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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Minnesota public safety agencies reeling from weekend tragedy; Speaker Johnson faces critical decision on Ukraine aid; Public comment sought on proposal to limit growth in health-care costs; MS postal union workers voice concerns about understaffing, mail delays.

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Truckers for Trump threaten to strike over his massive civil fine for business fraud in New York City. Biden wants Norfolk Southern held accountable one year after an Ohio derailment and dangerous chemical spill and faith leaders call for peace in the Israel-Hamas war.

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Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

Alabama

To be eligible for judicial review under House Bill 29, an inmate must have been sentenced prior to May 26, 2000, meaning anyone eligible would have served at least 24 years in prison. (Adobe Stock)
AL lawmakers urged to rethink lengthy prison sentences

More than 7,000 people age 50 or older are serving time in Alabama prisons, and prison reform advocates have said the system is ill prepared for …

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In Alabama, you lose your voting rights if you are convicted of certain felonies under state<br />law. If you are convicted in federal court or in another state, you only lose your voting rights if your conviction would constitute a disqualifying offense under Alabama law. (Adobe Stock)
Working to help Alabama residents understand, restore voting rights

As people in Alabama mobilize for the 2024 General Election, one group wants to make it easier for those with felony records to understand their …

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About 60% of the nation's students in chronically underfunded districts are in just 10 states, including Alabama. (Adobe Stock)<br /><br />
Alabama schools among 'most underfunded' in the nation

A new report showed Alabama is among 39 states that "critically underfunds" its K-12 public schools. The report on the state school finance systems …

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The EmpowerED Conference aims to create a platform for collaboration, inspiration and knowledge-sharing among leaders, educators and students within the HBCC/PBCC network, according to Alabama Possible. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama's Black community colleges join forces to increase education access

Black community colleges across Alabama are teaming up to expand their reach in the state. Chandra Scott is executive director of nonprofit …

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According to the National Weather Service, the Jan. 12, 2023 storm tore across the landscape for almost 23 miles with wind speeds that peaked at 130 miles per hour. It tracked northeast from near Orrville, through downtown Selma, and ended near Burnsville. (Benjamin Simeneta/Adobe Stock)
Alabama communities reflect on building resilience after tornado devastation

It's been just over one year since tornadoes ravaged communities in areas such as Dallas, Coosa and Tallapoosa counties in Alabama. While the new …

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There were 11 gas executions in the U.S., using cyanide, between 1979 and 1999, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a research group tracking executions. (Adobe Stock)
Concerns raised about AL's first-in-nation nitrogen-gas execution

By Maurice Chammah for The Marshall Project.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection reporting for the Marshall Project-Public New…

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In the United States, more than 44 million people, including 13 million children, experience food insecurity. (Adobe Stock)
Farm Bill could help AL food banks struggling to meet demand

In a state where nearly 12% of households face food insecurity, Alabama's food banks are grappling with an urgent problem. The nonprofit group …

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An estimated one-third to one-half of individuals killed in police encounters have some form of disability, according to the Police Brutality Center. (Adobe Stock)
New AL law aims to improve police understanding of sensory needs

Police encounters can be stressful for anyone but especially challenging for people with disabilities. A new state law aims to improve police …

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According to a new report from Alabama Arise, Alabama is one of the top five states for auto manufacturing, producing 1.3 million cars and light trucks in 2022. (Adobe Stock)
New report calls for higher wages for Alabama's autoworkers

Cars are Alabama's biggest export and the auto industry is a huge employer, responsible for about one in six Alabamians' jobs, about 45,000 people…

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According to the Prison Policy Initiative, Alabama has an incarceration rate of 938 per 100,000 people in prisons, jails, immigration detention, and juvenile justice facilities.(Tracy King/Adobe Stock)
Report addresses disparities in imprisonment, explores paths to reform in AL

More than 50% of those incarcerated in Alabama are people of color. A new report from The Sentencing Project highlights some of the disparities that …

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According to a report by The Sentencing Project, more than one in 10 African American adults is disenfranchised in eight states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia. (AI Generated Photo/Adobe Stock)<br /><br />
Bill aims to restore voting rights for those incarcerated in Alabama, US

Nationwide, nearly 5 million people cannot vote because of felony convictions but a bill in Congress would restore their voting rights in federal …

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As of now, 13 Democrats and eight Republicans are running for the Alabama's 2nd Congressional District. The primary election is set to take place March 5, 2024. (Adobe Stock)
Alabama organizers discuss voter suppression tactics

Voting rights organizers say people across the South are facing a new wave of voter suppression tactics. Alabama Values, SOLVE and the Groundwork …

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