Officials of Harvey and North Chicago, Ill., are facing serious financial concerns under an Illinois law that allows the state to withhold funds for cities that lag on their police and firefighter pension contributions. Last year, Harvey put the equivalent of 10% of its operating budget toward police and fire pensions and still fell short of state-mandated obligations.
The Kenton County, Ky., emergency communications board has terminated its contract with Executive Director Tommy Thompson, replacing him with Emergency Management Director Steve Hensley until a permanent replacement is found. The change comes ahead of plans to merge the city of Erlanger's dispatch system with the county's, as well as a planned communications equipment upgrade.
City officials in Cottage Grove, Minn., are hopeful that a new Langdon Village development could bring new commercial properties and high-density housing to the area. Planners are also recommending that a green space be included in the development.
The city design committee in Edmonton, Alberta, has rejected a proposed redevelopment plan for Holyrood Gardens, saying the plans need improvements to better integrate with the existing neighborhood. "I think there's great enthusiasm to have a development there, but if we're going to do it, we have to do it right," said city council member Ben Henderson.
Human activities such as farming, mining, road construction and development are putting pressure on the world's protected areas, with almost all national parks and natural areas showing some signs of disturbance, a study published in Science suggests. "We found major road infrastructure such as highways, industrial agriculture, and even entire cities occurring inside the boundaries of places supposed to be set aside for nature conservation," says the study's lead author, Kendall Jones.
The Winston Waterworks aquatic center in Winston-Salem, N.C., is opening Friday. The facility includes water slides, a spray area and a lazy river.
Layritz Park in Saanich, British Columbia, recently installed standalone solar lighting along a trail in keeping with Saanich's commitment to using renewable energy.
The $23 million Clyde Recreation Center in Springville, Utah, opens Thursday. The aquatic center features a 10-lane competition pool and a leisure pool, and there is exercise equipment on the second level.
Reclaimed residential lots in Detroit's Fitzgerald community are being transformed into a park that will include a mural by African-American artist Hubert Massey. The two-segment mural will incorporate handprints of local children.
A case in Texas illustrates how courts are handling legal objections raised when communities attempt to remove Confederate monuments and statues from public areas, writes James Kozlowski. The challenging party was unable to establish standing despite making several arguments.
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