Rice farmers, processing mills race against time before cooler weather arrives in Yamikonatsu’s harvest season

Yamikonatsu, Larigothiel (Sakura News Center) – One of Belphenia’s main farming towns are gearing up to harvest and ship rice out of Larigothiel and to cities across the Theocratic People’s Kingdom of Belphenia, rice farmers in Yamikonatsu are racing against time to harvest and ship rice out of the village and into Belphenia’s main rice processing plants in Greridia and Nantoka City, before cooler weather arrives in this year’s harvest season.

The state government of the Mikasatshu Division recruited at least 15 truck companies, and 10 guilds and factions to help harvest every rice field in the Yamikonatsu area under the guidance of the Larigothiel Prefecture leader and Guild Master Junko Tamashiya, and Mikasatshi Division’s state leader Shun Momieru, to race against time to end this year’s harvest season for Yamikonatsu.

The Mikasatshu Division state government said that “the year’s harvest season is the greatest opportunity for rice farmers, shipping companies, and consumers across Belphenia, and by then, it will be an economic boost for the rice industry for the Belphenian economic system yet”.

The rice farmers reported that in the past month, the rice is ready for harvest when the grain turned yellow and started to drop. The water is then drained from the rice paddies to make way for the farmers to start harvesting across the Yamikonatsu area.

Akame Ryunashi, a local rice farmer and resident of Yamikonatsu, was very satisfied when she was notified by the Yamikonatsu Rice Farmers Association that her sister’s rice restaurant in Shovelmage City will get a new shipment of rice once the products are already processed and shipped from Greridia. The agency also said that the rice products will be shipped to her father’s grocery store in Spray, and to her cousin’s rice truck in Akashiya, Sakura Prefecture. Another farmer, Takoshi Mizuyama, said that he wants to have his own rice shipped to Meredy Prefecture instead of Yalobusha due to not coming to an agreement with Jubania Trucking drivers from Erzanna Prefecture.

In Yalobusha, rice processing mills across Greridia are preparing to acquire shipments of harvested rice from Yamikonatsu to begin processing. The harvested rice is then processed through sorting machines that clean the kernels and remove foreign matter. The processing continues, and eventually, the rice is enriched. Under Belphenian law, all rice products must undergo quality testing under the guidelines of the Belphenia Food Quality Council.

In Yamiberii County, Larigothiel, rice farmers still struggle to create new rice paddies in the hamlet of Hayashi, five years after the Volkman period ended. Yuki Minoshi, a village chief of Hayashi said that he already requested the state government’s help to boost the town’s economic system despite the after effects of the Volkman period. “I already saw what Yamikonatsu boosted their economic system in that town, but Hayashi is in desperate need for help, five years after the terrible, Volkman era we lived in. Since this is the Moka era, we must make Hayashi grow. But we shouldn’t fail, just like we did fail to make this town grow in the Clear Heart period.” Minoshi said.

Local residents in Hayashi also struggle to create new rice paddies along Larigothiel Prefecture Road 101, when they encountered bad soil called the Momikumi clay at the Yamiberii-Sukima county line, and when the farmers got back to Hayashi, they plan to wait until winter is over, and by then, to create three new rice paddies along Central Avenue in the spring.

This morning, rice farmers in Yamekoi worked to Great Heart’s religious music from a nearby sword naming ceremony where Reiko Beard, the ceremonial leader of Belphenia and the governing body of Great Heart observing the naming of Yamekoi’s village chief Setsuko Araragi’s katana, “Emina”, but one woman is missing. Two days ago, Erza Beard, Prime Minister of Belphenia, had an opportunity to travel to Yamikonatsu with Deputy Prime Minister Masahide Shiroma for her first time to help direct local farmers load the harvested rice into semi trucks, before she and Shiroma returns to Yamekoi to attend the observance of today’s sword naming ceremony in the afternoon.

The rice harvest season for Yamikonatsu will end on October 31 when a local shikashime of Great Heart, or a representative of Larigothiel Prefecture or the state of Mikasatshu Division uses the horagai to signal the end of this year’s harvest season.

