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Friday, June 14, 2024

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SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

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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.

Maine

Up to $31 trillion in U.S. economic activity hinges on helping young people complete learning delayed by the pandemic, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Adobe Stock)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Fewer ME kids living in poverty but education problems grow

The economic well-being of kids in Maine is improving, but chronic school absence is impacting learning, according to a new report. The 2024 Kids …

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Legislative reforms to Maine's Medicare Savings Plans expand eligibility to residents age 65 and older earning 250% of the poverty level, or $33,975 for an individual. (Adobe Stock)
ME health advocates tout benefits of expanded Medicare Savings Plans

Maine lawmakers have approved a full expansion of the state's Medicare Savings Plans, ensuring continued eligibility for some 45,000 low-income …

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More than one-third of plants and animals in Maine are expected to suffer dramatic population decline by the end of the century due to the impacts of climate change, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine. (Adobe Stock)
Climate change alters ME biodiversity as species' range shifts north

Scientists said climate change is having an unprecedented and accelerating effect on the biodiversity of plants and animals in Maine. Rising sea …

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Studies show volunteering can significantly improve mental and physical health, life satisfaction and self-esteem and decrease depressive symptoms. (Adobe Stock)
Andrus Award honors older volunteers enriching ME communities

AARP Maine is seeking nominations for its 2024 Andrus Award for Community Service. The award honors individuals or couples over age fifty, who …

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Climate scientists in Maine said the state has already experienced 8 inches of sea level rise over the past century and could see an additional 1.5 more feet by 2050, with significant implications for coastal industries, tourism and home insurance rates. (Adobe Stock)
Warmer, wetter climate in Maine impacts human health, infrastructure

Scientists said Maine's climate is getting warmer and wetter, with significant implications for human health and infrastructure. Data show the 10 …

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Maine's aquaculture harvest more than doubled in volume and in value over the past decade. It creates more than $100 million in annual revenue for the state, according to the Maine International Trade Center. (Adobe Stock)<br />
New England groups warn against 'factory' fish farming in federal waters

New England fishermen and environmental groups are working to prevent the growth of industrial-size fish farms in U.S. open waters. They said …

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Researchers studying ways to reduce the dairy industry's climate-altering emissions say a hotter climate can cause heat stress in dairy cows, reducing their feed intake, milk production, and fertility. (Adobe Stock)
Cow feed research aims to cut ME dairies' methane emissions

New research could help Maine dairy farmers increase profits while reducing effects on the climate. Scientists said adding a plant-based essential …

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The Maine Labor Climate Council finds that building net-zero single-family residential homes (including renewable energy) would create 839 direct jobs per year and reduce carbon emissions by 16,770 metric tons per year. (Adobe Stock)
ME promotes youth apprenticeships to build green economy workforce

State officials in Maine are highlighting apprenticeships as a way to earn a living wage and contribute to the state's growing green economy…

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Maine has already experienced eight inches of sea-level rise over the last century with another 1.5 feet expected by 2050 and four more feet by 2100, according to the Maine Climate Council. (Adobe Stock)
ME prepares young people for climate change-related jobs, activism

State officials in Maine are preparing the next generation for climate change-related activism and careers. A new state-run website helps young …

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Maine lawmakers expanded the Dependent Exemption Tax Credit in 2023, allowing an estimated 157,000 dependent adults and children in families with the lowest incomes to receive the full credit for the first time. (Adobe Stock)
ME lawmakers increase aid for families experiencing deep poverty

Gov. Janet Mills has signed legislation to increase temporary assistance payments to families experiencing deep poverty. Payments will increase by 2…

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There are more than 1,300 species listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including the piping plover, a shorebird found on sandy beaches in southern Maine. (Adobe Stock)
New Endangered Species Act rules consider climate impact on ME wildlife

Conservationists in Maine said reinstated protections of the Endangered Species Act could help wildlife already struggling to adapt to climate change…

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The majority of women veterans are not enrolled in Veteran Health Administration care, yet these women have experienced a more than sixty-percent increase in suicide rates over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)
ME women veterans request counselors for military sexual trauma

Advocates for women veterans, who've experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military, are asking state lawmakers for much-needed funding…

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