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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

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The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

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David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

The Ely District encompasses about 12 million acres in eastern Nevada, including White Pine, Lincoln and a small portion of Nye counties. (BLM Nevada, Ely District)
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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
A cooperative effort has seeded more than 26,000 acres in eastern Nevada. It's all in an effort to increase desirable grasses, forbs and shrubs while …

The nonnative quagga mussel has been found in the Snake River. (Cavan/Adobe Stock)
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Monday, February 26, 2024
It is National Invasive Species Awareness Week, and plants and critters not native to the Northwest are wreaking havoc on some landscapes, including …

Construction on a six-home development in Fairmount Heights began Oct. 13. (Adobe Stock/AI)
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Monday, February 26, 2024
By Kayla Benjamin for The Washington Informer.Broadcast version by Brett Peveto for Maryland News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Ne…

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in Nov. 2023, nationwide utility companies saw a 2% average revenue increase per kilowatt-hour compared to the previous year. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Monday, February 26, 2024
Many eastern Kenuckians will see their monthly energy bills increase by around $8 per month, after a ruling last month by the state's utility …

Vast tracts of Texas land can accommodate traditional agriculture, including grazing, and solar farms. (trongnguyen/Adobe Stock)
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Texas is showing a flair for solar power generation, demonstrating renewable energy transitions are indeed possible. Dennis Wamsted, analyst at the …

Gas power plants are vulnerable to adverse weather. A report showed during Winter Storm Elliott in late December, gas-fired power plants were responsible for around 70% of unplanned outages. (Adobe Stock)
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A proposed power plant in Chesterfield County is meeting with the ire of local residents. Dominion Energy's Chesterfield Energy Reliability Center …

Some 200 miles of the Hudson River are considered a Superfund site due to the high amount of contamination, but only 40 miles of the Upper Hudson are General Electric's responsibility. (Adobe Stock)
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New York lawmakers are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to keep dredging the Hudson River. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sent a …

Most Arizona voters believe the drought is continuing to worsen, and that policymakers need to do more to protect the state's water future and secure long-term water supplies. (Adobe Stock)
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Arizona leaders, advocates and high school students gathered to commemorate Environmental Day at the Arizona State Capitol on Thursday. Rep. …

View from underneath of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. (ehrlif/Adobe Stock)
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The New Year brings a chorus of familiar concerns about the risks of building a 21-foot diameter tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac for oil and gas …

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The National Weather Service said November 2023 tied for the Indianapolis area's 34th warmest November since weather records began in 1871, placing it in the 78th percentile. (Adobe Stock)
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Indiana climate leaders gathered this month to share knowledge and create strategies to address the effects of climate change. Together, they are …

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said the indictment related to House Bill 6 is not only about the legislation: "It is about the hostile capture of a significant portion of Ohio's state government by deception, betrayal and dishonesty." (Aaron/Adobe Stock)
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Ohio-based FirstEnergy also comes in "first" to eliminate its short-term 2030 emissions reduction goal amid an ongoing bribery investigation related t…

Studies show a correlation between ample tree canopy in urban areas and reduced heat-related ambulance calls during extreme heat events. (Adobe Stock)
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A new online tool is helping community groups in Boston ensure all neighborhoods reap the benefits from urban tree canopies. The Tree Equity Score …

Salmon populations have dwindled in the Northwest, hurting the orcas that rely on them for food. (Stanislav/Adobe Stock)
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The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to list Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species. With it comes guidelines for how the …

The population of New Mexico's red-headed woodpecker has declined more than 70% in the past 50 years.(RGLPhotography/AdobeStock)
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Wildlife advocates say there's been a shift in public opinion about the value of wildlife over the past few decades, with people supporting …

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has conducted chronic wasting disease monitoring on hunter-harvested deer and elk as well as road-killed deer since 1999. A measure pending in Congress would allow biologists to track and share information on lethal wildlife diseases more effectively. (Adobe Stock)
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Wildlife advocates are calling on Congress to pass a bill to help states track diseases killing wildlife across the country. House Resolution 6765 …

The lands under consideration for the Sáttítla National Monument in the Medicine Lake Highlands are currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service. (Bob Wick)
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Tribes in far northeastern California are pressing President Joe Biden to create a new national monument about 30 miles from Mount Shasta. The Pit …

