The Louisville Zoo says its oldest polar bear has died. The Zoo says Arki, a female, was 28 years old and died from unknown causes on Wednesday. Arki came to Louisville in 2011 from the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. A news release from the Louisville Zoo says polar bears usually live into their mid-20s. Arki was considered one of the most prolific polar bears with five successful litters. One of the two remaining polar bears at the Louisville Zoo, 3-year-old Siku, is Arki's grandson. The Zoo says a necropsy will be performed on Arki to determine the cause of death.
Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon wants to see all colleges and universities in Illinois feature a link to the federal College Scorecard on their websites. She's encouraging the Illinois House to pass a joint resolution to encourage institutions in Illinois to link to the scorecard. The resolution also urges schools to work together to design and publish an Illinois College Scorecard with data that supplements the federal data.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed into law a measure to tighten enrollment requirements at privately run online schools. The administration legislation allows beginning online schools to start with an enrollment of 1,500 and continue to expand as long as they meet performance requirements. If they fail to do so for three consecutive years, then the state education commissioner can cap enrollment, or direct the local school board to close it.
Supporters of high-volume oil and gas drilling say a bill to regulate the practice in Illinois is ready for a vote after last-minute negotiations over hiring and environmental concerns.
The House bill initially had strong support in February but stalled over an amendment requiring energy companies to hire Illinois-licensed water well drillers. Instead, companies will get a break on certain taxes if more than half their workers are from Illinois and receive prevailing wages.
Richie Farmer's federal trial on charges of misappropriating government resources when he was agriculture commissioner has been moved to this fall. Farmer’s lawyer, Guthrie True, said he needed more time to prepare for what he expected to be a complex case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Taylor objected to delaying the trial that long, and U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ordered yesterday that it be continued until October 22.
Illinois 17-year-olds would be able to vote in primary elections in some cases under legislation headed for Governor Pat Quinn. The measure would allow voters as young as 17 to cast ballots in primaries if they will be 18 by the time of the general election.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is honoring its fallen troopers this week. In honor of National Police Week, the agency, along with the state Safety Department and Homeland Security, will have its annual memorial service at 9 a.m. Friday at the Safety Department's headquarters in Nashville. Maj. Gen. Terry Haston, Tennessee's adjutant general, will be the keynote speaker.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is kicking off National Safe Boating Week with Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day tomorrow. The goal is to promote the use of life jackets as the 2013 summer boating season begins. Participants are asked to wear a life jacket to work in order to demonstrate how easy to wear one.
A memorial ceremony is being held at Fort Campbell to mark the 44th anniversary of the Battle of Hamburger Hill, one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. Members of the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade and other units fought for 12 days against North Vietnamese forces before U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured the mountain that the Americans referred to as "Hamburger Hill." The ceremony today is being hosted by soldiers and veterans from the 3rd Brigade.