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Friday, April 19, 2024

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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.


128 of the 351 cities and towns in the state have had a change in their local clerk or chief election official since the 2020 presidential election, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of State. (Adobe Stock) <br />

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Turnover in MA election officials as presidential election nears

Heightened scrutiny and harassment are helping fuel an increasing turnover rate of election officials in Massachusetts and beyond, according to a new …

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The United Nations reported security threats in Haiti have forced the closure of some 900 schools, depriving approximately 200,000 children of their right to education. (Adobe Stock)
MA Haitian-led groups call for end to deportations as terror grips island

Haitian-led groups in Massachusetts are calling for a temporary pause in deportations as political instability and violence engulf the island…

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Studies show the Earned Income Tax Credit and other rebates improve the health of mothers and infants, educational outcomes for children and future earnings of parents. But tax-prep volunteers say up to 20% of Massachusetts families who qualify for the refunds don't claim them. (Adobe Stock)<br /><br /><br />
MA taxpayers benefit from IRS Direct File pilot program

Massachusetts residents can take advantage of a new pilot program from the Internal Revenue Service, which allows people to file their taxes online …

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Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Student advocates say the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative has already helped to grow cultural food options at Middlesex Community College, enroll eligible students for SNAP benefits at UMass Boston and provide meals for homeless students during breaks at Salem State University. (MASSPIRG)
MA students urge lawmakers to fund campus anti-hunger efforts

A coalition of college students and administrators is asking state lawmakers to help fight food insecurity on campus. The group is asking for $2 …

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Massachusetts residents can call the MassHealth Service Center to speak with a counselor and determine if they qualify for a dual-eligible special-needs plan at 800-841-2900. (Adobe Stock)<br />
MA seniors encouraged to take advantage of dual-use special needs plans

Health care advocates in Massachusetts said special health care plans are available for seniors and people with disabilities to help ensure they get t…

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More than 71 million Americans saw a 3.2% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments this year with the average retirement benefit increasing by more than $50 per month. (Adobe Stock)
GOP proposal threatens cuts to MA Social Security benefits

Congressional Republicans' proposed changes to Social Security have advocates for Massachusetts beneficiaries concerned about the future of the key sa…

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In 2023, the Vatican's doctrinal office announced that transgender people could potentially be baptized in the Catholic church and serve as godparents but noted any baptisms should not risk
Queer churches in MA and nationwide offer all identities safe, sacred spaces

By Sara Youngblood Gregory for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public …

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Atlantic herring serve as valuable bait for fishermen and lobstermen in Massachusetts, making them  vital to the health of the state's blue economy, which grew 38% between 2009 and 2019. (Adobe Stock)
New England anglers seek greater protections for Atlantic herring stock

Recreational fishermen in New England say commercial trawlers are threatening the survival of smaller businesses relying on a healthy stock of Atlanti…

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The American Federation of Teachers in Amesbury is calling on the School Committee to support an 8.04% increase to ensure level services for students and retain staff and reject an initial 3.16% proposal, which they say would be ">
Proposed Amesbury school budget cuts rally parents, educators

The Amesbury School Committee will hear from educators and parents tonight as they rally to prevent more than $2 million in proposed cuts to their sch…

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More than 75% of Massachusetts mothers with infants also work. For those who rely on child care facilities, the majority require parents to supply a week's worth of diapers at a time or find alternative care. (Adobe Stock) <br />
MA diaper distribution program helps families make ends meet

Supporters of a federal pilot program to distribute diapers to low-income families in Massachusetts hope to build upon its success. More than 1 …

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The CDC's new COVID-19 isolation recommendations follow a decline in hospitalizations nationwide and as the disease falls from being the nation's third leading cause of death early in the pandemic, to 10th last year. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Long-COVID fighters feel 'sucker-punched' by new CDC guidance

Advocates for people who suffer or have died from COVID-19 in Massachusetts and around the country say they're alarmed by new federal health recommend…

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Massachusetts has been losing roughly 5,000 acres of forest each year to housing and industrial development as well as large-scale solar power installations, according to Mass Audubon. (Adobe Stock)
MA reforestation plan aims to counter urban heat islands

A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …

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