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Monday, May 29, 2023

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Advocates call for a climate peace clause in U.S.-E.U. trade talks, negotiations yield a tentative debt ceiling deal, an Idaho case unravels federal water protections, and a wet spring eases Iowa's drought.

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Gold Star families gather to remember loved ones on Memorial Day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the House will vote on a debt ceiling bill this week and America's mayors lay out their strategies for summertime public safety.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

A wetland and marsh area at Chain O' Lakes State Park. Illinois' Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989 set a goal of no net loss of wetlands due to projects funded by the state. (GoodFreePhotos.com)
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Friday, May 26, 2023
A U.S. Supreme Court decision is shaking up the environmental community in Illinois and across the country. The high court ruled 5-4 on Thursday …

Illinois state agencies will be required to use the Middle Eastern or North African classification for reporting workforce or hiring data as of July 1, 2025. (Marko/Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
Illinois is making history as the first state to collect Middle Eastern and North African representation data on all state forms and surveys…

Illinois had almost 1,000 juveniles incarcerated in adult correctional facilities in 2021, at an annual cost of almost $33 million, according to a Human Rights for Kids report. (napatacha/Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Illinois could soon be the fourth state to pass a law to prevent unfair youth sentencing. The legislation encourages criminal courts to recognize …

CDC data from 2020 reveals about one in 36 children in the United States is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
College is the opportunity to gain some independence, learn time management and make new friends. But high school graduates with autism spectrum …

Advocates say Mental Health Awareness Month helps fight the stigma that is often associated with mental illness. (Adobe stock)
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Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Ask Hoosiers to describe May in Indiana, and you'll likely hear about the Indianapolis 500, but this month is about more than racing. May is Mental …

An environmental advocate says nature and quiet spaces are important to businesses looking for new locations to expand or build. (Adobe stock)
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As dust settles from the 2023 Indiana legislative session, Hoosiers may discover lawmakers made some decisions with which members from both sides of …

The "Water Year" typically starts on Oct. 1, and represents the time when new water Iowa receives goes to help the next year's growing season. (Adobe Stock)
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Friday, May 26, 2023
For the first time in nearly three years, the widespread drought that has had Iowa in its grip is predicted to end. The latest drought outlook says …

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Every 3 minutes and 14 seconds, someone dies of stroke. Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
Researchers at the University of Iowa are using one of the body's naturally occurring waste products to treat stroke, potentially lessening the …

More than 241,000 new apprentices entered the national apprenticeship system in 2021, and more than 593,000 are getting the skills they need to succeed while building financial security, according to the Department of Labor. (Adobe Stock)
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Iowa Workforce Development is making millions of dollars available to train and retain employees in the state. It's one way officials are attempting …

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Black employees encounter discrimination against appearance of natural hairstyles including but not limited to braids, dreadlocks, twists and Afros. (Olesia Bilkei/Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
The Michigan Senate has passed legislation to confirm wearing natural hair should not prevent anyone from rising in the workplace, in education or in …

Research has found that about 90% of individuals who die by suicide experience mental illness, which oftentimes is undiagnosed or untreated. (Adobe Stock)
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Trinity Health Michigan is joining a new nationwide network of hospitals collaborating on suicide prevention. Research shows nearly half the people …

Miigwech Inc. represents 12 federally recognized tribes. (Philip Hutchinson/Northern Territory Photography)
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With elections on the horizon, Indigenous groups in Michigan are educating native communities about how they can make their voices heard to make …

As workers try to move forward from the pandemic's aftereffects, labor leaders, including the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, say protections and stronger benefits should help get their careers back on track. (Adobe Stock)
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Friday, May 26, 2023
Minnesota legislators adopted a lot of major policies in this year's session, including actions to support workers in many different fields. State …

Community Action Agencies provide services that go beyond energy assistance and home weatherization. Many offer job training programs that take into account the barriers low-income individuals face in advancing in the workplace. (Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, May 24, 2023
May is Community Action Month, and Minnesota agencies that help address poverty say demand for services isn't going away. To help clients thrive…

Beyond wellness checks and important screenings, health experts recommend women take personal time to reflect or relax to keep the stress from building up. (Adobe Stock)
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As Women's Health Month continues, experts in Minnesota and elsewhere are reminding women to prioritize their well-being. The Centers for Disease …

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls well-child visits "essential" because they track growth and developmental milestones, allow sharing of parents' concerns, and ensure scheduled vaccinations to prevent diseases such as measles and whooping cough. (bnenin/Adobe Stock)
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Although Missouri's 2023 legislative session was contentious and resulted in a historically low number of bills being passed, advocates for children …

