This week, we’re sharing stories from Abrahm Lustgarten, Lois Beckett, Julia O’Malley, Alice Driver, and Sarah Jeong.

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1. Open Burns, Ill Winds

Abrahm Lustgarten | ProPublica | July 20, 2017 | 38 minutes (9,692 words)

An in-depth report on how munitions plants across America continue to irresponsibly dispose of bomb and bullet waste by “open burning.” The practice, banned 30 years ago, still takes place nearly every day under a permit loophole, putting millions of pounds of toxic chemicals and pollutants into the air, essentially poisoning residents and the environment.

2. The Town Where Everyone Owns a Gun

Lois Beckett | The Guardian & Topic | July 14, 2017 | 20 minutes (5,000 words)

After the mine closed nearby, and the residents started to move out of Nucla, Colorado, the town passed an ordinance that every household in the municipality was required to own a gun. But as the residents see it, their main enemy is Telluride, the liberal city next door.

3. The Teenage Whaler’s Tale

Julia O’Malley | High Country News | July 17, 2017 | 12 minutes (3,000 words)

For a teenager in the Siberian Yupik village of Gambell, killing a whale would be a rite of passage, and entry into manhood. But then, Chris Apassingok, age 16, was targeted with online harassment for his kill, and the town of 700 felt the weight of an internet pile-on tear through the community.

4. Brick By Brick

Alice Driver | Arkansas Life | July 1, 2017 | 9 minutes (2,417 words)

In telling stories of the wood-fired kilns her father made by hand over the years, Alice Driver reminds us of the risks and rewards inherent in creative pursuits and the deep personal satisfaction that comes from the effort and sweat you put into your craft.

5. The Selfie Monkey Goes to the Ninth Circuit

Sarah Jeong | Motherboard | July 13, 2017 | 7 minutes (1,804 words)

Can a monkey be an “author” under U.S. copyright law? PETA forges ahead with a claim on behalf of Naruto the macaque, and Sarah Jeong walks us through the details.