Officials in hurricane-battered Galveston, Texas, have asked Congress for $100 million to restore the beach that's so vital to the area's tourist economy. Ike caused significant sand erosion in some places and also littered the beach and near-shore waters on Sept. 13. More than 76,000 damage claims have been filed in Ike's aftermath with the Texas-backed windstorm insurance association. Above, Glenn Taylor of Houston takes a lunch break along the sea wall.

Two major freight companies that serve southern California will install safety-oriented train operating systems by 2012, three years before they are mandated, Union Pacific and Northern Santa Fe representatives told state lawmakers Wednesday. The automated systems could slow or stop a train if an engineer speeds or runs a red light, as happened Sept. 12, when a commuter train and a freight train collided, killing 25 people in the San Fernando Valley.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, and not the governor herself, pressed state officials to oust their former brother-in-law from the state police force, according to affidavits provided to the Associated Press. The statements are relevant to an investigation of whether the governor abused her authority in dismissing the public safety commissioner for his refusal to fire the trooper, who was involved in a bitter divorce with Palin's sister.

Total minority enrollment at US colleges rose 50 percent, to 5 million students, between 1995 and 2005, according to a report released Thursday by the American Council on Education. Although the number of Hispanics receiving bachelor's degrees nearly doubled, only 25 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds were in college, compared with 44 percent of whites.

At least 1 million visitors are expected to view a King Tut exhibit that opened this week at the Dallas Museum of Art, the first of three museums to showcase 130 objects from the king's Egyptian tomb (the other museums have yet to be named). During a four-city US tour from 2005 to 2007, the exhibit drew 4 million people.

State governments faced with widening budget deficits during these hard economic times are looking to beef up tax enforcement and collection efforts, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators, an association of tax agencies from all 50 states. In California, for example, the state hopes to collect an additional $1.5 billion by doubling penalties on corporations that are late in paying taxes, while in Massachusetts, a crackdown is planned on businesses that classify workers as independent contractors to avoid taxes.

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