TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that Tropical Storm Erika poses a "severe threat to the entire state" and declared a state of emergency.
The storm could hit the peninsula Monday. Scott made his declaration shortly after forecasters adjusted the trajectory of the storm to show that it's predicted to strike the southern tip of the state and then traverse northward.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The parkland surrounding Indiana's towering dunes was intended to keep industry away from a geological marvel molded over thousands of years at the southern tip of Lake Michigan.
Yet five years after a politically connected developer suggested officials should hire a company to rehabilitate a dilapidated beachfront pavilion at the popular tourist destination, the small construction project has ballooned into a decades-long privatization deal with the state. It includes two beachfront restaurants, a rooftop bar, a glass-walled banquet hall promising "the best view in Indiana" — and there is potential for even more development.
MOUNT BAKER, Wash. (AP) — Mauri Pelto digs his crampons into the steep icy slope on Mount Baker in Washington state and watches as streams of water cascade off the thick mass of bare, bluish ice. Every 20 yards, the water carves vertical channels in the face of the glacier as it rushes downstream.
What little snow from last winter is already gone, so ice is melting off the glacier at a rate of nearly three inches a day this summer, he said.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge in North Dakota on Thursday blocked a new Obama administration rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some state waterways.
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction against a the rule, which gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule was scheduled to take effect Friday.
"The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely," Erickson said in blocking the rule from taking effect.
Thirteen states led by North Dakota asked Erickson to suspend guidelines that they say are unnecessary and infringe on state sovereignty. The federal government says the new rule clarifies ambiguity in the law and actually makes it easier for the states to manage some waterways. It wasn't immediately clear if the injunction applied to states other than the 13 led by North Dakota.
The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.
NASA is warning that ocean levels may rise three feet or more by the end of the century, with scientists attributing the change to melting glaciers, melting ice sheets and ocean expansion due to climate change, the Los Angeles Times reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says New Orleans is "moving forward" a decade after Hurricane Katrina dealt it a devastating blow, and has become an example of what can happen when people rally around each other to build a better future out of the despair of tragedy.
Obama was marking the storm's 10th anniversary by meeting Thursday with residents who continue to rebuild their lives and communities. He was also delivering remarks -- excerpts of which were released by the White House -- at a newly opened community center in the Lower 9th Ward, a largely African-American neighborhood that was one of the hardest hit by the storm. It is still struggling to recover.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — State officials say that water conservation figures for July show California residents are beginning to understand the dire need to cut back in a fourth year of drought.
Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, said that regulators are now turning their focus to the communities failing to conserve. They are making personal visits with local officials in cities that have haven't responded to a mandate by Gov. Jerry Brown's to use 25 percent less water.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl.
Roofers, on the other hand, are reveling in the uptick in business as homeowners ready for the prospect of downpours after four years of dry weather.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's approval of Shell's Arctic drilling program, arguing that "we're not going to suddenly be weaned from oil" and that the offshore Alaskan oil is "cleaner" than other varieties, The Huffington Post reports.
Mathy Stanislaus, the Environmental Protection Agency's top waste official, and Environmental Restoration LLC President Dennis Greaney are set to testify before the House Science Committee on Wednesday on the spill of 3 million gallons of mining waste into Colorado's Animas River, The Hill reports.
News that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a seven-year-low but new job creation was lower than expected led to lower oil prices Friday, Reuters reports. U.S. crude prices were down 41 cents to $46.34 a barrel, while Brent crude dipped 68 cents to $50 per barrel.
A report commissioned by the Independent Petroleum Association of America projects significant endowment cuts should universities divest from fossil fuel companies, with Harvard facing a potential $108 million loss each year, Bloomberg reports.
United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Roberts said that the union has reached potential collective bargaining deals between Patriot Coal miners and the two companies bidding for the bankrupt firm's assets, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.
Though the greater sage grouse dominates the discussion of threatened species across declining sagebrush territory in the Western United States, nine other native species including the pronghorn and golden eagle are also at risk, The Washington Post reports.
American Wind Energy Association members plan to slow down the rate of revolutions for turbines this fall in an effort to cut bat killed by blades by 30 percent during the animals' peak migration season, The Hill reports.
Though the stalled Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada has drawn rebukes from the state's top lawmakers, leaders in the nearby town of Pahrump sees the project as a potential economic driver for the struggling region, E&E reports.