Only in America
Five-gallon buckets of river stones have been placed in every classroom in a Pennsylvania school district for students to throw at active shooters. Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel chose river stones in particular because “they’re the right size for hands.” Aspiring school-shooters are now on notice, Helsel said, that “they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks, and they will be stoned.”
Giant cacti in Arizona’s Saguaro National Park are being implanted with anti-theft microchips. Thieves have been digging up the iconic saguaros and selling them at $100 per foot to homeowners and landscapers. Only 1,000 of the park’s 1.9 million saguaros are going to be chipped in the current scheme, said Chief Ranger Ray O’Neil, but “our biggest hope is that it’s a deterrent.”
Boring but important
Battle over census citizenship question
At least 12 states said this week they would sue to block the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, amid a wider battle over illegal immigration. The Commerce Department, which oversees the census, said it would resume asking people whether they are citizens—a practice abandoned in 1960—to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, which is designed to protect minority voters. But California and other Democratic-led states argue the question is unconstitutional and would deter both legal and illegal immigrants from answering the census altogether. That could result in undercounts of these populations, they said, and cause some states with high numbers of minorities to receive fewer House seats.