Alabama Montgomery : The state Department of Education is using an online survey to measure state residents' opinions about the quality of the career and technical education being offered in public schools. The deadline for taking the survey is Feb.21 and results will be available starting in March. Alaska Homer: The City Council today will consider a resolution to accept an $18,500 sculpture of Brother Asaiah Bates to be done by artist Leo Vait . Brother Asaiah, who died in March 2000 at age 78, was "perhaps the closest thing Homer will ever have to a patron saint," Homer News reporter Hal Spence wrote in an obituary. Arizona Flagstaff: Starting Tuesday, the National Park Service is dredging Lake Powell to deepen Castle Rock Cut, which has been closed since February 2013 because of low water. Arkansas Little Rock : The state Forestry Commission said burn bans are in effect in 42 counties as all of the state remains under high wildfire danger. California Los Angeles : A record 17.9million foreign travelers passed through Los Angeles International Airport last year, the largest international passenger volume since 2005 when the airport handled 17.5million foreign travelers. Colorado Boulder : Authorities said a 54-year-old man whose body was found in a local creek died of hypothermia associated with acute intoxication. Boulder County Coroner Emma Hall has ruled that Terry Allen Cooper's death was accidental. Connecticut Hartford : Rep. Craig Miner , R- Litchfield , and Sen. Robert Kane , R- Watertown , recently voted against adding a $3 administrative fee to a $15 charge for obtaining driver histories from DMV. The administrative fee will be used to support a new state Web portal that businesses will use to obtain driver records online. Delaware Wilmington : Former pediatrician Earl Bradley , convicted of raping scores of patients, has filed a new appeal accusing public defenders of providing "ineffective" counsel and claiming he was denied the right to counsel of his choosing. Bradley, 60, is serving 14 life sentences for child rape after his 2011 conviction. District of Columbia : The city will start to distribute its first "supercans" next month, larger receptacles for trash and recycling. The $9million cost will come out of the Contingency Cash Reserve Fund , The Washington Post reported. Florida Miami : A decision by the State Board of Education to significantly increase passing certification scores for teachers goes into effect in March. Those hoping to work in professional and early childhood education will be affected. Georgia Perry: Guardian Centers has donated nine sheep to Perry High School for agriculture students. The sheep did not work out as weed eaters on the company's 375 acres, although pygmy goats performed well. Hawaii Honolulu: An invasion of box jellyfish has prompted local officials to close Hanauma Bay . The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that more than 30 people were stung. Idaho Lewiston : Maj. Kimberly Tschepen has become the first woman to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion. The Lewiston Tribune reported that Tschepen assumed command of the 145th Brigade Support Battalion on Jan.4. Illinois Peoria : Sheldon Schafer will retire at the end of the month as planetarium director at the Riverfront Museum , where he worked for nearly 38 years. Schafer, 65, known as Mr. Space , plans to continue teaching astronomy at Bradley University . Indiana Jefforsonville: Destiny Hoffman , 34, who was sentenced to two days in Clark County Jail for a drug-treatment program violation, ended up spending five months locked up because a court failed to issue an order needed to free her. Iowa Boone : Police are investigating the deaths of two people here. Police didn't say how the people died or release their identities. Kansas Salina : Saline County commissioners are expected consider a policy that would allow county employees who have concealed carry permits to carry their weapons while at work. Kentucky Pikeville : Pike County is trying to determine the best way to deal with a pack of wild horses that are causing property damage and traffic hazards. Louisiana New Orleans : The College of Law at Loyola University will offer help through April 10 in tax return preparation for people with low to moderate incomes. Maine Augusta: Maine's two casinos said the market for slot machines is already saturated, but others wanting in on the action have no plans to give up their push for expanded gambling. A special commission failed to recommend a process for approving additional slots -- leaving lawmakers to sort a number of competing bills. Maryland Annapolis : Special Olympics canceled the annual Polar Bear Plunge because of high winds, tall waves and below-freezing temperatures. Massachusetts Easton : For the second time in as many months, a female student said she was raped in a dormitory at Stonehill College . School spokesman Martin McGovern said the woman has so far decided to not seek criminal charges. Michigan Lansing : Today is the last day to register to vote for local elections across the state Feb.25. Minnesota Stillwater : City officials have asked organizers of a new summer music festival to change the name, saying it could be construed as vulgar. Stillwater Log Jam organizer Cassie McLemore said the name fits with the city's history of a logging community and called the request "ridiculous." Mississippi Jackson: The trial of a woman charged with helping to arrange the unlicensed buttocks injections that prosecutors said killed a Georgia woman in 2012 is scheduled to begin today in Hinds County Circuit Court . Natasha Stewart , 40, is charged with depraved-heart murder and other counts in the death of Karima Gordon . Missouri Kansas City : H&R Block has stopped handing out real dollar bills bearing stickers with its 2014 tax season marketing message. A federal law, however, prohibits attaching advertisements to money. Montana Missoula : The University of Montana faces a nearly $6million budget deficit for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year