Electric school bus carries out moose tests: surprising stability

Electric school bus carries out moose tests: surprising stability

Electric school bus carries out moose tests

We are now used to seeing electric cars facing, without any particular problem, the moose test, that is, those tests that allow you to check the stability of a vehicle while making sharp turns. Therefore, although electric cars are heavier than endothermic ones, leveraging on the lower center of gravity, it is possible to carry out this type of test safely. Recently, however, the US manufacturer Motiv Power Systems, which specializes in safety systems for commercial cars and heavy vehicles, has decided to put an electric school bus to the test.

It is, without a shadow of a doubt, a challenge. important because driving this type of vehicle - which usually proceeds at a fairly low speed anyway - means having a great responsibility. In fact, it is essential to understand how the electric powertrain of a school bus behaves, therefore with many children on board. under certain circumstances. Well, the US company Motiv seems to have documented the test through a short video in order to better evaluate the efficiency of the new electronic stability control system that takes the name of "Epic4". This system was developed to be used in conjunction with the "Epic" chassis.

It is unclear what speed the electric school bus reached while carrying out the moose test, but - according to a spokesperson by Motiv Power Systems - the test passed excellently, like never before. This result was achieved thanks to the electronic systems that were able to maintain the trajectory, during the double lane change, by acting on each individual wheel and applying a different braking force. By doing so, it was easy to avoid very dangerous skids. In this regard, Jim Castelaz, CTO of Motiv intervened, who allegedly stated:

I am proud of the work done by the company in the commercial vehicle sector. Our safety technology allows electric vehicles to have higher standards than internal combustion ones. This is to the advantage not only of the people who are on board the vehicles, but also for pedestrians and cyclists.

The new stability control system will be available on the market starting in 2022, first in the US.

News from around our 50 States

  • Decatur

    An environmental group says it will help fund an event celebrating whooping cranes at a federal refuge during the partial government shutdown. The annual Festival of the Cranes brings hundreds of people to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge near Decatur, but the facility is closed. Thousands of Sandhill cranes and about a dozen whooping cranes are there, nonetheless. The Decatur Daily reports Friends of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge has agreed to cover electricity costs for two refuge buildings next weekend if the shutdown continues. Volunteers will staff the visitors’ center. Refuge workers can be on hand, but not in uniform. Festival activities include nature walks, photography workshops, children’s activities, art exhibits, concerts and other events.

  • Anchorage

    The state’s congressional delegation says the U.S. Navy plans to name a new destroyer after the late former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. The Anchorage Daily News reports that Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced the news Friday. Stevens died in a plane crash in Alaska in 2010. At the time of his death, he had been the longest continuously serving U.S. senator, with a tenure that lasted from 1968 to 2009. Stevens was convicted in 2008 of federal charges of failing to report gifts, but the conviction was overturned after his defeat in that year’s election.

  • Flagstaff

    City officials now are using cellphone data to help better understand the city’s traffic. The Arizona Daily Sun reports the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization will use the anonymous data to map and model traffic patterns in Coconino County. The data, purchased from San Francisco-based company StreetLight Data, is gathered from smartphone applications that use location services. After being downloaded, many apps ask the user for permission to access the phone’s location. If approved, the app is able to ping a user’s movements, creating a mountain of location data each day. The data could change the way the city manages traffic, offer a better understanding of how developments or new roads may create or reduce congestion, and change bus routes.

  • Cotter

    A handful of volunteer firefighters have left the Cotter Fire Department following the dismissal of the city’s fire chief Dec. 31. Cotter Mayor Mac Caradine says “four or five” firefighters verbally offered their resignations and turned in their equipment in the wake of outgoing Mayor Peggy Hammack’s firing of former Fire Chief Cory Swartz. Lyle Jack, a former Cotter assistant fire chief, will serve as interim chief. Swartz told KTLO News that Hammack gave him the option of resigning or being fired. When he asked why he was being terminated, he was told it was for the use of foul language and information he had shared with members of his department regarding the attempt to purchase a fire/rescue truck, KTLO News reported.

