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Home-delivered meals might reduce ER visits, study suggests

Delivering meals to vulnerable sick people might be a simple way to cut back on emergency room visits and hospitalizations, reining in some of the costliest kinds of medical care, according to a new Health Affairs study. Low-income seniors or disabled younger people who received home-delivered meals — particularly meals designed by a dietitian for that person's specific medical needs — had fewer emergency visits and lower medical spending than a similar group of people who did not receive meal deliveries.

Foxconn in Choppy Waters Over Plan to Drain the Great Lakes

The approval of a new factory just outside the Great Lakes Basin could mark the beginning of a manufacturing revitalization that relies on draining millions of gallons of water from the lakes. It’s what Wisconsin’s government hopes for — and environmentalists fear.If given the go-ahead by Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, which is based in Taiwan, would make liquid crystal displays, more commonly known as LCDs, in a factory just outside Racine, Wisconsin.Wisconsin courted Foxconn hard.

Philadelphia Turns Massive Stormwater Runoff Problem Into Economic Boost

Philadelphia has long struggled with stormwater that sends massive amounts of polluted runoff into nearby rivers. Rather than spending nearly $10 billion it didn’t have on a new 30-mile-long tunnel, the city is investing a fraction of that on thousands of “green” infrastructure sites. And the strategy is paying off, Bruce Stutz reports in Yale Environment 360.The city is seven years into a 25-year project designed to reduce 85% Philadelphia’s combined sewer overflows by 85% under an agreement with the EPA, Stutz explained.

Microsoft Pushes to End Broadband Gap in Rural Areas

Tech giant Microsoft is working to eliminate the broadband gap in rural areas, but the company needs rural residents' help to accomplish that goal.  While the private sector can play a leading role in closing the rural broadband gap, the public sector also needs to play a part, she said.

Washington state has the first comprehensive drug take-back program. Which state will be next?

After years of skirmishes, the most comprehensive statewide drug take-back program in the nation became law late last week in Washington, potentially creating a new template for states to press the pharmaceutical industry to underwrite these efforts. The Washington law requires drug makers to fully finance and operate the program, which is designed to lower the threat of drug abuse stemming from medicines that linger in households and also reduce contamination in drinking water.

West Virginia bill requires food stamps recipients to work

Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill into law Tuesday that will require state residents to work or volunteer to receive food stamps. The requirement will begin Oct. 1 and will apply to people who use the program formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The program funds up to $192 for food a month, or $6.40 a day.To continue receiving SNAP benefits, West Virginia residents on the program between the ages of 18 to 49 will need to work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week.

Blimp to bring broadband to rural areas

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a ... broadband blimp? A company founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has begun constructing a new research and development center in Fremont where it will test an industrial version of a blimp known as an aerostat that’s designed to provide wireless broadband coverage in rural and remote areas.Altaeros Energies of Somerville, Mass., has been given town approval to create the permanent test site near a gravel operation at 662 Main St. that will feature a concrete launch pad and a large hangar to house the aerostat.

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