10/1: State and Local Round Up

NC: ASHVILLE (NC) CITIZEN-TIMES: Prayer vigil for healing and reconciliation in SmithfieldNC religious leaders and residents concerned about Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell's divisive comments about race earlier this month will gather for a prayer vigil at 3 p.m. Sunday to pray for healing and reconciliation in the community. Bizzell's comments, published recently in the News & Observer, and the recent decision by the county board to forego his dismissal have led to deep divides in the county and throughout the state.

TX: HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Cleanup spurs labor need - All across southeast Texas, roofs need repair, debris must be discarded and towns hope to rebuild. Hurricane Ike's destruction is sparking one of the largest rebuilding efforts the state has seen in decades, but at the same time is highlighting a thorny facet of the region's labor force: A lot of the recovery work will be done by undocumented immigrants.

AZ: ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Chamber backs effort on immigration reform  - The Arizona Chamber of Commerce, which has opposed the state's employer-sanctions law, threw its support Wednesday behind a new media campaign on national immigration reform. At the chamber's Phoenix headquarters, a panel of political and business leaders called on Congress to pass immigration legislation that would focus on security and allow immigrants to work in the U.S.

VA: WASHINGTON POST: Suit Claiming Bias Against Hispanics Is Settled  - The City of Manassas and the Manassas school system reached a settlement with the Equal Rights Center this week, almost a year after the District-based organization filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming it unfairly targeted Hispanics while enforcing zoning codes meant to curb overcrowding. "We certainly don't believe that the city engaged in any discriminatory action," Manassas City Manager Lawrence D. Hughes said. "But we believe the residents will be better served by having . . . this litigation resolved."