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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

As Nation Mourns McCain, Some Ponder Role of Cell Phone Radiation

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Friday, August 31, 2018   

LANSING, Mich. – This week, the nation mourns the loss of Senator John McCain, who succumbed to a brain tumor known as glioblastoma. Now, groups concerned about the health effects of radiation from cell phones and cell towers are raising the alarm about this increasingly common type of cancer.

They note a recent $25 million federal study found a link between electromagnetic radiation and tumors in rats. Ellie Marks director of the California Brain Tumor Association says people should take steps to protect themselves – and especially their children.

"I think that it's time for people to wake up to the reality that they need to keep their cell phones away from their head and away from their bodies when they're 'on,' and we need to keep cell towers and 5G, which is coming, away from homes and schools," says Marks.

A 2015 study found gliomas – tumors that affect the brain and spinal cord – are the most common cause of cancer deaths in people ages 18 to 39. It isn't known whether cell phone use contributed to Senator McCain's tumor, and the telecom industry maintains that its products are safe.

Advocates also want to slow the spread of 5G small cell towers, saying the high-speed internet technology needs more study to determine if it is safe. Jeanine Deal, founder of the community advocacy group Michigan for Safe Technology, contends the towers are being installed with little public input.

"Contact your local municipality, find out who the telecom permit would go to,” says Deal. “Let them know that you do not want small cell towers in the right-of-ways in your area and get neighbors to do the same."

The Michigan House Energy Policy Committee is considering two bills, SB 637 and SB 894, to encourage 5G by cutting and capping the fees telecoms have to pay to municipalities when installing small cell towers. In Congress, Senator John Thune of South Dakota introduced a bill in June to speed the deployment of 5G towers.


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

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