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Daily Audio Newscast - June 14, 2024

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News from around the nation.

Audio file

SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.


(upbeat music) This is the Public News Service Daily Newscast for June 14th, 2024.

I'm Mike Moen.

Legal analysts continue to examine new US Supreme Court opinions issued Thursday.

In one of the more high profile cases, the court unanimously preserved access to a medication that the Associated Press says was used in nearly two thirds of all abortions in the US last year.

Separately, the court made it harder for the federal government to win court orders when it suspects a company of interfering in unionization campaigns.

The Associated Press says the case stemmed from a labor dispute with Starbucks.

Additional rulings are expected this month.

That includes a case brought by attorneys representing Donald Trump, who argue the former president is entitled to so-called presidential immunity for criminal charges he faces related to efforts to overturn results from the 2020 election.

The court also is expected to rule any day now on two cases that could allow judges to more easily overrule federal agencies, which could have big implications for environmental, consumer, and public health protections.

The two cases aim to overturn the 1984 Chevron Doctrine that said when ambiguous statutes are being challenged in court, judges must defer to the reasonable interpretation of agency experts.

Jim Murphy is with the National Wildlife Federation.

It would give judges a lot more power to write very impactful regulatory provisions where those judges really don't have a lot of expertise.

Opponents of the Chevron Doctrine say it gives too much power to the executive branch.

The cases stem from a dispute where fishing crews are challenging requirements that they pay to have a monitor on board to guard against overfishing and bycatch of endangered species.

Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites.

A political expert says the timing is important for the battleground state ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court this week banned the use of mobile voting sites, but separately, the court kept in place rules that allow clerks to choose other alternative sites for absentee voting.

University of political scientist, Barry Burden says that means these offices will still have flexibility as they sort out logistics.

They face a lot of difficulties trying to find sites that are available.

You know, they're often repurposing a church or a school or a community building.

With the Supreme Court pausing a lower court's ruling that heavily restricted these other sites, Burden says clerks won't have added confusion as they meet deadlines for this year's election.

The case has to do with the interpretation of state law that prohibits alternative sites from being set up in areas that give one political party an advantage over another.

Burden and other political observers still expect the Wisconsin Supreme Court to issue a ruling soon in a case that seeks to reinstate ballot drop boxes.

This is PNS.

The city of Boston has been awarded nearly $10 million in federal funding to help build a climate-ready workforce.

Catherine Carley reports.

More than 1000 individuals will receive job training in construction, wastewater management, and more to combat the growing threat of sea level rise.


Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo says a 21st century workforce must be climate literate.

If we're going to ensure that American workers can take advantage of the jobs that we're creating, then we have to be proactive about training folks so they have the skills they need to get the jobs that are available.

The program is one of nine climate-related job programs nationwide, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act and focused on economically disadvantaged communities which often face disproportionate impacts from climate change.

I'm Catherine Carley reporting.

Hurricane season is here and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities.

Studies find that these marshes absorb floodwaters, reducing property damage in nearby areas by an average of 20 percent.

Biologist Charlie Deaton with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries explains what salt marshes do to help build climate resilience.

They're good at helping us actually mitigate some of the carbon we've released into the atmosphere and they are good for community resilience too.

They protect landward shorelines from erosion and salt marshes, larger scales, can actually reduce the impacts of storm surge and reduce flooding from that.

North Carolina has about 220,000 acres of salt marshes, but the protections they offer are dependent on their health and preservation.

Coastal development, pollution, and climate change all pose threats to these ecosystems.

And this weekend is Father's Day and it will be tough for kids with a dad in jail or prison.

More than 200,000 kids in Michigan have an incarcerated parent at some point in their lives.

Statistics show an overwhelming percentage of those parents are fathers.

Crystal Blair spoke with one of them and has this report. 48-year-old Torrey Price was released from a Michigan prison last February after serving 17 years for armed robbery, a crime he says was fueled by a struggle with drug addiction.

At the time, his son was only two.

Behind bars, Price says, he connected with organizations, including the University of Michigan, to learn how to become an advocate for incarcerated parents.

Very passionate about helping folks that are still inside, about parents that are still inside.

And, you know, 'cause today my son is 13 now and because people advocated for me, we have a great relationship.

Price has expressed deep remorse for his crimes and says he's grateful to his family and supportive organizations for helping him maintain the father-son relationship while he was incarcerated.

Crystal Blair reporting.

And this is Mike Moen for Public News Service.

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