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Daily Audio Newscast - July 4, 2024

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News from around the nation.

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$90 million in federal infrastructure funding headed to WA; Hurricane Beryl roars by Jamaica after killing at least 6 people in the southeast Caribbean; UNLV law professor: SCOTUS has changed the U.S. in 'dramatic ways'; Free summer camps boost career goals for underserved youth.


The public news service daily newscast for Independence Day, July the 4th, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford.

First, the Washington state, where they're receiving nearly 90 million dollars in federal infrastructure funding from the Biden administration.

The details now from Eric Tegethoff.

The funds were distributed by the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE program, and will boost eight projects in Washington.

One recipient is the Kitsap County Public Transportation Authority, which is using the grant money to upgrade its transportation hub and clean up its bus fleet.

Head of Kitsap Transit, John Claussen, says they're constructing a full service maintenance facility and not only to work on their diesel buses.

Also, we're in the transition phase of converting all of our buses to battery electric buses, as well as we're exploring and wanting to move into the hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The project is receiving 17 million dollars from the RAISE program.

It will help Kitsap Transit in its goal of a fully electrified fleet by 2050.

The RAISE program is distributing funds from the infrastructure law passed in 2021.

The Washington state projects were part of a larger announcement from the U.S.

Transportation Department concerning at least 150 projects across the nation.

Meantime, Hurricane Beryl was roaring by Jamaica Wednesday, bringing fierce winds and heavy rain after the powerful Category 4 storm killed at least six people and caused significant damage in the Southeast Caribbean.

That from the Associated Press.

Their report, a hurricane warning was in effect for Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Rock.

Beryl was forecast to weaken slightly over the next day or two, but still be at or near major hurricane strength.

The hurricane center forecast next up is the Mexico-Yucatan Peninsula.

And a University of Nevada Las Vegas law professor says the conservative majority on the U.S.

Supreme Court has issued major decisions that have dramatically changed the country's legal landscape.

David Orntliger says the court's decision to overturn Roe v.

Wade and its constitutional right to an abortion over two years ago was a pivotal moment in history.

Former President Donald Trump has taken credit for placing three conservative justices on the court, which helped delegate the issue of abortion to states.

Orntliger says it's unknown how many appointments a president may be dealt, which can be unsettling.

It's unpredictable, which is a reason why one common reform proposal is to say instead of having justices serve for life, have them serve 18 years.

And every two years, one justices term will expire.

So we'll know that every president will get two appointments.

I'm Alex Gonzalez reporting.

Four of the current justices on the bench will be in their 70s in 2025 when the next president takes office.

This is Public News Service.

Next to Pennsylvania, where the state budget is overdue, having missed the Sunday deadline, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is asking state lawmakers and the governor to ensure that it includes dedicated funding for the Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program, or ACAP.

More from the Keystone State and our Daniel Smith.

Since it launched in early 2023, ACAP has completed more than 280 projects statewide to reduce pollution from farming.

Chesapeake Bay's Foundation, Pennsylvania Executive Director Julia Krall says the historic investment made a few years ago needs to continue.

She says ACAP and the Clean Streams Fund protect every Pennsylvanian's right to clean air and water.

The Clean Streams Fund helps to fund programs throughout the state that deal with agricultural practices, acid mine drainage, and stormwater runoff.

And every single person in the state of Pennsylvania deals with those things around their homes, around their places of work, in their communities.

Krall points out the funding has also enabled conservation groups to develop workforce training programs, fostering a new sector of employment that supports farm conservation.

At issue now is where the funding will come from.

Krall points out in the last state budget, the General Assembly used American Rescue Plan funds of $220 million to create the Clean Streams Fund, which helped the State Conservation Commission launch ACAP in early 2023.

Krall adds the Clean Streams Fund for ACAP offers the state's first ever agricultural cost-sharing program.

Finally, our Tramiel Goems lets us know free summer camps focused on STEM and other career paths help boost the career goals for young people in the agricultural community of Immokalee.

Florida Gulf Coast University has teamed up with the Immokalee Foundation to offer a series of free educational camps for underserved youth in the region.

The initiative includes a STEM camp for middle schoolers and four high school camps focused on business management and entrepreneurship, education and human services, engineering and construction management and health care.

Noemi Perez is the president and CEO of the Immokalee Foundation.

When you take a community and individuals who are just surviving and giving their students, their children this type of opportunity, it just, it creates such a huge impact, not only for the family, but also for the community as a whole.

In its final week, students pitch their ideas to judges, like on the popular show Shark Tank.

The competitive program serves about 1,300 Immokalee students per year.

Perez says 100 percent of participants graduate high school and attend a post-secondary institution.

This is Mike Clifford, and thank you for starting off your Fourth of July with public news service, member and listeners supported.

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