Editor's Picks From Around the Web

  • October 21, 2015

US: Most states report job losses in September

usnews.com

Hiring increased in just 20 states last month, according to the U.S. Labor Department, despite unemployment rates falling in 37 states. Missouri and Pennsylvania lost the most jobs with declines of 16,500 and 16,400, respectively.

AR: Arkansas Supreme Court issues stay on executions for eight

swtimes.com

The high court suspended executions until at least March, giving inmates time to challenge a state law that shields the source of Arkansas’ death penalty drugs from the public.

FL: Florida governor proposes $1 million teacher residency program

sun-sentinel.com

Republican Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend $1 million on a summer residency program that would allow teachers to build science, technology, engineering and math skills by working with a private company such as Lockheed Martin.

ID: Idaho court funding nears crisis

idahostatesman.com

Judges must assess fees to pay their own salaries and courts have been forced to cut back costly items like drug testing because of inadequate funding, officials with the Idaho Supreme Court say. Funds for courts were slashed in the economic downturn and emergency surcharges meant to fill the gap have not raised enough money.

NJ: Governor wants to ban flights from New Jersey to Cuba

nj.com

Republican Gov. Chris Christie told the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey it would be "unacceptable" to begin operating flights between Newark's airport and Cuba until that country’s government returns a U.S. fugitive convicted in 1977 of killing a state trooper.

AL: Alabama judge accused of telling offenders to give blood or go to jail

npr.org

An Alabama circuit judge told defendants who could not pay court fines that they could donate blood or go to jail, a civil rights group charges in an ethics complaint.

OK: Oklahoma asks insurers to clarify earthquake coverage

tulsaworld.com

Oklahoma’s insurance commissioner is asking insurance companies to send customers a notice to clarify whether their policies cover earthquake damage caused by things like mining or oil and gas exploration.

MN: Minnesota prisons add video visitation

startribune.com

Video technology is giving Minnesota inmates a glimpse of the outside world—and often a window into their former homes—from behind bars. The state’s 11 prisons allow inmates to video chat with loved ones via tablet or computer in a program similar to FaceTime or Skype.

NV: Money could flow to Nevada Education Savings Accounts in February for private schools

lasvegassun.com

Republican State Treasurer Dan Schwartz announced proposed changes to Nevada’s Education Savings Account program that would allow more parents to qualify for subsidies to send their children to private schools, with the money coming as soon as February.

KS: More rural Kansas hospitals at risk of closing

kansas.com

One rural Kansas hospital closed earlier this month, and a new study indicates that 17 others are at risk because of financial problems. In the past decade, 56 rural hospitals have closed across the country and 283 are on the brink of closing.

NE: Nebraska’s record on civil asset forfeiture draws scrutiny

omaha.com

Nebraska law enforcement agencies collected $42.6 million between 2004 and 2014, enough to qualify the state as the fifth largest per capita recipient of federal forfeiture dollars, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska. The ACLU questions whether the system encourages police to take property from law-abiding travelers.

TX: Case highlights cracks in Texas execution law

texastribune.org

Scott Panetti's death row case illustrates how few safeguards Texas has to protect mentally ill killers from being executed. To be executed, Panetti must be cogent enough to understand that he's about to be killed and why, but his mental state hasn't been formally assessed in about eight years.

IN: Federal judge bars Indiana from enforcing ‘ballot selfie law’

indystar.com

A U.S. district judge barred Indiana from enforcing a new law that makes it a potential felony for voters to take photos of their election ballots and sharing the images on social media.

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