PNS Daily Newscast - March 22, 2018 

New research finds stiffer prison terms do not deter drug use. Also on our nationwide rundown: We take you to a state where 4 in 10 adults have guns; and “ghost” fishing gear is killing whales and seals in oceans.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - MN: Health Issues

The Minnesota Department of Health says almost every state has experienced a record-breaking flu season. (Jeremy Tenenbaum/Flickr)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – It's been a record-breaking flu season, but it seems things have turned a corner. The Minnesota Department of Health reports there were more than 100 flu-related hospitalizations in the state the week ending March 10. But that's about half the number reported the previous w

Parents are reminded during this National Poison Control Week not to take medications in front of young children, who are more likely to mimic them with serious consequences. (User Jaime/Flickr)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – This is National Poison Prevention Week - and in Minnesota, the goal is to dispel some common myths about whether and when to call the Poison Help Hotline or head to an emergency room. More than 40,000 calls are made to the Minnesota Poison Control System every year, but acc

The Minnesota Department of Health says about 580,000 people in the state are smokers, a rate of 14.4 percent. (Ida Myrvold/Flickr)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota could raise the minimum age for tobacco purchases under a proposal in the Legislature. Five states and nearly 300 cities across the country have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, including five Minnesota cities. The so-called "Tobacco 2

Critics of the Trump budget proposal warn it could reverse efforts to get healthy, local foods to low-income Minnesota families. (Marco Verch/FlickR)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Trump budget proposal would cut almost $20 billion next year from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), once commonly known as food stamps. More than 600,000 Minnesotans benefit from SNAP and could be affected, according to Colleen Moriarty, executive directo

Eric Sannerud (right) and his partner Ben Boo are among the first and biggest hops farmers in Minnesota. (Mighty Axe Farms)

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Community food systems are a growing trend in Minnesota - farmers markets are just one example. Erin McKee with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy runs a program that helps schools and day care centers buy from local farmers. She'd like to expand the system, but

According to the United Nations, U.S. spending on pharmaceuticals is at least 30 percent higher than in other high-income countries. (Kiran Foster/FlickR)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – As the price of prescription drugs keeps going up and Congress provides no solution, states are beginning to take matters into their own hands. States have regulatory authority and the economic power to buy medicine in bulk. So Seth Boffeli, communications director for AARP

Meterologists say this winter's January temperatures were average for Minnesota. (Laurie Stern)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Only about one in four Minnesota households eligible for help with heating bills is getting it. The Low Income Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, gives the state Commerce Department more than $100 million, distributed though social service providers such as Three Rivers

The air quality index forecast team at the MPCA analyzes data from monitors at 17 locations. (Roberta Heine/Minnesota Association of Professional Employees)

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Scientists with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have developed a way to notify more Minnesotans sooner about air pollution - and save the state money at the same time. Since June, the state agency has increased the number of locations it monitors, and is using artifi

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