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    PNS Weekend Update - January 24, 20150 

    Among the stories on our nationwide rundown; The Supreme Court agrees to hear a lethal injection case; we’ll take you Oregon where low-wage workers are rallying this weekend for a raise; and to a state that is pondering whether it should take back some tax exemptions.

Mental Health

PHOTO: Randy Moyer's tongue is just one of many spots where he says he experiences unexplained pain and swelling after his exposure to fracking waste, made up of a mixture of water and toxic chemicals. Photo courtesy of Moyer.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - An organization calling itself "Stop Poisoning Pennsylvania" is demonstrating Tuesday at Governor Tom Wolf's inauguration, calling for a ban on fracking in the commonwealth. The new governor says he supports fracking as a method of oil and gas drilling. Washington County resident ...Read More

PHOTO: Fewer Oregon Health Plan members are seeing this sign. Emergency room visits by Medicaid recipients are down by 21 percent, according to a new state report. Photo credit: Chris Bradshaw/
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PORTLAND, Ore. - Medicaid expansion in Oregon last year didn't mean a spike in costs or emergency-room use, according to a report released this week by the Oregon Health Authority. The state said Medicaid costs for inpatient hospital services have decreased about 5.5 percent since 2011, despite add ...Read More

PHOTO: Two Albuquerque police officers involved the fatal shooting of a homeless man are facing possible murder charges.Photo credit: Dick Elbers/Wikimedia Commons.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg is pursuing murder charges against two Albuquerque police officers in the shooting death of a homeless man named James Boyd last March. The shooting occurred in the foothills of the nearby Sandia Mountains. Brandenburg announc ...Read More

PHOTO: Taking the time to help children write thank-you notes is one way experts say parents can help foster an attitude of gratitude year-round. Photo credit: mensatic/

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Now that the gifts have been opened and enjoyed and the tree has come down, there's still one holiday task experts say parents need to tackle: helping kids show gratitude for what they've received. In today's tech-driven world, handwritten thank-you notes have become somewhat ...Read More

PHOTO: Maryland won a five-year, $650 million federal grant that is bringing greater flexibility to the state's foster care and child welfare system this year. Photo credit:

BETHESDA, Md. - A federal grant worth $650 million over five years in Maryland will bring greater flexibility to how the state addresses child-welfare issues. The focus in Maryland in recent years has shifted to trying to prevent the problems that lead to children being removed from homes, the very ...Read More

PHOTO: Mobile phones and tablets are popular gifts, but experts are warning parents there are some drawbacks to technology. Photo credit: Jan Fidler/morguefile.

INDIANAPOLIS – As many Indiana families spend time celebrating the holidays, some teens and children have their eyes glued to screens. Mobile phones and tablets are popular gifts, but experts are cautioning parents about the drawbacks of technology. Ann Lagges, an assistant professor of cl ...Read More

PHOTO: Along with lights, trees and presents, the holiday season can be filled with stress, anxiety and even depression. As one antidote, experts recommend turning the focus to the kinds of gifts that money can't buy. Photo credit: City of Sumter, South Carolina.

CARSON CITY, Nev. - For Nevadans who have experienced loss, are less fortunate, or find themselves in a family overcome by stress, the holidays can be a challenging time, but experts say small changes can help people find the joy in the season. Psychotherapist Mary Michail sees the toll the holiday ...Read More

PHOTO: Children's advocates say the state could be doing more to ensure that adoptions of children out of foster care are successful, with more training and support for adoptive parents, and better access to mental health services. Photo credit: cynoclub/

SEATTLE - From 1,500 to 2,000 foster children are legally eligible to be adopted every year in Washington. There are some built-in challenges in the adoption process to ensure an adoption is the right fit – but afterward, children's advocates say more could be done for kids and their new paren ...Read More

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