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    PNS Daily News - March 31, 20150 

    We’re covering stories from coast to coast, including: Opponents want Indiana’s controversial Religious freedom Restoration Act amended or repealed; Older Americans in Phoenix will be voicing their concerns as part of the White House Conference on Aging; controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is expected to show his support today for a state takeover of public lands.


PHOTO: Illinois is among 10 states sharing a $200 million award from the United States Department of Agriculture for skills training programs to help food-assistance recipients find stable, local jobs. Photo credit: Kenn W. Kiser/Morguefile.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois will be expanding efforts to connect low-income job seekers to resources that can help them secure employment. The state is receiving nearly $22 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test an employment-and-training program. USDA Food and ...Read More

PHOTO: Billings may be in the heart of farm country, but the region imports between 90 and 95 percent of its food. A farm and food systems expert presents ideas on Tuesday for how local food can become an economic development tool. Photo credit:

BILLINGS, Mont. - Billings may be in the heart of farm country, but the region imports between 90 and 95 percent of its food. Harvard University economics professor Ken Meter, who has helped communities in more than three dozen states set up local food systems, says Billings isn't alone in that st ...Read More

GRAPH: The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy has analyzed a tax bill being considered by lawmakers, and says 80 percent of Idahoans would be paying higher taxes. Graph provided by Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.

BOISE, Idaho - No more sales tax on food, a higher gas tax and a flat income-tax rate are all part of a proposal the Idaho Legislature is expected to take up this week and it's predicted lawmakers will wrap up the session by Friday. Lauren Necochea, director at the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy, ...Read More

PHOTO: Judy Gregg of St. Luke Presbyterian Church, Wayzata, was instrumental in planting an expansive garden to benefit a local food shelf. Photo courtesy Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – With just days left before the end of the month, the state's largest annual food drive is falling short, although the need to feed families who are struggling financially remains strong. The goal of the March Campaign is to raise enough money and food to support 300 food she ...Read More

PHOTO: This image was gathered from undercover video of activities at Wayne Farms in Dobson, according to the animal-rights group Mercy for Animals. Photo courtesy of Mercy for Animals.

DOBSON, N.C. - A North Carolina poultry farm that supplies one of the largest food-service distributors in the United States is the subject of an undercover investigation. Among the discoveries by a Mercy For Animals investigator at Wayne Farms in Dobson - birds having wings and legs broken, shocked ...Read More

PHOTO: More than 800,000 students in schools across Maryland are set to take a synchronized crunch into an apple at 9:15 Wednesday morning. While not just for students, the Hear the Maryland Crunch Initiative is intended to promote school breakfast. Photo credit: Sipa/

BALTIMORE - More than 800,000 students in school districts across Maryland, along with Catholic schools in Baltimore, are set to take a synchronized crunch into an apple at 9:15 Wednesday morning. The Hear the Maryland Crunch initiative promotes school breakfast, along with the message that every c ...Read More

PHOTO: Minnesotans are being urged to "Rethink Your Drink" with one 12-ounce soda having around 40 grams of sugar, which in itself is more than the daily recommendation on added sugars from the American Heart Association. Photo credit: Shardayyy/Flickr.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - March is National Nutrition Month, and those across the state wanting to make some positive changes are being told to "Rethink Your Drink." Donna McDuffie, nutrition coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Health, says far too many children and adults are getting an unhealt ...Read More

PHOTO: Boy Scouts across Utah will be collecting food Saturday in an annual effort that netted 1.6 million pounds of food last year. Photo courtesy Utah Food Bank.

SALT LAKE CITY - Thousands of Boy Scouts and volunteers are collecting food Saturday in an annual event that will likely provide more than 1 million meals for people in Utah. The Utah Food Bank operates the "Scouting for Food" event each year in partnership with more than 130 food pantries and agen ...Read More

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