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Daily Audio Newscast - July 9, 2024

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News from around the nation.

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Majority of married same-sex couples say marriage equality threatened, Texas officials say restoring electricity will take days after Beryl knocked out power to millions; 'Tiny Home' community in Arkansas aims to combat homelessness; Pennsylvania reaps major gains from Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.


The Public News Service Daily Newscast, July the 9th, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford. 20 years after Massachusetts became the first state to permit marriage equality, a majority of same-sex married couples say it had a profound positive impact on their lives.

A new report finds it strengthened couples' relationships, provided legal protections, financial security, and greater acceptance among family and friends.

Clark University psychology professor Dr. Abby Goldberg says marriage equality is part of a public health agenda.

They have access to health insurance.

They are physically and mentally healthier.

They're able to share the challenges and work of raising children.

Still, Goldberg says nearly 80 percent of couples surveyed worry about the future of marriage equality.

Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have both suggested the high court revisit Obergefell v.

Hodges, the decision that legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.

I'm Catherine Carley reporting.

Almost 60 percent of participants said marriage provided more stability or security for their kids and often created new in-laws who could help.

Meantime, Tropical Storm Beryl slammed into Texas Monday, knocking out power to nearly three million homes and businesses and unleashing heavy rains that prompted dozens of high-water rescues.

The AP reports the fast-moving storm threatened to carve a harsh path over several more states in coming days.

Texas state and local officials warned it could take several days to restore power after Beryl came ashore as a Category 1 and toppled 10 transmission lines and knocked down trees that took down power lines.

Beryl has weakened into a tropical storm, but the AP notes the winds and the rains of the fast-moving storm were still powerful enough to knock down hundreds of trees that had already been teetering in water-saturated earth.

Next to Arkansas, where construction is underway on a new housing community in southwest Little Rock that will help people who are experiencing chronic homelessness get off the streets.

We get more in this Little Rock Public Radio, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Arkansas News Service, collaboration.

Providence Park will include up to 400 so-called tiny homes, plus services to help people who are unhoused.

Founder and CEO Erin Stanger says the project will provide people with shelter and wraparound services.

Medical, dental and mental care, but then also just a wonderful community for them to feel safe and loved and again, yeah, really focusing on dignity and it's just a whole community designed to empower them.

One in every three households in Arkansas can be considered ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed, as defined by the non-profit Alliance United Way.

I'm Freda Ross reporting.

This is Public News Service.

We head next to Pennsylvania, where the landscape is being transformed through billions of dollars in federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and bipartisan infrastructure law.

More now from our Daniel Smith.

Senator Bob Casey emphasizes the multifaceted benefits Pennsylvania has reaped from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

He points to record-breaking investments in roads, bridges, water systems and transportation across the state.

Casey points out that $13 billion was allocated to Pennsylvania for roads and bridges.

For example, just in Pittsburgh, raising the flood wall that protects the parkway east in downtown Pittsburgh, including the so-called bathtub section of I-376 that often floods during heavy storms, that's a $6.6 million project that will help ensure that it can stay open and allow for traffic to flow through.

According to Casey's website, progress has been made on key provisions in the Senate's initial fiscal year 2024 funding bills.

Meantime, AARP has scheduled four projects in Idaho to receive $49,000 in grants.

Eric Tegethoff reports the projects chosen by the organization's annual Community Challenge Grant Program.

The program is designed to support proposals that make cities more livable for people of all ages, especially those age 50 and older, and can be built quickly.

Marie Bonamino with AARP Idaho says the program selected three projects in the state this year that will boost rural communities.

A couple of the grants are things that will bring people outdoors, that will keep them active, and also to help some of the things that have fallen apart, to be honest, in some of these areas because they just don't have the dollars to keep things maybe fixed up and in good condition.

Projects in the cities of Cascade, Marsing, and Salmon will improve outdoor areas to encourage social gathering, especially among older Idahoans.

This year, AARP is investing $3.8 million in more than 340 projects across the nation.

Since 2017, it's awarded 30 grants in Idaho worth nearly $330,000 total.

Finally, from our Chantilla Hudson, factory farming can have detrimental effects on the environment, health, and the farmers who run them.

In North Carolina and beyond, one organization is working to support farmers caught in the exploitative cycle of contract farming and to improve the food system.

Paula Bowles and her husband had the idea to start a poultry farm on their family land for retirement, but their hopes were shattered soon after signing the contract.

We realized there's a lot of debt up front, but they actually give you like this 10-year scenario where you can pay it off in like 10 years.

She says even more debt was tacked on in the form of upgrades.

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

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