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Roadway improvements along urban NW Freedemian Coast progressing steadily

VANDOVER, FREEDEMIA– Drivers today were able to drive for the first time on the new Vandover East Thruway. The freeway, also known as Unionway 308, connects from U-208 to U-108 and creates a new north-south freeway through central Vandover while creating a strong alternative for through traffic going to Laneston or Nature.

The project is part of a larger set of improvements to thru roadways along the northwestern Freedemian coast to ease traffic on the stretch of Unionway 4 between Laneston and Quentinsburgh. Several other projects are underway, including the widening and improving of parts of M-82 through Mathersboro, M-13 up through Haroldsborough and Fort Elwood, and southern Dansels Road (now M-23B) through southern Vandover. Improvements to M-23 (Laneston Lake Pkwy) in Laneston and Vandover are also underway.

One portion of the bigger project, the construction of the M-282 just east of Mathersboro, is nearing completion. The freeway will connect the U-204 directly to the M-82 to improve access to Mathersboro and create a stronger alternative to Unionway 4. The freeway then continues to provide a better connection to the relatively new Walter Sanderson International Airport.

The overall project, known as the Secondary Coastal Corridor, is a partnership between the Quentins Department of Transportation, the Reeds Department of Transportation, and the Freedemian Department of Transportation (since the project crosses state lines). While the overall goal of the Freedemian government is to continue to improve transit alternatives (such as the MetroWest Commuter Rail and Greenleaf Bus Lines) the need for alternative automobile routes along the most urban part of the nation was large enough that even the commuter options weren’t enough to fix the problem alone.

The project also has renewed interest in enacting tolls on U-4 between Laneston and Quentinsburgh, as there will not only be several viable commuter options, but a new roadway alternative as well. The Freedemian National Legislature is supposed to meet later this week to make a final decision, a meeting which originally wasn’t supposed to happen until January. A recent vote done during the Monday general elections passed with 68% in favor of the tolls as long as an effort was made to improve alternative routes.

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A diagram showing the current bottleneck situation (U-4 corridor in red, current alternatives in yellow-brown) and the alternative that the Freedemian Department of Transportation (and state departments) are trying to create with current projects. The area highlighted in green is undergoing new construction and road improvements. The green line indicates the corridor that they hope drivers will start to use as an alternative when complete.

Wooten-Whitaker edges out Walton for Graham Executive, Barbara Clint wins vacant Graham Poplator Seat, Andrew Carmichael wins seat in House of Equal Representation by Write-in

GRAHAM CITY, FREEDEMIA: The final results have come in from the Freedemian general elections on Monday. Graham State had some of the most watched races in the nation, as the area recovering from past corruption and the Graham City Financial Crisis chose new leaders to proceed with.

Graham State Executive

Diane Wooten-Whitaker managed to hold out over activist Grady Walton at the end despite a large chunk of supporters writing in Andrew Carmichael (the incumbent) in the race for Graham State Executive, winning 48.4% to 45.6%. Write-ins for Carmichael, who had dropped out of the race a week earlier, siphoned 6.2% of the vote away from Diane Wooten-Whitaker, making the race closer than expected.

Vacant Graham Poplator Seat

As expected, Barbara Clint, former mayor of Graham City, won the vacant Poplator seat by a landslide, winning 73.5% to 4.6% over Ellen Doofenschmidt.

Vacant Graham Representative Seat 1

The crazy one, though, was the race for the first open Graham Representative seat. Roger Pellerson, a somewhat unpopular Perrysville City Council member, was supposed to be running unopposed and win with a landslide. Pellerson was most alienating due to his random opposing of transit and infrastructure improvements in Perrysville, such as being the sole dissenter when the council voted to fix up a downtown street into a complete street. Strangely enough, Perrysvillians were dissatisfied and much of the massive Graham City population wrote in Andrew Carmichael as a candidate. He would win the position 41.5% to 31.9%. Carmichael was extremely shocked, but accepted the position. Pellerson seemed shaken up and declined to comment. Others have said that those write-ins were “unfair to those who actually ran” in the race. Grady Walton was furious that Carmichael was allowed to win the position after all of the scandals. “It’s not fair! He literally got kicked out of the Executive twice, and he shows a glimpse of change at the end and you vote for him for a completely different position??!!”

