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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/9

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/9

MI: Plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor aimed to incite civil war, authorities say

freep.com

The Wolverine Watchmen militia plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was just the beginning. They were on a mission to attack the state Capitol and target police officers at their homes as part of a broader mission to instigate a civil war, according to authorities.

WI: Court says Wisconsin absentee ballots must be returned by Election Day

jsonline.com

A divided federal appeals court reinstated a Wisconsin law that allows absentee ballots to be counted only if they are returned by Election Day. The decision reverses a ruling from last month that would have allowed more time for receiving and counting ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NJ: Bias incidents spike in New Jersey as state task force calls for anti-racist education

northjersey.com

Nearly 1,000 bias incidents were reported in New Jersey last year — the highest total in more than 25 years of data collection — in what officials described as an alarming trend across the state, especially among young people.

MD: Maryland legislative panel backs statewide body cameras, use-of-force policy for police

washingtonpost.com

A legislative work group wants the Maryland General Assembly to consider instituting a statewide use-of-force policy for police, requiring regular mental and physical health assessments of officers and mandating that every police department in the state use body cameras by 2025.

MS: Virus kills 81 members of Choctaw tribe in Mississippi

nytimes.com

COVID-19 has torn through the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, sickening more than 10% of the tribe’s 10,000 residents and killing at least 81 people. More than 60 Choctaw deaths were in the early months of the summer, but after two more deaths this month, residents are rattled and bracing for a second wave.

NY: Latest New York City shutdown brings confusion, anger and lawsuits

nytimes.com

Confusion and tension erupted over restrictions that will close schools and businesses and greatly limit attendance at places of worship in areas of New York where the virus is surging. One source of the frustration: conflicting hot-spot maps issued by Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

SC: South Carolina requires witnesses to sign absentee ballots. Who can be a witness?

thestate.com

The short window that allowed South Carolina voters to turn in an absentee ballot without a witness signature is over. Now, local county elections offices cannot accept absentee mail-in ballots that don’t have a witness signature on the back. Who can be a witness? Anyone. The law is not specific.

TX: Texas AG faces accusations of helping donor

houstonchronicle.com

Top aides to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, accused him of hiring an outside attorney to harass state and federal officers investigating a campaign donor. In an extraordinary mutiny, the aides said Paxton is working in the interest of an Austin real estate developer.

KY: As COVID-19 escalates, Kentucky is a patchwork of compliance and some defiance of rules

courier-journal.com

Warning that the state is headed into a dangerous third escalation this fall, Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear extended his emergency order mandating face masks in public and urged county judge executives and mayors to step up enforcement on face coverings and limits on crowd sizes at public events.

OH: Ohio governor still considering changes to COVID-19 alcohol sales curfew

dispatch.com

Due to COVID-19, all Ohio bars and restaurants are prohibited from selling alcohol past 10 p.m., and onsite consumption of alcohol must be finished by 11 p.m. But Republican Gov. Mike DeWine is considering lifting the statewide curfew in the coming days.

AR: Arkansas reports single-day coronavirus record; death toll tops 1,500

arkansasonline.com

Arkansas' count of coronavirus cases rose Thursday by 1,265 — the largest one-day increase since the start of the pandemic. The number of people hospitalized with the virus in the state set a record for the third straight day, while the state's death toll rose by 21, topping 1,500.

WY: Wyoming nears virus flashpoint

wyofile.com

Statistics suggest Wyoming is at a pivotal moment in its battle with COVID-19 as a representative for the state’s hospital association says Wyoming missed opportunities to better prepare.

NH: New Hampshire school superintendents warn lawmakers about staff and budget shortfalls

nhpr.org

Superintendents across New Hampshire are warning of budget shortfalls and staff shortages as they navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

CA: Many unemployed California workers are about to get a $300 payment — but it won’t continue

sacbee.com

Hundreds of thousands of Californians who were out of work at the start of last month will be getting another week of supplemental $300 payments from the federal government, the state’s Employment Development Department said.

KS: Over 70,000 Kansas families may finally get broadband through $50M in COVID-19 grants

kansas.com

After years of unreliable service, more than 70,000 households across Kansas could finally gain access to high speed internet.

NM: New Mexico governor: State could be next epicenter

abqjournal.com

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, warned that New Mexico could become the nation’s next virus epicenter unless residents take steps now. She did not order new restrictions but asked residents to limit trips outside the home.

LA: Hurricane threatens Louisiana

apnews.com

Louisiana residents still cleaning up from one storm confront the menace of a new hurricane. Battered parts of the state got stark warnings to brace for winds that could turn still-uncollected debris into dangerous missiles.

WA: Washington businesses still being fined for mask violations

kiro7.com

Four months into the statewide mask mandate, Washington businesses are still being fined. Since July, undercover agents with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries say they’ve fined eight businesses for violations, as they do about 100 spot checks daily.

OR: Diminished air quality returns to much of Oregon

oregonlive.com

Diminished air quality has returned to much of Oregon, reaching unhealthy levels in central and southern parts of the state. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality expanded and extended an air quality advisory brought on by smoke from California and Oregon wildfires.

ID: White House task force recommends 3 Idaho colleges go online only

idahostatesman.com

In its latest report, the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended a switch to online higher education in three Idaho counties with elevated COVID-19 positivity and incidence rates among college-age adults.

HI: Hawaii still on track for Oct. 15 tourism reopening

civilbeat.org

Hawaii plans to move forward with a plan to reopen to tourists on Oct. 15, said Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, ending days of uncertainty about the governor’s plan amidst a storm of objections by neighbor island mayors and the Honolulu City councilman who represents Waikiki.

ME, NH: Hockey referee may have exposed 400 in Maine, New Hampshire to COVID-19

pressherald.com

An ice hockey referee who tested positive for COVID-19 has potentially exposed some 400 people to the virus after officiating eight recreational games in two days in Maine and New Hampshire.

VT: Vermont governor allows bill restricting police use of force to become law

vtdigger.org

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, allowed a measure that sets parameters for police use of deadly force to become law without his signature.

VA: Virginia legislation banning neck restraints heads to governor

richmond.com

Virginia lawmakers finalized legislation that would ban police officers from using neck restraints and punish officers for failing to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force.

CO: Colorado ballot initiative would create state-run family and medical leave

denverpost.com

Proposition 118 would give Colorado employees up to 12 weeks of paid leave annually — a weekly maximum of $1,100 in the first year — to be with a newborn or to care for themselves or a family member who is seriously ill, while also safeguarding their jobs.

UT: Utah coronavirus cases grow a record 1,501

sltrib.com

With 1,501 new coronavirus cases reported in one day, Utah set a record for one-day diagnoses. Hospitalizations also reached a record high, with 237 Utah patients concurrently admitted.

MT: Final effort fails to block Montana’s mailed ballots

apnews.com

A final effort to block most Montana counties from mailing general election ballots to active voters was denied a day before the ballots are to be mailed.

SD: South Dakota posts all-time highs for deaths, active cases

apnews.com

South Dakota experienced all-time highs for active coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

WI: Wisconsin shatters previous daily coronavirus records

jsonline.com

Wisconsin on Thursday for the first time ever reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases and more than 900 people hospitalized due to the virus, the latest markers of the state's spiraling health crisis.

Unemployment Taxes COVID-19 Long-Haulers

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