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Friday, July 12, 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.

West Virginia

The number of home-schooling families in the state is about 13,000 and continues to grow, according to the West Virginia Home Educators Association. (Adobe Stock)
WV lawmakers urge passage of Raylee’s Law during special session

After the tragic death of Kyneddi Miller, a 14-year-old West Virginia girl found dead in her home, some state lawmakers are calling on the governor …

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In 2017, mental health and substance use disorder emergency department visits in the U.S. cost more than $5.6 billion, according to federal data. (Adobe Stock)
West Virginia taking steps to strengthen 988 crisis response system

More households, workplaces, and schools are struggling with mental health crises, and a new report by the mental health advocacy group Inseparable …

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Hunger Free America's 2023 Annual Hunger Survey found more than 175,000 people in West Virginia are food insecure. (Adobe Stock)
Health center to develop programs to fight WV food insecurity

A West Virginia community health center is participating in a program addressing food scarcity. The National Association of Community Health …

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A proposal making the rounds in Washington, D.C., would incentivize states to incarcerate fewer people in exchange for federal funds to retool their sentencing guidelines. (Adobe Stock)
Proposal: Pay states to change sentencing guidelines, reduce prison populations

In West Virginia, 11,000 people are behind bars, mostly in state prisons and local jails. A new proposal has surfaced to bring those numbers down but …

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As of June 2023, about 5% of Americans had unpaid medical bills on their credit reports - down from 14% in March 2022, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Adobe Stock)
WV advocates: eliminate medical debt from credit scores

West Virginia healthcare advocates are applauding a recent proposed rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to remove medical bills from cred…

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A zombie mine is shown in Clintwood, Kentucky. (Erin Savage)
Zombie mines continue to pose environmental, health threats to Appalachia

West Virginia and other Appalachian states are littered with hundreds of "zombie mines," abandoned mines neither producing coal nor undergoing reclama…

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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated a total of $16 billion to address legacy pollution, including $11.3 billion in Abandoned Mind Land funding over 15 years. (Adobe Stock)<br />
WV receives $140 million to clean up abandoned mine lands

West Virginia will receive $140 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 …

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Chronic absence from school may be driving learning loss. Thirty percent of all students, or about 14.7 million, were chronically absent in 2021-2022, nearly double pre-pandemic rates, according to new data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Report: WV kids face sliding reading, math scores

Math and reading proficiency among West Virginia kids has worsened over the past five years, according to new data. The latest Kids Count Data Book …

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In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which for nearly 50 years had affirmed the constitutional right to an abortion. (Adobe Stock)
Poll: One in five women personally impacted by Dobbs decision on abortion

As Texas made recent headlines for ruling against a group of women seeking abortion for serious pregnancy complications, polling found one in five …

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Public records show West Virginia police officers are allowed to switch departments after being fired or resigning for misconduct. (Adobe Stock)
In lieu of termination: Tracking WV police officers after misconduct incidents

By Kyle Vass for Dragline.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for West Virginia News Service reporting for the ACLU of West Virginia-Public News Servi…

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Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading more than two dozen states in a lawsuit aimed at overturning the Environmental Protection Agency's recently released power plant regulations. (Adobe Stock)
Scorecard: How WV lawmakers vote on clean air, water

As West Virginia leads a group of states in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency's new emissions rules for power plants, a recent …

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From Appalachia to the Bayou to the desert Southwest, folklorists say culture can teach us about adapting to a warmer world. (Adobe Stock)<br />
As climate change fractures communities, folklorists help stitch them back together

By Katie Myers for Grist.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for West Virginia News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News…

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