Feds move forward on asking states to track car emissions

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 3:58 PM

Federal officials moved forward Thursday with requirements that states track vehicle emissions on federal highways after months of delays that prompted California and seven other states to sue.

But they might repeal the new rules next year anyway, rendering this week's decision moot.

The rules require state transportation departments to track on-road emissions of greenhouse gas emissions by looking at gas purchased and miles traveled on federal highways. States must then set emissions targets, with the goal of reducing them over time. Emissions from cars, trucks and other vehicles make up roughly 27 percent of the nation's total greenhouse emissions.

In the short term, the rules will move forward. But federal officials will also undertake a fresh review of whether they're necessary or could be made better.

"We have heard anecdotally that some states are already collecting such data, and we do not want to complicate their work with potentially duplicative federal requirements," said Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration. "It is also unclear whether the rule, as currently written, will have any meaningful utility."

Still, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is claiming victory, arguing the multistate lawsuit he filed Sept. 20 proved the Trump administration can't ignore the law. "This is a victory for the American people and will help us tackle climate change," Becerra said in a statement.

Becerra has sued the Trump administration repeatedly over environmental policy decisions, arguing it is needlessly delaying rules aimed at combating climate change.

Hecox said he couldn't comment on pending litigation when asked whether the lawsuit prompted the change in course. He also did not say whether the Federal Highway Administration believes asking states to track such emissions is good policy. The new review could eliminate the rules entirely or make them better, he said.

"We'll see what the public wants," Hecox said.

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3 rental car companies cancel discounts for NRA members

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:45 AM

Enterprise is one of three companies that will discontinue discounts and deals for NRA members starting next month.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Enterprise is one of three companies that will discontinue discounts and deals for NRA members starting next month.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Three car rental companies have discontinued discounts and deals for National Rifle Association members, The Dallas Morning News reported.

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The moves by Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, all owned by Enterprise Holdings, were done in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead.

The car rental companies will end their discounts on March 26, the Morning News reported.

>> NRA opposes raising minimum age to buy rifles

The NRA has faced intense criticism following the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

An NRA spokeswoman referred questions Thursday to the group's licensing department. A phone message left with that office was not immediately returned.

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McDonald's manager in Cleveland accused of firing shots at customers

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

McDonald's drive-thru.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
McDonald's drive-thru.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A McDonald’s manager in Cleveland allegedly fired shots at three women in a car at the restaurant’s drive-thru, police said.

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Cleveland police said they have issued an arrest warrant for the man after the alleged incident Wednesday morning, WJW reported.

According to a police report, the women were buying a smoothie at the drive-thru window. When one of the women opened her water bottle and some of the liquid splashed outside of the car, the McDonald’s employee cursed and then fired two shots, WJW reported.

The driver said one shot went into the car near a back tail light.

According to police, McDonald’s employees denied knowledge of shots being fired.

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Indiana man's casket discovered missing from gravesite after wife's death

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:17 AM

An Indiana woman was upset to discover that her father's remains were not buried beneath his grave marker.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
An Indiana woman was upset to discover that her father's remains were not buried beneath his grave marker.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

An Indiana woman is angry after learning her father’s casket is missing from his gravesite, WISH reported.

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Mary Helen Samson Bovenschen died Feb. 18 at the age of 88. She was to buried next to her husband, Charles Bovenschen, who died Nov. 4, 2006 at age 80. But the couple’s daughter, Sandi Vasel, was stunned when speaking to a funeral home employee after her mother’s service Wednesday at Lincoln Memory Gardens in Whitestown. The employee told her that cemetery officials had encountered a “technical glitch,” WTHR reported.

“They lost my dad. They don’t know where my dad is. He’s not there. He’s not in the grave,” Vasel told WXIN.

Charles Bovenschen’s casket was not in the family plot because of the glitch, and cemetery officials were at a loss to explain why.

“That’s the term they used,” Vasel said. “I thought the technical glitch was because it was too muddy.”

The cemetery had moved Mary Bovenschen’s service into the mausoleum area of the facility, WISH reported. After the service, Vasel learned that her father’s remains were missing.

“I stood there for a minute and I said, ‘So, what you’re telling me is you don’t know where my dad’s at.’ She (official) said, ‘No, we don’t.’

“I froze. I completely just froze.”

The Bovenschens were married on Aug. 16, 1946, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary three months before Charles’ death. 

They bought a plot at Lincoln Memory Gardens, and that was where Charles was supposed to be buried. 

Vasel said that when her father died, the ground was so muddy that there could not be a graveside service. However, the family did see the area where he was supposed to be buried, WTHR reported.

Apparently, he wasn’t buried there.

"I know mistakes get made, but when you're talking about the remains of a loved one, I think you need to be vigilant on putting them where they belong," Vasel said.

The cemetery was sold to Stonemar Partners in 2010. A company spokesman said they have apologized to Vasel and her family and are launching an internal investigation, WTHR reported.

“You're grief-stricken, you're putting your loved one in the ground. You don't think to make sure it's the right hole," Vasel told WTHR.

Mary Bovenschen’s final resting place has been put on hold until cemetery officials can locate her husband’s casket, WTHR reported.

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Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 1:22 AM

California drivers soon may have a say in picking the photos for their driver's licenses.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
California drivers soon may have a say in picking the photos for their driver's licenses.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Have you ever met anyone who liked their driver’s license photo? 

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Of course not. 

Photos on driver’s licenses always seem to show a person at his or her worst, but a bill proposed in the California state legislature would give drivers a choice, KABC reported.

The bill would allow drivers to have multiple photos taken, and would allow them to choose a favorite for the license.

While the bill would grant drivers freedom of choice, it would be more expensive for drivers getting their photos taken, KABC reported.

The bill does not specify the exact cost, but notes that additional revenue would go toward driver's education programs in California’s public schools, KABC reported.

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