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Daily Audio Newscast: Afternoon Update - June 7, 2024


News from around the nation.

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California makes progress toward conserving 30% of land, water; President Joe Biden says he will not pardon his son Hunter Biden if he's convicted on gun-related charges; Nearly 100% of Nevada's combustion power plant emissions come from rural regions; Credit limit cuts signal financial woes for some Ohioans.


The Public News Service Friday afternoon update.

I'm Mike Clifford.

The public comment period is now open on California's new framework for deciding which managed areas within coastal waters meet the definition of conserved and where protection improvements need to be made.

California's goal is to preserve 30 percent of state lands and waters by the year 2030.

The Ocean Protection Council released science-based guidelines this week on what counts as conserved.

Joss Hill is project director at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

An area is considered a conservation area if the lands and coastal waters are durably protected and managed to sustain functional ecosystems both intact and restored and the diversity of life that they support.

People can weigh in on the process at a series of upcoming workshops in Arcata, Monterey and San Diego.

I'm Suzanne Potter.

The evaluation criteria will be finalized in the fall and the preliminary decision on which places qualify as conservation areas will be presented in December.

And President Joe Biden told ABC News in an interview Thursday that he will accept whatever a jury decides in his son Hunter Biden's criminal trial and that he will not use his presidential power to pardon him if he is convicted.

Biden made his statements on his son's historic trial in an interview with ABC News anchor David Muir in Normandy.

Biden also took a swipe at his opponent.

Biden said Trump was trying to undermine the rule of law.

He got a fair trial.

The jury spoke.

Nevada's rural population accounts for about 6.5 percent of the total state population and nearly 100 percent of combustion power plant emissions in the Silver State come from that region.

A Rural Climate Partnership report finds that nationally, 36 percent of emissions are produced in rural America.

Maria Dorr is one of the authors and says the emission impacts of rural America are disproportionately large for the population they represent.

Emissions are created by the goods and services produced in rural places like electricity that are then sent to urban and suburban communities.

For rural communities, that means air pollution, among other environmental damage.

She says achieving the nation's climate goals will put a sharper focus on rural areas.

That's why we need rural communities to be the leaders of change for themselves because solutions will not work if they come from out of state or from the coastal cities.

I'm Alex Gonzalez reporting.

Meantime in an analysis of 100 cities across the United States, Cincinnati ranks 22nd for decreasing credit limits.

Large drops in the average credit limit can indicate where people are having financial problems, according to Cassandra Happy, an analyst at Wild Hope.

She says people should be aware of how a credit limit decrease can affect their overall financial well-being.

Adjust your spending accordingly so you don't end up hurting your credit score in the long run by spending.

This is Public News Service.

We head next to Connecticut, where a church is hosting a discussion this weekend to encourage Hispanic students to work in STEM fields.

The talk is part of Hispanic Access Foundation's Pathways to Science program, a five-year mission to build up the next generation of Hispanic STEM professionals.

Research shows people who identify as Latino or Hispanic comprise 8 percent of all STEM workers, while accounting for 17 percent of the total workforce.

Benjy Ciprice with Church of the City says seeing representation in these career fields helps break barriers.

Maybe one of the largest barriers is when our students don't see representatives of themselves in careers like this.

They might be less inclined to go after these careers.

Or a different lens, if you don't know the pathway or don't have the support system.

I'm Edwin J. Vieira.

Meantime, the Affordable Care Act, in place for nearly 15 years now, has survived repeal attempts, but there is renewed talk of reducing its funding.

Later this year, Congress will have to agree on a new federal budget, and the Republican Study Committee proposes cuts to certain social programs, including the ACA.

Chris Elstenzo owns an optometry clinic with her husband in northern Wisconsin, and says at first, premiums under the ACA were expensive.

But recent camps ushered in through temporary tax credits have given her a lot more wiggle room.

When I realized I was going to be saving $1,000 a month on my health care premium, I basically just had the freedom to raise all my employees' salaries.

But temporary caps only run through 2025, prompting separate calls for extensions.

As for the current budget debate, Elstenzo worries people would lose coverage if the ACAC's cuts result in skipped doctor's visits, worsening health outcomes.

I'm Mike Moen.

Finally, Crystal Blair lets us know in Michigan, 22 percent of people are enrolled in Medicare for their health coverage, and scams are on the rise.

Nationally, Medicare loses about $60 billion a year to a combination of fraud, errors and abuse.

To combat these issues, this is Medicare Fraud Prevention Week.

Senior organizations in Michigan and across the country are using media and mailers to raise awareness.

Sherry Smith, the Medicare program manager with Ageways, formerly an area agency on aging, says if anyone calls and says they're from Medicare, it's a scam, because Medicare doesn't call people.

"If you call and they'll say, 'I'm from Medicare and we're calling to confirm your number,' is it 12345, for example, and you're taken by surprise, you go, 'Oh no, it's 678910.'"

Says if someone calls saying they're from Medicare, hang up immediately.

This is Mike Clifford for Public News Service.

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