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The fight over silica mining in Missouri

Efforts to open silica mines in southeast Missouri are bringing back memories of toxic lead mining that scarred the region centuries ago. Plus, a Midwest "rite of passage" that was predominantly done by teenagers has changed as seed companies shift jobs to migrant workers.

Centuries ago, the last lead mine in southeast Missouri closed its doors, leaving behind toxic waste and generational trauma. In its place, the possibility of a new mining operation looms large. The Midwest Newsroom’s Niara Savage reports on the fears some residents have about silica mines in their community.

Detasseling, the process of removing the tops of corn to prevent self-pollination, was once seen as a teenage rite of passage for many Midwest communities. Now, it seems that seed companies are actively avoiding hiring locals in favor of migrant workers, who are more vulnerable to exploitation. Nebraska Public Media’s Will Bauer reports for the Midwest Newsroom about this shift in the workforce.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love, Trevor Grandin and KCUR Studios, and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table.
Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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