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Friday, June 14, 2024

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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.

Child poverty increased by 5% from 2019 to 2022, with Alabama ranking 45th in the nation at 22%, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Book. (Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
A new report sheds light on child well-being in Alabama, highlighting the need for greater academic and economic support. According to the latest …

Think Big is a national narrative learning community seeking to fill the gap in the progressive communications infrastructure. Think Big Alabama is powered by Topos Partnership in cooperation with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Alabama groups are empowering residents to influence community policies with a new training program. Alabama Arise and Alabama Values are launching …

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, about 39,000 people are confined in Alabama's state or local jails, compared to about 3,400 in federal prisons in the state. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)
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Alabama prisons are considered some of the most crowded in the country, with over 22,000 people housed in facilities designed to hold just 12,000…

The number of Arkansas children living in poverty remained the same as last year. (bonniemarie/Adobe Stock)
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Arkansas is ranked 45th in the 2024 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The annual report ranks states on the overall condition …

Over the last three years, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund's CityStart program has focused specifically on racial wealth equality. (JonoErasmus/Adobe Stock)
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The City of Little Rock is part of a national grant program designed to improve the financial status of Black communities. The Cities for Financial …

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the Arkansas State Guard could be called in to help with cleanup if necessary. (jetcityimage/Adobe stock)
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The National Weather Service continues to survey damage across northern Arkansas after tornadoes ripped through the state over the weekend. Crews …

The number of Florida eighth graders not proficient in math increased in the most recent Kids Count Data Book ranking from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Pixabay)
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Florida is ranked 30th in the 2024 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The annual report ranks states on the overall condition …

Salt marshes are composed of a variety of rushes, sedges and grasses. Florida's dominant salt marsh species include black needle rush (Juncus roemerianus). (Florida DEP)
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With the start of hurricane season, salt marshes are among the natural features playing a critical role in protecting coastal communities by …

The Gulf Coast Resilience Network spans Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. (preschoolinhsrlayout/Pixabay)
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The nonprofit organization Save the Children is collaborating with child care providers in Florida ahead of the upcoming hurricane season. The group …

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Georgia's highest ranking among four domains studied by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its Kids Count Data Book is in education, at 31st. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Georgia remains among the bottom 10 states for children's health, according to the latest Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, about 87,000 people are incarcerated in Georgia's state prisons and/or local jails, compared to about 6,500 in federal prisons in the state. (Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe Stock)
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Some Georgia lawmakers want to lower the jail population, especially in Fulton and Muscogee counties, due to safety concerns and staffing shortages…

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, about eight out of every 10 women have fibroids by age 50. (Adobe Stock)
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More than 26 million women in the United States have fibroids, benign growths typically in the uterus and reproductive organs, and fewer than half of …

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated a total of $16 billion to address legacy pollution, including $11.3 billion in abandoned mine land funding over 15 years. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Kentucky will receive $74 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 million in …

More than 80% of 65-to-69-year-olds are internet users, and two-thirds say they have broadband internet connections at home, according to data from The Pew Research Center. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Kentucky is set to spend $12 million over the next three years to boost internet access in communities across the state. The funding will go toward …

Chronic absence from school may be driving learning loss. Thirty percent of all students (14.7 million students) were chronically absent in 2021-2022, nearly double pre-pandemic rates, according to new data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Adobe Stock)
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New data shows most Kentucky kids are not academically prepared for a successful future. The latest Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

Many school children are still "catching up" on their education after the disruptions during the COVID pandemic, according the 2024 Kids Count report.  (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
A report on the condition of America's children ranks Louisiana near the bottom of the 50 states for economic well-being, health and family, but …

Industrial emissions of carcinogenic chemicals disproportionately occur in neighborhoods where African American, Hispanic, Latino residents, including many living in poverty. (Oleksii Fadieiev/Adobe Stock)
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An environmental justice organization in Wallace, Louisiana, says it won't back down in a fight for the health of its historic community. The …

The current Louisiana Constitution protects Medicaid and salary stipends for police, firefighters and other first responders. (Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe Stock)
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Teachers in Louisiana are trying to stop an upcoming constitutional convention proposed by Gov. Jeff Landry. The governor, who has been in office for …

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Both public and private organizations across Mississippi reported using Mississippi Kids Count data for grant applications over the past three years resulted in a collective $48 million to programs and services in the state. (gpointstudio/Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Mississippi ranks near the bottom among states for children's well-being, at 49th overall in the new Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law significantly impacts the cleanup of orphaned oil and gas wells. Since its passage, states have plugged more than 7,000 wells, eliminating an estimated 11,530 metric tons of potential methane emissions. (MarekPhotoDesign.com/AdobeStock)
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New federal funding will help bolster Mississippi's efforts to track down, clean up and tackle pollution from orphaned oil and gas wells. The …

