Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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Maryland Democrats push for an early primary election date in 2024, LGBTQ+ advocates endorse New Mexico primary candidates, and Ms. magazine relaunches its 1972 "We Have Had Abortions" petition.

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President Biden says the U.S. would aid Taiwan if China invades, Ukraine's president addresses the World Economic Forum, and the Supreme Court weakens a path for incarcerated people to challenge their convictions.

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From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

<a href="https://mobile.twitter.com/Chicago_Police/status/1513588532543033348" target="_blank">The Chicago Police Department reported</a> recovering 458 ghost guns in 2021, up from 139 in 2020. (Adobe Stock)
The Chicago Police Department reported recovering 458 ghost guns in 2021, up from 139 in 2020. (Adobe Stock)

Illinois has a new law banning the sale and possession of "ghost guns," essentially untraceable firearms that are sold in kit-form online or at gun sh…

The White House announced this week plans to invest an additional $250 million in domestic fertilizer production, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has limited the supply of fertilizer globally. (Adobe Stock)
The White House announced this week plans to invest an additional $250 million in domestic fertilizer production, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has limited the supply of fertilizer globally. (Adobe Stock)

President Joe Biden used his trip to Illinois Wednesday to tout several new initiatives he said will support American farms. The president's trip …

According to the Pew Research Center, about 56% of Illinois residents believe abortion should be legal. (Adobe Stock)
According to the Pew Research Center, about 56% of Illinois residents believe abortion should be legal. (Adobe Stock)

As the future of abortion access is in limbo, Planned Parenthood of Illinois is preparing for a potential surge in patients from surrounding states…

According to the Human Rights Campaign, from January through early May 2021, lawmakers across the country introduced more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills. (Adobe Stock)
According to the Human Rights Campaign, from January through early May 2021, lawmakers across the country introduced more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills. (Adobe Stock)

Earlier this spring, Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed a GOP-authored bill banning transgender girls from school sports. Now, Holcomb's own party is poised to …

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program has a recurring annual budget of $1 billion through 2026, <a href="https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/nevi_formula_program.cfm" target="_blank">according to the U.S. Department of Transportation</a>. (Adobe Stock)
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program has a recurring annual budget of $1 billion through 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. (Adobe Stock)

Indiana is in line to receive about $100 million from the federal government to support new electric-vehicle infrastructure. State transportation …

All told, five states -- Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Illinois -- accounted for nearly 70% of the nation's more than 3.6 million shutoffs from 2020 to 2021. (Adobe Stock)
All told, five states -- Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Illinois -- accounted for nearly 70% of the nation's more than 3.6 million shutoffs from 2020 to 2021. (Adobe Stock)

From January 2020 to December 2021, utility companies shut off power to Hoosier homes more than 260,000 times. According to a new report from …

Mutual Aid groups, which have been around for generations, say they do not view themselves as providing charity, but rather injecting a wave of neighborly help that cannot easily be applied by larger institutions. (Adobe Stock)
Mutual Aid groups, which have been around for generations, say they do not view themselves as providing charity, but rather injecting a wave of neighborly help that cannot easily be applied by larger institutions. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Regulators have put the Midwest on high alert for energy shortfalls this summer, while forecasters say most areas will be hotter than usual. In Iowa…

Beyond school counselors, parents and private providers, mental-health advocates urge faith-based and other community groups to provide safe spaces for kids dealing with stress and anxiety. (Adobe Stock)
Beyond school counselors, parents and private providers, mental-health advocates urge faith-based and other community groups to provide safe spaces for kids dealing with stress and anxiety. (Adobe Stock)

As the school year winds down, education leaders are shedding light on increased mental-health demands among students, including thoughts of suicide…

The Degrees When Due initiative has identified more than 39,000 Iowa students who earned college credits, but outside factors forced them to put their education on hold. (Adobe Stock)
The Degrees When Due initiative has identified more than 39,000 Iowa students who earned college credits, but outside factors forced them to put their education on hold. (Adobe Stock)

