Officials in Cape Town, South Africa, say anyone wishing to put on a fireworks display will need to obtain the appropriate permits because the city no longer provides designated fireworks sites for holidays. The rules, which took effect last year, have been misinterpreted by many as a fireworks ban, but fireworks are still allowed with city permission, says JP Smith, a member of the Mayoral Committee on Safety and Security.
City Council members in Bethel, Alaska, have selected former City Manager Pete Williams to serve as interim manager while the search for a permanent manager continues. Williams' term as city manager ended in April 2019.
Western US cities are converting convention centers and factories into smoke shelters to help people who are homeless escape record levels of air pollution from raging wildfires. "(Healthy air) is not just for those of us who have money and privilege and the ability to seal ourselves in our homes and recirculate our filtered air systems, it's for everyone," says King County, Wash., executive Dow Constantine.
Implementation of a $0.02 gas tax approved by voters in June began in Missoula County, Mont., this week. Officials estimate the tax will bring in $1.1 million each year for road construction, repairs and maintenance, but they estimate the county needs between $2.5 million and $3 million annually to maintain local roads.
Police in Louisville, Ky., declared an unlawful assembly Tuesday night and two officers were later shot amid demonstrations following a grand jury decision in the case of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in March by police as a "no-knock" warrant was being executed. The grand jury indicted one of the officers involved with wanton endangerment of Taylor's neighbors, but no charges were filed against any of the other officers involved.
City Council members in Krasnik, Poland, this week voted to uphold a motion passed last year to keep their town "free from LGBT ideology." The move could disqualify the city from receiving funds from an EU program aimed at supporting smaller Polish cities.
Officials in Tucson, Ariz., have voted unanimously to continue waiving transit fares until the end of 2020, extending a policy first implemented in March as the pandemic set in. Federal funding for the free transit program has run out, but officials felt it was too early to reinstate the fare requirement.
Many states are grappling with a downturn in tourism revenue and reduced budgets for state parks, both as a result of the pandemic. State parks are also not included in the maintenance funding provided by the federal Great American Outdoors Act.
The Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kan., has added a primate forest with a temperature-controlled area, a carousel plaza and a flamingo habitat. The zoo also expanded its animal health facility with a quarantine space and a surgery room for injured or sick animals.
Officials in Houston are working to protect natural areas covering 7,000 acres at 25 city parks from development under a planned city ordinance. "COVID-19 has helped get more support for it because people are using natural areas more than they have in the past," says Kelly Ondracek, natural resources manager with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
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