In New Mexico, three-quarters of new survey respondents said they do not want protections rolled back on national monuments. (National Park Service)
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A new poll showed New Mexico voters expressed a deep affection for lands, water and wildlife and want policies offering greater protections. The 14…

In the early stages of the pandemic, Minnesota saw a revival in fishing activity. But license sales have declined again, and the Department of Natural Resources hopes new outdoor recreation investments, including expanded fishing sites, will spur more interest. (Photo courtesy of DNR)
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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources this month is outlining how it plans to use $150 million to make upgrades to its outdoor-recreation syst…

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Between 2017 and 2022, Wisconsin saw a 23% increase in the acreage of farmland with cover crops. (Adobe Stock)
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Farming trend researchers are poring over new federal data that only come around every five years. The latest information helps some organizations …

The American Biogas Council says across the U.S., more than 2,300 digester sites are producing biogas. (Adobe Stock)
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Wisconsin is part of a movement to reduce livestock emissions by converting manure into energy sources, and there are calls to weave in a careful …

Among young BIPOC farmers surveyed, 33% said getting access to land is "very" or "extremely" challenging, compared to 17.4% of white farmers. (Adobe Stock)
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Young farmers in Pennsylvania and across the country want Congress to help them, especially with fair and affordable land access, as they deal with …

Utah has invested significantly in transportation over the last 30 years, and these investments will need to continue, according to a Guiding Our Growth survey. (Adobe Stock)
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A coalition of Utah stakeholders is launching the "Campaign for Public Transit in the 435," which will aim to bring better forms of transit to those w…

Almost all of New Mexico's 2,000 school buses run on diesel fuel. (Thomas/AdobeStock)
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Studies show the health of New Mexico children who ride school buses could improve if the buses were electric instead of diesel, and efforts are …

An American Public Transportation Association report found the average purchase price of a new car has increased 30% since 2019. The average price for a used car rose 40% in the same period, figures which may prompt more people to use public transit. (Adobe Stock)
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In honor of Rosa Parks' birthday, Transit Equity Day is today. Connecticut advocates are calling for greater investment in public transit. In …

Nine in 10 voters across eight Mountain West states including Colorado want oil and gas companies, not federal and state governments, to pay for cleanup and restoration costs. (Adobe Stock)
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Voters, including 74% of Republicans, 87% of Independents and 96% of Democrats, would support candidates in elections who prioritize conservation on …

Data from 2021 estimated only 3.5% of organic waste generated in Baltimore was diverted for composting. (Adobe Stock)
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The founder of the Baltimore Compost Collective wants Baltimore to ditch trash incineration, fight climate change and grow healthier food. Marvin …

Juntos Park in Los Angeles' Glassell Park neighborhood is being renovated with funds from a pilot project run by the nonprofit GreenLatinos. (LA County Parks and Rec.)<br />
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Up to $1 million in grants are up for grabs in Los Angeles for local groups to build or expand community parks, gardens and green spaces. The Bezos …

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Bayer Corp. recently agreed to create a $15 billion fund for consumers who contracted cancer and other diseases caused by its weed killer Roundup. (Adobe Stock)
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A coalition of advocacy groups has helped defeat a bill in the Idaho Legislature which would have given the pesticide industry blanket immunity from l…

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported neonicotinoids could jeopardize more than 200 plants and animals protected by the Endangered Species Act. (Adobe Stock)
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Wildlife advocates are urging New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign what's known as the Birds and Bees Protection Act. The bill bans neonicotinoids…

PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals," enter public water systems across the country through industrial discharges and other substances, such as firefighting foam. (Rawpixels)
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Environmental groups say a proposal to cut $4 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency budget would gut the regulations designed to clean up t…

According to the new Census of Agriculture, the total number of farms with more than $1 million in sales has gone up by 36 percent. Advocates said such growth squeezes out smaller producers. (Adobe Stock)
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The nation has seen its total number of farmers and farmland decrease over the past five years and advocates for smaller producers in South Dakota sai…

Practical Farmers of Iowa now has a full-time Spanish Engagement Outreach Coordinator to assist the growing number of Latino farmers in the state. (Adobe Stock)
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A rural advocacy group has invested in reaching out to Spanish-speaking farmers in Iowa - a population that has grown dramatically. There has been …

