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    PNS Weekend Update - July 4, 20150 


    Our Independence Day news features stories from around the nation including: Americans on guard after a terror alert; a warning about firework dangers for people and pets; and the code to know before flying the flag.

Consumer Issues

PHOTO: Sparklers and other novelty fireworks are legal in Ohio, but the State Fire Marshal's office warns Ohioans to use caution when using them. Thousand of people are treated each year across the country for fireworks-related injuries. Photo credit: Ajay Singh/Morguefile.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – It can be fun to make a bang with fireworks when celebrating Independence Day, but the State Fire Marshal's office has a grim reminder for Ohioans. Not only are most fireworks illegal in Ohio, they're also quite dangerous, according to Chief Josh Hobbs, head of the Fire and E ...Read More

GRAPH: With most workers in Minnesota and across the U.S. now in charge of their own retirement with IRAs and 401(k)s, the Department of Labor has proposed that all brokers and financial advisers who provide retirement advice should be subject to a fiduciary duty. Graph courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The way retirement is funded for most Minnesotans has changed dramatically over the past few decades and with workers taking on more of the liability and risk, efforts are underway to better protect their savings. Public comments are now being taken on a proposal from the U ...Read More

PHOTO: Gov. Jay Inslee has been putting in some long days and evenings, along with members of the Washington Legislature, and they're still not quite done with education-related issues and how to fund them.  Photo courtesy AARP Washington.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee calls the operating budget he signed into law this week "forward-thinking, responsible and fair." Most Washingtonians would add, '...and a long time coming,' after multiple special sessions and votes that aren't quite over. Bernal Baca is the government affa ...Read More

PHOTO: Thousands of Nevadans volunteer at food banks, hospitals, animal shelters, and schools each year, and AARP Nevada is seeking nominees for its highest honor given for volunteerism. Photo courtesy of Douglas County, Nevada.

LAS VEGAS – Nevadans who give their time and talents to help others can be nominated for an award that recognizes the positive contribution of volunteerism. Hilarie Grey with AARP Nevada says the 2015 AARP Nevada Andrus Award for Community Service – named after AARP founder Dr. Ethel Pe ...Read More

PHOTO: The EPA says it plans to ban agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, commonly used on some California crops. Photo credit: Chris Jordan-Bloch/Earthjustice.

FRESNO, Calif. – Environmental and farm workers' groups are cheering this week's announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it plans to ban agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The EPA banned the use of chlorpyrifos in homes 15 years ago. The agency now acknowle ...Read More

PHOTO: A new law in Washington state will require nursing homes to have enough staff on duty to give each resident 3.2 hours of direct care daily, starting in July 2016. Photo courtesy University of South Florida.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee has signed what is known as "safe staffing" legislation for nursing homes. The bill was proposed after persistent concerns that at too many facilities, too few caregivers are on hand to meet the needs of residents, and that both groups' safety is at risk as a result ...Read More

PHOTO: A new report from the American Lung Association finds alternative tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are becoming more popular among Ohio youth. Photo credit: Joseph Morris/Flickr.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Reducing youth tobacco use in Ohio is becoming increasingly difficult, as kids and teens are branching out to such alternative products as electronic cigarettes. A new report from the American Lung Association in Ohio has found reduced teen smoking rates are being quickly offset as ...Read More

PHOTO: A new South Dakota state law says drivers must give bicyclists a safety buffer of three to six feet, depending on the speed limit on the road. Photo credit: Jerry Oster, Greater Dakota News Service.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A new law goes into effect today in South Dakota that should make it easier for people to get out and about on their bicycles. Michael Christensen, an advocacy committee volunteer with the American Heart Association, says the law should make it easier for bikers to use public st ...Read More

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