Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Powerful testimony from Capitol Police officers at insurrection hearing; and CDC now says even vaccinated people should wear masks in some situations.


CDC recommends vaccinated people mask up indoors; searing testimony in first hearing on Jan. 6 insurrection; man accused of killing 8, mostly women of Asian descent, in Atlanta area spa pleads guilty to 4 deaths; mental health takes center stage at Olympics with unexpected exit of superstar gymnast Biles. Note offensive but cogent language in first cut.

Plant Some Milkweed, Save a Butterfly


Thursday, March 24, 2016   

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Scientists who have been analyzing data collected on monarch butterflies got a bit of good news recently. There were more of them wintering in Mexico than anticipated.

Brice Semmens, assistant professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, says they're not out of the woods by far. He explains that 85 percent of the monarch population has disappeared, and could become extinct in the next 10 to 20 years.

Monarchs rely on milkweed to reproduce, and Semmens says we've gotten too good at eradicating weeds, which destroys their habitat.

He says the Midwest plays a crucial role in whether the monarch survive or not.

"If you look at where corn in grown and where Monarchs are in terms of density, there's almost perfect overlap," says Semmens. "It really is that sort of corn-breeding ground, that really fertile Midwestern ground, and it's where we need to get milkweed back in order to recover the monarchs."

Monarchs can only reproduce or lay eggs on milkweed, and no other plant. Semmens says both the United States and Canadian governments have recognized the peril the iconic butterfly is in and are taking steps to protect it.

Semmens says if everyone who cares about the monarch planted some milkweed, it could save them.

"You only have one garden, but if we collectively are doing it, that results in a lot of potential Monarch breeding habitat, even in our urban areas," he says.

Many other species of insects use milkweed as their main food source. Although it is considered a weed, Semmens points out that it can be beautiful – and it's crucial to the monarch.

"They only can reproduce, or lay eggs, on milkweed and no other plant, so it really doesn't matter if you're in Maryland or in Arkansas, or if you're in Indiana," says Semmens. "Milkweed is the thing that they need in order to reproduce. "

Common milkweed grows up to six feet tall. It has large, broad leaves, usually four to 10 inches long, which sometimes have red veins. It is often found along roadsides or in ditches.

get more stories like this via email

In a survey of young people who have experienced foster care, nearly 20% reported they ran out of food. (Maya Kruchancova/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who are or have been in the foster-care system now are eligible for one-time payments of at least $750…

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …


HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants to bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public-works program from the 1930s that created …

Nationwide, drug-overdose deaths increased by 30% between 2019 and 2020. (Andrey/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …

Health and Wellness

MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…

A new report says the onset of the pandemic saw a drop of nearly 60% in children's visits to U.S. pediatricians. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …

Social Issues

SALEM, Ore. - Young people of color are locked up at disproportionately high rates compared with their white peers, despite recent signs the gap is …

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - A Montana campaign is renewing its efforts to help identify developmental delays in young children. The Centers for Disease Control …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021