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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.

Rural residents pool cash to save last bars, gathering sites

Once-bustling Renwick, Iowa, lost its grocery, hardware store, school and Ford dealership years ago, but when its sole bar closed last June, it seemed to some residents there wasn't much of a town left. So a group of seven friends and spouses who had met for beers at the bar for decades took matters into their own hands. One of them bought the place and the others pooled their money to fix it up, showing up after work to replace floors and walls on steamy summer nights before reopening in September as the Blue Moose Saloon.

Electric car sales pass half a million in US

More than 500,000 electric cars have been sold in the United States, according to a report from an electric vehicle charger operator.  The sale of more than 130,000 plug-in hybrid or battery-powered electric vehicles between November 2015 and November 2016 pushed the total number of electric cars sold in the U.S. to 542,000. The milestone was highlighted in a report by Chargepoint, first seen by the technology news website Recode, which also ranked the U.S. with the highest electric vehicle adoption.

Ohio Governor Vetoes Bill to Extend Freeze on Renewable Energy

Ohio Governor John Kasich rejected a bill to extend a freeze on a law that requires utilities in the state to buy more electricity from renewable sources including wind and solar power.  The bill would have extended for two years a delay on the state’s requirement that utilities get 12.5 percent of their power from renewables by 2027, slowing development of the clean energy technologies and threatening investment and jobs, Kasich said Tuesday in a statement.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Michigan’s energy future

In the waning hours of the Michigan legislature’s 2016 lame-duck session, Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration played a key role in ensuring that major energy reforms that were two years in the making crossed the finish line. In fact, Snyder helped broker a deal which initially might have narrowly passed in his view, but ended up gaining widespread support in the Republican-controlled legislature. “This was one of the finest illustrations of good, bipartisan and broad-based work I’ve seen in my time as governor,” Snyder, also a Republican, said

Top 10 antibiotic-free chicken, pork articles of 2016

Antibiotic-free chicken and pig production news was a popular topic in 2016. These 10 articles drew the most attention from WATT AgNet readers during the past year, ranked by the number of times readers viewed the stories. 1. Tyson eager to meet antibiotic-free chicken demand. The demand for chicken raised with no antibiotics ever (NAE) continues to grow, and Tyson Foods President Tom Hayes says the company is poised to meet that demand.2. 7 antibiotic-free feeding practices beyond additives, Additives are not the only area that require attention when antibiotics are removed from feeds.3.

Canadian Pork Excellence program set to begin

Pilot testing of the new Canadian Pork Excellence program is just a couple weeks away as volunteer farms nationwide will begin participating in the program that the Canadian Pork Council revamped from its on-farm food safety and animal care assurance programs and combined into one.  In the first phase, farms will begin keeping required documentation and making necessary adjustments before moving to full validation.  In 2018, through the existing validation cycle, Canadian Pork farms due for a “Full Validation” in 2018 will join the Canadian Pork Excellence Platform by completing the Food Sa

Farms’ lawsuit against California labor regulators revived

A lawsuit filed by two farms against California labor regulators has been revived by a federal appeals court, which ruled it’s plausible the companies were unfairly targeted.  The dispute relates to law passed by California lawmakers in 2015 that provided some — but not all — farms with safe harbor against certain labor lawsuits. Farms in the state were facing possible class action litigation after court rulings that piece-rate workers, such as those paid based on harvest amounts, must be paid the minimum wage even for breaks, meals and other “non-productive” periods.

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