  • Palm Springs

    DJ Art Laboe is celebrating 75 years in radio and credits his longevity in part to his devout following among family members with loved ones in prison. The 93-year-old Laboe allows those family members to speak to inmates on his syndicated radio show through song dedications and quick messages of love. It’s a role Laboe, based in Palm Springs, says he feels honored to play. Laboe has played popular rock ’n’ roll, doo-wop and R&B songs to generations of adoring Mexican-American and black fans amid changing musical tastes and social transformation in the American Southwest. Over the years, the syndicated show on Sundays has aired in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

  • Frisco

    A hotline is now live for residents of Breckenridge and Silverthorne to voice any complaints about short-term rentals. The Summit Daily News reports the towns in Summit County have partnered with Texas-based STR Helper to create the hotline that allows residents to report issues, such as illegal parking, piled up trash or excessive noise at the rental properties. The towns enacted new rules last year requiring short-term rental owners to obtain a specific business license and list an agent who can respond to complaints within 60 minutes in most cases. After a call is made to the hotline, the operator will look up the property and try to reach the designated agent. The agent will then have an hour to address the underlying issue for the complaint.

  • Danbury

    Firefighters were joined by passers-by to rescue nearly 100 puppies from a pet store threatened by a fire. The blaze in a building at the rear of Puppy Love in Danbury was reported about 9 p.m. Thursday. Responders were on the scene within minutes, and firefighters immediately began working to rescue 86 puppies. Civilian volunteers, some of whom were eating at a nearby restaurant and some who stopped their cars in the middle of the road, broke into the burning building to carry out dog cages. Fire officials say all the puppies were removed safely, and no injuries were reported. Puppy Love owners on Facebook thanked everyone who helped rescue the dogs and all those currently caring for them.

  • Wilmington

    Sometimes it’s good to feel wanted. Other times, like when the Delaware State Police want you on a warrant, it’s not so hot. The DSP has issued a press release politely requesting that residents enter their names in its search page to see if an active warrant has been issued. What about for those who are not that curious? “A warrant for your arrest means a law enforcement officer has the right to take you into custody wherever you are,” the press release notes. “Becoming aware of your status now provides you with the opportunity to turn yourself in voluntarily and resolve the issue.” That’s opposed to being “inconvenienced in the future,” the press release says, respectfully requesting that if you do find yourself wanted, you please turn yourself in as soon as possible.

  • Washington

    The partial government shutdown is making it hard for couples in the capital to say “I do.” The Washington Post reports the city courthouse is unable to issue marriage licenses. Congress allows the district to maintain city operations during a federal shutdown, but local courts are federally funded. Other court functions deemed essential are ongoing, but the city courthouse office that issues the marriage licenses has been deemed nonessential and been suspended. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser may introduce legislation this week that would allow her office to issue marriage licenses during federal government shutdowns. District law requires officiants to submitted signed marriage licenses to the court within 10 days of the ceremony or face a $50 fine.

  • Tampa

    A 23-year-old recent college graduate has landed a coveted spot with the Florida Orchestra, and she’s sitting in the most unlikely spot – next to her childhood teacher. French horn player Kaitlyn Resler beat out nearly 60 other horn players in a blind audition. She had her first rehearsal with the prestigious orchestra this week and was seated next to 67-year-old Carolyn Wahl, who taught Resler from fourth grade through high school. The two even texted the night before rehearsal as Resler dealt with some first-day jitters. Resler said “she became a second mom to me” over the years. Wahl has been a horn player with the orchestra since 1974, the longest run of any current musician.

  • Atlanta

    Groundwater near Georgia military bases remains contaminated from a toxic firefighting foam used for decades by the U.S. Air Force, prompting fears among residents about their exposure to the chemicals. Recent tests at the state’s three air bases show extensive environmental contamination of groundwater, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Environmentalists say contamination from the foam exposed communities to chemicals linked to cancer and a variety of other health problems. The Air Force has said Georgia’s drinking water is safe for the thousands of people living around its installations. But experts and nearby residents question those findings, saying the military’s review was too narrow and failed to test water off-base.

