PNS Daily Newscast - March 22, 2018 

New research finds stiffer prison terms do not deter drug use. Also on our nationwide rundown: We take you to a state where 4 in 10 adults have guns; and “ghost” fishing gear is killing whales and seals in oceans.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - IA: Toxics

Cover crops grew on only 2.6 percent of Iowa's nearly 23 million acres of corn and soybeans in 2016. (crop

AMES, Iowa — A new research project is underway to explore how Iowa farmers could use cover crops as a way to prevent soil, nitrogen and phosphorus from leaving farm fields. The group, Practical Farmers of Iowa, says cover crops such as cereal rye can be planted in the fall and then terminat

A new study says automobiles are so much cleaner than 100 years ago, perfumes and household cleaning agents are taking over the top spot for urban air pollution. (

DES MOINES, Iowa – A new study has come up with a surprising result: Because cars are now dramatically cleaner than they used to be, products like skin lotions and indoor cleaners are becoming the dominant source of key emissions. University of Colorado lead author and scientist, Brian McDon

Rob and Tammy Faux of Genuine Faux Farm have been victims of pesticide drift. (PFI)

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Pesticide drift is not only unwanted and destructive, it is also illegal - and Iowa farmers are encouraged to learn more about the problem and take steps to prevent it. Rob Faux owns Genuine Faux Farm, a certified organic vegetable and poultry operation. He happened to be outsi

Some experts say growing urban/rural divide puts pressure on Iowa farmers to develop solutions to the state's water quality problems. (Carl Wycoff/Flickr)

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There's been a lot of focus on ensuring safe, affordable drinking water from public systems in Iowa’s urban centers. But some groups believe just as much attention is needed in rural communities. Stephanie Enloe, program associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, said m

Paint and other potentially hazardous products should never be disposed of down a drain or in a trash can. (faungg's photos/Flickr)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Lawnmowers will soon be switched out for snow blowers in many Iowa garages, as homeowners assess what they'll need during the winter months. And often, hazardous materials that need disposal are uncovered in garages and sheds during the process. Trish Radke, program coor

Ant-sized parasitic wasps are helping reduce emerald ash borers threatening millions of trees throughout Iowa. (Katja Schulz/Wikimedia Commons)

AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has introduced tiny, parasitic wasps to combat the invasive emerald ash borer as it continues to threaten the more than 50 million ash trees in the state. The emerald ash borer has appeared in one-third of the counties in I

Harmful algae outbreaks in Iowa lakes, ponds, streams and rivers are more likely during this time of year. (Lynn Betts/ USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Toxic blue-green algae outbreaks that are harmful to humans and pets aren't limited to Florida where a state of emergency has been declared. It also can show up in Iowa's ponds, lakes, streams, rivers and other waterways. While this year may not reach 2015's record numbe

Despite intense opposition, the Iowa Utilities Board has approved a permit for a new oil pipeline to stretch across Iowa, carrying nearly a half-million barrels a day. (

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Utilities Board voted 3-0 on Thursday to approve a permit that allows Texas-based Dakota Access Co. to build an oil pipeline across 18 Iowa counties. The proposed Bakken pipeline, which would run from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa and end in Illinois, is pro

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