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Things to Know in the U.S. for Sept. 12

Oregon

Turkey gang terrorizes town

A small city is asking the state for advice on how to handle a flock of wild turkeys that are ruining gardens and leaving droppings just about everywhere. Officials in Pilot Rock, a city of 1,500 people, say there are dozens of turkeys roaming the area, the East Oregonian reported. City Councilor Bob Deno complained he has 15 birds frequenting a tree on his property. Resident Mary Ann Low told a City Council meeting last week that she once counted 68 turkeys in her mother's yard. "I love wildlife, but this is getting to the point where it's just ridiculous," Low said. "They dust bathe in the soil. They eat whatever is there." City officials considered several options, including a spay-and-neuter program, but they decided to ask the state for advice. Greg Rimbach, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, had six recommendations, ranging from a ban on feeding the birds to killing them and donating the meat to a food bank. The community will need to work together on any effort, he said. "No matter what we do, we're never going to get rid of all of them," Rimbach said. "We'll always have a few turkeys."

Texas

9 dead, including suspect, in Dallas shooting

Nine people, including a suspect who was fatally shot by an officer, have died after a man opened fire during a gathering at a suburban Dallas home, police said Monday. Plano police Chief Gregory Rushin said Monday afternoon that one of two people hospitalized after the Sunday night shooting had died. Rushin said an officer approached the home from the back, saw bodies in the yard and then confronted the suspect, fatally shooting him. Police then found the nine gunshot victims — seven were dead. Police have not yet confirmed the identities of those injured and killed, all believed to be adults. Rushin did say the suspect "was known by people in the residence." Debbie Lane told WFAA television station that her daughter, Meredith Lane, was among those killed. She said her daughter, who recently divorced her husband, was hosting the party at her home to watch football. Rushin did not know how many people had attended but said multiple firearms were found. The Texas Rangers are investigating the officer-involved shooting and are helping Plano police with the homicide investigation, as well.

California

Dog helps sniff out invasive ants

Scientists assessing efforts to eradicate invasive ants on the Channel Islands off California have enlisted a four-legged expert to sniff out the destructive insects. A yellow Labrador named Tobias has lived for months with a handler on Santa Cruz Island. The specially-trained dog keeps its snout to the ground, searching for nests of Argentine ants that threatened the ecosystem after being introduced decades ago. Christina Boser, an ecologist with the Nature Conservancy, said last week no new nests have been found — one sign that a project started in 2009 to wipe out the unwanted ants is successful. Boser says in the absence of new nests, researchers have kept a few old nests around to give Tobias something to sniff out so the dog can get its reward: a favorite ball.

Rhode Island

Poetry for the masses

A program that spreads poetry through the transit systems of U.S. cities is getting a new audience as it celebrates its 25th year. For the first time, the Poetry in Motion program will reach bus riders across an entire state today, when the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority begins running the first lines from Walt Whitman's Song of Myself on digital display panels inside buses. "Ultimately, I'd like people to have a moment of surprise and delight and reflection," said Tina Cane, Rhode Island's poet laureate, who hatched the plan to bring the program to the state. The Poetry Society of America's program has been featured in New York City subways and has spread in various forms to more than two dozen cities. In Rhode Island, Cane will choose one poem or excerpt to feature each month on the digital displays, which are mounted inside the bus and which cycle through with ads and PSAs. It costs nothing to run when used only on the digital message boards, Cane said. She hopes to find a donor for print ads.

California

State challenges Trump's end of DACA

California sued the Trump administration Monday over its decision to end a program that shields young immigrants from deportation, saying it would be especially hard hit because it has more of the immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally by parents or by parents who overstayed visas than any other state. The lawsuit's legal arguments largely mirror those already filed in a lawsuit last week by 15 other states and the District of Columbia. Attorney generals for the states of Maine, Maryland and Minnesota joined California's lawsuit. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said their case is stronger than the first lawsuit because more than 200,000 of the 800,000 participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program live in the state. "I don't think there's any doubt that California has the most to lose," he said. The lawsuit alleges the Trump administration violated the Constitution and other laws when it rescinded the program. State lawmakers also are expected to soon unveil changes to a bill aimed at limiting state and local officials' cooperation with federal immigration authorities. That would make California the first so-called sanctuary state. — tbt* wires

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