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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration, abandoned mines may still house containers with leaking toxic chemicals or explosives which can detonate without warning.(Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
New legislation in Congress would hold coal producers accountable for cleaning up the mine sites they have abandoned, including tens of thousands of …

Illinois is bordered by 880 miles of water - the Mississippi River, Ohio River, and Wabash River. according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. (Adode Stock)
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Federal law and Illinois law are at odds over ownership, access, and use of the state's streams, lakes & rivers - and the Legislature failed to pass …

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2024 Kids Count Book, 425,000 Illinois children live in poverty. (Adobe Stock)
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The 2024 Kids Count Data Book was released this week. The publication is a 50-state report of data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation about the …

A group of pornography website operators is suing Indiana over a new law mandating stricter age verification for adult content sites. (Adobe stock)
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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
A controversial new law is set to take effect next week, requiring Hoosiers to upload sensitive documents, including driver's licenses and Social …

There is a shortage of almost 140,000 affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income Indiana residents, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
By Marilyn Odendahl for The Indiana Citizen.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Indiana News Service reporting for the Indiana Citizen-Free Press…

A report by The Nature Conservancy says if clean energy continues to be sited the way it always has been, the U.S. will need an area the size of Texas to meet its climate targets. (Adobe Stock)
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Today is the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most sunshine, and Indiana conservationists said they have a plan to make the best use of …

Council Bluffs, Iowa, is working with Union Pacific Railroad to reschedule trains and install traffic beacons to ensure residents and emergency service providers are not blocked by trains across multiple sets of tracks at intersections. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
Representatives from Union Pacific Railroad will attend a town hall meeting in Council Bluffs tomorrow night to hear about the so-called "triangle of …

The Alzheimer's Association is seeking 55,000 volunteers for more than 180 clinical trials to study the disease at younger and younger ages. (Adobe Stock)
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Researchers in Iowa say changes in an Alzheimer's patients' brain can occur at least 20 years before they are diagnosed with the disease and they are …

Iowa family farm advocates are calling on Congress to reduce the subsidies given to large-scale factory operations in the Farm Bill, and invest more in conservation programs that help small ag producers. (Adobe Stock)
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Family farm advocates are calling for cuts in federal subsidies to large animal feeding operations - technically known as Concentrated Animal Feeding …

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Many school children are still "catching up" on their education after the disruptions during the COVID pandemic, according to the 2024 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Adobe Stock)
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A report on the condition of America's children ranks Kansas in the bottom half of states for education, with declining reading and math scores among …

The Kansas rankings in the 2023 Kids Count Data Book include: 17th in overall child well-being; 22nd in health; 24th in family and community, and 26th in education. (Adobe Stock)
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Kansas ranks seventh among states in the area of economic well-being in the 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Book. Rankings on the …

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Around 62% of Michigan households own a pet. Almost 42% of them own a dog and 31% own a cat. <br />(Drobot Dean/Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Animal lovers and activists in Michigan are celebrating proposed legislation to protect animals and save taxpayers money. Senate Bill 657 and Senate …

Male fertility has been dropping worldwide in the past few decades, especially in countries that produce a lot of chemicals known to disrupt hormones, including PFAS substances. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
A groundbreaking report from a team of Wayne State University researchers revealed fathers pass down more than genetics to their children. They are …

The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. <br />(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)
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Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …

If you are displaced by a natural disaster such as a flood, consumer watchdogs say you should keep all your receipts, including for food and temporary lodging as your home is repaired. It can help recoup expenses when going through necessary insurance claims and other forms of assistance. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Communities across Minnesota, especially in its southern half, have been responding to flood emergencies, and consumer protection groups are urging …

The Minnesota DNR says rivers in several parts of the state are running extremely high and fast, and conservation officers recommend people stay off the areas until water levels drop. (Photo courtesy of DNR)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
Recent bouts of heavy rain are not just leading to flooded basements in Minnesota, they are reducing access to state parks just as summer demand …

Violence Free Minnesota reported in 2018 through 2022, nearly 67% of bystanders or intervenors to domestic violence were killed by an abusive person using a firearm. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
Domestic-violence prevention organizations in Minnesota continue to express relief over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling dealing with abusers having …

