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Friday, April 12, 2024

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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.


AARP data shows the prices for the top 25 Medicare Part D drugs tripled since they were introduced. (Adobe Stock)

Thursday, April 11, 2024

VA advocates upset about prescription drug affordability veto

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has vetoed legislation making prescription drugs more affordable. The bill would have created an independent body to evaluate …

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In 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a request for information about updating Essential Health Benefits requirements. It is the first time comments have been requested since 2014. (Adobe Stock)

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

VA Senator calls for updates to ACA health coverage

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., wants to update the 14-year-old Affordable Care Act. He and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., are asking for updates to the Act's …

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Environmental justice communities are linked to health issues that include asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The4 effects of climate change often exacerbate these issues. (Adobe Stock)
VA groups angry over Youngkin’s Environmental Justice Council picks

Environmental organizations in Virginia have united in opposition to Gov. Glenn Youngkin's picks for the state Environmental Justice Council…

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Solar energy makes up 4% of Virginia's energy profile, with the most coming from utility-scale facilities generating one megawatt or more of electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Adobe Stock)
Expanding solar in VA can provide numerous benefits

Virginia energy experts feel a recent push for solar energy legislation could have benefited the state. Senate Bill 697 would have removed a ban on …

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Up to 50% of eligible residents in Virginia's counties were enrolled in a dual-eligible special needs plan in 2021. (Adobe Stock)
VA seniors can benefit from dual-eligible special-needs plans

Virginia seniors can see daily health and well-being benefits from certain health-care plans. Dual-eligible special-needs plans offer Medicare and …

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Drug prices in the United States are, on average, almost three times higher than in 33 other countries. The gap widens to more than four times higher for brand-name drugs. (Adobe Stock)
Advocates urge VA governor to sign prescription-drug affordability bill

With the approval of the Virginia General Assembly, a bill reducing prescription drug prices is sitting on Gov. Glenn Youngkin's desk. The bill …

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More than 876,000 Virginians use SNAP/EBT benefits, costing the state almost $150 million per month. (Adobe Stock)
VA group helps SNAP/EBT users afford fresh foods

During National Nutrition Month, groups like Virginia Fresh Match are providing people with healthy fresh food options. Since 2009, the coalition of …

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Although U.S. government subsidies have helped keep the biomass industry afloat, the programs have a lengthy track record of being unsuccessful. (Adobe Stock)
Biomass company bankruptcy filing shows industry’s instability

Biomass producer Enviva's recent bankruptcy filing is being considered a sign of the industry's volatility. Recent financial challenges have …

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As of June 2023, the World Resources Institute estimates there are 2,277 electric school buses on order, delivered, and operating in the U.S. (Adobe Stock
VA school districts, parents working to get electric school buses

By Elizabeth McGowan for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for Virginia News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism …

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Federal legislation has been introduced to improve the efficiency of the U.S. electrical grid. The FASTER Act would amend the Federal Power Act to expedite the review and permitting of electric transmission facilities. (Adobe Stock)
Transmission upgrades needed to keep U.S. climate goals on track

Environmental groups in Virginia are among those looking at how to improve and modernize electrical grid transmission. Experts said the grid's age …

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A Bankrate/YouGov poll finds 32% of U.S. adults estimate they would need more than $1 million to retire comfortably. However, 45% of workers say it's unlikely they'll be able to save that much. (Adobe Stock)
AARP event prepares Virginians for life after 50

The goal of an AARP Virginia event this weekend is to help people prepare for their 50s and beyond. The "Life at 50-Plus Academy" is a half-day …

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A Virginia worker who takes a month of unpaid leave loses more than $3,700 in income. (Adobe Stock)
VA lawmakers pass minimum wage increase, paid family leave

Virginia lawmakers have approved several bills in the final weeks of their session, including a minimum wage hike. The current minimum wage is $12 …

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