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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.

Nebraska

In a 2024 report, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Foundation pointed to the importance of legal immigrants for improving Nebraska's ongoing workforce shortage. (Moab Republic/Adobe Stock)
ACLU: Due process rights violated in Omaha immigration courts

Immigrants whose cases are heard in Omaha's Immigration Court are often denied their due process rights, according to a report from the ACLU of …

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The 12 nursing homes that closed in Nebraska in the past three years amount to 556 fewer beds for Nebraskans needing nursing-home level care. (luckybusiness/Adobe Stock)
NE Legislature to hear bills that bolster struggling long-term care industry

Nebraska saw nine long-term care facility closures in 2022, second only to 13 in Texas. In the past three years, Nebraska has lost a combined 29 …

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A study of voting in the 2022 midterms conducted by Civic Nebraska found some of the highest voter turnout rates were in counties with all vote-by-mail. (Michael Vi/Adobe Stock)
NE Legislature mulls bill to reduce early-voting days

Nebraska is among at least 14 states that enacted voting restrictions last year, passing a voter ID law. Next week, a legislative committee takes up …

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There are about 48 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S., providing care with a dollar value of nearly $600 billion. (Rido/Adobe Stock)
NE lawmakers consider tax credits for family caregivers

About 180,000 Nebraskans are caregivers for a family member. Nationally, family caregivers spend an average of more than $7000 a year on related …

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States can set more restrictive qualifications for child care subsidies than the federal government. In 2019, nearly 89,000 Nebraska children qualified using federal parameters, but fewer than 36,000 qualified using Nebraska's state-defined rules. (Lordn/Adobe Stock)
Kentucky-inspired bill would help NE child care providers, workforce

In the 2023 Nebraska Rural Poll 61% agreed there's a shortage of affordable child care in their communities, and more than 75% said their communities …

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 10.2 million U.S. households had low food security and 6.8 million had very low food security at some time during 2022. (nicoletaionescu/Adobe Stock)
NE bill would ensure Summer EBT participation; first hearing Thursday

According to a recent USDA study, 12% of Nebraskans experience food insecurity. That's higher than the national average. If legislation that is the …

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In 2024, Nebraska is spending less than 25% of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers best practices on tobacco control programs, according to an American Lung Association report. (Zhikun Sun/Adobe Stock)
Report: NE receives failing grades for three of five tobacco-control measures

Nebraska needs to do better when it comes to tobacco use prevention and cessation, according to a newly released report. In the American Lung …

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People who smoke and are exposed to radon have a 10 times higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers exposed to the same levels of radon. (Francesco Scatena)
Blair, NE housing authority gets HUD grant for radon tests, mitigation

It's Radon Awareness Week and National Radon Action Month. Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas which can build up inside buildings and is …

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One goal of President Joe Biden's April 2023
Medicaid waiver programs cover in-home care costs for eligible Nebraskans

Many Nebraskans age 65 and older with health limitations, as well as younger people living with a disability, want to remain in their own homes…

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Chidren of Asian and Pacific Islander ethnicity received the highest national score on the 2024 Race for Results report, 771 out of 1,000, followed by 697 for white children and 612 for children of two or more races. (len4foto/AdobeStock)
Report: Nebraska children of color have less well-being than white peers

On a new report, Nebraska's white children scored high on well-being compared with their peers nationwide - but the same can't be said for the …

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In 2023, Nebraska ranked 37th for the percentage of adults experiencing any form of mental illness, at 23.4%, compared with the national average of 20.78%. (Nuttapong punna/Adobe Stock)
2024 means more mental-health care options for NE Medicare recipients

Nebraska was ranked forty-fourth overall in the 2023 Mental Health in America report, and twenty-ninth for access to care. But a change as of January …

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Indigenous woman wearing a traditional dress. (SALMONNEGRO/Adobe Stock)
Omaha Maya organization receives $15,000 grant for regenerative ag practices

An Omaha Maya organization has received one of five $15,000 grants from the nonprofit GreenLatinos. Some 85 organizations applied for the grant …

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