  • Honolulu

    The last of a Hawaiian land snail species has died. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources says the last known Achatinella apexfulva died on New Year’s Day. It was about 14 years old and named George. In 1997, the last 10 known of its kind were brought into a laboratory at the University of Hawaii to be raised in captivity. Some offspring were produced, but the snails all eventually died – except for George. A 2-millimeter snippet of George’s foot was collected in 2017 for research. It remains in deep freeze in San Diego. The snails were once common in Oahu’s Koolau moutantains and were used to make lei. The department says other remaining snails native to Hawaii face extinction from threats including invasive species and climate change.

  • Boise

    For more than four decades, the governor and first lady have hosted an annual multiday golf and sporting event to raise money for state college and trade-school scholarships. The Idaho Statesman reports almost every year for the past decade, the nonprofit that runs the Governor’s Cup tournament has spent at least twice as much money on throwing the annual event as it has awarded in financial aid. That has raised concerns about the purpose of the event. But some nonprofit experts and the Governor’s Cup chairman argue the scholarships would not exist without the fundraiser. The event raised $1.3 million in 2018, Gov. Butch Otter has said. What he didn’t say was how much will go toward scholarships – less than half, if history is any indication, the Statesman reports.

  • Goodfield

    Step inside the soon-to-be home of Zeller Electric, nearing completion in Goodfield, and it’s not hard to imagine you have wandered into a giant Lego play set. What might be harder to imagine is that the old shipping containers stacked at various angles will soon be offices, meeting rooms and work areas. The building is owned by Crossing Properties, and Zeller Electric is renovating the space inside. A portion of it will be used by Halo Solar, a solar energy company that partners with Zeller. Eight standard 40-foot shipping containers are being used for the project. Each is roughly 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide. With the natural look being “in,” the exteriors will be left in their current state so the “used patina” is evident. The interiors will be painted. Openings are being cut for windows, but the large doors with vertical metal bars will remain largely intact.

  • Indianapolis

    If you’ve worn too much of a dent in your couch bingeing Netflix, consider sliding into a seat at The Toby Theater inside the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. The art campus has released the schedule for its Winter Nights Film Series, based on themes from the current George Platt Lynes exhibit. Lynes, shown above in a self-portrait, made his living photographing high fashion and New York City Ballet dancers. The 12-film series plays on the different threads of Lynes’ work, including ballet (with 2000’s “Billy Elliot”), sexuality (1971’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”) and fashion (1957’s “Funny Face”). It’s part of Pushing Boundaries, a collection of events at Newfields that includes the return of an early Saturday morning dance party, artists performing poetry, ballet and a guitar concert.

  • Des Moines

    Iowa Airbnb hosts earned $9.3 million in 2018, a steep increase over the previous year, as nearly 100,000 visitors used the vacation rental service across the state. As in other states, Airbnb guests can choose from an array of unique destinations in Iowa, including a tipi in Williamsburg, an old train depot in Washington, a caboose near Decorah or a loft on the Oskaloosa town square. But users most frequently stayed in Iowa’s largest metro area last year. With 25,000 guest arrivals, Polk County was the state’s most popular destination. Bookings in the county brought in $2.4 million. Johnson County, home to the University of Iowa, brought in the second-largest count with 9,500 arrivals and $970,000 in revenue.

  • Wichita

    A former church downtown is being repurposed as a “hub” to treat homeless patients. The Wichita Eagle reports Robert Mitelhaus, owner of the former Central Christian Church building, signed leases for multiple organizations to use the space after realizing the church might be best utilized by certain groups and outreach ministries. JayDoc Community Clinic is one of the building’s primary tenants. The University of Kansas-sponsored collaboration with the Guadalupe Clinic treats patients at the church on Thursday nights. It serves as an outreach effort by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita that provides health care to the uninsured and to those who can’t otherwise afford it.

