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PNS Daily Newscast - March 5, 2021 


New rules should speed large-scale clean-energy projects in NY; Texas' Gov. Abbott tries to shift COVID blame to release of "immigrants."


2021Talks - March 5, 2021 


A marathon Senate session begins to pass COVID relief; Sanders plans a $15 minimum wage amendment; and work continues to approve Biden's cabinet choices.

Public News Service - IA: Rural/Farming

In the past decade, Iowa has been among the top states with the most flood-disaster declarations. (Adobe Stock)

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa has taken steps to prevent floods following historic disasters in recent decades. At the center of these efforts are local coordinators, working to keep jurisdictions on the same page. Now, a proposal is being offered to better fund these positions. As lawmakers craft the n

A new report looking at federal investigations of wage and hourly standards on U.S. farms shows most cases result in violations. It says the pace of investigations is slowing, potentially leaving more migrant workers vulnerable. (Adobe Stock)

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AMES, Iowa -- An arctic blast has left all of Iowa frozen in recent days, but the spring planting season is inching closer. A new report suggests those who work on farms still face obstacles when it comes to workplace protections, and some of the Iowa data isn't pretty. The nonpartisan Economic Po

As of 2019, federal agriculture officials said there were more than 16,000 organic farms in the United States. (Adobe Stock)

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa is among the top states when it comes to the number of organic farms in operation, but producers have long struggled to obtain crop insurance that can better protect them from losses. A new initiative aims to help close these gaps. Last summer's derecho storm left many Iow

This year, at least 70% of Iowa's solar tax credit is being used to reimburse customers on a waiting list. (Adobe Stock)

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa hasn't seen as much economic pain as some other states during the pandemic, but many residents and small businesses are still struggling. Supporters of expanding the state's solar tax credit say it could help with any recovery from the crisis. The reimbursement budget for I

The farm crisis of the 1980s and subsequent manufacturing losses fueled a flight from rural communities in states such as Iowa. And groups calling for change say current political leaders aren't tuning into the concerns raised by people still living in these areas. (Adobe Stock)

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- In the coming weeks, political candidates will fan out in rural America, promising voters that struggling communities will get federal help. But in states such as Iowa, some say those pledges don't result in real investment and that a new approach is needed. Matt Hildreth, exec

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Iowa's wind turbines generated 42% of the state's electricity in 2019, the highest wind-power share for any state. (Adobe Stock)

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DES MOINES, Iowa - The wind-energy industry has a strong presence in states such as Iowa. But for more projects to move forward, a new report says local governments and developers need to be diligent in sorting out zoning issues. Iowa is among the top ten states for renewable energy from wind farm

An analysis of data from the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture estimates that 99% of U.S. farm animals are located on factory farms. (Adobe Stock)

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The corporate meat industry is the target of a new campaign that asks consumers to boycott products from large operations. Those behind the effort point to recent situations in Iowa as examples of longstanding issues that need to be resolved, and cite a wide range of issues inclu

Nutrient management, cover crops and alternative tilling are key components of farmer conservation practices, and supporters say these efforts could create a new wave of jobs in the agriculture sector. (Adobe Stock).

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JEFFERSON, Iawa -- Farmers in the nation's heartland are strongly encouraged to adopt conservation practices to lower their costs and help the environment. But an Iowa farmer says there's a side benefit that nobody talks about: job creation. Farmer Bill Frederick said he has turned conservation wo

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