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Daily Audio Newscast - May 24, 2024

News from around the nation.

Audio file

FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in South Carolina redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, Michigan lawmakers consider extra driving fees; Connecticut groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.


The Public News Service Daily Newscast, May the 24th, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford.

As businesses nationwide struggle to find and retain workers, Florida Gulf Coast University offers a solution to foster equitable workplaces.

Florida Gulf Coast University is launching the Building Equitable Workplaces 2024 Summer Workshop Series, a free program aimed at equipping Southwest Florida businesses with strategies to create inclusive work environments.

Megan Baskin heads the Southwest Florida Leadership Institute at the university and says the workshops will address topics such as gender equity, generational differences, and using AI to address equity challenges.

And when employees feel that equity, they're more likely to be satisfied with the place that they work.

They're more likely to stay in that organization, talk positively about that organization, which brings in new workers.

Business groups like the Florida Chamber of Commerce stress the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Baskin notes that professional development is crucial for employee retention and job satisfaction and encourages businesses to visit the Southwest Florida Leadership Institute website to register for the workshops on June 14th and July 24th.

I'm Tramiel Gomes.

Next from NBC News, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Republicans in South Carolina did not unlawfully consider race when they drew a congressional district in a way that removed thousands of black voters.

It is a decision that makes it harder for civil rights plaintiffs to bring racial gerrymandering claims.

NBC reports the court divided 6-3 on ideological lines with conservatives in the majority.

They said civil rights groups had not done enough to show that legislators were focused on race in drawing the Charleston area district.

And as Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap.

One idea is the road usage pilot program to add tolls and mileage fees for using some of the most heavily traveled highways in the state.

The pilot study is still in early stages of discussion, but it could mean a six cents per mile fee for drivers, which could raise $1 billion to fix Michigan's decaying roads.

House Transportation Budget Chair Representative Ranji Puri says road funding comes from a variety of sources, but it isn't enough.

When we all purchase a vehicle, we go pay a registration fee.

So those registration fees kind of help fund our roads.

There's also some money from the sales tax that goes to the roads, and there's also money from the gas tax.

We've just never come up with a formula that fundamentally meets the needs of the state.

Puri adds the rise in electric vehicle use equals fewer people buying gas, which means less gas tax revenue.

Crystal Blair reporting.

This is Public News Service.

And it was two years ago today that a teenager killed 19 students and two teachers at Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The families of those shot and killed have agreed to a $2 million settlement with the city, which equals the entire amount of the town's insurance policy.

Attorneys for the group say they worked with city officials for over a year after leaders reached out and asked what could be done to ease the family's pain.

Javier Cavares lost his daughter in the shooting.

He says justice and accountability are his main concerns.

It's been an unbearable two years.

We all know who took our children's lives, but there was an obvious systemic failure out there on May 24th.

The whole world saw that.

We've been let down so many times.

The time has come to do the right thing.

The mass shooting garnered international attention and questions after 376 law enforcement officers waited 77 minutes before going into the classroom to stop the shooter.

Family members are disappointed that no disciplinary action has been taken against any of the officers involved, although Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez resigned amid questions over how the incident was handled.

For Public News Service, I'm Freda Ross.

In addition to the $2 million settlement, the city of Uvalde has agreed to restorative justice policy changes that include establishing an annual Day of Remembrance on May 24th, mental health services for all families in the community, and addressing public safety risks and the burden of gun violence for police officers.

Next to Connecticut, we're finally our Edwin J. Vieira reports.

Groups are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day tomorrow.

The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their importance.

It also highlights challenges these species face like climate change.

Warming waters make it harder for them to survive.

Ria Drozdenko with the Connecticut River Conservancy notes planting trees on riverbanks can reduce water temperatures.

She says dams also pose a challenge for fish.

They are essentially blocking off a river.

So fish that might have historically been able to go far north up through our watershed, now that there is dams there, they are now blocked.

And so now they have smaller and smaller habitats at their disposal.

She says conservation groups advocate for safer passage with fish ladders and fish elevators at the dams.

Another way is removing so-called deadbeat dams that no longer serve in economic use and impede fish migration.

More information about events and getting involved is online at

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

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