  • Paducah

    At first glance, the New Year’s Day tradition a group of regional water-skiers has adopted may seem a bit, well, nuts. But the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts have proven their annual ritual has staying power: Members have braved occasional below-freezing temperatures and lakes encrusted with ice every Jan. 1 for 41 consecutive years. Some in the group say there’s more to the tradition than the novelty. After all, three generations of water-skiers participate in the group’s tournaments. A group of Ski Nuts gathered recently said the warmth of friendship, as much as the thrill of cold-weather water-skiing, has kept them on the water for decades. They “develop long, close relationships with the rest of the group,” said Joy Coomes, who joined the group more than 20 years ago with Pat, her husband, above.

  • Baton Rouge

    More than 2,400 young exhibitors from around Louisiana are expected to bring their beef and dairy cattle, goats, sheep, swine and poultry to the LSU AgCenter Livestock Show next month. Winners of 4-H and FFA parish and district shows may exhibit their animals at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales on Feb. 9-16. AgCenter officials expect about 1,500 breeding animals, 1,500 market animals, 175 pens of broilers and 600 exhibition birds. Six animals will be named supreme champions for beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, sheep, goats and swine. Exhibitors at least 15 years old are eligible for senior champion livestock showman awards in 10 categories.

  • Portland

    Growers in the No. 1 wild-blueberry state suffered another bad year, but agriculture officials say there are reasons to believe Maine’s historic and troubled industry is about to turn a long-awaited corner. Maine farmers collected about 57 million pounds of the wild fruit in 2018, down nearly 11 million pounds from the previous year, University of Maine horticulture professor David Yarborough said. Prices to farmers also do not appear to have improved too significantly from recent years in which they lagged historic levels, he said. But he and some members of the industry also believe there’s reason for optimism: Excess inventory has held back blueberry prices in recent years, and Yarborough said that is likely to start changing in 2019 because of two straight years of modest harvest sizes.

  • Upper Marlboro

    Scores of vultures perching near a shopping center are unnerving some customers of a grocery store and fast-food restaurant. WRC-TV captured footage of dozens of birds in trees near the shopping center in Upper Marlboro. Rodney Taylor, chief of the Prince George’s County animal services division, says the vultures appear to be drawn by food left in nearby woods for feral cats. The station reports there are limited options to deal with the vultures unless they come inside buildings. Marian Parker helps take care of the cats and tells the station she notices vultures swooping in for cat food when she turns her back. Cornelius Woodson, who works in the area, says his co-workers have started avoiding the restaurant because of the birds.

  • New Bedford

    A whaling museum hosted its 23rd annual read-a-thon of one of America’s most celebrated novels – “Moby-Dick.” The reading began at noon Saturday and continued around the clock until 1 p.m. Sunday. More than 200 readers were expected to participate in the event at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Besides the main reading, the museum hosted two mini-marathons Saturday: a Portuguese-language reading of an abridged “Moby-Dick” and a children’s version of the novel. Melville was born Aug. 1, 1819. He wrote “Moby-Dick” at Arrowhead, his home in Pittsfield, in 1850 and 1851.

  • Detroit

    A foundation started by “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller, above center, is giving a $1 million grant to the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. Mosaic says the Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation grant will be distributed over five years and will fund its summer camp and a middle school program. The annual funding will support up to 200 camp scholarships. Funding also will be set aside for an endowment to support future programs. Seller, a Detroit-area native, started the foundation along with Josh Lehrer, a photographer and documentarist. The nonprofit Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit was founded 27 years ago.

  • Minneapolis

    The city will soon be home to a major league Quidditch team. The sport inspired by the “Harry Potter” book series is gaining popularity among Muggles around the world. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the Major League Quidditch expansion team in Minneapolis will hold tryouts in April. Quidditch began as an intramural sport at a handful of high schools and colleges. More than 500 teams in 39 countries are now trying to emulate the fictional magical sport. Players run around with poles instead of brooms between their legs while they try to score with a volleyball “quaffle,” avoid dodgeball “bludgers” and catch a person acting as the “golden snitch.”

