Goodwater: A Texas longhorn in this town has set a mark recognized by the Guinness World Records for longest horns, with a span wider than the Statue of Liberty’s face. News outlets cite Guinness World Records as announcing last week that Poncho Via’s horns measured just over 10 feet, 7 inches as of last month, beating all previous records. The 7-year-old steer belongs to a family in Goodwater, just southeast of Birmingham. Poncho’s owner Jeral Pope says he brought Poncho into the family when the steer was 6 months old. The organization says the Pope family first noticed the potential of Poncho’s horns when he was about 4 years old and his horns were growing straight out instead of curving upward. Pope says Poncho is a gentle giant with a soft spot for apples, carrots and marshmallows.
Quinhagak: Accelerating erosion is forcing villages in western Alaska to begin making plans to move. Alaska’s Energy Desk reports erosion caused by climate change threatens village infrastructure and could force the relocation of communities such as Quinhagak. A 2012 state report listed Quinhagak’s sewer lagoon and multipurpose building as top priorities for replacement or repair because of erosion and thawing permafrost. Officials say erosion now threatens Quinhagak’s airstrip, water treatment plant, and water and sewer system. An official says he does not know how they would close up the lagoon if erosion causes waste to leak into the Kuskokwim Bay, an important food source. Quinhagak has applied for a Bureau of Indian Affairs grant to help with moving and rebuilding the lagoon, which could cost $6 million.
Phoenix: The state’s housing shortage has drawn more attention than ever before in recent months, prompting a stack of dream-big legislation, newly energized activism and a mayoral race that emphasized each candidate’s plan to keep Phoenix affordable. Yet the state continues to slide deeper into unaffordable territory. An Arizona renter with a minimum-wage job must now work 71 hours to afford a modest two-bedroom home, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In the Phoenix metro area, that figure rises to 75 hours of labor. Under a widely accepted standard for affordability, a household should spend no more than 30% of its income on housing costs. The NLIHC report assumes a median two-bedroom rent of $898 across Arizona, rising to just under $1,000 in the Phoenix metro area. The state’s minimum wage is $11 an hour.
Little Rock: A federal judge has blocked a state law that prevents candidates for state office from accepting campaign contributions more than two years before an election. U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. on Monday granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the state from enforcing the blackout period for accepting campaign contributions. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has appealed the order and on Tuesday asked Moody to stay his ruling during the appeal. Attorneys for Peggy Jones, the Pulaski County woman who sued over the restriction, have said the blackout period prevents her from exercising her First Amendment right to contribute money to candidates she wishes to support in the 2022 election.