Lack of Rural Lawyers Leaves Much of America Without Support

BY: - January 24, 2023

While the running joke may be that there are too many lawyers in the world, in many rural places in the United States, there are demonstrably too few. Despite efforts in recent years by a handful of states, universities and legal associations to ease the problem, there remains a glaring lack of lawyers in many […]

New Gun Restrictions Are Coming in States Where Democrats Reign

BY: - January 19, 2023

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the date of the mass shooting in Oxford, Michigan. Illinois lawmakers wasted no time in the new legislative session, taking just five days to pass major gun safety measures that include a ban on semi-automatic rifles, high-capacity magazines and gun attachments that simulate automatic fire. In signing the […]

Climate Change Is Forcing Cities to Rethink Their Tree Mix

BY: - December 20, 2022

Cities need to plant more trees. But not just any trees. As communities prepare for a massive influx of federal funding to support urban forestry, their leaders say the tree canopy that grows to maturity 50 years from now will need to be painted with a different palette than the one that exists today. “You […]

Losing a Home for Unpaid Taxes Often Means Losing Your Equity, Too

BY: - September 29, 2022

Last year, Massachusetts Democratic state Reps. Tommy Vitolo and Jeff Roy saw a newspaper story about two brothers in their state who had almost lost their home due to unpaid property taxes. That was followed by another article this year featuring a New Bedford woman, recovering from COVID-19, who slept in her car when her […]

Archaeological Finds Reveal Our Stories Before Highways Get Built

BY: - September 13, 2022

When Julie Schablitsky’s team discovered a 19th century homestead during an archaeological dig in the path of a planned state highway project in Montgomery County, Maryland, she was thrilled. As the Maryland Department of Transportation’s chief of cultural resources, Schablitsky, an archaeologist, knew that digs often uncover interesting artifacts, but this one in 2007 was […]

Towns May Grow Millions More Trees with .5B for Urban Forestry

BY: - August 25, 2022

SEATTLE — Last year, legislators in Washington state passed a law to bolster the urban forestry work of the Department of Natural Resources. The agency’s urban and community forestry program, which had just two staffers in 2020, will grow to nine positions once the department finalizes new hires. Those new staffers, along with a new […]

A Republican and a Democrat Walk into a Room and… Switch Votes?

BY: - August 5, 2022

DENVER — Two state senators, a Republican and a Democrat, sit down on a dais in a dimly lit conference room at the Colorado Convention Center here and start talking. The two men are friends — they tease each other, call each other “dude” — and they’re sick of partisan fights. So, they decide to […]

Pandemic Petition Woes Derail Candidates, Ballot Initiatives

BY: - June 28, 2022

James Craig, a former Detroit police chief who was running for Michigan governor, said he remembers pleasant conversations with petition circulators at his campaign events this spring and never suspected anything untoward was happening. “I’m the candidate out giving speeches, and you think you have professionals working for you on the ground getting signatures. I […]

More States Want Power to Approve Wetlands Development

BY: - May 11, 2022

In 2020, Florida became just the third state—and the first in decades—to take over management of a key federal Clean Water Act program. Now, state rather than federal officials decide whether companies can dredge and fill wetlands and waterways for projects ranging from mining to housing developments to roads and bridges. Several other states are […]

Deadly Bird Flu Sweeps States, Straining Farmers

BY: - April 29, 2022

Over the past three months, a highly contagious strain of bird flu has spread rapidly across the United States, infecting and killing millions of chickens, turkeys and wild birds. Experts say the outbreak, which is spread by waterfowl and other migrating birds and doesn’t pose a threat to human health, could be the deadliest the United States […]

Monarch Protections Across States Aim to Prevent Federal Rules

BY: - March 28, 2022

Each spring, millions of monarch butterflies leave their overwintering sites in the Sierra Madre mountains of central Mexico and begin their annual migration north across the United States. The exodus and return of the iconic orange and black butterfly is one of the grandest spectacles of the natural world. But that sight is becoming increasingly […]

States Use Road Sensors to Combat Treacherous ‘Tire Carcasses’’

BY: - March 8, 2022

A growing number of states are hoping to use sensors embedded in the pavement to fight climate change, keep traffic flowing and save lives. Michigan and Indiana are testing systems that would charge electric vehicles while they’re being driven. Some state transportation departments want to use road-based sensors to alert drivers of upcoming detours and closures […]