  • Meridian

    Mennonite volunteers are helping rebuild homes in a community damaged in a tornado last year. The Meridian Star reports that Mennonite Disaster Service arrived last week. Disaster recovery committee member Kim Waters says some residents still haven’t returned to their homes or are living in houses with damage such as leaky roofs. She says older people with fixed incomes have had trouble affording repairs. The volunteers are from Indiana and came to volunteer using their own vacation and holiday time. The tornado, with top winds estimated at 115 mph, damaged as many as 200 homes and businesses overall when it hit Meridian and Lauderdale County.

  • St. Louis

    A quirky museum downtown that features a fish tank, climbing equipment, a slide and other interactive activities has been sold to a theme park company. Oklahoma City-based Premier Parks LLC has purchased and now operates City Museum, formerly owned by American Milling, a business based in suburban St. Louis. Terms were not disclosed, but the 100 or so employees of City Museum will retain their jobs. Bob and Gail Cassilly founded City Museum in 1997, and the museum displays Bob Cassilly’s work, along with other artists. Premier Parks operates entertainment venues throughout the U.S. and in Canada.

  • Billings

    Yellowstone National Park officials plan to capture 600 to 900 bison to slaughter this winter for the continuing effort to manage the herd’s population. The Billings Gazette reports Interagency Bison Management Plan partners signed the agreement outlining the winter operations plan for the bison. Yellowstone counted about 4,500 bison this summer. About 3,300 reside on the Northern Range and migrate into Montana, where they can be trapped for shipment to slaughter or hunted once they exit park boundaries. Mark Deleray, of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, says removing 600 bison keeps the herd numbers stable, while removing 900 would lead to a slight population decline. Through slaughter and hunting, 1,171 bison from Yellowstone were removed last year.

  • Omaha

    A man whose children had decided to remove his breathing tubes has recovered and left the hospital after weeks of therapy. Now his family members call T. Scott Marr – once nearly brain-dead – the “miracle man.” Marr, above right, originally was diagnosed with a stroke Dec. 12 and placed on a breathing machine in intensive care. His four children agreed the following day to take him off the machine. He was showing no neurological improvement and was not expected to recover. They said their goodbyes. But they skipped their appointment with a funeral home the next day and went to visit again. He was responsive. He wiggled his toes and moved his thumbs when asked. He eventually was diagnosed with rare but treatable condition, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.

  • Las Vegas

    Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak is pledging to install a diverse group of people in his administration when he takes office this week. The Democrat told labor union supporters Friday that his administration will reflect Nevada’s diversity and is “not going to be a bunch of old white guys with gray hair like me.” Sisolak stopped by the labor hall for theatrical stage workers in Las Vegas on Friday as he embarked on a send-off tour to Carson City, where he’ll be inaugurated Monday. The Las Vegas-based county commissioner will become Nevada’s first Democratic governor in about two decades.

  • Rochester

    The New Hampshire Department of Education is offering more details about an innovative project Republican Gov. Chris Sununu highlighted in his inaugural address. Sununu says he wants to create the “New Hampshire Career Academy” modeled after a program that brings together Spaulding High School in Rochester, Great Bay Community College and Safran Aerospace Composites. The goal is to create a new charter school operated by the community college system that would receive the same $7,300 in state funding per pupil that other charter schools receive. Participating seniors would receive high school diplomas, certificates in specific fields such as advanced composites manufacturing, about 30 college credits and a guaranteed job interview with partner businesses. Those who stay on for another year could earn associate degrees.

