Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Minority-owned Southern businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic with a fund's help; President Biden says don't panic over the new COVID variant; and eye doctors gauge the risk of dying from COVID.

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U.S. Senate is back in session with a long holiday to-do list that includes avoiding a government shutdown; negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal resume; and Jack Dorsey resigns as CEO of Twitter.

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South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Advocates for eliminating group-home settings for foster care say they are more expensive per child than in-home placements with families, and lead to worse outcomes. (Adobe Stock)
Advocates for eliminating group-home settings for foster care say they are more expensive per child than in-home placements with families, and lead to worse outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

CHICAGO -- Group homes and large institutional foster-care settings should be phased out, according to the latest survey of kids in the system…

Black youths are disproportionately impacted by the lack of a minimum age for criminal responsibility in Illinois; 60% to 62% of kids age 10 to 13 who are arrested are Black. (md3d/Adobe Stock)
Black youths are disproportionately impacted by the lack of a minimum age for criminal responsibility in Illinois; 60% to 62% of kids age 10 to 13 who are arrested are Black. (md3d/Adobe Stock)

CHICAGO -- At this week's World Congress on Justice with Children, Illinois experts and researchers shared ways the U.S. could work to get back in …

Compassion and Choices has a "Dementia Values and Priorities" toolkit that can help folks start conversations about their wishes for their care. (Windy Night/Adobe Stock)
Compassion and Choices has a "Dementia Values and Priorities" toolkit that can help folks start conversations about their wishes for their care. (Windy Night/Adobe Stock)

CHICAGO -- Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in Illinois, and groups advocating for end-of-life planning say now is the time to …

Advocates say states extending foster care-related supports to young adults beyond age 18 is one step toward improving outcomes for those who've experienced the foster-care system. (mizinra/Adobe Stock)
Advocates say states extending foster care-related supports to young adults beyond age 18 is one step toward improving outcomes for those who've experienced the foster-care system. (mizinra/Adobe Stock)

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the holiday season draws near, groups are spotlighting ways to support young people transitioning to adulthood after spending time …

Gas bills in Indianapolis are expected to be on average $10 more per month this winter compared with last year. (fizkes/Adobe Stock)
Gas bills in Indianapolis are expected to be on average $10 more per month this winter compared with last year. (fizkes/Adobe Stock)

INDIANAPOLIS - As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Hoosier households know how to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy …

This year's Andrus Award recipient in Indiana helps with AARP's Driver Safety program. (and.one/Adobe Stock)
This year's Andrus Award recipient in Indiana helps with AARP's Driver Safety program. (and.one/Adobe Stock)

INDIANAPOLIS -- As we enter the holiday season, groups are spotlighting community service and the value it brings for both volunteers and the people …

When it comes to health coverage, 36% of Iowa children are enrolled in public assistance programs. (Adobe Stock)
When it comes to health coverage, 36% of Iowa children are enrolled in public assistance programs. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
DES MOINES, Iowa -- As Congress continues to debate the Build Back Better Act, a new report shows how it would address health coverage and access …

Human service providers say even after a foster contract has been fulfilled, maintaining connections with kids who have aged out of the system can provide much-needed stability as they move into adulthood. (Adobe Stock)
Human service providers say even after a foster contract has been fulfilled, maintaining connections with kids who have aged out of the system can provide much-needed stability as they move into adulthood. (Adobe Stock)

DES MOINES, Iowa - With the holidays near, foster families in Iowa are encouraged to maintain close connections with older teens no longer receiving …

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The Michigan Energy Assistance program can help with paying utility bills and weatherization tips to keep the heat in your home. (weyo/Adobe Stock)
The Michigan Energy Assistance program can help with paying utility bills and weatherization tips to keep the heat in your home. (weyo/Adobe Stock)

DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …

Methane emissions have been linked to negative health outcomes, such as headaches, nausea, memory loss and other issues. (Denys Prykhodov/Adobe Stock)
Methane emissions have been linked to negative health outcomes, such as headaches, nausea, memory loss and other issues. (Denys Prykhodov/Adobe Stock)

LANSING, Mich. -- A public utility in Michigan is launching a pilot program to reduce its methane emissions. Consumers Energy has what it calls the …

Groups are spotlighting the affordable-housing provisions in Build Back Better that they say could make a big difference for Michiganders. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)
Groups are spotlighting the affordable-housing provisions in Build Back Better that they say could make a big difference for Michiganders. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

DETROIT -- Groups say the Build Back Better Act would bring economic opportunity to many Michigan residents, from helping with access to affordable …

Some estimates say roughly 150,000 rural Minnesotans lack access to high-speed internet, affecting things such as distance learning. (Adobe Stock)
Some estimates say roughly 150,000 rural Minnesotans lack access to high-speed internet, affecting things such as distance learning. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
PRINCETON, Minn. -- President Joe Biden is expected to visit Minnesota today to tout passage of the new federal infrastructure bill. Those working …

Minnesota student-loan borrowers have an average of $31,250 in public and private education debt. (New Africa/Adobe Stock)
Minnesota student-loan borrowers have an average of $31,250 in public and private education debt. (New Africa/Adobe Stock)

Monday, November 29, 2021
MINNEAPOLIS -- Student loan borrowers take note: A pause on federal student-loan payments is set to end when February rolls around. The moratorium on …

Nationally, more than 4.5 million households reported being at risk of eviction in the next two months, according to recent Census surveys. (Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock)
Nationally, more than 4.5 million households reported being at risk of eviction in the next two months, according to recent Census surveys. (Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Groups working to keep Missouri residents in their homes since the pandemic began are trying to identify the barriers to receiving …

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, despite inflation. (Missouri Workers Center)
The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, despite inflation. (Missouri Workers Center)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new group aims to bridge racial and geographic divides between Missouri workers, to help bring economic prosperity to everyone…

Retired U.S. Navy hospital corpsman Donald "Doc" Ballard hails from Missouri and is among the 66 still-living Medal of Honor recipients. (Wikimedia Commons)
Retired U.S. Navy hospital corpsman Donald "Doc" Ballard hails from Missouri and is among the 66 still-living Medal of Honor recipients. (Wikimedia Commons)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Americans from former presidents to friends and family of military service members are marking today's Veterans Day holiday by …

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Of the 142,176 veterans living in Nebraska, only 33% have utilized their earned benefits at VA health care, according to U.S. Census data. (Adobe Stock)
Of the 142,176 veterans living in Nebraska, only 33% have utilized their earned benefits at VA health care, according to U.S. Census data. (Adobe Stock)

LINCOLN, Neb. - November is National Veterans and Military Families Month, and AARP has launched a free, one-stop online resource to help more …

Between two and four years after aging out of foster care, 46% of young people had not finished high school, 51% were unemployed and 84% became parents. (Adobe Stock)
Between two and four years after aging out of foster care, 46% of young people had not finished high school, 51% were unemployed and 84% became parents. (Adobe Stock)

OMAHA, Neb. -- Some 24,000 teenagers in foster care across the nation officially become adults each year; in Nebraska it happens on their 19th …

Advocates for extending pandemic-related universal free school meals say the program helps remove the stigma of so-called "poor kids meals." (Adobe Stock)
Advocates for extending pandemic-related universal free school meals say the program helps remove the stigma of so-called "poor kids meals." (Adobe Stock)

GOTHENBURG, Neb. -- During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of …

A new report says among responding districts, only 8% of North Dakota schools have LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum. (Adobe Stock)
A new report says among responding districts, only 8% of North Dakota schools have LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum. (Adobe Stock)

FARGO, N.D. -- A new report details how North Dakota students who identify as LGBTQ+ often struggle with the environment within their schools…

