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Thursday, September 28, 2023

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UAW strike continues: Officials say EPA standards must catch up; Mississippians urged to register to vote ahead of the Nov. 7 general election; NYers worry about impacts of government shutdown.

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Senate leaders advance a plan to avoid a government shutdown, an elections official argues AI could be a threat to democracy and voting rights advocates look to states like Arizona to rally young Latino voters.

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A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

Illinois

Most insurance companies and Medicare allow open enrollment during specified times of the year, usually between October and December. (Adobe Stock)
Open enrollment for public, private health insurance begins soon

Open enrollment begins soon for most employer-sponsored health care coverage and benefits plans for the calendar year 2024. In Illinois, there will …

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Researchers at Loyola University in Chicago say almost 175,000 people are held in pretrial detention each year in Illinois. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Backers hope IL 'no cash bail' makes justice equitable, less expensive

A set of controversial reforms to Illinois' cash bail system went into effect this week, changing a decades-old system of holding people in jail …

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Many librarians are concerned that groups pushing them to pull certain titles from their shelves are promoting authoritarianism rather than democracy. (Adobe Stock)
State Officials Testify in Senate On Illinois Anti-Book-Ban Legislation

A pair of Illinois state officials testified Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the state General Assembly's adoption of a bill to …

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In 2023, the average debt load per student loan borrower in Illinois was $37,757, the seventh-highest amount in the country. (Karen Roach/Adobe Stock)
Thousands in IL Eligible for New Student Loan Repayment Plan

A new student loan repayment plan is expected to help thousands of borrowers cut their monthly payments by half. More than four million student loan …

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PFAS, also known as
U.S. House Budget Threats Jeopardize Proposed PFAS Regulations

Environmental groups say a proposal to cut $4 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency budget would gut the regulations designed to clean up t…

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As of August, the federal government says 75 disasters occurred in the United States and its territories so far in 2023, compared with 55 in the same period last year. (Wikimedia)
Report: Older Adults Lack Emergency Plan for Natural Disasters

Emergency rescue officials say many older adults in Illinois and elsewhere are not as prepared as they should be to respond to natural and man-made di…

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A University of Illinois report says such factors as climate change, fluctuating markets and the cost of operations are major stressors that farmers can't always control. (Adobe Stock)
Illinois Expands Farmers' Access to Mental-Health Services

Research shows that farmers die from suicide at a rate twice as high as the rest of the population, and Illinois officials are taking steps to help …

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The state of Illinois offers a $4,000 rebate on electric vehicles, in addition to federal incentives. (Adobe Stock)
Expert: Illinois Electric Vehicle Sales Accelerating, Not Slowing Down

Experts say consumer interest and sales of electric vehicles in Illinois and across the country are not slowing down. Illinois is among the top 10 …

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Researchers used
Illinois Environmental Group Seeks Ban on Pesticides Harmful to Bees

An Illinois group reported toxic pesticides are causing irreversible damage to young, developing bees, putting the bee population in decline and food …

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The CDC reported Maternal death rates in the United States rose from 2018 to 2021, noting more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. (Adobe Stock)
CDC: 1 in 5 Women in IL, US Report Mistreatment During Maternity Care

Women from some racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have negative health care experiences during pregnancy and delivery affecting qua…

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Workplace publication Business Insider lists AI tools like ChatGPT as future replacements for such jobs as switchboard operators, data entry clerks, day traders and customer service agents. (Adobe Stock).
IL Telecom Workers Fight to Keep Their AT&T Jobs

Hundreds of workers employed in the Midwest by a telecommunications giant are facing the possibility of losing their jobs since the company announced …

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Illinois has an incarceration rate of 497 per 100,000 people, including prisons, jails, immigration detention and juvenile justice facilities. This means the state locks up a higher percentage of its people than almost any democracy on earth. (Adobe Stock)
Federal Funding Restored to Educate People in Prison

By Max Lubbers for Chalkbeat Chicago.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Service reporting for the Chalkbeat Chicago-Public News Service …

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