and has implemented a "hiring chill" as its leaders look for ways to save money because of decreased enrollment. Nebraska Milford : Residents are dreaming about how to use $6.85million an anonymous donor left them. The donation to nine groups, including the school district and the city, is supposed to be used for enhancements, not tax relief. Nevada Reno : Thousands of acres of ranchland along a scenic river will be protected under a conservation easement. A deal preserves about 3,800 acres of the Fairfield Ranch . New Hampshire Stratham : The New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking supporters to jump into the ocean. Registration is open for the 4th annual Doggie Paddle Plunge, to be held Feb.22 at Great Island Common in Newcastle . New Jersey Ocean Grove : After twice rejecting the request, the Federal Emergency Management Agency now said the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association can seek $1million in federal aid for repairing a boardwalk that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy. New Mexico Santa Fe : Students at local schools are showing some of the highest truancy rates in the state, a new report said. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported a school district study said nearly one-third of public high school students have missed a significant number of days. New York Lake Placid : In celebration of the Sochi Winter Games, the Olympic cauldron will be lit Feb.7, and then Olympians and other runners can join a torch run to Mid's Park, where a smaller, portable Empire State Winter Games cauldron will be lit. North Carolina Raleigh : The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the state until Feb.10 to make significant progress toward clearing its massive backlog of food stamp applications or it could lose the $88million it receives annually to manage its food stamp program on March 12 . North Dakota Bismarck : A no travel advisory was issued for parts of the state because of blizzard conditions that reduced visibility to near zero. Ohio Dayton : Approximately40% of high school graduates in the state weren't ready for college-level math or English when entering the state's public colleges or universities in 2012, according to new Board of Regents data. Oklahoma Tulsa : A national study ranks Oklahoma fifth in the nation for black homicide victimization. Black Oklahomans make up only 7.4% of the state's population but accounted for about 34% of homicides in the state in 2011. Oregon Portland : Oregon Zoo officials said their most famous elephant, Packy, now has a case of active tuberculosis and is not reacting well to his treatment drug. Pennsylvania Leechburg : Officials said a man is dead following a house fire. The Westmoreland County coroner's office said Dennis Zidek , 70, was found dead at his home in Allegheny Township . Rhode Island Providence : Local officials have temporarily shut a city nightclub after a shooting that critically injured two Massachusetts men. The Providence Journal reported that the Board of Licensing on Saturday temporarily ordered the Karma nightclub closed, hours after the shooting. South Carolina Greer : The new $25million inland port that provides a direct rail link between the Upstate and South Carolina Ports Authority terminals on the coast is expected to mean 25,000 fewer truck trips on busy Interstate 26 between the mountains and Charleston in its first year. South Dakota Pierre: Organizers of a donation fund set up to help South Dakota ranchers hurt by an early October blizzard are preparing to distribute an additional $3.3million to producers, after earlier doling out about $775,000 . Tennessee Memphis : The Shelby County Rape Crisis Center will provide weekly counseling for rape victims whose rape kits were among a backlog left untested by the Police Department over about 30 years. Police Director Toney Armstrong said in November that the agency has around 12,000 untested rape kits. Texas Baytown : One person was treated at a hospital and several others suffered minor injuries during a Pamplona -style bull running event Saturday in which 3,500 people participated. Utah Salt Lake City : Utah restaurants fared much better last year during covert visits by underage drinkers, according to new figures from the state's alcohol enforcement team. State restaurants sold to minors on 16% of the undercover visits in 2013 -- down significantly from 29% the year before. Vermont Rutland : More than 170 students entered Green Mountain Power's contest to name its new electronic cow that explains how electricity is made from manure. Both Jared McGee of West Rutland Elementary School and Dillon Brigham of Danville School submitted the winning suggestion: Electra . Virginia Leesburg : Republicans have opted to run a "firehouse primary," or party canvass, instead of a convention or state-run primary on April 26 to choose a nominee in the 10th Congressional District , where Republican Frank Wolf is retiring after 34 years. Washington Longview : Seismologists said two minor earthquakes were felt in communities near here Sunday morning. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network's John Vidale said the two quakes happened about an hour apart. West Virginia Martinsburg : A former State Police trooper must pay restitution for leave pay he received for training he didn't attend. The Herald-Mail reported that Johnathan Brand , 26, pleaded guilty to obtaining money by false pretenses. Wisconsin Madison: Gov. Walker said he will spend much of the next year encouraging businesses to hire more people with disabilities. The Republican also wants to spend $800,000 by mid-2015 to expand an on-the-job training program for people with disabilities. Wyoming Casper : The Wyoming Highway Patrol said troopers seized nearly 100 pounds of marijuana and a quarter pound of methamphetamine during three unrelated traffic stops. Compiled from staff and wire reports by Tim Wendel and Dennis Lyons . Design by George Petras . Graphics by Alejandro Gonzalez .
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