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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Indy, Bloomington recognized for environmental action plans

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Friday, December 1, 2023   

Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named "A List Cities" by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

Only 119 cities and counties worldwide got A List designation this year, for "bold leadership on environmental action" and transparency about their plans. The cities are on what's known as the Carbon Disclosure Project Track, making progress to curb carbon emissions.

Director of the Office of Sustainability for the City of Indianapolis, Morgan Mickelson, said one reason for the Indianapolis ranking is its efforts in tree planting.

"Trees are really important to help us lower surface temperature in our neighborhoods, also to help purify air," she explained. "We have a large effort with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to plant trees, and we work really intentionally with KIB to ensure that we're planting trees in areas that historically have not seen as much investment in terms of tree planting."

Nonprofit Keep Indianapolis Beautiful runs programs that encourage teen and adult involvement, and partners with the city on multiple conservation projects.

Bloomington's Climate Action Plan features many carbon-cutting objectives, including boosting food markets to help grow that city's local food economy and reduce waste.

The Office of Sustainability also administers Thrive Indianapolis, the city's first sustainability and resiliency action plan.

Mickelson said since 2018, more than 31,000 trees have been planted in public spaces -- and that's just a start.

"I also want to caution everyone that the work is not done," she warned. "We're in the climate crisis. I would just encourage everyone to take the time to reflect on all the hard work that is being done, but to also not forget that we have a lot more work ahead."

This is the sixth time Indianapolis has received an 'A' rating.



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