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Saturday, July 13, 2024

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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.


The National Retirement Risk Index finds half of U.S. households will not be able to maintain their standard of living when they retire, even if they were to work until age 65 and annuitize all financial assets. (Adobe Stock)<br />

Monday, July 8, 2024

ME worker retirement program hits major savings milestone

Supporters of a new state-sponsored retirement savings program in Maine are celebrating a significant milestone. More than six months after the …

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Nearly 50% of Mainers age 1217 who have depression did not receive any care in the last year, according to NAMI Maine. Mental health care advocates say listing the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline on student I.Ds could help. (Adobe Stock) <br />
ME groups boost awareness of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline services

A monthly telecom surcharge could generate significant funding for Maine's 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, according to a new report. The mental …

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The living wage for a person in Maine who lives alone with no dependents is $22.04, or $4.65 more than the median wage for a home health aide, according the MIT Living Wage Calculator. (Adobe Stock)
Low wages, burnout cited for ME direct-care worker shortage

A critical shortage of direct care workers in Maine is leaving residents without needed health services, according to a new report. It showed more …

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The Biden administration is awarding more than $600 million in grants to build the nation's electric-vehicle charging network. Maine is just the fifth state to benefit from what's known as the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula. (Adobe Stock)
Federal funds boost ME high-speed EV charging network

Clean-energy advocates in Maine are applauding an expansion of the state's electric vehicle charging network. State officials recently announced the …

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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)
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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