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Grasshoppers in the Field, created by artist Gary Greff in 1999, is one of seven sculptures along the "Enchanted Highway" (which has no road number) near Regent, North Dakota. (Photo provided)

Here's a roundup of stories with rural resonance; if you do or see similar work that should be shared on The Rural Blog, email

heather.chapman@uky.edu

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An artist has single-handedly turned a 32-mile stretch of highway in North Dakota into a tourist mecca of art called the Enchanted Highway. It started in 1990 in Regent, a farming town struggling from economic troubles and a declining population. Local teacher-turned-artist Gary Greff decided to try to make the town into a tourist destination, so he began erecting large metal sculptures by the roadside. See how things are going for Regent now.

A social-justice activist raised in rural Montana has launched a project to train white people who have never thought of themselves as activists to organize and confront racist policies in their communities. It's not an issue of white guilt, he says, but rather because most people don't benefit from our current social structure. Read more here.

California utilities giant Pacific Gas & Electric has been charged with four counts of manslaughter and other felonies for allegedly causing 2020's deadly Zogg Fire. PG&E is accused of not properly maintaining the vegetation around equipment, which allowed a sickly tree to fall onto power lines and start the fire. This isn't the first time PG&E has been found responsible for a wildfire: In 2020, PG&E pleaded guilty of 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 Camp Fire, after it was discovered the company did not maintain electrical equipment in rural areas. Read more here.

Native American tribes demand 'immediate action' from the Biden administration to restore the boundaries for Bears Ears National Monument after Donald Trump shrank it by 85%. Read more here.

At one of the nation's largest meatpacking plants, workers say their complaints of serious injuries were ignored or downplayed, reports the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. One man was pushed to work with what turned out to be a fractured vertebra. Read more here.

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Southeastern Iowa Farm Crawl set for Aug. 14

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