What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/7

AZ: Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ ban revived by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court reinstated an Arizona law that makes it a crime to collect early ballots from voters and take them to a polling place. The practice had become popular among people who lack reliable mail service or have to use public transportation to vote in person.

NC: Federal judge tells North Carolina counties to restore names of purged voters

A U.S. district judge ruled that Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland counties in North Carolina must restore names to voter rolls that were part of recent mass purges.

US: States shift on statutes of limitations in sexual assault cases

In the last two years, in the wake of allegations against comedian Bill Cosby, at least six states have extended or eliminated their statutes of limitations on sexual assaults. Activists are seeking similar changes in at least three others.

MA: In Massachusetts, scores of indebted become ‘fine-time’ inmates

A sampling of Massachusetts cases from last year showed more than 100 instances in which defendants were sent to jail because they could not afford to pay a fine, a practice first laid bare in the federal investigation of the criminal justice system in Ferguson, Missouri, two years ago.

LA: Need a gift for a person who has everything? Buy a Louisiana bridge

Through the transportation department's bridge marketing program, Louisiana is looking for individuals or groups interested in relocating and finding a new use for roughly 150 bridges that are nearing the end of their road-worthy life.

WV: Majority of West Virginia state college grads leave the state to work

The majority of students who graduated from West Virginia’s public colleges between 2003 and 2013 didn’t go on to work in the state, a new report finds. Only about 10 percent of out-of-state students ended up working in the state.

MO: Missouri governor wins another round in spat over public defender funding

A Cole County judge ruled that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon correctly used his power as chief executive when he chopped $3.5 million from the Missouri state public defender.

OH: Ohio likely to back off tough new high school graduation requirements

Ohio’s new high school graduation requirements likely will be lowered even before they take effect because of growing worries that so many students — maybe as many as half in some school districts — can’t meet them.

US: Rules for poll watchers vary from state to state

State laws governing poll watchers vary, but watchers generally are registered voters appointed by the campaigns to sit in polling places and observe voting. They can point out potential problems to election officials but cannot campaign or intimidate or confront voters directly.

OK: Oklahoma urged to curb tax breaks for wind power, movies

Consultants hired by the state have recommended curtailing a big tax break for wind-power electric generating plants and repealing smaller incentives for movies made in Oklahoma and industrial access roads.

VA: Virginia collects thousands of Civil War-era documents

After a call to residents to dig up Civil War documents that may have been kept by families for generations, Virginia archivists collected more than 33,000 original letters, diaries and photographs.

TX: Report takes the wind out of Texas' reputation as renewable powerhouse

Texas touts its wind power production, but a new report suggests that the state doesn't use that energy, with around 10 percent of the energy on the grid coming from wind turbines.

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