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Oregon:Lawmakers approve 'roadkill' bill despite misgivings

Despite some misgivings about a "roadkill" bill permitting drivers to salvage deer and elk accidentally killed by vehicles, the House Agriculture Committee has decided to refer the proposal for a vote on the House floor with a "do pass" recommendation. Senate Bill 372, which would require Oregon wildlife regulators to create rules for such meat salvage permits, has already passed the Senate unanimously. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which will write the rules, should monitor these permits closely to ensure there's not a suspicious uptick in roadkill incidents, she said.

Elk and deer herds in danger decades after disease discovery

In a pen surrounded by 8-foot-high fences, at a research station by the side of a winding canyon road in southeast Wyoming, stand seven elk that are going to die.The creatures don’t look sick yet. Their caramel-colored fur still covers round bodies the size of small horses. They run back and forth with each other and two bighorn sheep ewes that share their pen, greedily eating food offered at the gate.

Hit Hard by Coal’s Decline, Eastern Kentucky Turns to Drones, Tomatoes, Solar Energy

With coal production on the decline, one energy company is pursuing a project that might seem heretical in this eastern Kentucky mining region: a solar-energy farm. Berkeley Energy Group and a subsidiary of the French renewable-energy company EDF Energies Nouvelles aim to begin building a $100 million facility on a reclaimed strip mine next year.

 

Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing Middle America

The greatest test America faces is whether it can foster the kind of growth that benefits and expands the middle class. To do so, the United States will need to meet three challenges: recover from the Great Recession, rebalance the American and international economies, and gain access to the global middle class for the future of American goods and services. The fulcrum for meeting these challenges is the combination of industries and resources concentrated in the New American Heartland, the center of the country’s productive economy.

Changes to Visa Program Put Foreign-Born Doctors in Limbo

Just a few months ago, the future appeared promising and certain for Dr. Sunil Sreekumar Nair. A citizen of the United Kingdom, he was completing his residency in internal medicine at a Brooklyn hospital, and he had accepted a job in a hospital near Fort Smith, Arkansas, a rural area with a severe shortage of doctors.Then the Trump administration announced that it was suspending the 15-day expedited process to obtain an H-1B visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign-born workers in specialty fields such as medicine and information technology.

Maine’s highest court rules ranked-choice voting is unconstitutional

Maine’s highest court concluded Tuesday that the nation’s first statewide ranked-choice voting system violates the Maine Constitution even though it was approved by the state’s voters in a referendum in November. In a unanimous advisory opinion, the seven justices on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court acknowledged the validity of citizen-initiative ballot questions but noted that even citizen-enacted laws can be unconstitutional. The court opinion itself doesn’t negate ranked-choice voting, which was supported by 52 percent of Mainers who cast ballots last fall.

An Oregon rancher is charged for an elk slaughter.

Larry Harshfield was arrested and charged with 12 counts of unlawful take of elk in a closed season, and 12 counts of waste of elk. In a press release, Pam Harshfield maintains that the couple had no choice. The harsh winter brought hordes of hungry elk to their haysheds. The elk ate hay intended for their cattle, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wouldn’t help out, she said in a statement, leaving them out of options. The crime, investigation and impending trial have revealed tensions over Oregon’s elk management and over land management.

A Road Trip Through Rusting and Rising America

I just took a four-day car trip through the heart of that landscape — driving from Austin, Ind., down through Louisville, Ky., winding through Appalachia and ending up at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to try to answer that question.Trump is half right in his diagnosis, but his prescription is 100 percent wrong. We do have an epidemic of failing communities.

The New American Heartland: Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing Middle America

Manufacturing never employed most American workers. Service and manufacturing employment rose in parallel as agricultural employment declined, until manufacturing employment peaked in the 1950s at 30 percent of the workforce and began its gradual decline. By 2010 nearly 80 percent of Americans worked in the service sector.   Almost four out of ten of all ears of corn (maize) grown on earth originate in the watershed of the Mississippi River, which is also the source of most US grain, cotton, sorghum, soy, livestock and poultry.

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