Prison-to-College Pipeline Program Director Patrick Alexander, far right, and PTCPP teaching assistant, Juyoun Jang, far left, celebrate with PTCPP students who completed the Summer 2022 course titled, "Freedom Stories: Then and Now." (Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Corrections)
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A program in Mississippi is increasing access to educational opportunities for those behind bars. The University of Mississippi's Prison-to-College …

Other efforts in North Carolina aimed at protecting salt marshes include Gov. Roy Cooper's Executive Order 80, and the state's 2020 Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan. (Adobe Stock)
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Friday, June 14, 2024
Hurricane season is here, and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities…

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. It claimed more lives in 2021 than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined. (Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
A North Carolina woman is highlighting how important knowing your family history can be in matters of the heart. According to the American Heart …

Revolution Mill is a former textile factory, spanning 45 acres about two miles outside downtown Greensboro. The 800,000-square-foot development features shops, offices, restaurants and apartments, and 2005 Revolution Mill, a $38 million mixed-use commercial and residential project. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Federal New Market Tax Credits are helping transform abandoned areas and boost local communities in North Carolina and across the nation. In …

About 40% of children in America have had one or more adverse childhood experiences such as divorce, incarceration of a parent, domestic violence or even witnessing a violent act, according to the 2024 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
A report on the condition of America's children ranks South Carolina near the bottom of the 50 states in economic well-being, education and family …

Clapper rails find food, shelter and a place to raise their young in the highly productive South Carolina salt marsh habitat. (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources)
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With hurricane season underway, South Carolina's 344,000 acres of salt marshes are the first line of defense for the state's lowcountry against storm …

As of last December, 4.16 million fewer children were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program nationwide than the month before each state began the process of renewing post-COVID eligibility. (Adobe Stock)
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More than 65,000 children in South Carolina have lost their health insurance through Medicaid, despite being eligible for coverage, according to a …

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As of March, Tennessee still had about 23% of its federal education funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program, which could be used to help boost achievement. The deadline to allocate the funding is Sept. 30. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Tennessee ranks in the middle among states for the well-being of its children, at 36th overall in the new Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E…

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has proposed issuing water withdrawal permits, which would allow several local water utilities to increase the amount of water they pull from the Duck River by about 16 million gallons daily. (RobertMiller/Adobe Stock)<br />
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The Duck River, which flows through seven Middle Tennessee counties, has made a national list of "most endangered" rivers. The group American Rivers …

While 67.7% of Tennesseans are homeowners, a rate that ranks 29th in the country, nearly 20% of<br />homeowners are cost burdened. (D Guest Smith/Adobe)
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In response to Tennessee's critical housing shortage, a new law allows local governments to incentivize developers to build more affordable housing…

The Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Book finds 13% of Virginia kids live in poverty, a figure that has stagnated from previous years. However, it is lower than the national average of 16%. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
A new report finds Virginia's economic instability disturbs kids' well-being. The Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Book ranks Virginia 16th nationwide …

A First Street Foundation report found 7.5 million people are expected to leave current and emerging climates in the next 30 years. (Adobe Stock)
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As summer storms begin, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network is speaking to people about how climate change affects them. Worsening storms are …

The American Lung Association found the public health benefits of moving to zero-emission transportation are saving almost $30 billion in public health costs, and avoiding 2,700 deaths, 70,900 asthma attacks and 350,000 lost workdays. (Adobe Stock)
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Gov. Glenn Youngkin is rolling back Virginia's clean-car standards. The General Assembly passed legislation adopting California's clean-car …

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated a total of $16 billion to address legacy pollution, including $11.3 billion in Abandoned Mind Land funding over 15 years. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Friday, June 14, 2024
West Virginia will receive $140 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 …

Chronic absence from school may be driving learning loss. Thirty percent of all students, or about 14.7 million, were chronically absent in 2021-2022, nearly double pre-pandemic rates, according to new data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Math and reading proficiency among West Virginia kids has worsened over the past five years, according to new data. The latest Kids Count Data Book …

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which for nearly 50 years had affirmed the constitutional right to an abortion. (Adobe Stock)
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As Texas made recent headlines for ruling against a group of women seeking abortion for serious pregnancy complications, polling found one in five …

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