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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.

Virginia

The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement found while older forests accumulate more carbon than younger ones, a younger forest can remove more carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere than an older forest. (Adobe Stock)
Virginia groups seek old-growth forest protections

Virginia environmental advocates are looking for protections of old-growth forests. In 2022, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to have …

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While evictions declined dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have since reached pre-pandemic levels. The first quarter of 2023 saw around 35,000 eviction filings in Virginia, a slight decline from the last two quarters of 2022. (Adobe Stock)
Today: Richmond Candidate Forum to Focus on 'Housing Crisis'

Advocates for affordable housing in Virginia are holding a forum today for Richmond region candidates to speak with local residents about the state's …

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As August ended, there had been 27 confirmed cases of meningococcal disease associated with Virginia's outbreak, including five deaths. (Adobe Stock)
Virginia Faces Meningococcal Disease Outbreak

The Virginia Department of Health has reported a statewide outbreak of meningococcal disease. It initially began as a regional outbreak in the …

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A 2023 Resources for the Future report noted the state of Virginia established a climate resilience fund in early 2022, using $25 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Chesapeake Climate Action Network)
Environmental Groups File Lawsuit to Keep VA in RGGI

Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to keep Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. In June, Virginia's Air Pollution …

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A study analyzing Massachusetts' menthol ban found there were some increases in cross-border sales of menthols, although they weren't statistically significant. (Adobe Stock)
Law Enforcement Ponders How to Enforce Menthol Cigarette Ban

The Food and Drug Administration will be releasing guidance on its proposed menthol cigarette ban by month's end. In Virginia, these cigarettes make …

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Energy prices across the United States increased 5% between 2021 and 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration. Coupled with 8% inflation, ratepayers saw a total 13% increase, the largest growth in electric bills since 1984. (Adobe Stock)
Energy-Efficiency Programs Aid Virginians with High Utility Costs

Growing energy prices have Virginians seeking relief to high utility bills. Earlier this year, Appalachian Power announced its customers will see a $2…

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The American Lung Association reported emissions from natural gas and biomass power plants could result in cancer and other health issues, releasing pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide into the air. (Adobe Stock)
VA Environmental Groups Wary of Proposed Gas Power Plant

A proposed Dominion Energy power plant has Virginia environmental groups in an uproar. The Chesterfield Energy Reliability Center would be a gas-…

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North Carolina farm workers have been organizing in similar fashion to those in Virginia. An Oxfam study found one in four workers is paid less than the federal minimum wage, and more than half aren't paid enough to meet their basic needs. (Adobe Stock)
Labor Rights Group Helps VA Migrant Workers Unionize

Migrant farm workers in Virginia are organizing for better workplace treatment. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee has developed a union with two …

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In an AARP survey, Virginia voters said they would support the idea of importing prescription drugs from wholesalers and licensed pharmacies and/or joining a buying pool offering prescription drug discounts. (Adobe Stock)
Survey: Virginia Needs Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Despite partisan divides on many issues, a new survey shows Virginia voters are like-minded about the need to do something about rising prescription …

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A recent Council on Criminal Justice Report finds homicide has reached 2020 levels (24%) this year, after peaking at 40% in 2021. (Adobe Stock)
Report: VA, US Crime Rates See Post-Pandemic Decline

A recent report finds crime across cities in Virginia and the nation is in sharp decline. The Council for Criminal Justice report tracked crime data …

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While Virginia Commonwealth University cleaners have gotten their first union contract, union growth in the United States has slowed. A Pew Research poll finds more than half of Americans feel this decline is bad not only for working people, but for all Americans. (Jeff Auth-Wikimedia Commons)
VCU Cleaners Get First Union Contract

Virginia Commonwealth University cleaners have won their first union contract. Along with 12 additional paid days off, the school's janitorial staff …

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Between 2018 and 2021, maternal mortality rates spiked, according to the CDC. They peaked in 2021 at around 32%, with mothers age 40 and over having the largest increase in maternal mortality. (Adobe Stock)
VA Group Works to Improve Maternal Health

A Virginia group is working to boost maternal health across the state. Since 2011, maternal mortality rates have increased across the U.S. but …

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