"In a St. Louis courtroom last month, attorneys geared up for a trial more than a year away that will center on whether 17 children allegedly poisoned by the lead smelter in Herculaneum can prove their ailments deserve compensation."
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"Mason Hansen guns his pickup and cranks the steering wheel to spin through sand up to 4 feet high, but this is no day at the beach. Hanson once grew corn and soybeans in the sandy wasteland in western Iowa, and his frustration is clear. Despite months spent hauling away tons of sand dropped when the flooded Missouri River engulfed his farm last summer, parts of the property still look like a desert."
"KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cattle farmers complained on Wednesday that a federal agency is 'spying' on their operations by flying airplanes over Midwest cattle feedlots to see if they are complying with clean water regulations."
"A new study looking at key aquifers beneath the Great Plains and California's Central Valley suggests that areas of Texas and Kansas are drawing groundwater at an unsustainable rate."
"The Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai and Pen d'Oreilles tribes consider Montana's National Bison Range part of their heritage, a link to the animals their ancestors once hunted and worshipped."
"July 4 is the normal standard for wheat harvest in Southeast Nebraska. This year, Memorial Day might not be far off the mark. It’s the fastest pace from green to gold that Steve Baenziger has experienced in 26 years as a wheat breeder at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln."
"BLAIR, Neb. -- Federal regulators said Wednesday it's unlikely the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant will restart before fall because of the extensive inspections and repairs needed."
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (pictured) signed the so-called "Ag Gag" bill into law March 2, 2012, making it a crime to obtain access to an agricultural facility "under false pretenses" — without defining "false pretenses." Does this apply to hidden cameras? Animal rights activists have often resorted to hidden cameras — and shared with news media photos and videos of shocking cruelty to animals.
"On Friday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law a bill designed to thwart activists who go undercover to report animal abuse. This makes Iowa the first state in the country to pass such a law; Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah are considering them. Undercover investigations, including videos and photographs, are a principal tool used by activists of all stripes to document abuse cases and have led to legislative reforms, prosecutions and even facility closures around the country."