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STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Iowa residents without power days after powerful derecho, while one-third of state’s crops flattened … North Carolina mayor apologizes for city’s history of racial inequality … New York AG files price gouging lawsuit against egg producer.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company will likely have to stop operating in California, at least for some months, unless a court halts a judge’s ruling that the ride-hailing company must begin classifying drivers as employees. “If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California, it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly,” Khosrowshahi said. Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft have opposed the new California law that requires many companies that rely on so-called “gig workers” to actually treat the contractors as employees. But a judge earlier this week granted a preliminary injunction to California, which had sued the companies to get them to start complying with the law. On Wednesday, Lyft also indicted it would pull out of the California market. The two companies, along with food delivery app DoorDash, have backed a ballot initiative that would overturn the new state law, which will be considered by voters in November. Both Lyft and Uber have seen plummeting earnings during the pandemic, which has hurt the ride-hailing business as people try to maintain social distancing. Uber also owns a food delivery company, but that hasn’t been a profitable business. [The Verge; CNBC]
STORM DAMAGE | Over 600,000 utility customers in the Midwest remained without electricity on Wednesday and initial estimates indicated that at least one-third of Iowa's crops had been flattened, after a powerful derecho swept through the region on Monday. Winds from the storm were clocked at around 112 mph near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I’ve never seen a storm like this,” said Gary DeLacy, superintendent of Iowa's Clinton Community School District schools. “I’ve never seen the city hit like this.” The storm affected a nearly 800-mile swath of the U.S. over about 14 hours. [USA Today, Iowa Public Radio]
APOLOGY | The mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina apologized for the city’s history of racial inequality, citing policies like redlining, Jim Crow-era restrictions, and the razing of a predominantly Black neighborhood during an “urban renewal” period in the 1960s. "Charlotte lives with the continued impact of those laws, policies and social determinants resulting in health disparity, food insecurity, negative environmental impacts," said Mayor Vi Lyles. “Our apology is grounded in the fact that Charlotte is a tale of two cities. We have great prosperity and great poverty.” [WSOC]
COLLEGE SPORTS | Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that college athletes whose seasons have been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic should come play at schools in his state, where fall sports like football are (currently) set to play as usual. “If there’s a way, we want you guys to be able to play as well,” he said. [Washington Post]
PRICE GOUGING | New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Hillandale Farms, one of the nation’s largest egg producers, alleging the company engaged in price gouging on more than four million cartons of eggs during the pandemic, sometimes charging four times the pre-pandemic cost. “Hillandale exploited hardworking New Yorkers to line its own pockets and cheated our most vulnerable communities,” James said. The company denies the allegations, saying that eggs have historically been subject to price volatility. [WETM]
Senior reporter Bill Lucia contributed to this report.
Laura Maggi is the Managing Editor at Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.