Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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New Mexico legislation would boost protections for LGBTQ students, Idaho makes a big jump in higher-education attainment, and this year's Monarch butterfly winter count showed significant improvement.

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The Senate considers police reforms in the wake of Tyre Nichols' killing, members of Congress want a new vote on the Equal Rights Amendment, and George Santos voluntarily steps down from his committee appointments.

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"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Storage batteries hidden behind this Bronzeville mural will be part of a microgrid system that will render the entire Chicago neighborhood energy-independent. (ComEd)
Storage batteries hidden behind this Bronzeville mural will be part of a microgrid system that will render the entire Chicago neighborhood energy-independent. (ComEd)

Monday, January 30, 2023
By Francesca Mathewes for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journal…

About 6% of all cars sold in the United States in 2022 were battery-electric powered, but officials say the number of EVs is expected to grow to 25% by 2030. (ake1150/Adobe Stock)
About 6% of all cars sold in the United States in 2022 were battery-electric powered, but officials say the number of EVs is expected to grow to 25% by 2030. (ake1150/Adobe Stock)

Most experts agree that putting more electric vehicles on the road is a positive step toward fighting climate change, but a new report warns that …

In 2022, the top 10 states, plus the District of Columbia, certified 1,202 LEED projects and nearly 343 million gross square feet, a 72% increase in just one year. (Tada Images/Adobe Stock)
In 2022, the top 10 states, plus the District of Columbia, certified 1,202 LEED projects and nearly 343 million gross square feet, a 72% increase in just one year. (Tada Images/Adobe Stock)

The 2022 ranking of "green" buildings shows Illinois in 2nd place, demonstrating a commitment to LEED certification, according to the U.S. Green …

CDC research shows that proper gun storage could help prevent an estimated 26,000 firearm-related suicides that occur annually in the United States. (vectorass/Adobe Stock)
CDC research shows that proper gun storage could help prevent an estimated 26,000 firearm-related suicides that occur annually in the United States. (vectorass/Adobe Stock)

Advocates of gun-law reform face an uphill battle to push their ideas through the Republican-controlled Indiana General Assembly, but say public …

Since 2020, the income of high-net-worth individuals has increased by $2.7 billion per day, while more than 1.7 billion working people have seen their wages decline, according to Oxfam. (New Africa/Adobe Stock)
Since 2020, the income of high-net-worth individuals has increased by $2.7 billion per day, while more than 1.7 billion working people have seen their wages decline, according to Oxfam. (New Africa/Adobe Stock)

The world's richest 1% took home almost twice as much wealth as the bottom 99 % combined during the pandemic, according to a new Oxfam International …

A Yale University study showed a majority of Americans (64%) said they are at least "somewhat worried" about global warming. Three in 10 said they were "very worried." (Felix Pergande/Adobe Stock)
A Yale University study showed a majority of Americans (64%) said they are at least "somewhat worried" about global warming. Three in 10 said they were "very worried." (Felix Pergande/Adobe Stock)

Major changes are coming to Indiana schools, as state educators are adding a new climate change curriculum to science classes. New state science …

Nitrate levels in water resources have increased in many areas of the world, largely due to applications of inorganic fertilizer and animal manure in agricultural areas, according to the National Institutes of Health. (Adobe Stock)
Nitrate levels in water resources have increased in many areas of the world, largely due to applications of inorganic fertilizer and animal manure in agricultural areas, according to the National Institutes of Health. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
City water leaders in Des Moines are considering a $50 million plan to use Mother Nature as a giant water filter to remove nitrates from the city's dr…

More than 1.2 million Iowans voted in the November 2022 General Election, the second-highest turnout in state history for a midterm, according to the Iowa Secretary of State's office. (Adobe Stock)
More than 1.2 million Iowans voted in the November 2022 General Election, the second-highest turnout in state history for a midterm, according to the Iowa Secretary of State's office. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Critics of a proposal in the Iowa Legislature to broaden the Iowa Attorney General's authority say it could inject politics into the historically nonp…

Wind power is the most productive renewable energy source in the U.S., generating nearly half of America's renewable energy, according to the World Economic Forum. (Adobe Stock)
Wind power is the most productive renewable energy source in the U.S., generating nearly half of America's renewable energy, according to the World Economic Forum. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, January 30, 2023
Environmental groups are pleased with an Iowa Utilities Board ruling that requires MidAmerican Energy to make planning studies public for its Iowa Win…

