More than half of the hate crimes reported in California last year involved racial bias, and about 27 percent involved animus toward black people, the report shows. Hate crimes targeting victims based on race, sexual orientation and religion all increased sharply.
Less than a month after a statewide vote legalized marijuana, the Oklahoma Board of Health voted for rules that banned smokable marijuana and required dispensaries to hire a pharmacist. The rules go to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin for approval.
More than 4 of every 5 acres of private land in Colorado would be off-limits to new oil and gas drilling if voters this fall approve a ballot measure that would significantly widen the allowable distance between wells and occupied buildings and water sources, according to a state report.
Decreased fire danger resulting from recent rain and increased humidity is allowing three national forests in Arizona to lift fire restrictions and area closures. Some areas north of the Grand Canyon remain closed.
Buildings and airplanes were damaged by a severe storm that knocked out power in northeastern Montana. Wind and hail, combined with unconfirmed reports of a tornado, may have contributed to power lines knocked to the ground and airplanes battered to pieces.
A grouse that has been the focus of an ongoing legal battle over whether it warrants federal protection has seen its numbers increase by nearly 30 percent over the past year. Officials say aerial surveys for the lesser-prairie chicken in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas show increases in population over the last six years, possibly because of favorable weather.
Alabama could see a new law against leaving pets in hot cars after overwhelming public outcry over the death of a dog in Trussville last week. According to one of the state's highest-ranking lawmakers, that new law might also allow for the smashing of car windows to save a trapped animal.
A lawsuit brought in Rhode Island’s federal court said the toll system on tractor trailers, launched in June, places “discriminatory and disproportionate burdens" on out-of-state operators and interstate truckers.
After Republican Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina slashed $16 million in Medicaid family planning funds in his bid to defund Planned Parenthood, Republican lawmakers said they will wait until September before returning to Columbia to take this, and other issues, up. Until then, McMaster's veto stands.
A majority of the Council of the District of Columbia backed repeal of a ballot measure, approved by voters last month, that would force businesses to pay more to servers, bartenders, bellhops and other hourly workers who depend on tips.