Iowa has seen a 5% increase in the number of college students who left school without a degree. But some campuses are making it a priority to help …

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Michigan is in the bottom 10 states for fourth-grade reading among Black students. (carline11/Adobe Stock)
Michigan is in the bottom 10 states for fourth-grade reading among Black students. (carline11/Adobe Stock)

A new report found Michigan kids have remained stagnant across several key indicators of student success, such as fourth-grade reading and eighth-…

Keeping siblings together in foster care is a national best practice. (mytrykau/Adobe Stock)
Keeping siblings together in foster care is a national best practice. (mytrykau/Adobe Stock)

Michigan is taking steps to improve the child welfare system for National Foster Care Month. In Michigan, nearly a quarter of young people who are …

More than 200 organizations submitted a letter last month urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt new construction on Line 5, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac. (Wikimedia Commons)
More than 200 organizations submitted a letter last month urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt new construction on Line 5, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac. (Wikimedia Commons)

CORRECTION: Enbridge is proposing a rerouting of its existing Line 5. An earlier version incorrectly stated the project involved an expansion…

Examples of brownfield sites include an out-of-business gas station, or an old dry-cleaning business which may have disposed chemical solvents down the drain, contaminating the groundwater. (Adobe Stock)
Examples of brownfield sites include an out-of-business gas station, or an old dry-cleaning business which may have disposed chemical solvents down the drain, contaminating the groundwater. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, May 23, 2022
Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …

Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)
Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)

Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …

A revised federal spending plan for Community Action Agencies creates a new Broadband Navigator discretionary program to help connect low-income families to high-speed internet. (Adobe Stock)
A revised federal spending plan for Community Action Agencies creates a new Broadband Navigator discretionary program to help connect low-income families to high-speed internet. (Adobe Stock)

May is Community Action Month, and local agencies helping low-income families hope Congress signs off on a plan to bolster and modernize their …

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant is one of the career pathways young Missourians can train for through the St. Joseph Youth Alliance. (Adobe Stock)
Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant is one of the career pathways young Missourians can train for through the St. Joseph Youth Alliance. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
The St. Joseph Youth Alliance has been awarded a YouthBuild Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, to help students earn their high school …

In Missouri, no health insurance -- not even private policies -- can be used for abortions. Vice President Kamala Harris joined providers Thursday to discuss the next steps. (The White House)
In Missouri, no health insurance -- not even private policies -- can be used for abortions. Vice President Kamala Harris joined providers Thursday to discuss the next steps. (The White House)

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…

The new congressional district map splits Boone County into two districts, right through downtown Columbia. (Missouri House of Representatives)
The new congressional district map splits Boone County into two districts, right through downtown Columbia. (Missouri House of Representatives)

With congressional voting district maps finally in place in Missouri, county clerks are working to educate voters on the changes. Every 10 years …

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So far, a ballot signature campaign led by Christa Eggers to legalize medical cannabis has reached Nebraska's 5%-of-voters threshold in four of the required 38 counties. (Rebecca Gratz)
So far, a ballot signature campaign led by Christa Eggers to legalize medical cannabis has reached Nebraska's 5%-of-voters threshold in four of the required 38 counties. (Rebecca Gratz)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit challenging Nebraska's requirements for voter-led initiatives …

Nebraska is one of just 12 states that taxes Social Security income, but the practice will be phased out by 2025. (Adobe Stock)
Nebraska is one of just 12 states that taxes Social Security income, but the practice will be phased out by 2025. (Adobe Stock)

Older Nebraskans will be keeping more of their hard-earned Social Security benefits even sooner, after Gov. Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 873 …

Since 2016, North Dakota has recorded more than 2,100 Alzheimer's deaths, with women making up 70% of those cases. (Adobe Stock)
Since 2016, North Dakota has recorded more than 2,100 Alzheimer's deaths, with women making up 70% of those cases. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, May 23, 2022
Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …

