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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

EPA Samples Show How Bacteria Can Ruin a Day at the Beach

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Tuesday, July 18, 2023   

A significant percentage of beaches that surround the Great Lakes tested positive last year for potentially unsafe levels of bacteria. Wisconsin is highlighted in a new report that compiles federal data. In its latest "Safe for Swimming?" summary, the group Environment America notes 63% of beaches tested in the Great Lakes region last year had at least one day of fecal contamination that exceeded the EPA's Beach Action Value. That tool helps states determine whether a beach is safe enough to go swimming.

John Rumpler, clean water director with Environment America, said the results underscore how much pollution is plaguing areas meant for the public to enjoy.

"All too often, hundreds of America's beaches have enough pollution to put swimmers at risk - and that's just unacceptable," he explained.

The report's authors looked at data from more than 300,000 samples across the U.S. that were sent to the EPA. For Wisconsin, more than 100 beaches were tested last year, and 76 had at least one day of potentially harmful levels of the bacteria in question. The group said key sources of pathogen pollution that can make swimmers sick include stormwater runoff and sewage overflows.

And in the Midwest, there is concern about the presence of so-called factory farms in connecting the dots, Rumpler said.

"It's possible that manure from some of those animal operations is also contributing to the kind of bacteria that we're seeing on these beaches," he continued.

To prevent these results from becoming more widespread, the report recommends putting moratoriums on industrial-scale livestock operations or adopting policies that stop manure from flowing into waterways. Another listed solution is repairing and modernizing sewage systems. Those types of infrastructure projects stand to benefit from the bipartisan infrastructure law adopted by Congress in 2021.


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Social Issues

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California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …


Environment

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A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…

Social Issues

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Social Issues

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Social Issues

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Health and Wellness

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A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …

Health and Wellness

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A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …

Social Issues

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