  • Evesham

    In the weeks after Christmas, Tami Fulcher Millaway makes a lot of meal runs for her kids. It all sounds pretty routine, until Millaway describes the part where she throws the food over the fence so her kids can gnaw at it for hours. Millaway, who owns BnT Farm with her husband Bill, has 12 goats on her Marlton property – five of them babies – and offers to collect her neighbors’ discarded Christmas trees so she can feed them to her animals. For the second year, Millaway is collecting neighbors’ trees that otherwise would be left at the curb to be recycled. “Instead of being chipped and thrown away, this way the trees are actually feeding my goaties,” she says.

  • Las Cruces

    State Rep. Angelica Rubio, D-Las Cruces, set out for Santa Fe on a bicycle Saturday morning, leaving from the heart of her district: the Mesquite neighborhood, part of the historic route connecting Mexico City with Santa Fe. “It’s one of my favorite places,” Rubio says. “I felt like I needed to start there.” Over seven days, she plans to cycle her way to the Roundhouse, covering up to 60 miles in a day, to arrive by Saturday, Jan. 12. Along the 300-mile trip, Rubio has lined up informal public meetings with other state legislators, including Republicans, to foster a connection between residents of southern New Mexico communities and the legislative process and as a public corrective to “how polarized our country is, including our own state.”

  • Albany

    A massive resort and indoor waterpark in the Catskills is set to open in late March. The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark next to the Resort World Catskills casino in Thompson will open just in time for spring break, the owner says. The hotel will feature 324 all-suite rooms, and the indoor waterpark will be the largest in New York – stretched over 2 acres with 15 water slides and coasters, a wave pool, a lazy river and an indoor beach. The facility is being managed by Benchmark Global Hospitality, a Texas-based resort company, after it was initially planned by Poconos’ Camelback Resort. The resort will also include an arcade, spa, and eight restaurants and bars. The company said it will begin taking reservations for rooms Jan. 10.

  • Raleigh

    Nearly 1,000 acres that could hold clues to the fate of the mysterious Lost Colony and have ecological importance are now a state natural area. The state Division of Parks and Recreation said in a news release that the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust had conveyed the land in Bertie County to the division. The trust had taken out a $5.3 million loan to purchase the land, now known as the Salmon Creek Natural Area, which includes the place where historians now believe some colonists resettled. It also was once home to an Indian village and to the plantation of Thomas Pollock, who served as governor in the early 1700s. It includes flood plain forests of cypress-gum swamp and bottomland hardwood forest.

  • Bismarck

    When the winds howl and the bone-numbing cold sets in, scores of North Dakotans willingly become lawbreakers by warming up their vehicles without being in them, ignoring a potential $1,500 state fine and 30 days in jail. “It’s ineffective. The people ignore it. Let’s get rid of it,” said Republican Rep. Daniel Johnston, who is sponsoring a bill that would make it legal for people to leave their vehicles running unattended, amending a statute that has been on the books since the 1940s that no one can remember being enforced. Some don’t even realize it’s on the books, he said. North Dakota’s law was passed nearly 75 years ago as a deterrent against automobile theft.

  • Cincinnati

    It was a fitting Cincinnati engagement for two familiar Cincinnati faces. The journalists for WLWT News embraced on The Banks, with the Roebling Suspension Bridge in the backdrop. Sheree Paolello, who co-anchors four evening news broadcasts alongside Mike Dardis, gushed on Twitter that “the man I was looking for has been sitting next to me the whole time.” Dardis proposed Dec. 28, a Friday, after asking Paolello out for an ostensible coffee run. He chose the location because the Roebling is Paolello’s favorite bridge. A painting of it hangs in her home. They’re looking forward to a late spring or early summer wedding.

  • Oklahoma City

    A large purple penguin statue that was swiped from a hotel apparently managed to waddle back home after police released surveillance camera images of a man with the $3,000 piece of art tucked under his arm. Oklahoma City police announced Friday that the statue, which disappeared the prior Sunday night from the 21c Museum Hotel, had been “returned home.” No arrests have been announced. Hotel staff speculated that it was stolen by someone visiting a guest. Surveillance images show a man carrying the artwork by its head. The penguin is about two-thirds the height of the statue thief. A spokeswoman for the hotel said she was “thrilled the penguin has been returned to our flock.”