In North Dakota, student-loan borrowers owe an average of $29,246 in federal, private debt. (Adobe Stock)
In North Dakota, student-loan borrowers owe an average of $29,246 in federal, private debt. (Adobe Stock)

The White House is fielding pitches from top Democratic lawmakers about their desire to dramatically expand student loan forgiveness. While a …

A new national report says a toxic culture is ten times more likely to contribute to job attrition than compensation. (Adobe Stock)
A new national report says a toxic culture is ten times more likely to contribute to job attrition than compensation. (Adobe Stock)

North Dakota has seen recent examples of staffing shake-ups among certain employers where a toxic environment was cited. It coincides with rhetoric …

In a new report, 8.7% of adults age 65+ in Ohio reported frequent mental distress. (Adobe Stock)
In a new report, 8.7% of adults age 65+ in Ohio reported frequent mental distress. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, May 23, 2022
Among the needs highlighted during Mental Health Awareness Month are those for older adults. It's become a serious challenge, says a new America's …

The fatality rate for Black bike riders is 30% higher than for white bike riders, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Adobe Stock)
The fatality rate for Black bike riders is 30% higher than for white bike riders, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Adobe Stock)

Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …

Researchers say most often, the worst consequence an employer will face for wage theft is to pay back a portion of stolen wages. (Adobe Stock)
Researchers say most often, the worst consequence an employer will face for wage theft is to pay back a portion of stolen wages. (Adobe Stock)

A new report found dishonest employers steal from some 213,000 people in Ohio each year by paying them less than the minimum wage; and it is just one …

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While some tribal governments, including the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority, have been able to accelerate internet accessibility, service affordability is still a barrier for tribal members. (Adobe Stock)
While some tribal governments, including the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority, have been able to accelerate internet accessibility, service affordability is still a barrier for tribal members. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Native American communities say the pandemic severely limited their ability to communicate with the rest of the world and each other, largely because …

South Dakota election officials say even though demand for absentee ballots hasn't reached the levels that were seen in 2020, they are still higher than a decade ago. (Adobe Stock)
South Dakota election officials say even though demand for absentee ballots hasn't reached the levels that were seen in 2020, they are still higher than a decade ago. (Adobe Stock)

South Dakota's primary election is three weeks from today. Those overseeing the process, as well as groups educating voters, hope residents are …

As of early May, the nationwide out-of-stock percentage for baby formula is 43%. (Adobe Stock)
As of early May, the nationwide out-of-stock percentage for baby formula is 43%. (Adobe Stock)

South Dakota is among the states hardest hit by the lack of baby formula in stores. There is debate about the underlying factors, but one health …

According to city documents, Madison's new electric bus fleet will cost about $70 million. In its 2022 budget, the city set aside roughly $26 million in local funding for the project. (Jonah Chester)
According to city documents, Madison's new electric bus fleet will cost about $70 million. In its 2022 budget, the city set aside roughly $26 million in local funding for the project. (Jonah Chester)

Six months ago this week, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure law, and Wisconsin's towns and cities are planning how best to …

Thursday's march fell on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered to be the founder of modern nursing. (Adobe Stock)
Thursday's march fell on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered to be the founder of modern nursing. (Adobe Stock)

Nurses from across Wisconsin converged on the state Capitol building Thursday, as part of a rally demanding fairer wages and safer staffing ratios as …

The planned reroute of Line 5 around the Bad River reservation will cost Enbridge, Inc. about $450 million, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (Adobe Stock)
The planned reroute of Line 5 around the Bad River reservation will cost Enbridge, Inc. about $450 million, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (Adobe Stock)

Enbridge is seeking to reroute a portion of its Line 5 around the Bad River Band's territory in northern Wisconsin. The rerouting falls within the …

 

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