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    PNS Daily News - January 29, 20150 

    Among the stories on our nationwide rundown; the Supreme Court temporarily blocks three Oklahoma executions; the EPA is in the news on new smog pollution standards and concerns over factory farm pollution—plus preventing ski and snow boarding deaths.


PHOTO: Tamarine Cornelius, an analyst with the independent research group Wisconsin Budget Project, reports that Wisconsin's government employment is at a record low, and that it may fall even farther. (Photo courtesy of Tamarine Cornelius)

MADISON, Wis. - The number of public employees in Wisconsin has dropped to its lowest level in two decades, compared with the state's total population, according to a just-released analysis from the independent Wisconsin Budget Project. Wisconsin has nearly 6 percent fewer state employees per capit ...Read More

PHOTO: Mentors and young people are matched up according to their interests, from hunting and sports to games and movies. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest/Flickr.

DICKINSON, N.D. - Those North Dakotans who have resolved to make a difference this year are being encouraged to consider becoming mentors to young people. A variety of mentoring programs in cities statewide match at-risk children with caring adults, but many more are in need of strong role models. ...Read More

PHOTO: It's a message with a backbeat. The rock band GOODING is playing at high schools in Colorado and across the country in order to connect with kids about the importance of financial literacy and saving money, rather than relying on payday or "same day" loans to get by. Photo courtesy of GOODING.

DENVER - It's toxic. That's the message consumer watchdog groups are sending on this "National Day of Action Against Payday Lenders." After state legislation passed in 2010, payday-lending companies have had relatively tougher laws to follow in Colorado than in neighboring states. There's now a 45 ...Read More

PHOTO: Students at Big Sandy Community and Technical College are among those who could benefit from President Barack Obama's proposal for two years of free tuition for community college students nationwide. The head of Kentucky's statewide system calls the idea a great investment. Photo courtesy Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

VERSAILLES, Ky. – The newly-appointed president of Kentucky's Community and Technical College System says President Barack Obama's call for free tuition would be a great investment. Known as America's College Promise, Obama's plan would pay for two years of community college for students who ...Read More

PHOTO: Focusing on the fallout from Chicago's 2013 school closings, a new documentary series is opening a dialogue about public education and equity in Illinois. Photo credit: Bill Healy.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A new documentary series is opening a dialogue about public education and equity in Illinois. Focusing on the fallout from Chicago's historic closing of 49 public schools in 2013, "The School Project" examines the issues affecting the schools now, and gives a voice to parents and ...Read More

PHOTO: Gov. Mark Dayton is sharing more details about his pledge to create a "state of educational excellence," which advocates say must include expanding access to quality early childhood programs. Photo credit: Chris Parfitt/Flickr.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton has vowed to make Minnesota a "state of educational excellence," and more than 800 leaders and advocates for children and youth will gather in St. Paul today to discuss ways to do that. An educated workforce is vital to the state's economic future, said Denise May ...Read More

GRAPHIC: A report from the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy recommends that tax breaks, which will cost the state $2.4 billion this year, be reviewed on a regular basis. Chart courtesy of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.

BOISE, Idaho - The 136 tax breaks on the books in Idaho should be reviewed, according to a new report. Using state numbers, the study from the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy estimated that $2.4 billion in tax breaks will be granted this year. Center director Lauren Necochea said many other states a ...Read More

PHOTO: The New Mexico Legislature's annual session opens today, and limiting class sizes in public schools is among the many issues on the docket for the lawmakers. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SANTA FE, N.M. - Limiting class sizes in public schools is among the many issues New Mexico lawmakers will consider during this year's legislative session, which opens Tuesday. Lawmakers will consider House Joint Resolution 2, which could lead to a ballot measure amending the state constitution. Th ...Read More

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