Vacant Graham Representative Seat 2

Lastly, for the second open Representative seat, a massive amount of candidates vied for the position. In the end, Kuri Mena, a community activist, author, nudist, and one of the first to push for Amendment 30, which legalized non-sexual public nudity everywhere in Freedemia, won the position. Her only official competition was Lamont DeCoste, another fellow activist and a member of Grady Walton’s Change for Graham group, who came in 2nd with 23.2% compared to Mena’s 27.5%. Three other candidates were in the race- Della McLina, a self proclaimed “Social Media Extraordinaire” (who came in third with 17.8%), Jim Johnsonson, a bus driver with 14.7%, and Jasmine Ernelmeyer, a security guard with 1.6%.

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Election results for Graham State Executive, Graham Poplator, and the two seats for Graham Representatives.

Middle school newspaper reporter writes scathing article revealing location of PWN Kids’ Granola Street is truly unknown

EAST GILLEPSIE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, GILLEPSIE, FREEDEMIA– “Please tell me, How can I Get to Granola Street!!” The popular intro to the educational PTN show so many Freedemian children and children around the world love- Granola Street. However, one Freedemian media outlet isn’t holding back in their criticism of the show. 7th grader and reporter Amy Callendino for East Gillepsie Junior High School’s Gator Journal  (the school newspaper) wrote a scathing expose article in last week’s edition titled “You Really Can’t Tell Me How to Get to Granola Street, Can You?- Freedemia’s Children searching for a place that Doesn’t Exist”. Callendino focused on the suspiciously small amount known about where Granola Street is actually supposed to be, then scrutinized the few details known.

“First, let’s just go based off of appearance. The urban, but somewhat historic neighborhood seems like something that could be in the Garland Park area, considering the architecture and the appearance of the neighborhood. However, the subway station complicates this judgement- while the area looks like it should be along the Capitol Shuttle, on the show it lists routes 1, 2, and 3, none of which directly serve the area, especially not at a shared stop.”

“The largest and most specific piece of evidence we have here is once again the oh-so-famous Granola Street Subway station, pictured in almost every episode next to Goober’s Store. This stop isn’t listed on any QUARTA subway map, not even any historical maps. Even more suspicious is the sign for the station itself. According to the signage, the station is home to subway lines 1, 2, and 3. However, there isn’t a single local station in the system that is home to just lines 1, 2, and 3. In fact, the only stop in the entire system where all three stop is Fredrick Street/Convention Center, the busiest station in the QLine Metro System, home to lines 1, 1X, 2, 2X, 3, 3X, 7, 7X, 14, 14X, and AX, and eventually line 10 when it reaches completion. Frankly, based off the subway station, there’s no possible location that makes sense.”

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The famous fake subway entrance sign seen so frequently on Granola Street.
quartawayfinding1
Actual signage from a real QUARTA QLine station. Notice the small differences, such as the QUARTA logo and the smaller font used on the actual signage compared to that used on Granola Street.

Callendino also covered several other points, such as the fact that if there was an entire neighborhood of big furry “Funsters” living in downtown Quentinsburgh someone would have noticed by now, and the fact that the bus that ran to the local bus stop was a route 19, which in the QUARTA system cannot exist (to reduce confusion with the metro lines which at some point may number all the way from 1-19, buses are numbered 20 and up), not even mentioning the fact that the street was too small to need a “Route 19- Granola Street” bus.

Callendino’s teachers and those running the school newspaper have been supportive of the unconventional article.

“We encourage critical thinking here at EGJHS, so we wanted her to write the article. It showed that she was thinking critically and deeply about everything she interacts with,” newspaper editor and Ingerish teacher Carla Hermando explained. “It was well written and well thought-out.”

Kids Edutainment Workshop, the creator of Granola Street, released a statement today in response to the article going viral, saying “the numbering of the subway station routes was simply meant to look realistic while reinforcing numbers to kids watching at home”.

