OKLAHOMA CITY -- Nearly three dozen states have failed to meet conditions of a 2006 federal law that requires them to join a nationwide program to track sex offenders, including five states that have completely given up on the effort because of persistent doubts about how it works and how much it costs.
The states, including some of the nation's largest, stand to lose millions of dollars in government grants for law enforcement, but some have concluded that honoring the law would be far more expensive than simply living without the money.
"The requirements would have been a huge expense," said Doris Smith, who oversees grant programs at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
Lawmakers weren't willing to spend that much, even though the state will lose $226,000.
Recommends parole: A former Charles Manson follower imprisoned for 40 years in a double murder engineered by Manson won a recommendation of parole Thursday in his 27th appearance before a parole board panel in Los Angeles. Bruce Davis, convicted with Manson and another man in the killings of a musician and a stuntman, was not involved in the infamous Sharon Tate murders in 1969. The answer to his plea for freedom came on the eve of his 70th birthday.
Ancient discovery: The discovery of a tomb that experts believe might be that of a great Maya queen could redefine the understanding of women's political roles during the Classic Mayan period, experts said Thursday in Guatemala City. A team of U.S. and Guatemalan experts led by anthropologist David Freidel found a stone jar at a burial chamber in northern Guatemala that led them to believe it is the burial site of Lady K'abel, considered the military governor of an ancient Maya city during the 7th century.
Facebook users: More than a billion people now log onto Facebook each month to check up on old friends, tag photos of new ones and post about politics, religion, cats or what their kids are doing. That's double the 500 million it hit in July 2010. Facebook had 100 million users in August 2008.
AARP speaks out: AARP is reminding voters that it's not endorsing any candidates after President Barack Obama cited the group in the first presidential debate. Obama mentioned the lobbying organization for seniors twice Wednesday in discussing Medicare and Social Security. He noted that AARP supports his health care law and opposes the voucher-like program Republican Mitt Romney has proposed for Medicare in the future. AARP's senior vice president, John Hishta, says AARP is nonpartisan and has never consented to the use of its name by any campaign or political group and doesn't take sides in political races.
Hishta said in a statement released after the debate in Denver that voters deserve more than sound bites about Medicare, Social Security and other programs for seniors.