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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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At least 23 dead in tornado-spawning storms sweeping central US, new report finds OR workforce grows, but gaps should be addressed; AM radio in every car? The debate hits Missouri; Proposal would make MI State Capitol a 'gun-free zone.'

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President Biden delivers a Memorial Day address, former president Trump's hush money trial is poised for jury deliberations, and the Justice Department warns of threats to election officials.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

WI Gets $1B from Feds for Boosting Broadband

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Tuesday, June 27, 2023   

As rural communities still suffer from the so-called digital divide, the Biden administration has announced the rollout of more than $42 billion for the expansion of high-speed internet access. That includes $1 billion dollars for Wisconsin. The funding comes from the multi-year federal infrastructure law that was adopted in late 2021. Federal officials say more than 8 million households and small businesses in the U.S. are in areas where there is no high-speed internet infrastructure.

Deb Reinbold, president, Thrive Economic Development, said it is welcome news for smaller towns.

"It's a huge opportunity for the state," she said. "In today's interconnected world, broadband's not just a luxury, it's a lifeline, and especially for rural communities."

Reinbold added her area has seen progress thanks to separate grants in recent months, but said there are still some areas that need service, and there is hope the new funding will close remaining gaps. According to a statewide task force report, nearly 7% of Wisconsin residents lack access to the FCC standard for download speed, mostly in rural areas.

Reinbold is also a board member with the Wisconsin Rural Partners group, and said beyond helping rural residents and small businesses, the extra funding allows health providers in these communities to easily connect with patients.

"Telehealth is also something that we're seeing such a significant investment in from our area, medical clinics and hospitals," she said. "Honestly, the impact is very widespread."

Wisconsin's Public Service Commission will be in charge of distributing the grants. In a statement, it says it will ensure the funding gets to where it is needed as quickly as it can while maintaining transparency in being stewards of taxpayer dollars.


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The National Association of Broadcasters says more than 82 million individuals tune in to AM radio. (kittyfly/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

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The "AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act" now in Congress would mandate all new cars in the U.S. be equipped with AM radios, which is stirring a debate in …


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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has vetoed several bills intended to do more to address the rights of renters in the Commonwealth. Along with …


Episode One of the documentary "Take Me Out Feet First" follows the story of Miriam and Robert Meshel as they chose to use California's End of Life Option Act to access medical aid in dying. (Serene Meshel-Dillman)

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A new documentary series looks at medical aid in dying through the eyes of terminally ill people advocating for a peaceful passing on their own terms…

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A North Carolina university wants to break the mold for people studying the arts. A new degree program will not require students to narrow their …

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If two Michigan lawmakers have their way, there will be fewer locations in the state where people are allowed to carry firearms. State Sen…

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May is Older Americans Month, a time to recognize Mississippians over 50 and their contributions, and reaffirm commitments to serving older adults in …

 

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