Sunday, August 1, 2021

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Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

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Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Nationwide, drug-overdose deaths increased by 30% between 2019 and 2020. (Andrey/Adobe Stock)
Nationwide, drug-overdose deaths increased by 30% between 2019 and 2020. (Andrey/Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …

In a survey about restorative justice, 70% of respondents said they think less taxpayer money should be spent on prisons, jails and detention centers. (Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)
In a survey about restorative justice, 70% of respondents said they think less taxpayer money should be spent on prisons, jails and detention centers. (Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A bill signed into law in Springfield protects the participants in restorative-justice practices from having what they do or say …

President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan includes $400 billion for what's known as the "care economy." Republicans in Congress are resisting its inclusion in the infrastructure deal. (InsideCreativeHouse/Adobe Stock)
President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan includes $400 billion for what's known as the "care economy." Republicans in Congress are resisting its inclusion in the infrastructure deal. (InsideCreativeHouse/Adobe Stock)

CHICAGO - Home-care workers in Chicago joined a national day of action Tuesday, urging Congress to prioritize funding for what's become known as the …

An exhibit looking at the opioid crisis in Indiana features personal stories and art installations from people in the recovery community as well as medical professionals. (The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites)
An exhibit looking at the opioid crisis in Indiana features personal stories and art installations from people in the recovery community as well as medical professionals. (The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites)

Thursday, July 29, 2021
INDIANAPOLIS -- An exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, "FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis," is leaving Indianapolis Sunday and …

More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)
More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …

Indiana kids experiencing homelessness or who are in foster care pass the ILEARN test at lower rates than their peers, according to the state Department of Education. (visoot/Adobe Stock)
Indiana kids experiencing homelessness or who are in foster care pass the ILEARN test at lower rates than their peers, according to the state Department of Education. (visoot/Adobe Stock)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Results from Indiana's standardized test, ILEARN, were released this week, and just 28% of students passed the math and reading …

The State Historical Society of Iowa's mobile museum contains 56 artifacts and videos. (traveliowa.com)
The State Historical Society of Iowa's mobile museum contains 56 artifacts and videos. (traveliowa.com)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …

A new report says Black youths are more likely to be in custody than their white peers in every state but one: Hawaii. (Adobe Stock)
A new report says Black youths are more likely to be in custody than their white peers in every state but one: Hawaii. (Adobe Stock)

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa has recently laid out recommendations to reduce overrepresentation of minorities in the juvenile justice system. The effort …

According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)
According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

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In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)
In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Friday, July 30, 2021
LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…

Before Mackinaw City, the Red Road to DC Project stopped in Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. (House of Tears Carvers)
Before Mackinaw City, the Red Road to DC Project stopped in Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. (House of Tears Carvers)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
MACKINAW CITY, Mich. -- A group of artisans from Lummi Nation is carrying a 25-foot carved totem pole from Washington state to Washington, D.C.…

Public health experts say while the Delta variant is fueling a rise in COVID cases, they don't anticipate dangerous spikes like the ones seen this past winter. (Adobe Stock)
Public health experts say while the Delta variant is fueling a rise in COVID cases, they don't anticipate dangerous spikes like the ones seen this past winter. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…

A union representing Minnesota state workers recently noted that as contract talks inched forward, it took issue with proposed language it said could drive up employee health-care costs. (Adobe Stock)
A union representing Minnesota state workers recently noted that as contract talks inched forward, it took issue with proposed language it said could drive up employee health-care costs. (Adobe Stock)

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota government has a new budget in place, but it's still trying to wrap up the latest two-year contracts for state employees…

Studies show Medicaid expansion could reduce costs for Missouri's health-care system as a whole, by getting more patients preventive care, which is less expensive than emergency care. (torwaiphoto/Adobe Stock)
Studies show Medicaid expansion could reduce costs for Missouri's health-care system as a whole, by getting more patients preventive care, which is less expensive than emergency care. (torwaiphoto/Adobe Stock)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would dedicate $1.3 billion dollars to state conservation efforts and $97.5 million to tribal nations. (Tyler/Adobe Stock)
The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would dedicate $1.3 billion dollars to state conservation efforts and $97.5 million to tribal nations. (Tyler/Adobe Stock)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Senators reintroduced the Recovering America's Wildlife Act Tuesday, led by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., along with Sen. Martin …

Commissioners charged with redistricting in Missouri are set to meet for the first time in August to draw new legislative district maps. (luzitanija/Adobe Stock)
Commissioners charged with redistricting in Missouri are set to meet for the first time in August to draw new legislative district maps. (luzitanija/Adobe Stock)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Redistricting reformers urged the people charged with drawing new voting-district maps in Missouri to commit to putting the …