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The CDC recommends schools, businesses and public gathering places keep an artificial external defibrillator available. (Adobe Stock)
The CDC recommends schools, businesses and public gathering places keep an artificial external defibrillator available. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
February is American Heart Month, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one cause of death in …

According to the Pew Research Center, adults in all age groups, except those younger than 30, are far more likely to trust information from national and local news outlets than from social media. (Farknot Architect/Adobe Stock)
According to the Pew Research Center, adults in all age groups, except those younger than 30, are far more likely to trust information from national and local news outlets than from social media. (Farknot Architect/Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Americans continue to have little faith in the mainstream news media, with many people under the age of 30 saying they trust information from social …

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)
In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Clinics providing abortions in Minnesota have reported a surge in patients since neighboring states were given the legal path to enact bans. It has fueled broader concerns about access to the procedure, as well as reproductive care. (Adobe Stock)
Clinics providing abortions in Minnesota have reported a surge in patients since neighboring states were given the legal path to enact bans. It has fueled broader concerns about access to the procedure, as well as reproductive care. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Reproductive rights advocates are cheering Minnesota's new law centering around abortion access. Supporters predict it could help in other ways for …

A Twin Cities project hopes to develop a model to spur the adoption of solar installations along business corridors in underserved communities. (Adobe Stock)
A Twin Cities project hopes to develop a model to spur the adoption of solar installations along business corridors in underserved communities. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Racial disparities are apparent when it comes to rooftop solar installation, researchers have reported. In Minnesota, there are efforts to close …

AmeriCorps says in its latest report, Minnesotans logged 108 million hours of formal volunteer service. (Adobe Stock)
AmeriCorps says in its latest report, Minnesotans logged 108 million hours of formal volunteer service. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, January 30, 2023
New data on volunteering in the U.S. carries good news for Minnesota. Every other year, the independent government agency AmeriCorps works with the …

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A yearlong study of the use of seclusion and restraint in U.S. schools found that some states track both, some track only the use of restraint, and some track neither.  (Adobe Stock)
A yearlong study of the use of seclusion and restraint in U.S. schools found that some states track both, some track only the use of restraint, and some track neither. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, January 30, 2023
Missourians can now see how often their schools use seclusion and restraint to address student behavior. A 2021 law requires that schools report …

Anyone can get lung cancer from radon, including people who have never smoked. (Adobe Stock)
Anyone can get lung cancer from radon, including people who have never smoked. (Adobe Stock)

January is National Radon Action Month, and officials are getting the word out. Radon is a radioactive gas produced by the natural breakdown of …

The Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model ranks Missouri 14th among states for numbers of children who will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 18, at 9.1%. West Virginia is the highest, at 12.4%. (Adobe Stock)
The Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model ranks Missouri 14th among states for numbers of children who will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 18, at 9.1%. West Virginia is the highest, at 12.4%. (Adobe Stock)

One in 11 Missouri children, and one in 13 nationally, will lose a parent or sibling by age 18. Childhood grief that is not dealt with can have …

AARP Nebraska Community Challenge grant winners have used the funding to enhance trails in several communities across the state. (Madeline Cass/AARP Nebraska) <br /><br /> <br /><br />
AARP Nebraska Community Challenge grant winners have used the funding to enhance trails in several communities across the state. (Madeline Cass/AARP Nebraska)



Monday, January 30, 2023
Nebraska nonprofits and government entities are encouraged to apply for the 2023 AARP Community Challenge grants. They are part of the …

According to the Pew Research Center, adults in all age groups, except those younger than 30, are far more likely to trust information from national and local news outlets than from social media. (Adobe Stock)
According to the Pew Research Center, adults in all age groups, except those younger than 30, are far more likely to trust information from national and local news outlets than from social media. (Adobe Stock)

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Aaron LaPointe, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, inspects an ear of organically grown traditional Indian corn. (Photo courtesy Ho-Chunk, Inc.)
Aaron LaPointe, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, inspects an ear of organically grown traditional Indian corn. (Photo courtesy Ho-Chunk, Inc.)

