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Monday, February 26, 2024

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ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

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The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

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David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

The University of Illinois-Chicago recommends children use a straw to help reduce the contact of sweetened beverages with teeth. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, February 26, 2024
February is Children's Dental Health Month and experts said getting kids started early on good oral care sets the stage for a healthy lifetime habit…

The World Health Organization reported tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are some of the highest risk factors for heart disease. (Adobe Stock)
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This is American Heart Month and new findings published by the American Heart Association say irregular sleeping patterns -- over years, weeks or …

According to a 2023 NACHC report 'Closing the Primary Care Gap,' more than 100 million people in the United States don't have a primary care provider, and about a quarter of those are children.<br />(Adobe Stock)
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The price of healthcare has many Americans struggling with costly prescriptions, doctor visits and hospitalizations. Uninsured people are the focus …

Consumer website Bankrate says scammers typically target a property that does not have a mortgage or lien against it, or is vacant and not closely monitored. (Adobe Stock)
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Friday, February 23, 2024
A scam used to illegally obtain houses and land is silently targeting more unsuspecting victims in Indiana, and it often leaves people in need of …

If approved, SB 8 would also require public four-year institutions to submit a report to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education assessing the feasibility of awarding associate degrees. (Adobe stock)
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Indiana lawmakers on the House Education Committee have unanimously approved a Senate bill designed to lower college debt and expand educational oppor…

The National Weather Service said November 2023 tied for the Indianapolis area's 34th warmest November since weather records began in 1871, placing it in the 78th percentile. (Adobe Stock)
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Indiana climate leaders gathered this month to share knowledge and create strategies to address the effects of climate change. Together, they are …

Labor advocates argue SSB 3158 would unnecessarily burden Iowa's already overtaxed court system. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, February 26, 2024
Labor organizers are pushing back on a measure in the Iowa Legislature they say is designed to undermine unions. It would create an additional step …

"We find that often, when young people are educated about the election process, they are much more comfortable in participating in Iowa's elections when they are eligible," says Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate. (Adobe Stock)
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Election officials in Iowa are upping their efforts to increase political participation among the state's youngest voters. A registration event has …

The Wildlife Disease Surveillance for Pandemic Prevention Act seeks to create a Wildlife Disease Surveillance Program though the Wildlife Health Office at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Adobe Stock)
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Wildlife advocates are asking Congress to pass bill that would help states track diseases killing wildlife across the country. In Iowa, the measure …

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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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Automotive manufacturer Ford estimates it will create 2,500 new American jobs through its EV production plant in Marshall. (sofirinaja/Adobe Stock)
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Early voting for primaries in Michigan began this weekend. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., in a change from Democratic support, urged voters to block …

Ice cover duration for Lake Michigan has declined by 22 days over the last 50 years. (Climate Central 2024)
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The Great Lakes region has experienced record low ice cover this winter, and scientists said it is important to keep an eye on the warming trends…

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children from low-income families are twice as likely to have cavities in their teeth as those from higher-income families. (Adobe Stock)
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A new Michigan law signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in December will expand access to dental care for children statewide. Once funding is approved to …

A handful of large cities in the U.S. have added protections for tenants in a residential complex to organize in response to poor living conditions. Minnesota is looking to make it a statewide protection. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, February 26, 2024
Minnesota lawmakers face growing calls this session to boost access to affordable housing and there is a proposal to lend a voice to existing renters …

Lakes and Pines Community Action said its volunteer tax preparers helped 400 Minnesotans with their income tax returns last year but due to volunteer shortages, they had to turn away about the same number of people. (Adobe Stock)
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Minnesotans with low to moderate incomes can turn to free services to help get their tax returns ready to file but some programs are saying a lack of …

Beyond high-risk situations, such as assisting with a domestic violence call, Minnesota fire chiefs say peer support groups are becoming an important tool as first responders navigate stress from the daily calls they take on. (Adobe Stock)
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The risk first responders face is getting renewed focus following the fatal shooting of two police officers and a paramedic in Minnesota. Amid …

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When schools have automated external defibrillators, 70% of children survive cardiac arrest, according to American Heart Association data. (hooyah808/Adobe Stock)
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Monday, February 26, 2024
Missouri Senate Bills 1032 and 1081 would require public schools to develop and implement cardiac emergency response plans and advocates are stressing…

The now scrapped House Bill 1708 passed out of the House Rules Committee on Jan. 29. The National Rifle Association describes the bill as "ensuring law-abiding citizens are not stripped of their Second Amendment rights when utilizing public transit or in places of worship." (cartoonresource/Adobe Stock)
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Missouri Democrats have filed legislation which would prompt a vote to return gun possession rules to local governments. The move was prompted by a …

