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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

I-40 Bridge Crack Puts Spotlight on Nation’s Infrastructure

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Lawmakers are expected to make headway on President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion dollar infrastructure proposal this week, as Arkansas' aging infrastructure made headlines with the discovery of a large crack in the Interstate 40 Hernando de Soto Bridge across the Mississippi River that led to its indefinite closure last week.

Ed Mortimer, vice president of transportation and infrastructure for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said shipping and supply-chain disruptions will likely become more common if significant spending isn't directed toward major transportation improvements.

"Because of our inadequate infrastructure at the moment, we lose $170 billion annually in lost productivity," Mortimer stated.

Senate Republicans are soon expected to deliver a revised version of the proposal to the president.

Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department for the AFL-CIO, said the issue is closely tied to good jobs.

"I would say every single job in this country, at some level, is directly connected to our infrastructure system," Regan asserted. "Whether it's because people use it, or the people that build and operate and maintain it. And everybody suffers when we have this level of neglect."

Mortimer added decades of underfunding and deferred maintenance have pushed infrastructure across the nation to the brink of failure.

"So we need to make these investments now," Mortimer contended. "To make sure we are getting the best out of our national network, we're competing in a global economy, and we have an improved quality of life for every single American."

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, driving on roads in need of repair in Arkansas costs each driver $671 per year. Around 5% of bridges are rated structurally deficient, and 193 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential.


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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reported power plant pollution exacerbates asthma, creates new asthma cases, causes heart attacks and is the largest airborne emission of mercury. (TomKonrad/Wikimedia Commons)

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Danskammer Energy is no longer seeking an expansion of its Newburgh plant. The original plan called for expanding the company's "peaker plant" meant …


Social Issues

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The Black Hills National Forest is one of the latest federal lands to enter a co-stewardship agreement with local tribal nations-a management model en…

Social Issues

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It is the first day of summer and time for a global event called the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson." Albuquerque's West Mesa Aquatic Center will o…


To participate in Mississippi's work-release program, individuals must be within two years of their release date and have not had disciplinary action within the last 12 months. (Tjshot/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

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Mississippi's pilot work-release program for incarcerated individuals has been extended to three years. The program allows qualified participants to …

Health and Wellness

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Clinica Family Health and Mental Health Partners have announced plans to merge operations by September of this year. Mental Health Partners co-CEO …

A report by The Nature Conservancy says if clean energy continues to be sited the way it always has been, the U.S. will need an area the size of Texas to meet its climate targets. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

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Today is the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most sunshine, and Indiana conservationists said they have a plan to make the best use of …

Social Issues

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School children in Arkansas are learning how to grow their own fruits and vegetables through the Farm to School and Early Childhood Education program …

Environment

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A Michigan nonprofit dedicated to keeping oil out of the Great Lakes is celebrating a major victory. A federal Appellate Court has ruled that …

 

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