  • Salem

    When Oregon’s next labor commissioner is sworn in, the state’s governor and attorney general, both women, will be administering the oath of office. It’s significant, Gov. Kate Brown noted Friday, because Labor Commissioner-elect Val Hoyle, above, is also a woman. “For the first time in Oregon history, a majority of statewide elected executive offices will be held by women,” Brown’s office said in a statement. Brown’s office said she and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum will celebrate the milestone at the swearing-in Monday, one month before Oregon’s 160th birthday.

  • York

    A recent report by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission shows the smallmouth bass population in the Susquehanna River is growing. From Clemson Island to the Turnpike bridge near Highspire, 2018 had the fifth-highest catch rate since standardized surveys were initiated in this reach in 1990, according to the report. The study was conducted Oct. 22-25 by biologists using nighttime electrofishing surveys targeting adult smallmouth bass at four historic sampling sites in the middle portion of the Susquehanna River. The smallmouth bass population has been on an upward trend, mainly thanks to reduced incidence of disease, which had caused mortality of young-of-year bass to varying degrees since 2005.

  • Cranston

    The state has met a court-mandated benchmark for its benefits system following a disastrous rollout in 2016. WPRI-TV reports the state processed 96 percent of food stamp applications under the Unified Health Infrastructure Project. UHIP was meant to streamline state benefits programs but experienced major failures following its launch in September 2016. The problems eventually led to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the state over delayed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The suit was settled with the agreement that the state must process 96 percent of SNAP applications within federally mandated timeframes. The state Department of Human Services hit the benchmark for the first time this past October.

  • Spartanburg

    Converse College this fall will welcome its first doctoral students. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Changes approved the school’s request to become a doctoral degree-granting institution. The college will begin offering a 60-hour Doctorate in Professional Leadership, a doctor of education program, for two groups of 20 students at the main campus in Spartanburg and the college’s satellite campus at the University Center of Greenville. The Herald-Journal reports the students will take courses in leadership, management, personnel theory, entrepreneurialism and legislative decision-making. Converse began accepting applications for the new program last week.

  • Rapid City

    Agriculture officials say an invasive insect found in evergreen decorations in Minnesota and Wisconsin has shown up in South Dakota. The state Department of Agriculture is encouraging residents who bought wreaths and other evergreens from chain stores to bag the items and dispose of them in a landfill in order to stop the spread of the insect known as elongate hemlock scale. State forester Greg Josten says the insect has been found on greenery, but not on Christmas trees. The principal host for the insect is the eastern hemlock, a rare tree in South Dakota. But it can also attack spruce trees, which are a native, common tree in the Black Hills.

  • Nashville

    Pringles says it erroneously overpaid its Tennessee taxes by $2.1 million, and the company known for its potato chips is suing the state to recoup the money. Pringles Manufacturing Company sued state Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano late last month in Davidson County Chancery Court. The Michigan-based company has a Jackson, Tennessee, manufacturing facility. Court filings say Pringles erroneously overpaid sales and use taxes from 2012 through 2015 on purchases that were actually tax exempt. The lawsuit says Pringles filed a refund claim in December 2016, but Tennessee’s Department of Revenue didn’t determine the claim during the required six-month window, so it was deemed denied. The lawsuit calls the decision unjust.

  • Sweetwater

    An Army soldier stationed at Fort Bliss helped save a man who was seriously injured in a December crash in West Texas. Sgt. Trey Troney, 20, was driving Dec. 22 on Interstate 20 near Sweetwater when he came across a serious crash involving two tractor-trailers and a pickup. The driver of the pickup, Jeff Udger, had a bleeding head injury, cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. Troney said he pulled over to the crash site and noticed Udger was trapped in his truck. Troney helped get him out and wrapped his hoodie around Udger’s head to stem the bleeding. Troney had a decompression needle that he injected into Udger to relieve pressure from his chest, helping him breathe. Udger said via email that he’s healing from the punctured lung and cracked ribs.