The CDC reports along with lack of sleep, shift work, untreated sleep disorders and alcohol can contribute to drowsy driving. In a survey by the agency, 1 in 25 drivers over the age of 18 reported having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.  <br />(Photo: Maksym/AdobeStock)
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Feeling tired may be a chronic condition for many people in this country, with the number feeling this way varying from state to state. In a 2020 …

Report data shows the number of Black students enrolled in America's community colleges in 2020 was the same as in 2000. (Marharyta Hanhalo/Adobe Stock)
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A recent report looking at Black enrollment in the nation's colleges shows a stark downturn in recent years. The Lumina Foundation's Level Up report …

In 2021, nearly 61 million Americans volunteered for an organization, reflecting a value of almost $123 billion. (WavebreakmediaMicro/Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, May 24, 2023
If you know of a Nebraskan age 50 or older who actively supports his or her community through volunteering, you might want to nominate them for the 20…

Nebraska's extensive wetlands include marshes, lakes, river and stream backwaters, oxbows, wet meadows, fens, forested swamps, and seeps. (Phyre Sky/Adobe Stock)
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May is American Wetlands Month, and Nebraska has bragging rights when it comes to wetlands. None of the surrounding states have comparable amounts of …

Nationwide, 543 anti-trans bills have been introduced since the start of the 2023 legislative session. So far, 70 have passed. (James Reininger/Adobe Stock)
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This week the Nebraska Legislature will consider a bill containing the two most controversial issues of the 2023 session: restrictions on medical trea…

Some North Dakota lawmakers say the state has done a good job in analyzing such matters as behavioral health in recent years. They hope it can do the same for affordable housing, as demand for support programs appears evident. (Adobe Stock)
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May is Community Action Month, and in North Dakota, groups trying to help households escape poverty are gathering feedback on which obstacles are the …

North Dakota housing advocates said a landlord placing unreasonable occupancy standards on families is likely in violation of state and federal law. (Adobe Stock)
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A housing discrimination case in North Dakota dealing with occupancy standards has resulted in a settlement, and advocates say it underscores the …

Across the nation, AARP says the estimated economic value of family caregivers' unpaid contributions now stands at $600 billion. (Adobe Stock)
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North Dakota's population includes 16% of its residents aged 65 and older, with demographers predicting the number will increase, and a new report …

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Adults ages 65 and older make up approximately 16.8% of the U.S. population, or more than 55.8 million adults, and are estimated to comprise 21% of the population (73.1 million) by 2030, according to a new report from UnitedHealthcare. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
By 2030, more than one in five Americans - more than 73 million people age 65 and over - will be of retirement age, as the last of the Baby Boomer …

One in three API women report experiencing sexual violence victimization, not including rape, in their lifetime, according to the Center at 909. (Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, May 24, 2023
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, and according to the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, the number of Asian American …

Ohio's public schools serve 1.6 million students of all races, backgrounds, genders and abilities, but diversity is not reflected in the state's education workforce, according to the Ohio Education Association. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Ohio's historically Black colleagues and universities are working to produce a pipeline of diverse teachers. Black students make up nearly 17% of …

While there has been some backlash from customers, a number of states have adopted laws that allow dogs to be at outdoor restaurants, so long as they stay away from food preparation. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
May is National Pet Month, and South Dakota residents considering adoption are urged to do careful planning - while also making sure dogs can handle …

South Dakota officials say their new program, which gives rural EMS crews access to telemedicine inside an ambulance, is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the U.S. (Adobe Stock)
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People might picture a defibrillator or stretcher when they think of a first responder. But what about an iPad? South Dakota says a new program …

According to the National Education Association, there's been a 2% increase in the average public school teacher salary across the country. (Adobe Stock)
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Teacher Appreciation Week is underway. In South Dakota, there's a mixed outlook from educators on whether they feel supported. Coinciding with this …

One of the tax credits offered under the Inflation Reduction Act is a home energy audit, where property owners can find out if their home is wasting energy. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
Clean-energy products, such as electric vehicles or home heat pump systems, might seem out of reach for a lot of people. But with federal incentives …

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends every woman get a well-woman checkup once a year. (Adobe Stock)
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As Women's Health Week continues, experts in Wisconsin and elsewhere are reminding women to prioritize their well-being. The Centers for Disease …

Beyond extending postnatal health coverage, some health leaders say improving paid-leave benefits can help address health complications that pregnant women can face, such as an elevated risk for stroke. (Adobe Stock)
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Research has emerged about the link between pregnancy complications and a higher risk of stroke, and a Wisconsin health expert suggested it is a risk …

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