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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

MN appeals for roadside cleanup volunteers

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Monday, April 29, 2024   

Minnesota is closing in on the 35th anniversary of a volunteer program for clearing litter and debris along highways and rest areas.

With spring in full bloom, officials call on residents to maintain this service.

In the early 1990s, Minnesota launched its Adopt a Highway initiative.

Last year, roughly two thousand church groups, community organizations, business teams, and individuals filled up more than 42,000 bags of trash.

The Department of Transportation's Spokesperson Anne Meyer said about 900 sections of state roadways are available for adoption this year.

By pitching in, she said volunteers allow MN DOT staff to focus on other needs.

"Filling potholes, fixing fences," said Meyer, "really keeping roadways safe."

She added that the program also saves taxpayers money.

People considering volunteering can adopt a roadway section or rest area for two years and clean it at least twice a year. There's also an option for a one-time clearing of garbage near a state highway.

The agency provides training, resources, and safety vests. The state observes the program's 35th anniversary next year.

Meyer encouraged drivers to use caution if they approach an area with volunteer crews at work.

"A lot of our volunteers do go out and pick up trash on the weekends," said Meyer. "So, that's a time to really be alert out there for those volunteers - to slow down, to give them space, to do their job safely. "

Meyer said areas outside Minneapolis and St. Paul tend to have more opportunities for highway adoption.

More details are on the department's website, including a list of local coordinators around the state.




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