Wisconsin outreach specialists say determining land maintenance responsibilities, such as repairing irrigation lines, is important for new farmers in signing a land lease. They say that could make it easier for these farmers to avoid stalling progress on their new operations. (Adobe Stock)
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Farmers who produce the food we eat don't always own the land that food is grown on, including in Wisconsin. Those trying to get their operations off …

A similar bill failed to pass last year. Opponents of the revived legislation say it's a win for puppy mills and pet-store owners. (Adobe Stock)
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Some Hoosiers want Indiana lawmakers to rethink proposed legislation that would usurp existing local laws that prohibit retailers from selling puppies…

Horses, like people, typically only show signs of osteoarthritis at advanced stages, when they experience joint pain. (Adobe Stock)
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Researchers at Colorado State University are making headway in identifying how osteoarthritis progresses in horses, and their findings could one day …

The Smithsonian Institution estimates 600 million birds a year are killed in the U.S. by flying into windows. Window strikes are most common among migratory species, such as native sparrows and warblers, already facing some of the most drastic population declines. (OllieT/Adobe Stock)
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Spring brings about migration season for birds, but home and workplace windows can often prevent them from getting to their final destination…

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Y12 annually hosts female high school students as part of a program called "Introduce a Girl to Engineering." The goal of the event is to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. (angellodeco/Adobe Stock)
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Environmental groups in Tennessee will soon learn more about the approval process behind a radioactive waste landfill which has been processing and st…

A mural at the Patagonia store in Belltown, Washington, reminds residents they all live downriver from the Hanford nuclear site. (Hanford Challenge)
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"We all live downriver from Hanford," is the message painted on the windows of the Patagonia store in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. It is a …

According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the Y12 complex has about 4,500 employees and another 2,000 contractors. (Enzo/Adobe Stock)
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A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…

An octopus hides out while a squat lobster stands guard beneath a vase sponge at a recently identified reef off Santa Barbara Island. (Oceana)
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Good news for fishing crews and marine conservationists: Large fishing grounds are reopening, while other areas receive new protections. Some 4,500 …

Eelgrass, pictured here at Joemma Beach State Park, provides food, shelter, and nursery habitat for a wide range of creatures, ranging from small invertebrates to commercially important fish species and wading birds. (WA DNR Nearshore Habitat Program)
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Bull Kelp in South and Central Puget Sound has declined more than 90% over the last 150 years - and eelgrass meadows severely declined as well…

An endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle swims off San Francisco, in September 2022. (Geoff Shester/Oceana)
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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …

Critics of PacifiCorp say the company broke a 2004 promise to retrofit its hydroelectric dams to include fish passages. (Kevin/Adobe Stock)
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Coming into the new year, Columbia Riverkeeper is supporting efforts by the Cowlitz Tribe and Yakama Nation to restore salmon migration throughout …

Salmon continue to struggle to migrate from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho to spawn. (NorthwestWildImages/Adobe Stock)
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The Biden administration wants to get serious about restoring salmon populations to the Northwest. A presidential memorandum directs federal …

Roughly 68 million culverts carry roadways that were built with design approaches dating from the 1950s, which did not consider the needs of aquatic organisms to move up and downstream, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. (Adobe Stock)
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Fish passage is set to improve in the Northwest with an investment from Congress's bipartisan infrastructure law. The Biden administration has …

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Americans generate about 6.9 million tons of e-waste each year. (Adobe Stock)
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Tech giant Microsoft has responded to concerns about the environmental impact of discontinuing support for Windows 10 by offering extended security up…

Some 90% of middle and high schools and 84% of elementary schools were providing a device for every student, according to a March 2021 Education Week survey of school leaders. (Adobe Stock)
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Education advocates say pending expiration dates for Google Chromebooks teach kids the wrong lesson about technology. Software on thirteen models …

People can cut down on single-use plastics by avoiding bottled soft drinks and bottled water, and bringing reusable jugs instead. (Lazyllama/Adobe Stock)<br />
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This Fourth of July, ocean conservation groups want Americans to declare their independence from single-use plastics. A new report, "Charting a …

 

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