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Daily Audio Newscast - May 7, 2024

News from around the nation.

Audio file

Ballot dropbox ban a barrier in South Dakota primary; former President Donald Trump says jail threat won't stop him from violating gag order; EBT 'skimming' on the rise, more Ohioans turn to food banks; new maps show progress on NY lead service line replacement.


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The Public News Service Daily Newscast, May the 7th, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford. (upbeat music) South Dakota's June 4th primary will be the first national election since ballot drop boxes were banned in that state in 2023.

It's one of 12 states to ban using drop boxes to cast votes, although no state election offices that used the boxes in 2020 found a connection to voter fraud or stolen ballots, according to an Associated Press survey.

The change is more likely to impact rural and tribal voters who already face barriers to voting.

State Senator Sean Bordeaux, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, says although native voter turnout for tribal elections is good, turnout for statewide elections is lower.

He says drop boxes helped.

It was something that a lot of people utilized on our reservation communities where you might have to travel 70 miles to go vote.

A 2022 federal report on Native American voting rights encourages local officials to provide sites for voter registration, polling, and mail ballot collection in places convenient for native voters.

I'm Kathleen Shannon.

South Dakota does not accept tribal ID cards for voter registration.

The deadline for registering is May the 20th.

And Donald Trump said he would rather risk imprisonment than comply with a gag order in the ongoing criminal trial just hours after the judge overseeing his criminal hush money case threatened to put the former president in jail.

That from Politico, they report that Justice Juan Marchand Monday held the former president in contempt for a second time and warned that he faced imprisonment if he broke the gag order that bars him from publicly commenting on jurors, witnesses, and others involved in the case.

Trump has already violated the order and received $10,000 worth of fines since the trial began, a thousand for each violation.

Next to Ohio, where the federal SNAP program allows nearly 1.3 million families to put food on the table, but increasingly, when many recipients attempt to use their cards at a store, they're told they don't have enough funds.

At grocery and convenience stores across the state, fraudsters are installing illegal skimming devices that steal money and card data from people swiping cards.

Ohio EBT card user, Alisha Love, says she's been a victim of EBT theft more than once.

She believes the state and federal government should invest in chip security for SNAP to better protect people relying on the program.

I haven't even gotten reimbursed for the first one, and I'm working with legal aid right now.

My kids need money, you know, to eat.

Right now, I am using cash, and it is bleeding me dry from all the finances.

The Ohio Benefits Office recommends SNAP recipients change their PIN number immediately after they suspect being scammed.

Nadia Ramligan reporting.

This is public news service.

New maps show the extent of New York's lead pipe replacement program.

They demonstrate progress in replacing lead service lines, although the state still has an estimated 494,000 of them.

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded New York more than $300 million over the last three years for this, but only $104 million has been awarded to municipalities.

Josh Kleinberg with the New York League of Conservation Voters says additional state funds can replace more lines.

There were 24 projects that were funded from that $104 million that went out, which is great.

But as I mentioned, though, there were an additional 85 other projects requesting money as well, totaling $211 million that went unfunded because there's no additional money.

The Rensselaer County Legislature passed a resolution urging New York state to allocate more funding to lead pipe replacement.

The EPA's new lead and copper rule expected this October will give municipalities nationwide a decade to replace all existing lead pipes.

I'm Edwin J. Vieira.

And new research from the University of New Hampshire could help dairy farmers increase their profits while reducing their impact on the climate.

Scientists say adding a plant-based essential oil blend to cow feed can improve a cow's digestion and reduce the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Associate Professor of Dairy Cattle Nutrition and Management, Andre Bretot, says the findings are especially true for pasture grazing cows and show that a happy cow makes for a healthier environment.

If these animals are providing those conditions, they'll be more productive.

And then the amount of methane that's being emitted by those animals is deluded because they're producing more product.

Bretot says adding the plant oils led to a more than 6 percent increase in milk production.

That's good news for the majority of New Hampshire dairies, which are small to mid-size operations with smaller profit margins and higher equipment costs.

I'm Catherine Carley reporting.

Finally, our Eric Galatas lets us know Wyoming's suicide rate ranks first in the nation.

That's according to the most recent data.

State lawmakers there are taking steps to improve access to mental health care.

The state budget recently passed by legislators to prioritize $10 million for investments in mental health for K through 12 students.

Republican Representative John Conrad was also able to earmark nearly $11 million for the Wyoming 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Conrad says children are more vulnerable now than ever before.

The challenges that they face with not only peer pressure, but the world events, local events, bullying, that really led us to a point where we are seeing an increase in suicides, unfortunately.

Suicide is the seventh leading cause of death in Wyoming, but it's the second leading cause of death for residents between the age of 10 and 44.

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

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