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Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

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Updated December 1, 2021 at 1:40 PM ET

Outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic in Mississippi on a typical morning, there's a steady stream of protesters trying to persuade women not to go inside.

"We're here to help y'all," one young woman called to patients on a summer morning this year. "Please don't do this."

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The death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust is a double tragedy.

It is an unthinkable loss for her family and for the film community in which she was a rising star.

And it has weighed on Alec Baldwin, who held the prop gun that fired the fatal shot during a rehearsal.

Just a few blocks away from a stretch of busy highway in LaPlace, La. — about 30 miles northwest of New Orleans — Donald Caesar Jr., 49, walks down the street he grew up on and has lived his entire life. Even a month after Hurricane Ida pummeled Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, this street and many others in the hardest-hit areas of the state are still completely unrecognizable.

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It's a double tragedy - the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie "Rust" and the weight it's placed on Alec Baldwin, who held the revolver that fired the fatal shot. By his own words, he's gripped by grief and sorrow.

At the moment, Tammy and Benny Alexie are staying in a cream-colored house that overlooks the Mississippi River delta. The house survived the flooding of Hurricane Ida with minimal damage because it stands on stilts. An expansive deck in the back is covered with an insect net on all four sides, a long wooden table in the middle, and a propane grill in the corner where the Alexies have been making their meals for the past six weeks. Their three children and two grandchildren are staying with them.

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Wildlife biologist Greg LeClair has been obsessed with amphibians since he was a kid, when one rainy day, a black and yellow spotted salamander stumbled into his driveway in Maine.

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Basically no one picked the Chicago Sky to win the WNBA title when the playoffs started last month. The Sky barely broke even in the regular season, so they were a long shot, to say the least. But last night on ESPN, the Chicago Sky wrapped up a month of proving just about everyone wrong.

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The day before a federal judge blocked enforcement of Texas' restrictive new abortion law, the parking lot of Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, La., was filled with Texas license plates. Women held the door open as the line spilled out onto the sidewalk and into the grass.

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SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: I'm Sarah McCammon on the bayou south of New Orleans, where just weeks ago, Hurricane Ida slammed ashore, its 150-mile-an-hour winds causing death and devastation across the region.

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With the U.S. Supreme Court mum, a new law went into effect in Texas that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. That's well before many women even know they are pregnant.

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When director Kristine Stolakis went to film school, she knew precisely what her first documentary would be about. It's a movement that according to one estimate has affected the lives of nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. with disastrous results.

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A bipartisan infrastructure package cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate last night after 17 Republicans, along with 50 Democrats, voted to begin debate on the bill. President Biden praised the vote.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Wearing a rainbow sequin gown she designed herself in honor of Pride Month, Kataluna Enriquez made history last weekend when she was crowned Miss Nevada USA — the win will make her the first openly transgender contestant to compete in the upcoming Miss USA pageant this fall.

"My win is our win," she posted afterward on her Instagram in a message to the LGBTQ community. "We just made history. Happy pride."

After a contentious debate, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has voted to move forward with a process that could call into question the eligibility of politicians like President Joe Biden to receive Communion.

The bishops voted 168-55 in favor of drafting "a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church," officials announced on Friday afternoon, the final day of their three-day virtual meeting. Six bishops abstained.

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