PNS Daily Newscast - February 28 2020 

Coronavirus updates from coast to coast; and safety-net programs face deep cuts by Trump administration.

2020Talks - February 28, 2020 

Tomorrow are the South Carolina primaries, and former VP Joe Biden leads in the poll, followed by winner of the first three contests, Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer. Some Republican South Carolinians may vote for Sanders because they want closed primaries.

More Oregonians Struggle to Keep the Heat On

February 20, 2009

McMinnville, OR – 55 percent more Oregonians are having trouble paying their home heating bills this year, compared to the same period one year ago. The news comes from a new report called the Low-Income Energy Assistance Snapshot – a look at what goes on in county community action agencies, which provide heating assistance. During one week in January, more than 13,000 calls were received, and 9,000 households were on waiting lists for help.

Kraig Ludwig, energy services manager for the Yamhill County Community Action Partnership, says many are seeking help for the first time.

"What we’re hearing this year, which is new, is that, ‘We’ve never applied for assistance before. We don’t know how this works. We need your help, we’ve lost our jobs. We’re hurting, we need some help now.'"

The waiting lists are, in part, a result of local agencies being swamped by the demand, says Ludwig.

"What we’re seeing this year are additional people who have been hit hard by the economy, and if the appointments are booked, they end up getting put on a waiting list."

The Energy Snapshot was taken between Jan. 12 and Jan. 16. The report says, statewide, applications for energy assistance are up 25 percent, and even with increased federal funding released in the fall in anticipation of a cold winter and greater need, there’s only enough money to cover about half of Oregon's eligible households.

The report contains county-specific figures to localize your story. It will be posted today online at

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR