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PNS Daily Newscast - March 5, 2021 


New rules should speed large-scale clean-energy projects in NY; Texas' Gov. Abbott tries to shift COVID blame to release of "immigrants."


2021Talks - March 5, 2021 


A marathon Senate session begins to pass COVID relief; Sanders plans a $15 minimum wage amendment; and work continues to approve Biden's cabinet choices.

Public News Service - WV: Social Justice

About 44% of prisoners in West Virginia's regional jails are being held pretrial because they can't afford cash bail. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Research shows West Virginia is the only state to increase its jail population in 2020. In an online panel, state lawmakers shared ideas for criminal-justice reform measures in the Legislature to tackle the overcrowding. Pointing out the Mountain State has no statewide reentry

A West Virginia state delegate is facing sanctions for participating with pro-Trump groups storming the U.S. Capitol. (Wikimedia Commons)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia social-justice groups are decrying a state delegate's participation in the shocking assault on the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, while Mountain State lawmakers are calling for the delegate's removal from the Legislature. Wearing a motorcycle helmet and shouting

It's estimated that people in jail or prison are being infected by COVID-19 at rates more than five times higher than the nation's overall infection rate. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As the number of COVID-19 cases in West Virginia jails skyrockets, advocates for incarcerated people are urging Gov. Jim Justice to follow recommendations in a new report to curb the spread. As of December 1, more than 1,150 people serving time and correctional officers have co

Members of a West Virginia NOW group rally in Charleston, saying the Senate should have waited until after the election to push through a Supreme Court nominee. (Kanawha Valley NOW Facebook page)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On the day of the confirmation vote of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a coalition of West Virginia groups protested in Charleston against Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito's support of the nominee. They say the senator should be focused on COVID-19 relief instead.

A U.S. House bill would support 40 programs nationwide that team social workers with police departments to respond to mental health-oriented emergency calls. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mental and behavioral health practitioners in West Virginia are endorsing legislation in Congress to fund the use of social workers in tandem with police on some 911 calls. The Community-Based Response Act of 2020 would provide $100 million to support alternative responses to so

A new West Virginia state law requires a faster hearing if a defendant with a low-level misdemeanor charge can't afford bail. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- A coalition of prison reform groups is asking court officials in West Virginia to make better use of the newly passed bail reform law to lower jail populations and reduce the spread of COVID-19. The call comes just days after multiple novel coronavirus cases were confirmed in

Advocates for renters in West Virginia are already seeing an uptick in evictions since the pandemic began, and expect to see a rise in first-time homelessness as a result of job loss. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's court system has reopened, after being closed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. Now, advocates for renters are bracing for a flood of evictions, from people financially strapped because of job loss in the pandemic. Ellen Allen - executive director of C

Some West Virginia counties are easing work requirements for SNAP recipients during the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Adobe Stock)

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With Gov. Jim Justice issuing a stay-at-home order this week to battle COVID-19, a new report warns West Virginia has one of the nation's most vulnerable populations for contracting the deadly virus. The Kaiser Family Foundation study says the Mountain State's rapidly aging po

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