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Daily Audio Newscast - July 10, 2024

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News from around the nation.

Audio file

Colorado posts 2nd-highest loss of Medicaid coverage in the nation; Biden opens NATO summit by announcing new air defenses for Ukraine; New map reveals high wildfire risks for Florida; Advocacy groups want New Mexico's governor to halt the special legislative session.


The Public News Service Daily Newscast for July the 10th, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford.

The state of Colorado ranked second in the nation in May for the percentage of residents dropped from Medicaid health insurance rolls.

That includes 500,000 who are still eligible for the program.

That's according to a new analysis by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

Bethany Pray with the Center explains, when people with disabilities lose coverage, they lose critical services they rely on every day to live independently, to interact with their families and to work.

When you have a system that drops people from Medicaid, it does endanger life, it endangers health pretty immediately.

And it also puts people at risk of being put into institutions because they can't operate at home without those services.

Medicaid coverage was automatically renewed during COVID, but that ended in the spring of 2023.

State officials have defended the terminations, arguing that numbers have returned to normal.

I'm Eric Galatas.

Pray notes the agency has publicly admitted they just don't know what happened to 42 percent of participants, some 300,000 people, who lost their coverage.

And President Joe Biden Tuesday announced plans to supply new air defenses to Ukraine in a speech opening the NATO summit, providing much-needed support for the country at a critical juncture in its defense against Russia's invasion.

That from CNN.

They report the U.S., Germany and Romania will each provide a Patriot battery of their own, while the Netherlands will work with other countries to enable an additional Patriot battery.

During his speech Tuesday, Biden vowed the U.S. will make sure that when we export critical air defense interceptors, Ukraine goes to the front of the line.

When there is a new wildfire risk map updated by Headwaters Economics and the U.S.

Forest Service, it reveals Florida, despite being surrounded by water, faces significant wildfire dangers similar to those in Western states like California and Colorado.

We get more in this Daily Yonder Florida News Connection collaboration.

Kelly Paul of Headwaters Economics says rural communities are a big concern.

What we're seeing is really widespread wildfire risk across the country.

This is certainly not just a Western issue.

There are a lot of states in the east, especially in the southeast, that have wildfire risk.

The updated map at highlights counties and tribal areas nationwide most vulnerable to wildfires.

It incorporates the latest data on vegetation, climate, home construction and wildfire simulations.

I'm Tramiel Gomes.

New grant programs from the Biden administration aim to equip communities for better fire resilience.

A $5 million pilot program to convert vehicles to wildfire engines in rural communities is underway.

Meantime, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated another $250 million.

This is Public News Service.

Next to New Mexico, where advocacy groups are calling on the governor to cancel next week's special session, where lawmakers are scheduled to debate public safety legislation.

The coalition, which includes progressive-leaning groups that support the governor on many issues, wants community experts consulted before laws are passed.

Equality New Mexico's executive director, Marshall Martinez, says the proposals on next week's agenda are rushed and would present complicated policy changes to behavioral health care, addiction treatment and homelessness.

We're talking about the ability of the state to force someone into an inpatient treatment center without their consent.

And we're talking about things like criminalizing panhandling.

I'm Roz Brown.

And three members of Nebraska's Students for Sustainability among the youngest participants at the recent Citizens Climate Lobby Conference in Washington, D.C.

Omaha Central High School incoming senior, Evelina Sain, heads the organization, which is made up of mostly high school students.

Sain says one of their takeaways is how many values farmers and environmentalists share.

She says although some city dwellers may be inclined to tell farmers what they should be doing differently, farmers are, in her words, "some of the most sustainable people we know."

Because they're so incredibly connected with nature and their values are just rooted in what they can provide for the earth and what the earth can provide for them.

So really prioritizing our farmers is so crucial as we transition towards a sustainable future within our state.

Sain stressed the nonpartisan nature of Citizens Climate Lobby, which starts all of its meetings with an appreciation.

Nebraska attendees used the occasion to thank their congressional delegation for supporting the National Center for Resilient and Regenerative Precision Agriculture, which recently broke ground in Lincoln.

I'm Deborah Van Fleet.

One of the students asked was for lawmakers to prioritize helping Nebraska farmers get Inflation Reduction Act funds for regenerative agriculture.

And finally, our Shantia Hudson lets us know Alabama officials have announced critical infrastructure improvements in Selma this week that will pave the way for a new riverwalk.

The Selma 14 project to reduce erosion near the city's historic train depot is now complete.

About 10 years ago, city officials planned to build a riverwalk near the Edmund Pettus Bridge to connect the area with downtown Selma.

However, Mayor James Perkins told people at the ribbon cutting ceremony that the project faced unexpected obstacles.

During 2014, there was this idea of moving forward with a riverwalk.

And as that project was being conceptualized, it was determined that the riverbank was not stable.

He says funding this project wasn't easy for the small rural city, but with funds from the state and federal government, they were finally able to complete it a decade later.

This is Mike Clifford for Public News Service.

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