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Bridging the rural-urban conservation gap

Urban-based conservation groups need get out of their isolated circles and do a better job of including rural communities in their efforts to protect public lands, says the director of a hiking-trail association in southern Oregon.

Illinois poised to require lead testing in public schools, day care centers

Illinois public schools and licensed daycare facilities will be required to test drinking water for lead contamination under a major compromise reached by key stakeholders.  Long-running negotiations among environmental groups, lawmakers, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the governor’s office culminated in a compromise late last week, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office and the Illinois Environmental Council.

Ohio communities, counties have nearly $1.2B less in aid for 2017 because of state cuts

Cuts in local government funds and tax changes made at the state level will cost Ohio counties and communities nearly $1.2 billion in 2017, as compared to 2010, a new report shows.  Chief among those cuts were elimination of the state's estate tax, the halving of local government funds and accelerated phase-outs of local business taxes, a report from the liberal leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio found. But the report drew criticism from Gov. John Kasich's administration, which argues that focusing solely on cuts tells only part of the story.

I Photographed the Wonders of North America on a 15,000 Mile Trip

Back in September 2016, I decided to fulfill my dream of traveling and photographing North America. Without any set itinerary, I hit the road and ended up driving and flying more than 24,000km (~15,000mi), experiencing some of the most amazing scenery and adventures.   I had the trip of my life, and am so glad I decided to pick up my camera and embark on it. I’d like to share the very best of my trip in 20 pictures.

‘Hacktivists’ Increasingly Target Local and State Government Computers

Early last year, hackers launched a cyberattack against the state of Michigan’s main website to draw attention to the Flint water crisis. In May, they targeted North Carolina government websites to protest a controversial state law requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificate.

2 drug distributors to pay $36M to settle WV painkiller lawsuits

Two of the nation’s largest drug wholesalers have agreed to pay a combined $36 million to settle lawsuits that allege the companies benefited from West Virginia’s problem with prescription drug abuse. Cardinal Health, the largest supplier of drugs in West Virginia, will pay the state $20 million. AmerisourceBergen, the state’s third-largest drug distributor, agreed to pay $16 million. It’s believed to be the largest pharmaceutical settlement in state history.

Oregon counties pressured to exit $1.4 billion forest lawsuit

Fifteen Oregon counties must soon decide whether to opt out of a class action lawsuit seeking $1.4 billion for allegedly insufficient logging in state forests.  As the Jan. 25 deadline approaches, a coalition of environmental and fishing groups is urging counties and the taxing entities within them — including school and fire districts — to exit the litigation.

Pact opens doors for U.S. turkey exports to New Zealand

A new veterinary certificate approved by New Zealand authorities will open that nation’s market to cooked turkey products from U.S. sources, according to a news release from the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC).  New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries approved the agreement after two years of direct negotiations between the regulators and USDA after new import health standards were approved there in 2015. The process of opening the pathway for U.S.

This Small Town Refused to Settle for Wal-Mart When Its Last Local Grocery Store Closed

For two months in 2012, longtime Iola, Kansas, resident Mary Ross trudged through the sweltering heat, waving gnats from her view as she walked door to door with a petition. It was the hottest summer since moving there with her family about 30 years ago, but Ross was determined to gather signatures requesting a grocery store be established in the small rural town of fewer than 6,000 people.


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