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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Report: Maine In Top Quarter for Overall Child Well-Being

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Thursday, June 25, 2020   

AUGUSTA, Maine -- A national report ranks Maine in the top quarter among states for overall child well-being.

The annual Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book shows Maine faring fourth in the category of family and community indicators, including fewer children living in high-poverty areas.

Helen Hemminger, research associate for Kids Count at the Maine Children's Alliance, said the state also has a lower teen birth rate.

"I think that's an area, New England and Maine, [that] has been good about access to birth control over time. And I think that shows in that measure," said Hemminger.

But Maine lags behind in other categories, such as education.

This report uses data from 2018, based on the latest available information. The Casey Foundation plans to publish an update on how COVID-19 is impacting children.

Hemminger said health insurance is at the top of her mind.

"I'm really concerned about kids who've lost their insurance because of the unemployment of the parents," she explained. "How their health care will continue is sort of an open question that's been hard to get good data. Of the people who are unemployed, how many have dependent children? That's a hard number to get."

Hemminger noted that this information is difficult to find because people filing for unemployment aren't asked if they have dependent children.

Some 5% of children in Maine and nationally didn't have health insurance in the latest Kids Count report, based on data before the pandemic.



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