The Midwest Report – Friday, June 21, 2013

The Midwest Report is a daily news-roundup dedicated exclusively to the American Midwest.

 

1)   Ohio – Story One

Ohio’s Gargantuan Anti-Abortion Bill Is Anti-Doctor, Anti-Patient, and Beyond,” written by Alexander Abad-Santos for The Atlantic Wire, and published on 06/20/13.

“It doubles the waiting period for a wealth of “misinformation.” It makes ultrasounds mandatory, even for rape victims. It foces doctors to discuss with their patients a disputed study linking abortion to breast cancer, to introduce them to the myths of “fetal pain,” to and tell them how much money they’d lose if they didn’t have to perform abortions. Doctors hate it. Republican lawmakers love it. In a year when abortion restrictions have been getting harsher and harsher from the state houses to the U.S. House of Representatives, the so-called Ultrasound Access Act might be the biggest and baddest piece of anti-abortion legislation to make its way through the laboratories of democracy yet…

The Ohio bill awaits a vote from 99 state representatives — 35 of whom have already sponsored it. If you thought North Dakota and Arkansas and Kansas and Alabama amounted to a national crackdown movement on abortion from the state legislatures all the way up to Capitol Hill, it appears that you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

2)   Ohio – Story Two

Ohio is a top supplier of guns to other states,” written for the Associated Press, and published on 06/21/13.

“Gun-control advocates say less-restrictive laws in Ohio led to more than 1,600 weapons being used in crimes in three dozen other states last year. Federal data released this week show that 1,601 guns legally bought in Ohio last year were linked to crimes such as robbery and murder in 36 other states.

Another 5,375 guns stayed in Ohio and were linked to crimes in 2012, according a story Friday in The Columbus Dispatch based on the data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives…

Law enforcement and gun-control advocates say it’s no surprise. “People know they can come to Ohio, get a gun and take it someplace where there are tougher restrictions,” Columbus Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said. “It happens at gun shows in the sticks and through underground schemes on city streets.”

3)   Illinois

Appalling’ Email in Illinois Spurs New GOP Rift,” written by Kerry Lester for the Associated Press, and published on 06/21/13.

“An Illinois Republican official resigned from his leadership post Thursday amid outrage over an email in which he berated a biracial former Miss America as a “street walker” who could fill a law firm’s “minority quota” if she loses her bid for Congress…

Sent to Republican blogger Doug Ibendahl, the email referred to Harold as a “street walker” and “love child” of Democrats and suggested the Harvard graduate could fill a “minority quota” at a law firm should she lose the race…

“I hope some of these bullies learn a lesson from this,” he told the Associated Press on Thursday. “Our party has a huge branding problem nationwide, especially in Illinois. This guy’s attitude sets us back. It’s confirmation as to why women and minorities don’t take the Republican party seriously.”

4)   Iowa

In the northeast corner of Iowa, an underground bunker safeguards our nation’s food heritage,” written by Cindy Hoedel for The Kansas City Star, and published on 06/21/13.

“In the extreme northeast corner of Iowa, on a grassy hillside ringed by meadows, limestone outcroppings and prismatic trout streams, an underground bunker safeguards our nation’s food heritage.

Inside the surprisingly small 10-by-15-foot freezer vault at Seed Savers Exchange, floor-to-ceiling metal shelves are packed tight with white cardboard trays full of moisture-proof, foil-lined packets. The packets, labeled with long sequences of numbers and letters, hold the seeds of more than 25,000 varieties of old-time vegetables and plants.

This treasure trove of heirloom edibles is a living testament to the rich diversity of foods North Americans used to eat. But Seed Savers Exchange is more than just a repository. The nonprofit organization is the largest seed bank in the nation that makes its seeds available to the public, with the goal of reintroducing these nearly lost foods to backyard gardens, commercial farms and ultimately the American diet.

‘We are the anti-Monsanto,’ executive director John Torgrimson says. ‘We are the safety valve. Before World War II, every farmer saved seeds. Today, patented seeds and hybrids make it impossible for farmers to save seeds.’”

5)   Kansas

Planned Parenthood sues over new Kansas abortion law,” written for The Associated Press, and published on 06/20/13.

“Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Thursday over a new Kansas law requiring doctors to inform women seeking abortions that they’re ending the life of a ‘whole, separate, unique, living human being.’

Planned Parenthood’s clinic in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park and its director, Dr. Orrin Moore, contend in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that the law violates doctors’ free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They say the statement that an abortion terminates the life of a separate human being requires them to make “a misleading statement of philosophical and/or religious belief.”…

‘It’s called compelled speech, which is a violation of the First Amendment,’ Peter Brownlie, the Planned Parenthood chapter’s president and chief executive officer, said during an interview. “The Legislature is attempting to force us to endorse the political views of the governor and his allies.’”

6)    South Dakota

History lives in South Dakota’s Black Hills,” written by Kristi Eaton for the Associated Press, and published on 06/21/13.

“Covering approximately 8,000 miles, the Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range with a big Native American influence. The Lakota took over the mountains from the Cheyenne in the 1700s and named it Paha Sapa (translated to Black Hills.) The Lakota signed a treaty with the U.S. government in 1868 exempting the hills from white settlers. But when gold was discovered in the mountains, the U.S. government broke the treaty and moved the tribes to reservation lands in other areas of the state.

The Lakota influence can be seen not far from Mount Rushmore in the still-unfinished mountain carving of Lakota warrior Crazy Horse. Farther south, visitors can see buffalo up close as they roam the prairie in Custer State Park.”

 

Compiled by Corey McLaughlin for Common Culture: Midwest and The Big Slice.

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