OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma lawmakers are considering legislation to prevent cities and towns from imposing fees on single-use plastic and paper bags. But officials in Norman, where a 5-cent fee has been proposed, say it would encroach on their search for an innovative way to protect the environment. The bill's author says individual guidelines for plastic bags would create a hodgepodge of rules that would make compliance difficult. Eleven state including Texas, Arizona and Florida already have pre-emptions laws.
HOUSTON (AP) - Efforts continue to drain a tank that is leaking flammable gas following a massive fire at a Houston-area energy complex, prompting the closure of part of the Houston Ship Channel. Intercontinental Terminals Company says pumping began Saturday to extract about 20,000 barrels of pyrolysis gasoline from the tank at the Deer Park facility. A section of the channel was closed Saturday after pygas leaked. Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Parker says the Guard hopes to reopen the waterway Monday.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico archbishop is renewing his call for Catholics to stop worshipping the skeleton folk saint known as La Santa Muerte, or "Our Lady of Holy Death." Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester recently told The Associated Press he fears some Catholics mistakenly believe Santa Muerte is a saint sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church. The figure is sometimes linked to drug cartels and is usually depicted wearing a black nun's robe and holding a scythe.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A conservative Christian group has dropped its lawsuit attempting to overturn Austin's anti-discrimination ordinance that extends employment protection to sexual orientation and gender identity. The Austin American-Statesman reports that the U.S. Pastor Council has dismissed its federal lawsuit against the city of Austin. The group alleges that the city's ordinance is invalid because it doesn't include a religious exemption for 25 Austin member churches that refuse to hire LGBT people.
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