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Daily Audio Newscast - May 20, 2024

News from around the nation.

Audio file

Gun-related injuries on the rise among Colorado children; Biden tells Morehouse graduates, that scenes in Gaza break his heart, too; Justice Dept. launches investigation into Kentucky youth detention centers; Montana marijuana revenue veto override fails as critics claim 'judicial overreach.'


The Public News Service Stone Newscast May 20, 2024.

I'm Mike Tisdale.

Injuries from firearms are on the rise, particularly among Colorado's children.

Eric Galatas has more.

Firearm-related injuries in Colorado hit a peak in 2022, with over 7,000 health care claims and at a cost of $8.4 million, according to new analysis by the Center for Improving Value in Health Care.

Carrie Frank with the Center says nearly nine in ten gun-related injury claims were for adults, but she says there were alarming spikes in the rate of these injuries among children.

For children and youth, the rate of firearm injury claims was the highest percent increase.

It increased 120 percent, which says that, you know, unfortunately kids are tending to unintentionally harm themselves as a result of firearms.

Data from the Colorado All-Payer Claims Database showed that unintentional injuries were the most common type of firearm injuries across all age groups and in both rural and metropolitan areas.

But Frank notes those injuries rose the most among children, up by 143 percent between 2016 and 2022.

I'm Eric Galatas.

Meantime, President Joe Biden Sunday offered his most direct recognition of U.S. students' anguish over the Israeli-Hamas war, telling grads at the historically black Morehouse College that he heard their voices of protest and that scenes from the conflict in Gaza break his heart, too.

That from the Associated Press.

The AP quotes Biden as saying, "I support peaceful nonviolent protest.

Your voices should be heard, and I promise you I hear them."

Biden said, "There is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

That's why I've called for an immediate ceasefire to stop the fighting and bring home hostages."

And the U.S. Justice Department is launching an investigation into reports of physical and sexual abuse at Kentucky's eight youth detention centers, along with inappropriate use of isolation and lack of access to adequate mental health care and services for children with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clark says the investigation will be independent and thorough.

We're committed to ensuring that children in juvenile detention facilities are not subjected to abuse or mistreatment or deprived of their constitutional rights.

A federal lawsuit filed earlier this year alleged two teenage girls were kept isolated without access to a toilet in unsanitary conditions.

Brooks is hopeful the DOJ investigation will lead to safe, positive, accountable rehabilitation for Kentucky kids that help them get back on the right track in life.

Nadia Ramlagan reporting.

Nationwide, according to the Justice Department, detention centers admit nearly 200,000 kids every year, holding about 16,000 youth on any given night.

This is Public News Service.

Next to Montana, where constitutional experts say the state Supreme Court did the right thing by providing lawmakers a chance to override the governor's veto of a popular marijuana sales tax bill.

Senate Bill 442 passed the legislature with near-unanimous support, but Governor Greg Gianforte vetoed it minutes after the Senate adjourned, leaving lawmakers no chance to override the veto.

After a series of court challenges, the state Supreme Court confirmed lawmakers should be able to take an override vote by mail.

Critics called that judicial overreach.

But Riley Summers Flanagan with Helena-based Upper 7 Law says the court did what it was supposed to do, despite Gianforte's efforts to sidestep the override ballot.

Only as a result of the court order did the state comply with its constitutional obligation to ensure that legislators at the end of the day have the say in what laws are passed.

The bill would have used marijuana sales tax revenue for veterans programs, social services, and county road maintenance.

In his veto note, Gianforte called it a slippery slope that could set a precedent for spending state dollars on local infrastructure projects.

I'm Mark Moran.

And groups that fight for public lands and national parks are praising two recent Biden administration rules for managing federal land.

The oil and gas rule instructs the Bureau of Land Management to minimize impacts from extractive uses like mining and drilling for oil and gas.

Matthew Kirby with the National Parks Conservation Association says the oil and gas industry has had too much influence in the past.

Under the previous administration, we saw oil and gas leases offered right up to the boundary of national parks, which doesn't make sense in a rational leasing system.

And so these type of rules ensure that that won't happen again.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America has said the new rule makes the regulatory environment hostile to extractive uses and will hurt local tax revenues.

I'm Suzanne Potter.

In California, the BLM owns 15 million acres of land and about 78,000 acres are currently producing oil and gas.

Finally, Catherine Carley reports scientists say Maine's climate is getting warmer and wetter.

Data show the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1998, with 2023 ranking as the second warmest.

Maine State climatologist Sean Burkle says that's already led to an increase in extreme weather, with some recent storms in the state topping five inches of rain.

I think all of us have now experienced heavy precipitation events that cause localized flooding, road damage, and also contributes to other infrastructure damage.

This is Mike Clifford and thank you for starting your week with Public News Service, member and listener supported.

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