Rats Invade Providence Ward; Columbia Fire Captain Fired Over Black Live Matter Comments


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Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: N.J. hunters up in arms over trophy ban; an Arizona county doesn’t owe $16 million; and San Bernardino County’s internet woes.

RATS | Providence city council member David Salvatore says he’s received over a dozen constituent phone calls in the last three to four weeks from people who have sighted rats. "They’re being seen all hours of the day," he said. The rodents are apparently sticking to a few parts of town: mainly Wanskuck and also Elmhurst. Salvatore’s council colleagues, who represent wards to the north and south his district, have not received similar complaints. "They are creatures of habit," said Tony DeJesus, who works for a local pest control firm. "Once they get used to finding food in an area, they’ll come back to that area." [Providence Journal]

PROTESTS | A fire department captain here was fired Monday after posting threatening remarks online about people involved in a Black Lives Matter protest, which had shut down an interstate. “Idiots shutting down I-126. Better not be there when I get off work or there is gonna be some run over dumb asses,” Capt. Jimmy Morris, a 16-year veteran of Columbia’s fire department, wrote Sunday on Facebook. He later posted: “Public Service Announcement: If you attempt to shut down an interstate, highway, etc on my way home, you best hope I’m not one of the first vehicles in line because your ass WILL get run over! Period! That is all....” [The State]

HUNTING | New Jersey hunters filed a federal lawsuit over a state law making it illegal to import or export big-game trophies of threatened or endangered animals. The law was passed in response to the shooting of Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion, by a Minnesota dentist last year. Supporters of the suit argue safari hunting bolsters conservation efforts and the ban is unenforceable. [Philly.com]

TAXES | Pima County won’t have to pay Arizona nearly $16 million in tax liabilities, if a Superior Court judgement holds. The state has 30 days to appeal the ruling, concerning a 2015 law that changed how Arizona compensates homeowners whose primary property tax bills exceed 1 percent of the full cash value. The state shifted much of its burden onto local taxing districts in a move the judge found “impermissibly (delegated) the legislative power of taxation” to the Arizona Property Tax Oversight Commission. [Arizona Daily Star]

COMMUNICATIONS | Disrupted internet and telephone service has San Bernardino County residents frustrated with Frontier Communications, which took over Verizon’s assets in California, Florida and Texas. Within three weeks of the takeover, the California Public Utilities Commission received 360 Frontier service complaints. “Local seniors and disabled residents have lost phone service—and their connection to 911 and medic alert service,” said one county supervisor, who invited Frontier representatives to Tuesday’s board meeting. “We have also heard from business owners who have lost their ability to process credit cards, choking off their business operations. And others have complained of sporadic phone service, incredibly slow internet service, billing and customer service problems.” [The Sun]

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Washington D.C.

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