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Daily Audio Newscast - April 3, 2024

News from around the nation.

Audio file

Texas officials address human avian flu case; U.S; major storms cause damage across Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee; Minnesota  funding fight underscores larger school budget pain; banning cellphones at school brings positive changes for students.


The Public News Service Daily Newscast April the 3rd, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford.

The cattle industry and health officials in Texas are on alert.

That after a person contracted avian flu while working around infected cattle in the Texas Panhandle.

According to the Department of State Health Services, the patient was diagnosed with bird flu after experiencing eye inflammation.

The CDC confirmed the diagnosis.

Health Department Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Varun Shetty says symptoms of the avian flu can range from mild to severe.

Severe illness in humans in history have included severe outcomes like pneumonia and even death.

In this case, this individual presented really just with eye irritation, something that we call conjunctivitis, which is not typical for the seasonal flu.

Shetty says the person is being treated with antibiotics and is doing well.

The first cases of bird flu in cattle were discovered in the Panhandle in March.

Texas is one of five states reporting cases of the virus in cattle.

I'm Freda Ross reporting.

A surge of destructive storms lashed multiple states across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys on Tuesday with various tornado watches impacting millions and severe weather warnings spreading over a much wider slice of the country from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, that from CBS.

CBS News reports violent wind gusts and heavy rain had already caused serious damage to some areas by mid-afternoon, wrecking buildings and forcing highway closures as crews worked to clear down power lines, trees and other debris.

The Storm Prediction Center's most recent severe weather outlook ranked threats in parts of those states at level four.

Much of Kentucky and southern Ohio received that warning, including major cities like Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Lexington and Louisville.

And from expiring pandemic aid to declining enrollment, school districts in Minneapolis face financial pressure.

Public school advocates and community organizations say long-term improvements are the answer, not short-term cuts.

In a survey from the Association of Metropolitan School Districts, large school systems across Minnesota report a combined shortfall of $317 million.

On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers led a gathering of local groups calling on district leaders to rethink cuts proposed for the next school year.

Take Action Minnesota organizer Lindsay Turner says as a parent, she's angry.

Parents shouldn't have to be fighting for crimes.

These voices say administrators should focus on making schools more attractive for enrollment.

They also want state leaders to use existing surplus funds to help soften the blow.

I'm Mike Moen.

Minneapolis teachers who went on strike in 2022 are trying to negotiate a new contract with the district.

This is Public News Service.

Separating high school students from their cell phones might seem like a daunting task.

But one California school says having students stash them during the school day has brought some surprising results.

Starting this school year, High Tech High required students to relinquish their phones at the beginning of the day.

School compliance officer Colleen Green says tracking student perceptions and observing the impact of cell phones on the learning culture provides a compelling case study.

Where before they were sitting in those spaces and kind of heads down into their technology, they're now sitting in those spaces and having conversations.

There's a lot more engagement and conversation in class because students are talking to each other and they're not listening to their AirPods.

Across the country, more than three quarters of K-12 public schools prohibit non-academic cell phone use, according to a report from the 2021-2022 school year.

But only 43 percent of high schools have such a rule and it is often not enforced.

Mark Richardson reporting.

Meantime, states are working to find solutions to make their air and water cleaner and safer for their communities, but the path is not always clear cut.

The EPA Good Neighbor Plan demands 23 states reduce the amount of industrial facility smog over concerns the pollutants are contaminating nearby states.

Indiana is one of three states that asked the Washington, D.C.

Circuit Court to stop the plan from moving forward while the case is heard in lower courts.

Hoosier Environmental Council Senior Policy and Legal Director David VanGilder expresses his disappointment that the HEC and state legislators are not on the same page.

Indiana unfortunately joins other Republican-led states in this unholy alliance with polluting industries to halt or stop or slow down the implementation of common sense regulations that would prevent Indiana industries from hurting downstream people.

VanGilder thinks it is bad public policy for the Supreme Court to agree to hear the case as an emergency before a decision is made in the lower courts.

I'm Terry Dee reporting.

Finally, from our Eric Teggett off, Oregon lawmakers during the 2024 session took another step to further limit the price of insulin.

Governor Tina Kotech has signed a bill into law that will cap out-of-pocket insulin prices at $35 per month.

Andrea Meyer with AARP Oregon says in 2019 the legislature capped prices at $75 per month but allowed for cost of living increases.

She says the current cost cap is about $85 with this increase.

This past legislative session the Oregon legislature updated that law and now most Oregon residents with diabetes will see lower out-of-pocket costs for insulin next year.

This is Mike Clifford for Public News Service, member endlessly supported.

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