A northeast Nebraska farming operation is starting the new year with an even bigger commitment to conservation, and they hope other farms take note…

A bill to relax restrictions under North Dakota's Anti-Corporate Farming Law saw its first committee hearing in the state Legislature this month. (Adobe Stock)
A bill to relax restrictions under North Dakota's Anti-Corporate Farming Law saw its first committee hearing in the state Legislature this month. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
For the second time in nearly a decade, North Dakota is considering changes to a longstanding law that blocks corporate ownership of farms. With …

Some North Dakota lawmakers say the state's voting process needs a citizenship requirement, but opponents say it is a solution in search of a problem. (Adobe Stock)
Some North Dakota lawmakers say the state's voting process needs a citizenship requirement, but opponents say it is a solution in search of a problem. (Adobe Stock)

Another hearing is expected in the next couple of weeks on a controversial election policy bill in North Dakota. The plans call for requiring proof …

Last fall, the American Library Association said the number of attempts to ban or restrict library resources in schools, universities and public libraries was on track to exceed record counts from 2021. (Adobe Stock)
Last fall, the American Library Association said the number of attempts to ban or restrict library resources in schools, universities and public libraries was on track to exceed record counts from 2021. (Adobe Stock)

North Dakota is expected to see continued debate in the coming weeks over a plan to ban certain items from public libraries. While the plan has its …

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A new analysis by the The Marshall Project-Cleveland and Eye on Ohio finds Cleveland police officers don't always follow department guidelines or training when interacting with children in crisis. (Tara Anand for The Marshall Project)<br />
A new analysis by the The Marshall Project-Cleveland and Eye on Ohio finds Cleveland police officers don't always follow department guidelines or training when interacting with children in crisis. (Tara Anand for The Marshall Project)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
By Cid Standifer for Eye on Ohio.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection Collaboration reporting for the Ohio Center for Investig…

The 2018-2023 Farm Bill is projected to cost around $428 billion, according to the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. (Adobe Stock)
The 2018-2023 Farm Bill is projected to cost around $428 billion, according to the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, January 30, 2023
Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …

From 2019 to 2020, the U.S. saw a 6% increase in deaths from cardiovascular disease. (Adobe Stock)
From 2019 to 2020, the U.S. saw a 6% increase in deaths from cardiovascular disease. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
The U.S. saw a surge in cardiovascular-related deaths during the first year of the pandemic, and voices from South Dakota's health community hope it …

South Dakotans logged nearly 14 million hours of formal volunteer service, according to AmeriCorps in its latest report. (Adobe Stock)
South Dakotans logged nearly 14 million hours of formal volunteer service, according to AmeriCorps in its latest report. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, January 30, 2023
New data about volunteering in the U.S. is good news for South Dakota. Every other year, the independent government agency AmeriCorps works with the …

In the past year, consumers saw the biggest inflation hike in 40 years, which took a bite out of grocery budgets. (Adobe Stock)
In the past year, consumers saw the biggest inflation hike in 40 years, which took a bite out of grocery budgets. (Adobe Stock)

A South Dakota legislative committee has begun discussions on a plan to repeal the state's grocery tax. It has been a politically divisive issue …

Supporters behind Wisconsin's ballot question on bail reform say there are too many people awaiting trial with lengthy criminal records, but opponents say passing the constitutional amendment would exacerbate inequities. (Adobe Stock)
Supporters behind Wisconsin's ballot question on bail reform say there are too many people awaiting trial with lengthy criminal records, but opponents say passing the constitutional amendment would exacerbate inequities. (Adobe Stock)

In the coming months, Wisconsin residents will hear plenty of arguments before they vote on a constitutional amendment to change state policy on cash …

A new study says when a wolf pack leader dies, the chances of reproduction for that wolf pack are reduced by 49%. (Adobe Stock)
A new study says when a wolf pack leader dies, the chances of reproduction for that wolf pack are reduced by 49%. (Adobe Stock)

Wolf packs lose their ability to thrive when one of their members dies as a result of human activity, according to a new study that comes amid calls …

Backers of "Final Five Voting" say it reduces barriers for people to run for elected office by fostering more competition. (Adobe Stock)
Backers of "Final Five Voting" say it reduces barriers for people to run for elected office by fostering more competition. (Adobe Stock)

Polls often show dissatisfaction among voters with the current political system. An emerging alternative to standard elections is getting some …

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