Charleston County Unexpectedly Sues South Carolina’s Infrastructure Bank

The green route shows the planned alignment to complete Interstate 526 in Charleston County, South Carolina

The green route shows the planned alignment to complete Interstate 526 in Charleston County, South Carolina SCDOT


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STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Tropical storm makes landfall in Florida; paid leave for top Boston City Hall official; and planners envision “something pretty spectacular” in Chico, Calif.

INFRASTRUCTURE | Late last week in South Carolina, the Charleston County government unexpectedly sued the state’s infrastructure bank for a breach of contract over the failure to complete Interstate 526, known locally as the Mark Clark Expressway. The lawsuit, which also names the South Carolina Department of Transportation, asks the South Carolina Supreme Court to order the state to cover all of the costs for the $750 million project to bring the nearly 20 mile-long interstate spur to James and Johns islands, as has been long planned. The State Infrastructure Bank had previously committed $420 million to the project in 2007 and costs have since increased. [The Post and Courier]

CYBERSECURITY | An ethical hacker was able to access confidential student information at San Francisco State University in 2014. Bryan Seely testified earlier this month in a court case involving possible Russian hacking that he had done so. He said he was able to view information including social security numbers, dorm room assignments, home addresses and birthdays. “That’s enough to steal someone’s identity,” Seely said. After discovering the vulnerability, Seely notified SFSU’s then-information security officer, and the school fixed the problem. Seely was investigating a flaw with Oracle software used by government entities around the country when he came across the problem at SFSU. [San Francisco Examiner]

A grizzly bear crosses a road near Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. (Shutterstock)

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT | As of Monday, Yellowstone grizzly bears will no longer be designated as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, meaning states will take on a greater role managing the animals. There are believed to be at least 690 of the bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem, which spans across parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. In the 1970s, when the bear was first listed as threatened, its estimated population had dropped to fewer than 150. The decision to delist the bear remains controversial, with conservationists saying it was preemptive. Environmental groups and tribal governments are signaling that they intend to sue the federal government over the decision. [Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

HAZARDS | The process of cleaning up and clearing out the infamous homeless heroin camp on the Conrail tracks below Gurney Street in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood is now underway. But, some people still worry about what the future holds for the camp’s inhabitants. “There is this expectation that fences are going to go up and lights are going to go up and it’s problem solved,” said Jose Benitez, executive director of Prevention Point Philadelphia, a local health-care provider and needle-exchange. “That is not the way it is going to happen.” []


Tropical Storm Emily made landfall in Florida on Monday. (via National Hurricane Center)

Anna Maria Island, Florida: After quickly forming off Florida’s Gulf Coast on Monday morning, Tropical Storm Emily made landfall near Sarasota with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 31 counties. Heavy rain was expected across a wide swath of the state. [WPLG-TV; Florida Governor’s Office]

St. Louis, Missouri: Sitting adjacent to the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, the St. Louis area is no stranger to major flood events. But with heavier precipitation expected in years to come, the region needs a more coordinated resiliency strategy. But figuring out how to move forward sparked a flood management debate among environmentalists, engineers and various other stakeholders. [St. Louis Public Radio]

Boston, Massachusetts: The city’s human services director, Felix Arroyo, has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, though what exactly led to his paid leave are currently “uncertain.” Arroyo is a former at-large member of the Boston City Council who unsuccessfully ran against Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and previously worked as a Service Employees International Union Local 615 political director. [Boston Herald; The Boston Globe]

New York City, New York: As long-suffering straphangers continue to suffer major disruptions on the beleaguered subway system, allies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the Transport Workers Union are pointing fingers at Mayor Bill de Blasio, transforming him into Pinocchio in new attack ads. The point of contention is a $800 million “subway rescue fund” and how to fund it. New York’s state government, which controls and operates the subway system in New York City, wants City Hall to chip in more money. [NY1]

Seattle, Washington: Ballots are due Tuesday in the crowded primary race for mayor, which includes 21 candidates vying to replace Mayor Ed Murray, who dropped his bid for a second term amid sexual-abuse allegations, which he continues to deny. Affordability, homelessness, managing growth and livability are some of the issues that have been central to the primary race. “In this time of tremendous transformation and flux in our city, we’re all wondering, ‘What’s happening to my place? Who’s in charge? Where are we headed? What are we trying to accomplish here?’ ” urban planner Cary Moon, who is one of the candidates, said at a debate this month. [The Seattle Times]

Denver, Colorado: Law enforcement officers say they’re seeing more and more homes damaged by marijuana growing operations. Denver Police Det. Brian Matos estimated that pot is now grown in 1 of every 10 homes in the city. Colorado does not allow people to cultivate marijuana outdoors, but people can grow small numbers of plants legally indoors. “We see mold issues, fire hazards. You need more power, so they try to set up their own electrical systems,” Matos said. And that’s leading to problems: “Breakers are popping, transformers are blowing out, power cords are sitting in standing water.” [The Denver Post]

Chico, California: As envisioned, a proposed bicycle and pedestrian bridge over a local major thoroughfare would have an eye-catching “signature” design.We’re hoping it amounts to something pretty spectacular,” said a city project engineer. It’d also be part of the Bikeway 99 project, an effort to connect various bike routes around the Northern California city. [Chico Enterprise-Record]