The group Everytown For Gun Safety ranks Missouri as the seventh-highest state for all gun-related deaths. (JJ Gouin/Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday's Kansas City Chiefs' victory parade turned fatal, prompting gun-law activists to call for reform. One person died and three people are in …

Southeast Community College Ford ASSET instructor Mark Berggren with students. (Photo courtesy of Southeast Community College)
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Friday, February 23, 2024
A unique collaboration between Ford Motor Co. and 41 community and technical colleges across the country is helping students and the automotive …

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every 300 newborns screened is eventually diagnosed with one of the conditions covered in newborn screenings. (Tomsickova/Adobe Stock)
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Every state has been screening newborns for several decades, usually performing a heel-prick blood test, a hearing test and a heart check. Several …

In a 2024 report, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Foundation pointed to the importance of legal immigrants for improving Nebraska's ongoing workforce shortage. (Moab Republic/Adobe Stock)
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Immigrants whose cases are heard in Omaha's Immigration Court are often denied their due process rights, according to a report from the ACLU of …

In a new poll, 85% of North Dakota voters said they probably wouldn't buy an electric car the next time they purchased a vehicle. (Adobe Stock)
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Friday, February 23, 2024
North Dakota voters are divided on climate change matters, according to new polling data. To get more community buy-in for climate solutions…

When North Dakota lawmakers reconvene in 2025, they're expected to consider ideas from a task force about getting more teachers into classrooms. The panel is just beginning to hold discussions. (Adobe Stock)
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This coming Thursday, a new task force will meet to advance discussions about boosting teacher recruitment and retention in North Dakota. The panel …

A new poll regarding North Dakota's Legacy Fund shows voters want the agency in Bismarck overseeing investments to shift their focus, including leveraging the account for property tax relief. (Adobe Stock)
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In a new poll, North Dakota voters say they'd like to see big changes to the state's Legacy Fund, which operates as a savings account funded by oil …

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According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, so far in 2024, more than 11 million net tons of steel have been produced in the United States. That's down slightly, by 1.8%, from last year. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Monday, February 26, 2024
In Ohio, steel industry jobs are returning as high-tech professions attracting a diverse workforce. A new documentary takes a look at Ohio residents …

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said the indictment related to House Bill 6 is not only about the legislation: "It is about the hostile capture of a significant portion of Ohio's state government by deception, betrayal and dishonesty." (Aaron/Adobe Stock)
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Ohio-based FirstEnergy also comes in "first" to eliminate its short-term 2030 emissions reduction goal amid an ongoing bribery investigation related t…

According to a report by the group Attendence Works, during the 2021-2022 school year, the number of schools where chronic absence levels were very high or extreme -- where 20% to 30% of students were chronically absent -- significantly increased. (Adobe Stock)
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Around 30% of Ohio students are chronically absent from school, but in one district, a long-term partnership with the juvenile court system has …

South Dakota's largest teacher's union said while the state has made progress in compensating educators, it still lags behind neighboring states. (Adobe Stock)
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South Dakota lawmakers are taking a close look at teacher pay this session. A specific plan to establish salary requirements cleared the House this …

According to the new Census of Agriculture, the total number of farms with more than $1 million in sales has gone up by 36 percent. Advocates said such growth squeezes out smaller producers. (Adobe Stock)
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The nation has seen its total number of farmers and farmland decrease over the past five years and advocates for smaller producers in South Dakota sai…

The Internal Revenue Service reported roughly 80% of tax returns in the U.S. are now filed electronically. (Adobe Stock)
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In the coming weeks, South Dakotans will be given a chance to file their taxes online directly with the Internal Revenue Service at no cost. Plans …

Between 2017 and 2022, Wisconsin saw a 23% increase in the acreage of farmland with cover crops. (Adobe Stock)
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Farming trend researchers are poring over new federal data that only come around every five years. The latest information helps some organizations …

The American Biogas Council says across the U.S., more than 2,300 digester sites are producing biogas. (Adobe Stock)
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Wisconsin is part of a movement to reduce livestock emissions by converting manure into energy sources, and there are calls to weave in a careful …

Political researchers have long noted Wisconsin has had some of the most gerrymandered political boundaries in the country. (Adobe Stock)
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Wisconsin is closer to adopting political maps for legislative seats advocates insist would reverse years of gerrymandered districts. One coalition …

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