Stateline Story

WORTH NOTING: Fat Folks Uninvited

  • February 08, 2008
  • By Christine Vestal

Lawmakers in Mississippi - the fattest state in the nation - propose banning restaurants from serving obese customers. Republican state Rep. John Read, one of the bill's sponsors, said he never expected the proposal to become law. "I was trying to shed a little light on the No. 1 problem in Mississippi," The Associated Press in Jackson, Miss. reported him saying.

Riverside, Calif., voters approved a measure on the Super Tuesday ballot to reduce the number of roosters a resident can own from 50 to seven and require owners to confine their birds in a sound-muffling "acoustical structure" at least 100 feet from neighbors from sunrise to sunset, National Public Radio reports.

Two Florida lawmakers want to charge strip-club patrons an extra dollar per visit to put a little extra cash in the hands of low-income nursing home residents for personal needs such as haircuts, clothing and movie tickets, according to the St. Petersburg Times . Whether it's legal to single out the adult entertainment industry to generate new state revenues already is under court review in Texas, which imposed a $5 tax on strip-club customers to create a fund for rape victims, the Times reports.

The Texas Department of Transportation admitted to a whopper of an accounting error. The agency double-counted $1.1 billion in revenue, causing the state to overcommit to new road projects last year and leading to a cash crunch, The Austin American-Statesman reports. Transportation officials said the mistake was inadvertent, but some lawmakers suggested the cash-flow problems conveniently manufactured a crisis that bolstered the state's case for privatizing the Texas highway system.

They won't get a lump of coal for Valentine's Day, but Republican Govs. Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah and Jim Gibbons of Nevada can expect a heart-shaped message from environmentalists urging them to "love your air" and vote against a proposed new coal-fired power plant, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Millions of Americans in 24 states went to the polls on Super Tuesday (Feb. 5), but The Washington Post reports hundreds more tried to vote in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, where primaries aren't scheduled until Feb. 12. Thousands of eager voters in Texas, which has a March 4 primary, also called election officials trying to locate their polling places, The Dallas Morning News reports. But most disappointed were Johnny-come-lately voters in Florida who tried to cast ballots on Super Tuesday (Feb. 5) in Florida's Jan. 29 primary, The Orlando Sentinel reports.