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The current American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State is being held this week, through June 29, at Lindenwood University in St. Charles. High schoolers interested in attending Girls State in the future should check missourigirlsstate.org. (Jacob Lund/Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
Five hundred high school girls from Missouri are the stars of a new documentary. Girls State is described as a political coming-of-age film…

The current version of the Farm Bill is an extension of the 2018 bill, which expired in 2023 and was extended for one year. (Kenishirotie/Adobe Stock)
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Family farm advocates are pushing for major changes in the new Farm Bill, including reduced subsidies for large factory farms, mandatory beef country-…

From July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, Direct Subsidized Loans had a 4.99% interest rate with a maximum of $5,500, while Direct Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduates had the same interest rate and can go up to $20,500, minus any subsidized amounts received. (Small Smiles_dimple/Adobe Stock)
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Federal student loan interest rates have surged to their highest levels in over a decade, posing yet another challenge for Missouri students and …

In 2023, the Farm Service Agency enrolled 2.7 million acres to its Grassland Conservation Reserve Program out of more than 4.6 million acres offered by landowners. (MarekPhotoDesign.com/Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 24, 2024
Farm producers and landowners have until the end of this week to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency's Grasslands …

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, 22 states have passed laws to protect or expand access to abortion.
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Nebraska physicians and their patients have been dealing with the state's 12-week abortion ban since it went into effect just over a year ago…

The wells providing water on Santee Tribal lands had manganese levels more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for adults. Excessively high manganese can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. (Adobe Stock)
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Members of the Nebraska Santee Sioux Tribe hope a solution to their five-year water ordeal may be on the way. Their tap water has been unusable for …

North Dakota is moving forward with more than $25 million in federal funding to spur construction of electric vehicle charging stations, mainly in rural areas along interstates. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Electric-vehicle owners in North Dakota have long called for more action to boost the state's charging station network. There continues to be mixed …

If North Dakota were to enact a law that allows parents who had custody of their children removed by a court order to seek restoration of custody rights, officials estimate 33% of kids being held by the state would be eligible for these petitions. (Adobe Stock)
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An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…

A new report from an independent think tank said 26 states have enacted restrictions that make it harder for local election offices to secure private grants to help cover their expenses. (Adobe Stock)
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On the heels of its primary election, North Dakota has received a "fair" grade in an annual report examining voting laws for each state. The …

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In the past year, close to 30% of Ohio families with children age 0-5 have undergone job adjustments due to childcare issues. (dglimages/Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Sen. Michele Reynolds, R-Canal Winchester and Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Chillicothe, recently announced a significant legislative initiative to address …

In 2023, the riskiest scams for people over the age of 65 involved investment, romance, and home improvement, according to the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Monday, June 24, 2024
More people over the age of 64 are being targeted by scams through social media and are more likely to lose money. According to AARP, around half of …

Ohio resident Jeremy Madden, his wife and their adopted daughter. (Jeremy Madden)
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More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

More than 30 tribal nations are represented at the University of South Dakota, according to the institution. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
The University of South Dakota threatened to fire staff members in what some see as an ongoing attack on academic freedom, according to reporting in …

The U.S. government recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. The Black Hills Forest Reserve was established in 1897 and transferred to the U.S. Forest Service in 1905. (R. Blauert, Wikimedia Commons)
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The Black Hills National Forest is one of the latest federal lands to enter a co-stewardship agreement with local tribal nations-a management model en…

Around 27% of South Dakotans who applied for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, funded by Inflation Reduction Act dollars in 2023, were accepted. (Marc Braner/Adobe Stock)
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The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote this summer on a version of the Farm Bill, which passed through the committee process last month…

A Wisconsin travel agent says seeking out deals through services such as Airbnb can be beneficial, but often come with extra fees. She says travel agents often don't charge the customer because they get paid through hotel commissions and wholesalers, and can also find customers deals they wouldn't otherwise have access to. (Adobe Stock)
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Summer is here, but some Wisconsin households juggling higher consumer costs and other basic needs might feel like a vacation is out of reach…

An aerial view of biogas production. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)
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By Lena Beck for Modern Farmer.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Wisconsin News Connection reporting for the Modern Farmer-Public News Service Collab…

While Wisconsin's Supreme Court blocked the use of mobile voting sites for absentee ballots, observers say they're not widely used compared with other types of alternative sites. (Adobe Stock)
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Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites. A political expert says the timing …

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