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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.

Maine

Local and federal resources for Mainers who have been affected by the damaging storms that hit Maine on December 18, 2023, and January 10, 2024, are available through the Maine Emergency Management Agency by calling 1-800-452-8735. (Adobe Stock)<br />

Monday, February 19, 2024

Climate change, development threaten Maine’s working waterfronts

Reintroduced federal legislation aims to preserve Maine's iconic, working waterfronts still recovering from recent powerful storms. Strong winds and …

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Consumer advocates say the growth of health care facility fees stems from an increasingly consolidated health care provider market, highly complex billing systems, and frequently inadequate health insurance coverage. (Adobe Stock)
Facility fees add to Mainers' growing concerns over medical debt

Maine lawmakers are calling for greater transparency in how hospitals and other health care centers charge so-called facility fees. A legislative …

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Studies show fewer than half of people with a mental illness are able to access prompt care while rural and lower-income communities in particular suffer from a lack of behavioral health care providers. (Adobe Stock)<br /><br /><br />
ME mental health care advocates push for services after Lewiston shooting

Advocates for mental-health care in Maine are applauding Gov. Janet Mills' push to increase access to services, following last year's deadly shooting …

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The Hudson, Susquehanna, Delaware, Connecticut and Merrimack watersheds in the Northeastern U.S. have experienced some of the steepest declines in snowpack, according to a study by Dartmouth researchers. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Study reveals climate change erasing seasonal snowpacks of New England

A new study found seasonal snowpacks throughout New England have shrunk significantly over the past 40 years due to human-driven climate change…

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It is estimated that Mainers facing hunger would need a total of $97,584,000 more income per year to adequately meet their food needs, according to Feeding America. (Adobe Stock)
Maine food banks meet growing demand as Farm Bill lags

Food banks in Maine are struggling to keep up with demand as the Farm Bill remains stalled in Congress. The bill is renegotiated every five years …

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Around 30% of registered voters say they will only vote for a candidate who shares their views on abortion, according to a KFF poll. (Adobe Stock)
Maine lawmakers consider constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights

Lawmakers in Maine will hear hours of emotional public testimony today regarding a potential constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights…

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Latino children in Maine fare better than their peers nationwide, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation report. An estimated 70% of Latino children in Maine live in families with incomes at or above 200% of the poverty line, compared to 47% of Latino children nationally. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Report finds gaps in child well-being persist across Maine

Children of color in Maine fare relatively well compared to their peers nationwide, but gaps in child well-being persist - according to a new report…

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More than 95% of Mainers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 84% of the state's population is considered fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Adobe Stock)
Health misinformation online builds distrust in science, vaccines

Public health experts say the rapid spread of health misinformation online is contributing to a dangerous decline in vaccination rates. Surveys show …

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NextGen's new website aims to help young Mainers access the Inflation Reduction Act for up to $7,500 in tax credits towards the purchase of a new clean car, and up to $4,000 for a used clean car. <br />(Adobe Stock)
Website helps Maine’s young voters track climate change resources

A new website aims to help young voters in Maine take advantage of the historic climate progress being made through the Inflation Reduction Act…

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Several studies find shifts in partisan support in places where health has stagnated or declined. For example, the frequency of alcohol-related deaths and suicide has been linked to increasing regional support for conservative candidates and movements while gains in health-care insurance coverage are associated with vote shifts toward the Democratic Party. (Adobe Stock)
Doctors say voting brings Mainers a clean bill of health

Voting is not only good for democracy - it's also good for your health, according to one of the nation's largest medical associations. The American …

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Roughly half of U.S. adults report experiencing feelings of loneliness, making them more susceptible to fraud. Crime experts note that interventions to reduce social isolation among senior citizens in particular could reduce their chances of being scammed. (Adobe Stock)
Holidays, loneliness leave ME seniors vulnerable to online scams

It may be the season of goodwill, but advocates for the elderly say online financial scams only increase around the holidays. Conversations with a …

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Twenty-seven states had a higher percentage of people with health insurance coverage in 2022 than in 2021. But Maine was the only state where the uninsured rate increased, up to 6.6% in 2022 from 5.7%, according to the Census Bureau. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Mainers get another chance at open enrollment for health coverage

Healthcare advocates in Maine say people who missed the most recent open enrollment deadline for healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act h…

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