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    PNS Weekend Update - July 4, 20150 

    Our Independence Day news features stories from around the nation including: Americans on guard after a terror alert; a warning about firework dangers for people and pets; and the code to know before flying the flag.


PHOTO: The EPA says it plans to ban agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, commonly used on some California crops. Photo credit: Chris Jordan-Bloch/Earthjustice.

FRESNO, Calif. – Environmental and farm workers' groups are cheering this week's announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it plans to ban agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The EPA banned the use of chlorpyrifos in homes 15 years ago. The agency now acknowle ...Read More

PHOTO: Crab grass is a new invasive species showing up in Montana lawns because of milder winters.

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Montana gardeners have seen some surprises this year. New pests, diseases and invasive species are presenting challenges as the U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones move north. Toby Day is a Montana State University Extension horticulture specialist who coordinates the mas ...Read More

PHOTO: Opponents of the proposed Bakken oil pipeline that would cross 18 counties through Iowa will meet tonight at the American Legion in Newton. They say the pipeline would put the state's soil, waterways and communities at risk. Photo courtesy of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Large sections of pipe are already being stockpiled along the proposed route through Iowa, but the approval of the Bakken Pipeline is far from a done deal and opponents are ramping up their fight. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is planning meetings across the stat ...Read More

PHOTO: Good news for the thousands of Iowans who rely on tax credits to help pay for their health-care plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of the subsidies with a 6-3 decision in the landmark case of King vs. Burwell. Photo credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Saying that Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health-insurance markets, not destroy them, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the subsidies available to those in Iowa and across the nation for plans available through the federal marketplaces. Among those applauding ...Read More

PHOTO: Lake Mead is at its lowest level in history again this summer. A ProPublica investigation probes some of the political and policy reasons that may be exacerbating the drought. Photo credit: Alicia Burtner, U.S. Geological Survey

PHOENIX - The investigative journalism group ProPublica has been taking an in-depth look at the water crisis in the West, in a series that is focused on the Colorado River. As part of the series Killing the Colorado, reporter Abrahm Lustgarten spent months interviewing people on all sides of the wa ...Read More

PHOTO: With the heavy rainfall the past two weeks in Ohio, farmers around the state are reporting flooded fields, which some experts say is connected to the changing climate. Photo credit: Lance Cheung for the USDA/Flickr.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The wet weather this month isn't just putting a damper on cookouts, festivals and pool parties. It's also starting to hurt Ohio's growing season. Heavy rain over the past two weeks has soaked farm fields around the state, including Anderson Orchard in Pickerington. Its owner, Steve ...Read More

PHOTO: Congressional Republicans are banking on the budget bill to block the Federal Communications Commission from implementing its net neutrality rules, but supporters say that would be a blow to consumers, particularly in rural areas, who deserve a level playing field. Photo credit: Greg Stotelmyer.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided earlier this year to treat the Internet like telephone service, it was hailed by supporters of net neutrality as a way to close the so-called "digital divide" between rural and urban areas. However, Republicans in Congr ...Read More

PHOTO: Forty volunteers trained last weekend to become citizen scientists for monarch butterflies.  Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith

BOISE, Idaho – Idaho's state insect is the monarch butterfly, but very little is known about monarchs in Idaho, or milkweed - which monarchs use exclusively for breeding. About 40 volunteers spent the weekend learning how to monitor monarchs and milkweed. A new federal grant of $170,000 will ...Read More

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