Since 2017, North Dakota has had around 1,500 children younger than 18 living in foster care annually. (Adobe Stock)
Since 2017, North Dakota has had around 1,500 children younger than 18 living in foster care annually. (Adobe Stock)

DICKINSON, N.D. -- Efforts continue in North Dakota to carry out programs put in limbo by this year's closing of Lutheran Social Services (LSS)…

In 2020, Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the state of North Dakota, but some state GOP lawmakers say there's still the need to push for election reforms. (Adobe Stock)
In 2020, Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the state of North Dakota, but some state GOP lawmakers say there's still the need to push for election reforms. (Adobe Stock)

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota's special session is getting attention for issues outside the original agenda. Some lawmakers are pushing for changes …

Without health-care coverage, children are more likely to have unmet health needs and a regular source of care. (Rido/Adobe Stock)<br /><br /><br />
Without health-care coverage, children are more likely to have unmet health needs and a regular source of care. (Rido/Adobe Stock)


Tuesday, November 30, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Health advocates are pressing the U.S. Senate to approve the Build Back Better Act, because it would improve Medicaid and the …

Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)<br />
Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…

Research suggests that the earlier in life teens use alcohol, the more likely they are to abuse it. (Adobe Stock)
Research suggests that the earlier in life teens use alcohol, the more likely they are to abuse it. (Adobe Stock)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The holiday season has officially started, and one group is encouraging Ohio parents to make a special effort to check in with their …

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Those opposed to efforts by some South Dakota leaders to block voter-approved questions, such as recreational marijuana, say rejecting the will of the voters sets a dangerous precedent. (Adobe Stock)
Those opposed to efforts by some South Dakota leaders to block voter-approved questions, such as recreational marijuana, say rejecting the will of the voters sets a dangerous precedent. (Adobe Stock)

PIERRE, S.D. -- Supporters of establishing recreational marijuana in South Dakota say they're pouring all their energy into a new ballot initiative…

This is one the new homes in the Simply Smiles Children's Village on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. The specialized homes provide culturally specific foster care to Indigenous children. (Simply Smiles)
This is one the new homes in the Simply Smiles Children's Village on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. The specialized homes provide culturally specific foster care to Indigenous children. (Simply Smiles)

LA PLANT, S.D. -- South Dakota has struggled to establish a network of foster parents in tribal communities, but solutions are in play, including a …

A nonpartisan analysis says South Dakota government would have to pay for only a small percentage of Medicaid expansion costs, if approved by voters. (Adobe Stock)
A nonpartisan analysis says South Dakota government would have to pay for only a small percentage of Medicaid expansion costs, if approved by voters. (Adobe Stock)

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Secretary of State today is expected to receive signatures from a campaign pushing for Medicaid expansion. The …

Researchers say the links between experiences of racial discrimination and negative health outcomes are more pronounced for Black Americans than for any other group. (Adobe Stock)
Researchers say the links between experiences of racial discrimination and negative health outcomes are more pronounced for Black Americans than for any other group. (Adobe Stock)

MADISON, Wis. - The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict continues to evoke a range of emotions from the public. A University of Wisconsin expert says the …

Racial justice advocates say there's no good outcome from the Kyle Rittenhouse case because they feel the legal system still enables white supremacy. (Adobe Stock)
Racial justice advocates say there's no good outcome from the Kyle Rittenhouse case because they feel the legal system still enables white supremacy. (Adobe Stock)

Kenosha, WI - The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has announced not-guilty verdicts on all charges in the case. Ground-level activists say the …

Wisconsin needs new political maps before the 2022 elections, but so far, partisan divides are getting in the way of the process. (Adobe Stock)
Wisconsin needs new political maps before the 2022 elections, but so far, partisan divides are getting in the way of the process. (Adobe Stock)

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's heavily-debated redistricting process entered a new phase Thursday, when the governor followed through on his promise to …

 

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