Commissioners in Grand County, Utah, have added their voices to a plea by San Juan County, Utah, and the Utah Navajo Commission, asking President-elect Joe Biden to reinstate the original borders of Bears Ears National Monument, which President Donald Trump reduced in size in 2017. Two towns in San Juan County -- Blanding and Monticello -- have issued a joint resolution against a reinstatement.
City Council members in Bloomington, Ind., this week voted unanimously to join the Welcoming America Initiative, which aims to engage immigrant residents with job training and other outreach programs. "The immigrant community really needs some support -- from the people in charge of the city -- to feel safer, and to live without fear that one day they're going to be separated from their families," said Bloomington resident Sandra Rosales.
The Portsmouth City Council in England will purchase land near the city's international port to set up a customs checkpoint now that the UK has officially left the EU. Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson says the council is facing "funding issues" because of a shortfall that the city hopes to "get over."
Quay County, N.M., Manager Richard Primrose this week informed commissioners he intends to retire April 10. "Since the day I was hired in 2007 I have appreciated the support the Quay County Commissioners have given me and it has been an honor to work with the commissioners to achieve the goals they require," Primrose said.
The pandemic has forced changes to some events being held Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Columbia Parks and Recreation in Missouri is encouraging at-home candlelight remembrances, while Norman, Okla., is broadcasting an interfaith breakfast before hosting park cleanups.
A record 34.7 million visits were made to Tennessee state parks last year, creating an economic impact of $1.84 billion, according to state data. That economic impact includes maintenance and capital investment.
Campground reservations in Oregon can now be made up to six months out, an increase from pandemic-era restrictions that limited reservation windows to as little as two weeks at one point. Reservations may be made each day starting at 6 a.m., which reflects a change from midnight.
The South Portland, Maine, parks and recreation department is holding a monthly reading challenge for students, with January featuring books about winter, dragons and the "The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe" series. The department will post guidelines on its Facebook page, and students can show they read the book through selfies and other activities.
The Rochester Parks and Recreation Department in Minnesota is removing invasive species and restoring plants at Prairie Crossing Park, which is on land once used for grazing. "A lot of times we think of parks as baseball fields and playgrounds and things like that, but there's also parts of our park system that are more natural, and we need to prioritize those as well," department official Jeff Feece says.
Rock Cut State Park in Illinois is receiving $900,000 from a bond fund and the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The money will be used for work on water and sewer infrastructure, roads and trails.
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