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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.

Fallen TX firefighters to be remembered at national ceremony

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Wednesday, May 1, 2024   

More than 1,000 family members of firefighters who died in the line of duty, including some from Texas, will gather in Emmitsburg, Maryland, starting this Friday, to honor their loved ones.

The occasion is the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend and 13 of the firefighters being honored are from Texas.

Victor Stagnaro, CEO of the National Firefighters Foundation, said their names will be added to a memorial wall.

"Every firefighter that's died in the line of duty since 1981 has their name inscribed on a bronze plaque that's mounted on a marble wall," Stagnaro explained. "The monument itself at the center is a marble sphere, I would say, and there's a flame that never goes out."

Fire chiefs from around the country will present the families with a rose, a badge and an American flag flown at the U.S. Capitol and the memorial site. Anyone who would like to honor the firefighters can participate in "Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters," this Wednesday through Sunday night, by lighting their homes, businesses and other landmarks with red lights, or by signing a virtual remembrance banner on the foundation's website.

The Foundation was formed in 1992 to not only honor those firefighters who pass away but provide support for their relatives. Through a "Fire Hero Family Network," survivors are matched with others who have similar experiences and circumstances. Stagnaro pointed out assistance is available for however long it's needed.

"We continue to support those families -- through scholarships, through wellness conferences, we have kid's camps -- all other types of activities to help support those families throughout the year," Stagnaro outlined.

He added relatives of people honored in previous years will be in attendance this weekend to offer support to those who are just beginning their journey. This year's tribute is for 226 fallen firefighters nationwide.


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