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Deadly fungus taking toll on Minnesota bats

The number of bats counted in the Soudan Underground Mine has dropped 70 percent due to white-nose syndrome, according to the annual survey of the state's largest bat wintering area.Researchers have known since 2013 that the deadly fungus was present on some bats that spend their winter deep underground in the former iron ore mine near Tower. Last winter was the first time they had seen hundreds of dead bats outside the mine during winter months, a sure sign of white-nose syndrome. This winter, the deaths have mounted to catastrophic levels.

Honey bees prefer country blossoms to city blooms

Hungry honey bees appear to favor flowers in agricultural areas over those in neighboring urban areas. The discovery has implications for urban beekeepers and challenges assumptions that farmland and honey bees are incompatible, said authors of a new study from The Ohio State University.The team positioned honey bee colonies in an apiary in a central Ohio cemetery smack in the middle of where urban residential development transitions into farmland.

Bill would ban dogs from roaming about vehicles, hanging out window

Many dog owners don’t think twice about settling Fido in their lap for a drive to the store, or rolling down the windows so Rover can feel the breeze in his ears.  But a bill pending in the Maine Legislature would require dog owners to restrain dogs inside a moving vehicle and keep them out of the way of the driver.

Canadian Firm Opening West Virginia Natural Gas Equipment Shop

A Canadian firm's subsidiary is taking over a former machine shop in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle to make and sell natural gas compression equipment that will create up to 130 jobs. Gov. Jim Justice says Bidell Gas Compression will operate out of a 100,000-square-foot facility in Weirton that was previously owned by ArcelorMittal Steel. The property had been recently purchased from ArcelorMittal by the Frontier Group, an industrial and commercial facility redeveloper. Bidell is a subsidiary of Calgary, Alberta-based Total Energy Services Inc.

His cattle are dead, but his family is alive, and he’s thankful

Greg Gardiner is a cowboy. His wide-brimmed hat carries a band darkened by years of sweat and dust. Decades of 100-degree sun, 10-below cold and wicked winds from every direction have left his face as leathery as an old baseball glove. Below his lip is a small goatee and above it a wide trademark mustache. Several days after the biggest fire in the state’s history swept through Clark County, Gardiner slowly drove along some of his family’s 48,000 acres.

OHSU researchers unravel mysteries of Zika virus

Oregon scientists have unlocked some of the mysteries of the Zika virus, tracking how it invades the body. The research by a team at Oregon Health & Science University is likely to help develop a vaccine against the virus, which has caused outbreaks in South America and Southeast Asia and also has turned up in Florida and Texas. The study was conducted on male and female rhesus macaque monkeys last year at OHSU's primate center in Beaverton. Scientists followed the virus as it spread from the bloodstream to other tissues.

PETA’s the Best—At Killing Dogs and Cats

Another year, another pile of dead dogs and cats for the crematorium, courtesy of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Late Tuesday night—almost literally at the last minute—PETA filed its 2016 animal custody information with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) admitting it had killed nearly 72% of the cats and dogs that came through the “animal shelter” at its headquarters. That’s 1,411 dead dogs and cats at the hands of PETA last year alone.

CBO: Lower Deficit, More Uninsured Under House Health Plan

The House Republican leadership’s legislation to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over a decade while increasing the number of uninsured by 24 million people in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday.

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