What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/10

Top State Stories 8/10

NC: Half of North Carolina jail inmate deaths tied to mental illness, drug abuse

Roughly half of the 151 inmates in North Carolina jails who died in the past five years struggled with mental illness, substance abuse or both, state records show. For more than a decade, North Carolina’s jails have been dealing with a sustained wave of inmates with mental illness that has increased the risk for deaths behind bars.

WY: Wyoming national parks brace for eclipse visitors

Wyoming national park officials are warning that roads and facilities in Yellowstone and Grand Teton may not be able to handle the number of visitors planning to be in the area to witness the total solar eclipse. Grand Teton, which is in the path of totality, is preparing for its busiest day ever.

ME: Maine adopts regulations for fantasy sports games

Under a new Maine law, fantasy contest operators must be authorized the do business in the state and pay a fee of 10 percent of gross fantasy contest revenues for the preceding 12 months, up to $5,000.

AZ: Arizona high schools add suicide hotline number to ID badges

Tens of thousands of Arizona high school students will find something new on their ID badges this year: a suicide hotline number. It started as a way to reach despondent teenagers at a single Phoenix-area high school two years ago, but has since spread across four different metro Phoenix school districts and to a handful of charter schools.

CO: New Colorado law says public schools must inform students of all post-secondary paths

Public schools in Colorado must now inform high school students that not all post-secondary paths lead to college. School counselors also must tell students about jobs as skilled laborers and military personnel.

NM: New Mexico lottery earns less for scholarships after changes

New Mexico lottery scholarship funds are down $8.5 million to $37.5 million this year, and state lottery officials partly blame a new legislative mandate to put 30 percent of proceeds into the scholarships — leading to smaller jackpots and fewer purchases.

MI: Audit cites Michigan agency for failed oversight on demolitions, asbestos

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality did not properly monitor building demolitions in which hazardous asbestos could be released to the air or inspect landfills to make sure removed asbestos was disposed of safely, the state auditor general said.

ND: Tribes want North Dakota pipeline shut, but offer fallback plan

American Indian tribes fighting the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which runs through North Dakota, are asking a judge to shut down the line while more environmental review is conducted, but they've also presented a fallback plan should the judge disagree. The fallback plan includes increased public reporting of pipeline issues, such as repairs.

IA: In Iowa, higher levels of automation in interstate’s future

By 2040, at least a fifth of the traffic on Interstate 80 in Iowa will be highly automated, a new Iowa Department of Transportation study says, and planners need to take into account the coming changes when preparing for the future.

LA: Judge blocks Louisiana law requiring birth certificates for marriage

A federal judge has blocked a Louisiana law that prevents foreign-born citizens from getting married if they cannot produce a birth certificate. 

TX: Texans may be able to buy medical cannabis oil by January

Three dispensaries expect to get final approval from Texas soon to start growing and cultivating marijuana. In 2015, Texas legalized a specific kind of cannabis oil derived from marijuana plants for a very small group of customers: epilepsy patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.

SC: South Carolina governor talking to three utilities about failed nuclear project

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster is looking for a savior to restart a now scuttled plan to finish building at least one of two nuclear reactors in South Carolina. McMaster is talking to Duke Energy of North Carolina, Southern Co. of Georgia, Dominion Energy of Virginia and other companies about getting involved in the project.

Rental Car Fees Solar Eclipse