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Daily Audio Newscast - March 26, 2024

News from around the nation.

Audio file

University of Texas-El Paso targets teacher shortage; Trump's New York hush money case is set for trial April 15; Queer churches in Massachusetts and nationwide offer all identities safe, sacred spaces, NY bill holds fashion industry accountable for climate-change impacts.


[music] The Public News Service Daily Newscast, March 26, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford.

It is estimated that nearly half of all schools in the country don't have enough teachers.

To help change that, the University of Texas in El Paso offers a residency program to help ensure that first-time teachers are able to succeed.

The minor teacher residency gives students in the College of Education an opportunity to work in elementary and middle schools alongside working teachers.

Dean of the College of Education, Clifton Tanabe, was part of a recent National Roundtable discussion on ways to solve the teacher shortage.

He says the program gives future educators the skills they need to be ready for their first day of class.

A third grader in a first-year teacher's classroom is only going to get to do a third grade once.

But that teacher will be able to do third grade again and again.

So we want them ready for that first group of third graders that they get going.

Tanabe says nearly half of the students enrolled in the program are first-generation college students, and 70 percent are bilingual.

He adds that mirrors the population of students in the public school system in El Paso, where 90 percent of the students are Hispanic.

Tanabe says most of the new teachers remain in the area.

I'm Freda Ross reporting.

The residency program is now in its sixth year.

Currently, it has 62 teachers working in five different schools in the El Paso area.

Now, from the Associated Press, the first of Donald Trump's four criminal trials will begin April 15.

The Manhattan judge ruled Monday, tearing into the former president's lawyers for what he said were unfounded claims that the Hushbunny case had been tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.

Judge Juan Marchand scoffed at the defense calls to delay the case longer or throw it out.

Trump vowed to appeal the ruling.

And studies show more than half of the country's LGBTQ population identify as people of faith, but not every religious institution welcomes them with open arms.

We get the details in this Yes Media/Commonwealth News Service collaboration.

Online spaces such as Queer Church or centers like the Greenhouse at Harvard University are affirming faith traditions and finding ways to rectify religious harm.

Harvard Divinity School professor of theology and religious studies, Reverend Naomi Washington-Leapheart, says people are seeking radical honesty and inclusion within their faith.

People need to be able to come in and say, "I'm grieving," or "I'm angry," or "I'm lonely," or "I'm lost," and that vulnerability be held with tenderness and with grace.

Studies find more than half the country's LGBTQ population identify as people of faith, but Leapheart says people need a faith that can adapt to their lives rather than be forced.

I'm Catherine Carley reporting.

This is Public News Service.

First to New York, where a new bill aims to regulate the fashion industry's climate change impacts.

The Fashion Act would hold clothing and footwear companies accountable for their environmental impacts.

Fashion accounts for up to around 9 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the aviation industry.

The bill also creates a remediation fund for environmental, community, or labor-related projects.

Rich Schrader with the Natural Resources Defense Council describes how enforcement of the bill works.

The bill will create a enforcement mechanism that the attorney general in New York State will be responsible to.

So it's given a monitoring, investigative, and enforcement set of authorities.

That's to ensure the companies are in compliance.

He says the attorney general could fine companies not in compliance with these guidelines.

But fast fashion companies like Shein have only made things worse.

These companies make clothes designed to be worn less than a handful of times before they're tossed away, ending up in a landfill.

Fast fashion is responsible for around 10 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly's Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee.

I'm Edwin J. Vieira.

And pesticides are still common in agriculture.

Organic producers who avoid them have seen ups and downs in pushing for stronger regulations.

And they point to a South Dakota example of the harm associated with widespread use among neighboring farms.

At the heart of the regulatory fight is the application of the weed-killing pesticide dicamba and how it can drift from one farm to another.

Last month, a federal court blocked over-the-top spraying of dicamba products, but the EPA followed with an order to allow the spraying of existing supplies.

Glenn Pulse co-owns an organic farm in Vermillion and says a 2017 drift incident had a big impact on his operation.

Our entire farm was covered.

We lost a lot of livestock.

Thousands of bees were killed.

Groups such as the National Family Farm Coalition have been fighting what they call the deregulation of these chemicals, arguing the drift and runoff effect has damaged millions of crops.

Dicamba manufacturing companies deny responsibility, instead blaming farmers who apply it for not following guidelines.

I'm Mike Moen.

Finally, our Joe Ulori reports the recent health diagnosis for Catherine, Princess of Wales, is shining a spotlight on the importance of folks younger than 50 to be screened for certain cancers.

The news comes during a time of rising cancer rates among young people.

Mary Robertson is a lead in cancer prevention at Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center in Indianapolis.

She says family history significantly impacts cancer risk, emphasizing the importance of transparent discussions within families.

Now for those that do not have insurance, we do have certain programs specifically in the state of Indiana that will cover screening, specifically for breast and cervical cancer at no cost.

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

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