine.

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) and his challenger in this year's gubernatorial election, Steve Beshear (D), are doing all they can to stress their differences. But a lighthearted personality quiz from the Lexington Herald-Leader , shows that the two have a lot in common. Their favorite Jedi knight from the "Star Wars" movies? Luke Skywalker, both answered. Best James Bond actor? Sean Connery, they agreed. Both men say the television show they watch most often is "Boston Legal" and both choose the Rolling Stones over the Beatles.

Robert Frost wrote that good fences make good neighbors, but did he consider what they cost? A Michigan congressman is upset that the cash-strapped state is spending $318,000 in federal money on a fence to keep migrating turtles from becoming road kill on western Michigan highways. U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) is questioning his home state's decision to spend the money on the two mile long, four-foot fence, in the works for two years, the Detroit Free-Press reports.