WASHINGTON: $1B to aid Indian tribes
Seventy-six American Indian tribes across the country will share $1 billion in economic stimulus money to help create jobs and revitalize Indian communities. The money, announced Thursday, will allow tribes from California to Florida to issue tax-exempt bonds for projects such as health care centers, water plants and wind farms.
New farm workers rules
The Obama administration moved Thursday to increase wages and job safety protections for temporary farm workers, reversing a Bush-era policy that unions said fostered cheap labor and undercut domestic hiring. The Labor Department issued regulations that, among other things, will require growers to make a greater effort to fill crop-picking jobs with domestic workers. Thousands of foreign workers have been hired to do this work in recent years.
CALIFORNIA: Hollywood sign cover-up
A nature preservation group says Los Angeles officials have given permission to cover the world-famous Hollywood sign with panels reading "Save the Peak." The effort is part of a campaign to save an adjacent hilltop from development. Trust For Public Land spokesman Tim Ahern says the letters will be covered until Tuesday. The group has raised about $7 million of the roughly $12 million needed to buy the land from the Chicago area-based owners.
NEW YORK: Weed killer OKd for park
The Adirondack Park Agency has approved using an herbicide for the first time in a lake in the 6 million-acre park. On recommendation of agency staff, the APA Thursday approved a permit for town officials to treat 11 acres at the southern end of Lake Luzerne in the southern Adirondacks to kill Eurasian watermilfoil. The Adirondack Council environmental group said it should only be a last resort and that the herbicide Triclopyr used elsewhere has killed other plants.