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PNS Daily Newscast - July 3, 2020 


Economists say coronavirus disaster declarations may be the quickest path to reopening; militia groups use virus, Independence Day to recruit followers.

2020Talks - July 3, 2020 


Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

Public News Service - WA: Rural/Farming

Workers are on strike at four of the six fruit packing warehouses in Yakima Valley. (Shauri Tello)

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Workers in Yakima's fruit packing warehouses are mourning the loss of a colleague to COVID-19. The virus has hit Yakima County hard, prompting workers at six fruit companies to strike for better conditions over the past few weeks. David Cruz, who worked at Allan Brothers Fruit f

Researchers at Washington State University are studying a protein that could make plants more tolerant to drought. (Scott/Adobe Stock)

SPOKANE, Wash. - Researchers at Washington State University may have found a way to help crops adapt to a warming climate. Phytologist Karen Sanguinet - an assistant professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at WSU - is studying a protein that she says could help plants move water more

Workers at seven fruit-packing companies in the Yakima Valley are on strike. (Edgar Franks/Familias Unidas por la Justicia)

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Farm and fruit-packing workers are considered essential. And in Washington state, they're roiled in struggles for better working conditions. Yakima County is the biggest hotspot for coronavirus cases on the West Coast, and the fruit-packing warehouses in the area have been a vecto

Some farmworkers say they've struggled to get access to protective gear to keep working safely during the pandemic. (littlewolf1989/Adobe Stock)

SEATTLE -- Many farmworkers in Washington state say they feel left behind and in the dark in the coronavirus pandemic. Considered essential personnel, farmworkers have continued doing their jobs. But Executive Director of the farmworkers' rights group Community to Community Development Rosalinda G

Nonprofit contractors that hire farmworkers would have to comply with farm labor laws under a bill passed Tuesday by the state Senate. (Kakisky/Morguefile)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Farmworker advocacy groups say a bill on farmworkers' rights that just passed the state Senate is a good first step. SB 6261 would get rid of a loophole that exempts nonprofit contractors from the Farm Labor Contractor Act, which sets minimum standards for the treatment of farmwo

Lawmakers in Olympia are considering a bill that would regulate water-rights sales to water banks. (Steve Voght/Flickr)

OLYMPIA, Wash -- Washington state lawmakers are taking up an issue that has vexed western states for decades - how to manage water resources. They want to tackle water speculation, which is squeezing some users. The concern is mostly about who owns water banks, which collect water rights from land

Farmworkers were at the State Capitol in Olympia this week, pushing for an update to the Washington Farm Labor Contractor Act. (Community to Community Development)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The landscape for farms and farmworkers has changed significantly in the past 70 years, so farm workers' advocates want the Evergreen State to update the Washington Farm Labor Contractor Act. This week, legislators held a hearing on Senate Bill 6261, including testimony from farmw

A bill in Congress would protect the Olympic Peninsula's Queets River. (Sam Beebe/Flickr)

ABERDEEN, Wash. – A bill a decade in the making to protect parts of the Olympic National Forest passed out of committee in Congress yesterday. The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act would permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of the forest as wilderness, and 19 riv

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