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‘Desperate Situation’: States Are Housing High-Needs Foster Kids in Offices and Hotels

Isela Perez entered the custody of Georgia’s child welfare system at age 10. It happened after her father was deported and her mother left her and her brother alone in their home for two weeks, she said. Perez estimates she moved more than 20 times among group homes, mental health facilities, and foster families. “A […]

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Few Eligible Families Have Applied for Government Help to Pay for Covid Funerals

On a humid August afternoon in 2020, two caskets ― one silver, one white ― sat by holes in the ground at a small, graveside service in the town of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. The family had just lost a mom and dad, both to covid-19. “They died five days apart,” said Allison Leaver, their […]

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To Be One in a Million: ‘Who Thinks It’s Going to Be You?’

BEND, Ore. — Monica Melkonian wanted the Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine. It was only one shot and then she would be protected against the virus. So she was thrilled when the vaccination clinic at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center on April 7 had her first choice. But on April 13, Melkonian started […]

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Covid-Overwhelmed Hospitals Postpone Cancer Care and Other Treatment

It’s a bad time to get sick in Oregon. That’s the message from some doctors, as hospitals fill up with covid-19 patients and other medical conditions go untreated. Charlie Callagan looked perfectly healthy sitting outside recently on his deck in the smoky summer air in the small Rogue Valley town of Merlin, in southern Oregon. […]

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Trump’s Lame-Duck Status Leaves Governors to Wing It on COVID

Not long after the world learned that President Donald Trump had lost his reelection bid, states began issuing a new round of crackdowns and emergency declarations against the surging coronavirus. Taking action this time were Republican governors who had resisted doing so during the spring and summer. Now they face an increasingly out-of-control virus and […]

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Wildfires’ Toxic Air Leaves Damage Long After the Smoke Clears

SEELEY LAKE, Mont. — When researchers arrived in this town tucked in the Northern Rockies three years ago, they could still smell the smoke a day after it cleared from devastating wildfires. Their plan was to chart how long it took for people to recover from living for seven weeks surrounded by relentless smoke. They […]