ISSUE 246 | February 29, 2024

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

A Volunteer Ambulance Service Thrives; Pike County Teases its First Hospital

Commissioners from Pike County have teased plans for the first hospital in the county following the launch of a volunteer ambulance service.

Resulting from a $500,000 partnered investment from the township and county, the ambulance service features 24/7 service and new medical equipment, saving lives.

The nearest hospital to Pike County is 40 minutes away in Delaware township; Pike County, Northwell Health, a New York medical organization, and the Lehigh Valley Health Network are working to launch its pilot hospital within the next three years. 

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Federal Funding to Help Clean Up Superfund Sites in Montgomery County

Pennsylvania has announced its partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency to prevent the spread of contamination of drinking water near superfund sites in Montgomery County.

These sites are some of the 25 nationwide sites to receive more than $1 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which expands efforts to clean water pollution.

Approximately 80 percent of the funding from this law targets communities that are experiencing environmental justice concerns, with more than one quarter of Black and Latino residents in the nation living within three miles of a superfund site.  

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Racial Homeownership Gap Persists in Philadelphia Metro, Report Suggests


A recent report conducted by Zillow suggests that the gap in homeownership between Black and white residents of Philadelphia remains present in spite of the increase of Black renters who can afford a mortgage.

This comes as a result of decades long racially-based obstacles to homeownership, such as credit and debt related factors.

Black owned homes were also found to be valued at nearly 30 percent less than white owned homes, in addition to challenges related to home investments post-pandemic. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Late Bloomers: Older Adults College Enrollment Trends and Benefits

New research finds that the majority of increases in college completion in the last few decades can be linked to more individuals pursuing degrees in their mid-twenties.

About 30 percent of college students today started higher education in their twenties or later, the study suggests, with one third of students being at least 25 years old.

There are both benefits and obstacles to being a “late bloomer” in pursuit of a degree, Brookings research discusses below. 


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How the White House is Continuing to Prioritize Equity

The White House has recently released new action plans for equity, focusing on underrepresented communities of color, disabled communities, and those in rural areas.

These plans, such as reexamining the allocation of funds and loans to groups for equity, and improving communication between groups, will look at the government-wide approach to solving long held obstacles to a more equitable society.

Plans to increase collaboration between groups will also be examined.  

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Legal Challenges Against Generative AI: Key Takeaways


Over the last year, generative AI has become widely available and used by the public.

However, this has prompted protective legal action by several content producers and companies, who are looking to prevent AI from misusing or copying their works.

This comes as several other debates regarding the ethics and legal complexities of generative AI are being discussed, especially regarding issues of privacy, copyright infringement, and the use of protected information

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