Madelyn Beck

Madelyn Beck is a regional Illinois reporter, based in Galesburg. On top of her work for Harvest Public Media, she also contributes to WVIK, Tri-States Public Radio and the Illinois Newsroom collaborative.

Beck grew up on a small cattle ranch in Manhattan, Montana. Her previous work was mostly based in the western U.S., but she has covered agriculture, environment and health issues from Alaska to Washington, D.C.

Before joining Harvest and the Illinois Newsroom, she was as an energy reporter based in Wyoming for the public radio collaborative Inside Energy. Other publications include the Idaho Mountain Express, E&E News/EnergyWire, KRBD Rainbird Radio, the Montana Broadcasters Association, Montana Public Radio and the Tioga Tribune.

President Donald Trump says an executive order he signed on Saturday funds a $400 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits. But it likely won't be as helpful as it seems.


It all started at Dr. Sanjeev Arora's clinic in New Mexico.

"One Friday afternoon, 18 years ago, I walked into my clinic in Albuquerque to see a 42-year-old woman who had driven five hours with her two children," Arora said before a recent Senate committee hearing.


The move came without much warning. 

“We were stunned,” Dr. Christine Hahn, the Idaho State epidemiologist, told the radio show Idaho Matters



How can congregations safely congregate, if at all?

Places of worship all across the country have been wrestling with the question since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

There’s significant evidence that the novel coronavirus can spread through tiny particles that linger in the air. Thanks to a University of Colorado chemistry professor, now there’s a free tool to measure those risks.

 

For some people of faith, gathering together is a central tenet of church. You bolster each other's beliefs, sing communally and feel the transcendence of the moment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the nation to figure out something it's tried to do for years: increase access to telehealth.

That’s true across the nation and in rural Western states like Idaho. 


Two-thirds of Americans think the federal government should be doing more to reduce the impacts of climate change, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.


As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, a new survey shows that depression is worsening across the nation and the Mountain West.


The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the Senate with solid bipartisan support – but bipartisan doesn’t mean unanimous. A group of 73 voted yes while 25 voted no, including all of the senators from public land-heavy Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.


Hotel slowdowns alone could cost states in the Mountain West more than $1.7 billion in tax revenue this year, according to an analysis commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.


This week's Supreme Court ruling shielding LGBTQ employees from discrimination effectively evens out a patchwork of protections in the Mountain West.


Across the nation, Black babies have some of the highest rates of infant mortalities and birth outcomes such as low birthweight, according to a new report by nonprofit Zero to Three.

 


This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

With protesters taking to the streets nationwide to demand justice for George Floyd and confront police brutality and systemic racism, Mountain West News Bureau reporters are gathering perspectives of people of color from around the region.

The pandemic has beef markets on a roller coaster, and Shohone, Idaho's Amie Taber is among the ranchers along for the ride.

 


As the United States prepares for a general election complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, a new national survey finds that most Americans support making it easier to vote by mail in November.

 


Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a virtual town hall Tuesday that the reservation hit its peak number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and emergency room visits a few weeks early thanks to social distancing and mask-wearing.

 


When I was little, my dad and I would walk behind our house in west-central Montana and stare at the ground. And then walk. Stare. Walk. Stare. We'd do this for hours, searching for that tasty, edible and highly prized morel mushroom.


The Mountain West News Bureau is talking to friends and relatives of those who lost their lives to COVID-19. This memorial is for 67-year-old Nancy Heitz who was likely the first person to die in an assisted living facility in Idaho.


A recent study shows that humans have been living in a specific temperature "niche" for at least 6,000 years, but climate change could force billions of people to live in areas outside of the niche by 2070. That could be intolerably hot, even lethal, for many of them.  

Noxious gas, rolling giant eyeballs, being trapped in a perpetually falling elevator. The pandemic is sparking a world-wide increase in vivid dreams. And people are sharing them on websites like I Dream of COVID and across social media.


Chris Descheemaeker ranches black angus, red angus cross with her family outside of Lewistown, Montana. The coronavirus pandemic, she says, comes after a few tough winters and an already tough market.


Many big cities are seeing the number of COVID-19 cases fall, but rural counties are seeing the opposite, according to a new analysis by the Daily Yonder, a rural nonprofit news outlet.

 


A National Wildlife Federation report published this week says new oil and gas leases on public lands could harm existing hunting economies in the West.


As so many telecommuters, teachers, college students and children work and learn from home, there have been fears that the Internet wouldn't be up to the task. But so far, it seems to be largely coping with the increased traffic.


A new study in the journal Science says that human-driven climate change is pushing the American West into a megadrought, and into its driest period in more than 400 years.

 


There’s been too much oil on the market since well before the coronavirus outbreak. But a recent agreement to cut production won’t be enough to prevent states in the Mountain West from taking a big hit.

 


A new study has found that long-term air pollution increases COVID-19 mortality rates.

 


A standard river barge can hold about the same amount as 60 semitrucks. In early June, 642 of them had floated to a standstill near American Commercial Barge Line's office outside Cairo, Ill.

"That's just me. That's not the other fleets in the area," said Mark Glaab, facility manager there. "That's just ACBL."