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FILE - This June 28, 1979 file photo shows a double-trailer flammable truck driving along the Santa Ana Freeway with a skyline of Los Angeles as a backdrop from East Los Angeles. A study appearing in the Thursday, March 5, 2015, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that children in recent years breathed cleaner air and had stronger lungs compared to those who were studied two decades earlier, researchers found. (AP Photo/Wally Fong, File)

Children in Southern California breathing easier, study says

- Associated Press

Smog-covered mountains, gritty sidewalks, smelly fumes from traffic-choked freeways. The Los Angeles area was a tough place to breathe several decades ago. Now a study shows how much that has changed, especially for the region's youngest residents.

Brian Darling of Washington, D.C., takes his two daughters Julie, 5, and Kathleen, 2, sledding on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building as snow accumulates in the Washington region, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times) ** FILE **

Eleanor Holmes Norton loses effort to allow sledding around Capitol

- The Washington Times

The U.S. Capitol grounds will remain sled-free Thursday. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Democrat, was rebuffed in her request Wednesday that Capitol Police Board officials "have a heart" and issue a temporary waiver of the ban on sledding around the Congress for this weekend.

Proposed Christie-Exxon Mobil contamination deal criticized

- Associated Press

Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists have assailed a proposed court settlement of about $250 million between Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Exxon Mobil in an oil and chemical contamination case in which the state originally sought nearly $9 billion.

FILE - In this July 23, 2007, file photo, corn, far left, and soy beans carpet fields near Greenwood, Neb. After five years of increases in Nebraska farmland values, the state average dropped 3 percent, from $3,416 per acre to $3,210 per acre, according to preliminary findings released Wednesday, March 4, 2015, by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Survey: Nebraska agricultural land value falls 3 percent

- Associated Press

The average value of Nebraska's agricultural land dropped 3 percent in the past year, a decline fed largely by continued pessimism over grain prices, according to a preliminary survey report released Wednesday.

Colorado Editorial Roundup

- Associated Press

A sampling of recent editorials from Colorado newspapers:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, right, standing with Secretary of State John Kerry, speaks at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, during a signing ceremony to launch a joint air quality program at select U.S. diplomatic missions overseas. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) **FILE**

EPA chief: 'Climate change is not a religion'

- The Washington Times

Seeking a 6 percent budget increase in the upcoming fiscal year, Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy on Wednesday assured skeptical Republicans her efforts will be driven solely by science and won't be beholden to any political ideology.

Hattiesburg wastewater treatment system could cost $152M

Associated Press

The city of Hattiesburg could be looking at about $152.5 million over the next three years or so for a fully-mechanical wastewater treatment system that would continue to discharge into the Leaf River.

Wake-restricting rule at southwest Idaho lake drawing ire

Associated Press

A recently released management plan for a southwest Idaho federal wildlife refuge should be changed to be more accommodating for water skiing, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Canyon County commissioners say.