  • Salt Lake City

    A Republican is suing after losing an election to a Navajo candidate in a southern Utah county dogged by allegations of voter discrimination. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Kelly Laws is asking a judge to overturn Democrat Willie Grayeyes’ victory in the San Juan County commission race over questions about whether he is truly a Utah resident. County officials have already tried to remove Grayeyes from the ballot after finding he lives primarily over the nearby Arizona border, but a judge reversed that decision after finding the county clerk falsified the complaint by improperly backdating it. Grayeyes, above, says the residency questions are a political attack as Navajos are poised to form a majority of the commission for the first time.

  • Montpelier

    The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says a helicopter will be used to help tag 30 moose as part of a three-year study of the state’s moose herd. The radio collaring project is expected to take between five and 10 days. Depending on the weather, it could begin as early as Thursday. Wildlife experts will use nets to capture moose from the helicopter, which will fly just above the treetops, without tranquilizers. The processing of a captured moose is completed in minutes, minimizing stress. So far 96 moose have been captured as part of the study. Wildlife agencies in New Hampshire, Maine, and New York are currently using the same methods to examine their moose herds. The study is scheduled to be completed by year’s end.

  • Leesburg

    A newly elected Virginia congresswoman is displaying a transgender pride flag outside her Washington office. Rep. Jennifer Wexton is a Democrat from the 10th District in northern Virginia who was sworn in Thursday. The pink-, blue- and white-striped flag is displayed at the door to her office, along with the U.S. and Virginia flags. In a statement, Wexton says she’s displaying the flag because she has family members and friends who are transgender. Chief of staff Abigail Carter says Wexton is an aunt to a transgender person. Wexton says she wants the transgender community to know they’re welcome. Since it went on display, Wexton says she’s received messages of support and appreciation from across the country.

  • Seattle

    More than six years after the state legalized the adult use of marijuana, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday that he plans to pardon thousands of convictions for small-time possession – the latest in a series of moves by states and cities to ease the burdens people face from having minor criminal records for using pot. The Democrat, who is mulling a 2020 presidential run, made the announcement at a cannabis industry summit in SeaTac, south of Seattle. Inslee, above, said he was creating an expedited process that would allow about 3,500 people to apply for and receive a pardon without having to hire a lawyer or go to court.

  • Charleston

    The state’s trout hatcheries are getting repairs and upgrades that state officials hope will produce more and bigger fish. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that some of the work is already done, some is underway, and some is still in the planning stages. Officials say one key project – a major expansion of the Bowden Hatchery – could get started as early as this summer. Most of the state’s trout hatcheries were built more than 50 years ago. In their heyday, they allowed the state Division of Natural Resources to produce almost 1.5 million trout a year. Age has taken a toll, though; water shortages, leaking pipes, failing equipment and general wear-and-tear have made it impossible to maintain that level of production.

  • Madison

    State health officials say fewer Wisconsin adults are smoking than ever before. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that statistics from the state Department of Health Services show that Wisconsin’s overall smoking rate dropped to 16 percent in 2017. That compares to 21 percent in 2011 but is still higher than the national rate of 14 percent. The data show that low-income residents and African-Americans continue to smoke at much higher rates. The numbers have decreased in recent years, but not as quickly as smoking overall in the state. Still, anti-smoking advocates say small declines add up.

  • Casper

    The Wyoming State Geological Survey says more than 2,500 earthquakes were recorded in the state over the past year, but most were never noticed by residents. The survey’s geological hazards report released Thursday shows that nine earthquakes reached a magnitude of 5.0 or greater, and dozens exceeded magnitude 2.5. Seth Wittke, a manager of the survey’s geological hazards division, says people do not usually feel earthquakes under magnitude 2.5. Yellowstone National Park was the epicenter of much of state’s earthquake activity. The Yellowstone Caldera and the movement of fluids underground and on the surface account for part of the activity.

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