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Grassley Wants Appeal of Pork Processing Line Speeds Decision

Iowa's senior U.S. senator says he wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Justice to appeal a recent federal court ruling that keeps pork plants from operating faster processing line speeds.

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Illinois Republicans on Wednesday sued to block new legislative and judicial district boundary maps drawn and approved by Democrats — maps that’ll be in use for a decade’s worth of elections and political change.

The suit, filed in federal court, is the first of several expected over the new maps, which Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law on Friday. It’s the culmination of an argument months in the making over Democrats’ use of non-2020 Census data to draw the maps, as that data is delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

Alex Coleman/Illinois Newsroom

The Illinois economy has been in growth mode for two months in a row, according to the University of Illinois Flash Index.

Rich Egger

The city administration had proposed offering a financial incentive for city workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But this week it dropped the plan.

Courtesy GFC

A new non-profit has formed in Macomb to continue the food delivery programs that started last year during the pandemic. Good Food Collaborative (GFC) consists almost entirely of volunteers. The only paid employee is Executive Director John Curtis.

RTDNA reported that it has joined more than 100 other groups in urging the Justice Department to include “treatment of the press” in its reviews of the Minneapolis Police Department, Louisville Metro Police Department, and any future inquiries the Justice Department might pursue. 

David Hightower/TSPR

It was a picture perfect summer afternoon at Big Hollow Lake's beach. There were blue skies, warm temperatures, and a small crowd on the beach.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, animal disease labs across the country stepped up to expand testing capacity, and they could play a role in preventing the next pandemic. 

Spillover events, animal diseases that jump to humans, happen often, according to Jonna Mazet, a professor of epidemiology and disease ecology at the University of California - Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Most novel diseases and emerging infections that jump from one species to another don’t cause big problems, she says. In other cases, it can be bad. 

The head of the Illinois Department of Public Health told Knox College graduates to write their own stories – and make those stories Pulitzer Prize winners.

Governor JB Pritzker on Friday signed new legislative district maps Democrats pushed through the General Assembly a week ago — maps Democrats approved on partisan lines over objections from community advocacy organizations, self-styled government reform groups and Republicans.

“Illinois’ strength is in our diversity, and these maps help to ensure that communities that have been left out and left behind have fair representation in our government,” Pritzker said in a statement. “These district boundaries align with both the federal and state Voting Rights Acts, which help to ensure our diverse communities have electoral power and fair representation.”

UNITED STATES DROUGHT MONITOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN

Even with recent rains across the region, scientists say expanses across the Midwest and High Plains remain in a long-haul drought.

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At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, animal disease labs across the country stepped up to expand testing capacity, and they could play a role in preventing the next pandemic. 

Spillover events, animal diseases that jump to humans, happen often, according to Jonna Mazet, a professor of epidemiology and disease ecology at the University of California - Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Most novel diseases and emerging infections that jump from one species to another don’t cause big problems, she says. In other cases, it can be bad. 

UNITED STATES DROUGHT MONITOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN

Even with recent rains across the region, scientists say expanses across the Midwest and High Plains remain in a long-haul drought.

Boys and men, wearing traditional Dutch outfits of black caps, long button-down shirts, black pants and wooden shoes, throw buckets of water onto the street in downtown Orange City, Iowa. Girls and women wear Dutch bonnets and long dresses or skirts while they push brooms on the water. 

How A Robot Could Keep Farmers Out of Grain Bins

May 28, 2021
Cecil Smalley Photography

A few times a year, farmers have to do a dangerous task; go inside large grain bins to take care of their harvest. Last year, more than 30 of them were trapped inside silos in the U.S., according to Purdue University.

COVID-19 vaccination rates are lower in rural counties than in urban counties, according to a new

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