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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Legislation Could Cut Cord on MN Landline Phone Services

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Thursday, March 5, 2015   

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Legislation being considered at the state Capitol could leave many Minnesotans disconnected, with consumer groups saying there are several bills that may jeopardize the availability of affordable and reliable landline phone service.

One proposal would prohibit the regulation of voice-over-Internet phone services but Will Phillips, state director AARP Minnesota, says as a result those companies could stop servicing traditional landlines.

"In certain parts of the state, broadband or cellular service is spotty at best," says Phillips. "We also know in case of emergencies, in case of wanting to connect with 9-1-1, landline services are things people count on."

Despite the increase in cell and Internet phone services in recent years, the number of homes using landlines is still greater than the number that have gone wireless only.

Phillips says in addition to the impact on those in rural Minnesota where Internet or cell service can be spotty, the loss of landlines would also effect many seniors.

"We know many older Minnesotans choose to have both a landline and a cell phone, and then certainly again people in Greater Minnesota where that coverage is not quite where it needs to be," he says. "We want to make sure that landline services are there for those folks until those types of things are fixed and really brought up to speed."

More information on the related legislation is at the AARP Minnesota website.


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