[Morning Briefs] Canal Companies and a Baby Boom

24 Feb

A newborn baby sleeps after being born in the midst of a massive storm, one that might have caused its preemptive birth. (Screengrab via Local News 8)

There’s more fallout from Wednesday’s storm, and it’s kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, the state legislature just happens to be debating a bill that would release canal companies from being liable to flood damage. Yikes. On the other hand, a bunch of babies were born (maybe) because of the storm! Nice!

  • Remember how the canals in Ammon flooded Wednesday night, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in water damage and breaking the spirits of residents? Well the very next day the state Senate discussed a bill that would free the owners of such canals from any liability, should they flood. The timing really couldn’t be any worse, but it’s not like this bill is brand new. It passed the House on Wednesday, before the major flooding even happened, so it was probably meant to pass both chambers before flood season really started. The bill wouldn’t make those companies liable for “acts of God,” and since Wednesday’s flooding was caused by snowmelt, they would be exempt. Local News 8 talked to a woman who said “To have that thrown in your face when you’re going through a really tough time, is pretty disheartening.” Ouch. [LN8]
  • Believe it or not there was good news for some families during Wednesday’s crazy weather. Portneuf Medical Center saw 15 births Wednesday, far higher than their usual eight to 10, with more on the way. Nurses at the hospital nonchalantly suggested the births might even actually have been the result of the weather. Apparently falling barometric pressure has a statistically significant correlation with the onset of labor. This is a normal thing! While some babies were scheduled to be birthed that day, others came weeks early, as a complete surprise. [LN8]
  • The Snake River Junior High School principal charged with three felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor resigned yesterday, much to nobody’s surprise. Christopher Cox is facing some pretty rough charges, and whether he is guilty or not, he probably shouldn’t continue working at the school, especially while this investigation is going on. Cox, who had been principal for four years, is free from jail for now, but is barred from contacting the alleged victim, the victim’s family, or any minors except his own children. [KPVI]
  • Maryland is poised to become the eighth state to legalize gay marriage, after the state Senate approved the measure 25-22 Thursday. The same sex marriage bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley, who sponsored the legislation and has promised to sign it into law. As usual, opponents will have time to gather votes for a referendum. They will need to gather 55,736 votes by June 30. Otherwise, the law will go into effect on Jan. 1. [BS]
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