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Federal food assistance programs, including SNAP and Nebraska's Farmers Market Nutrition Program for seniors and families with children, ensure that farmers get fair market prices for their goods. (Adobe Stock)
Federal food assistance programs, including SNAP and Nebraska's Farmers Market Nutrition Program for seniors and families with children, ensure that farmers get fair market prices for their goods. (Adobe Stock)

LINCOLN, Neb. -- After a new state law expanded eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program formerly known as …

Lobbying firms have enjoyed few limits after the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, where the high court confirmed that money was a form of protected speech. (Adobe Stock)
Lobbying firms have enjoyed few limits after the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, where the high court confirmed that money was a form of protected speech. (Adobe Stock)

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A new Common Cause Nebraska report showed last year, more than $18 million was invested in lobbying efforts in Nebraska. By …

Supporters of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act say if it can't clear the Senate, they hope certain provisions will be included in spending-related measures. (Adobe Stock)
Supporters of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act say if it can't clear the Senate, they hope certain provisions will be included in spending-related measures. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …

Industry observers say just four companies control nearly 80% of all the beef slaughtered in the United States. Advocates for livestock producers say it affects their bottom line. (Adobe Stock)
Industry observers say just four companies control nearly 80% of all the beef slaughtered in the United States. Advocates for livestock producers say it affects their bottom line. (Adobe Stock)

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The beef or chicken you buy from the grocery store is often processed by the same small number of companies. Advocates for …

Community Action Partnership of North Dakota says those eligible for emergency federal rental aid can get help with their application with a trained counselor in person or over the phone. (Adobe Stock)
Community Action Partnership of North Dakota says those eligible for emergency federal rental aid can get help with their application with a trained counselor in person or over the phone. (Adobe Stock)

FARGO, N.D. -- North Dakota is reaching out to those who have fallen behind on their rent due to the pandemic and may not know there's help. …

Supporters say legalizing marijuana for recreational use would be an economic boon for Ohio, but opponents have concerns about health and safety. (Adobe Stock)
Supporters say legalizing marijuana for recreational use would be an economic boon for Ohio, but opponents have concerns about health and safety. (Adobe Stock)

Friday, July 30, 2021
By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Jessica Molena of Perrysburg says her own parents' advocacy for migrant farm workers has served as an inspiration. (FLOC)
Jessica Molena of Perrysburg says her own parents' advocacy for migrant farm workers has served as an inspiration. (FLOC)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …

There are no state or federal regulations for toxic PFAS chemicals found in drinking water. (AdobeStock)
There are no state or federal regulations for toxic PFAS chemicals found in drinking water. (AdobeStock)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A bill to tackle contamination from so-called "forever chemicals" known as Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) is …

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In 2019, suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in South Dakota, but was the second leading cause among those ages 15 to 34. (Adobe Stock)
In 2019, suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in South Dakota, but was the second leading cause among those ages 15 to 34. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, July 29, 2021
PIERRE, S.D. -- Suicide-prevention officials in South Dakota are reminding residents facing a mental-health crisis there are resources available…

By 2050, South Dakota could see a 75% increase in the severity of widespread summer drought conditions. (Adobe Stock)
By 2050, South Dakota could see a 75% increase in the severity of widespread summer drought conditions. (Adobe Stock)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Much of South Dakota will see a familiar weather pattern this week: very hot temperatures and little precipitation. With more …

Researchers say expanding cash payments, such as the ones seen in the Child Tax Credit, to families in need sets children up for a healthier life, as well as better test scores. (Adobe Stock)
Researchers say expanding cash payments, such as the ones seen in the Child Tax Credit, to families in need sets children up for a healthier life, as well as better test scores. (Adobe Stock)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Supporters of the expanded Child Tax Credit are highlighting the arrival of monthly payments for eligible families. In South …

A new report says the onset of the pandemic saw a drop of nearly 60% in children's visits to U.S. pediatricians. (Adobe Stock)
A new report says the onset of the pandemic saw a drop of nearly 60% in children's visits to U.S. pediatricians. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Black farmers own just 0.52% of the nation's farmland. (Adobe Stock)
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Black farmers own just 0.52% of the nation's farmland. (Adobe Stock)

EAST TROY, Wis. -- Wisconsin is at the center of a lawsuit targeting federal debt relief for farmers of color. The suit was filed this spring by a …

A class of toxic chemicals known as PFAS have been used in products such as firefighting foam. (Adobe Stock)
A class of toxic chemicals known as PFAS have been used in products such as firefighting foam. (Adobe Stock)

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin policymakers are looking to provide more aid to towns and cities faced with contamination cleanup of so-called "forever …

 

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