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    PNS Weekend Update - April 18, 20150 

    In focus on our weekend rundown: tough questioning in New Orleans as the Justice Department tries to get President Obama’s deferred action on deportation plan unstuck; West Coast sardine fisheries are closing early—we’ll let you know why; and we’ll introduce you to a high school senior being honored this weekend for beating the odds.

Community Issues and Volunteering

PHOTO: On Thursday, Oregon lawmakers will read handwritten messages on hundreds of paper plates from food bank clients from across the state, as part of advocacy efforts for the Oregon Hunger Response Fund. Photo courtesy Oregon Food Bank.

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon lawmakers may not be eating off paper plates this week - but they may be reading a few. Oregon Food Bank network sites across the state have been collecting handwritten messages on paper plates from people who need food assistance to get through the month. They'll share them th ...Read More

PHOTO: A new report from the Food Research and Action Center finds that one in six American households said there were times they couldn't afford to buy food in 2014, many relied on community food banks such as the one above. Photo credit: BotMultichillT/Wikimedia Commons.
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AUSTIN, Texas - While Congress considers cuts to safety-net programs such as food stamps - now known as SNAP benefits - a new report by the Food Research and Action Center shows that millions of Americans still are struggling to put food on the table. The study, "How Hungry is America?," found that ...Read More

PHOTO: About 200 people gathered on the Capitol steps in Boise to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month in Idaho yesterday. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith

BOISE, Idaho - Law enforcement officers, students and social workers were among the 200 people who kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month on the Capitol steps in Boise on Wednesday. Speakers described the topic as one that's traditionally been painful to bring up, but which needs to be discussed t ...Read More

PHOTO: The 2013 explosion in West, Texas, killed 15 and caused as much as $230 million in damages, a number dwarfed by the West Fertilizer Co.'s $1 million insurance policy. A bill in the Texas Legislature proposes using private market forces to ensure safe storage of ammonium nitrate. Photo credit: Shane.Torgerson/Wikimedia Commons.

AUSTIN, Texas - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board called the 2013 fire and explosion of ammonium nitrate at West Fertilizer Co. the "worst chemical accident in its history." The blast killed 15 people, and caused more than $100 million in property damages. But the fertilizer plant only carried $1 milli ...Read More

PHOTO: At least 50,000 pinwheels will be planted around Tennessee throughout April to raise awareness about child abuse and prevention during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Photo credit: Royal Holiday/Morguefile.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - This month thousands of Tennessee businesses, citizens and community groups will be utilizing a classic childhood favorite - the pinwheel - to raise awareness about child abuse and prevention. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and according to the Tennessee Children ...Read More

PHOTO: The North Carolina Community Action Association's Race 4 Change fundraising effort is intended to give a voice to the needs and concerns of North Carolina's 1.6 million vulnerable and low-income citizens. Photo credit: NCCAA.

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Community Action Association reports there are $1.6 million vulnerable and low-income citizens in North Carolina, and this weekend the entire state is invited to participate in what's being called North Carolina's Poverty Race. The 5K walk-run route through Raleig ...Read More

PHOTO: Hands-on environmental education for children is the goal of ECO Center, whose founder, Emily Olliverdes, is among the Ohio women honored by the National Wildlife Federation for their role in conservation efforts. Photo courtesy of Chris Maxie, NWF.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio women are taking the lead in protecting the environment and reducing the impact of climate change, which is why they were honored this week by the National Wildlife Federation. Trish Demeter, managing director of energy and clean-air programs for the Ohio Environmental Council ...Read More

PHOTO: The idea of complete streets, where all forms of transportation, including biking and walking, are taken into consideration when building a road, is getting the backing of health advocates. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. – Health advocates are pointing to what's happening in Grant County as an example of how an inclusive transportation network can lead to a healthier community. The idea is known as Complete Streets, where all users of the roadway, including walkers and bikers, are considere ...Read More

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Community Issues and Volunteering by State