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Sunday, April 14, 2024

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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.


Studies show the Earned Income Tax Credit and other rebates improve the health of mothers and infants, educational outcomes for children and future earnings of parents. But tax-prep volunteers say up to 20% of Massachusetts families who qualify for the refunds don't claim them. (Adobe Stock)<br /><br /><br />

Thursday, April 11, 2024

MA taxpayers benefit from IRS Direct File pilot program

Massachusetts residents can take advantage of a new pilot program from the Internal Revenue Service, which allows people to file their taxes online …

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Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Student advocates say the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative has already helped to grow cultural food options at Middlesex Community College, enroll eligible students for SNAP benefits at UMass Boston and provide meals for homeless students during breaks at Salem State University. (MASSPIRG)
MA students urge lawmakers to fund campus anti-hunger efforts

A coalition of college students and administrators is asking state lawmakers to help fight food insecurity on campus. The group is asking for $2 …

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Massachusetts residents can call the MassHealth Service Center to speak with a counselor and determine if they qualify for a dual-eligible special-needs plan at 800-841-2900. (Adobe Stock)<br />
MA seniors encouraged to take advantage of dual-use special needs plans

Health care advocates in Massachusetts said special health care plans are available for seniors and people with disabilities to help ensure they get t…

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More than 71 million Americans saw a 3.2% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments this year with the average retirement benefit increasing by more than $50 per month. (Adobe Stock)
GOP proposal threatens cuts to MA Social Security benefits

Congressional Republicans' proposed changes to Social Security have advocates for Massachusetts beneficiaries concerned about the future of the key sa…

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In 2023, the Vatican's doctrinal office announced that transgender people could potentially be baptized in the Catholic church and serve as godparents but noted any baptisms should not risk
Queer churches in MA and nationwide offer all identities safe, sacred spaces

By Sara Youngblood Gregory for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public …

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Atlantic herring serve as valuable bait for fishermen and lobstermen in Massachusetts, making them  vital to the health of the state's blue economy, which grew 38% between 2009 and 2019. (Adobe Stock)
New England anglers seek greater protections for Atlantic herring stock

Recreational fishermen in New England say commercial trawlers are threatening the survival of smaller businesses relying on a healthy stock of Atlanti…

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The American Federation of Teachers in Amesbury is calling on the School Committee to support an 8.04% increase to ensure level services for students and retain staff and reject an initial 3.16% proposal, which they say would be ">
Proposed Amesbury school budget cuts rally parents, educators

The Amesbury School Committee will hear from educators and parents tonight as they rally to prevent more than $2 million in proposed cuts to their sch…

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More than 75% of Massachusetts mothers with infants also work. For those who rely on child care facilities, the majority require parents to supply a week's worth of diapers at a time or find alternative care. (Adobe Stock) <br />
MA diaper distribution program helps families make ends meet

Supporters of a federal pilot program to distribute diapers to low-income families in Massachusetts hope to build upon its success. More than 1 …

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The CDC's new COVID-19 isolation recommendations follow a decline in hospitalizations nationwide and as the disease falls from being the nation's third leading cause of death early in the pandemic, to 10th last year. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Long-COVID fighters feel 'sucker-punched' by new CDC guidance

Advocates for people who suffer or have died from COVID-19 in Massachusetts and around the country say they're alarmed by new federal health recommend…

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Massachusetts has been losing roughly 5,000 acres of forest each year to housing and industrial development as well as large-scale solar power installations, according to Mass Audubon. (Adobe Stock)
MA reforestation plan aims to counter urban heat islands

A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …

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Following the Supreme Court's 2022 reversal of Roe v. Wade, Massachusetts lawmakers strengthened legal protections for abortion providers, mandated insurance companies cover abortion services, and expanded stockpiles of medication abortion drugs. (Kulbako) <br /><br />
'Deceptive' tactics by crisis pregnancy centers focus of MA legislation

Legislation in Massachusetts would ban some of the tactics used by "crisis pregnancy centers" to prevent people from having abortions. Many of the …

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Studies show a correlation between ample tree canopy in urban areas and reduced heat-related ambulance calls during extreme heat events. (Adobe Stock)
New online tool helps Boston grow tree equity

A new online tool is helping community groups in Boston ensure all neighborhoods reap the benefits from urban tree canopies. The Tree Equity Score …

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