Unexpected backlash over Restroom and Water Access Act (RAWAA) shows small rift of class divide in Freedemia

VANDOVER, FREEDEMIA- Freedemia has recently seen a surprisingly high amount of opposition to President Angela Rosenthal‘s  Restroom And Water Access Act (better known as RAWAA) in the last couple months. A recent poll found that while about 62% agreed with the law and about 10% had no opinion, about 23% of Freedemians, primarily the more wealthy and large business owners, were against making restrooms public across the board. The opposition seems to center around areas with the largest income inequality and class divides.

The law primarily focuses on three portions, making all public places with restrooms provide at least one public restroom to combat the shortage of public restrooms in many areas, banning employee-only and customer-only restrooms, and putting aside money for the renovation, upkeep, or construction of restrooms and water fountains in public places like parks.

RAWAA has been seen as common sense to many and has not been nearly as controversial as some of the unrelated restroom bills being discussed around the world, as the primary purpose of the law is simply to provide more public restrooms to those who need them. However, the law has brought out a divide that wasn’t expected as much in a nation like Freedemia.

Robert Burson of Burson and Cameron Law in downtown Vandover told us that it’s a matter of appearing credible and ready to handle the highest end clients. “We run a high scale law firm. We defend some of the largest figures in entertainment, industry, all around, and we need to be presentable. Appearance is everything. If we suddenly have all these ordinary-looking people walking through our firm to use the public bathroom it gives our company a completely different image.  We lose credibility. We lose jobs.”

“I don’t want any riff-raff coming in! There are so many who use ‘going to the bathroom’ as a way to come in and vandalize and steal and screw things up inside the business. If they aren’t shopping here, I don’t want them here!” one local business owner along the Laneston Beach boardwalk told PWN. The store, which sells beach supplies, already has negative ratings online for the owner treating customers and non-customers poorly.

A poll showed that the areas with the most opposition were Perrysville and Graham City in Graham state, with Laneston and Vandover coming in a distant 3rd and 4th. All four areas are notorious for income inequality, although Graham City and Perrysville are significantly worse.

This is especially problematic for Vandover, a city that seems to be suffering the most from the restroom shortage. Vandover Beach has become one of the largest tourist attractions in the nation, with thousands of tourists and locals daily. However, there are large sections of the area that currently have few or no public restrooms. The city has been investing in building more public restrooms along the beach, most which should be complete by June. However, in the meantime, while many businesses have followed the mandate of RAWAA and opened their restrooms to the public, almost as many have protested the mandate, some even not following it at all.

Perrysville and Graham City especially have been nearly notorious for their class divides in contrast to the rest of Freedemia. A lot of the problems with the Graham City Financial Crisis went back to decisions made at the state and local levels that only benefited the “upper upper class”, a group more prominent in Graham City than anywhere else in the country.

Many are extremely disappointed in this response to the bill.

“I honestly thought something like this would never be an issue in Freedemia. It seemed like people were friendly to you no matter what your income or career, like a place where a fast food worker could walk into the lobby of a law firm, wave to the people behind the counter, have a good conversation, use the bathroom and leave. This doesn’t seem like what I would have hoped from Freedemians”, one father from Laneston explained to us.

“I had been out on the beach all day and I had to pee so bad,” a teenage girl from Vandover told us. “The beach restroom was a five minute walk away and the only thing really close nearby that looked open was a spa down the road, so I ran there, thinking that with the mandate, I should be able to go. When I got in, however, they told me I couldn’t go into the back without payment. I explained that I just really needed to use the bathroom and that I couldn’t hold it, and they were just so resistant. I brought up the law, how that if their lobby was public that they’re technically supposed to provide restrooms, and they just started telling me that I was trespassing and to leave before they called the police… I ended up not making it to a bathroom in time because of the incident.”

Not all areas have been as resistant. Quentinsburgh already had the largest amount of public restrooms out of the nation’s major cities, and businesses in the capitol city have, for the most part, happily complied. Cities like Trenchent, San Grande, and Franklinsburgh saw most businesses praising the decision as a “no-cost to low-cost solution to an epidemic problem”.

President Rosenthal said she would be glad to make a statement, but needed some time as to not give too hasty of a response. “I don’t want to say something in frustration that I’ll regret.”

Stay tuned to PWN News as we follow this issue.