Morning Headlines - Wednesday, May 31, 2023

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, May 31, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Debt Ceiling Bill Clears First House Hurdle, Teeing Up Wednesday Vote

The bipartisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling and limit government spending passed a critical test in Congress on Tuesday, advancing out of the House Rules Committee despite opposition from some conservatives.

With the clock ticking to prevent the nation from defaulting on its debts the committee, which sets ground rules and the length of time for debating legislation and any amendments allowed, voted 7 to 6 to move the bill to the House floor, where a vote is expected Wednesday.

Two members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who sit on the panel — Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina — voted against allowing it to move forward, saying it does little to rein in government spending.

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Doctors Call For Changes To Laws That Criminalize Drug Use During Pregnancy

Brandi Williams had been up for two straight days smoking crack cocaine when she realized she was going into labor.

It was a cold Tennessee morning in December 2014, and Williams had to pull herself together to get to a hospital. She borrowed a car from a friend whose excessive alcohol use required him to have a breathalyzer attached to the car's starter.

"Here I am in full-blown labor, driving myself and I can feel the baby's head, like, right there," Williams recalls. "And I'm having to blow in this damn machine or the car would shut off."

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White House, GOP Both Claim Victory On Student Loans In Debt Limit Bill

The hot-button issue of student loans has found its way into the high-stakes debt ceiling deal, with Republicans claiming a victory that the end of the pandemic-era payment pause is locked in and the White House arguing that no concessions were made.

The debt deal outlines that the pause ends 60 days after June 30, which takes off the table another extension that advocates were hoping to extract from President Biden.

Biden had outlined in November that payments would resume either 60 days after the Supreme Court rules on his student loan forgiveness plan or 60 days after June 30, whichever came first. But the final bill text doesn’t factor in the high court decision at all.

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AI Same Risk As Nuclear Wars, Experts Warn

The heads of two of the leading AI firms have once again warned of the existential threat posed by advanced artificial intelligence.

DeepMind and OpenAI chief executives Demis Hassabis and Sam Altman pledged their support to a short statement published by the Centre for AI Safety, which claimed that regulators and lawmakers should take the “severe risks” more seriously.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war,” the statement read.

The Centre for AI Safety, a San Francisco-based non-profit, was founded in 2022 with the aim of reducing “societal-scale risks from AI”, claiming that the use of artificial intelligence in warfare could be “extremely harmful” if used to develop new chemical weapons and enhance aerial combat.

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Adorable And Ultra Rare 1-In-10-Million White Bison Is Born In Wyoming

A state park in Wyoming has beaten the odds to welcome the birth of an ultra rare white bison.

Staff at Bear River State Park saw a 'little white ball of fluff' when the calf was born on May 16 weighing just 30 pounds- which is half of that of other newborns.

It was born to one of the park's two white bison heifers, which arrived in 2021, and it is the first to be born there.

White bison are incredibly rare throughout the US and are considered sacred in many Native American tribes.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Wisconsin Business Owners, Lawmakers React To Minnesota Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

With the stroke of a pen, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz legalized recreational marijuana Tuesday.

The move makes Wisconsin an island in a sea of states that now offer recreational Marijuana. Those are Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

For Wisconsin business owners and lawmakers in favor of legalizing recreational Marijuana, Minnesota's new legislation is both exciting and concerning.

“I would definitely support legalization of marijuana,” said Jonny Novak, co-owner of Quality CBD in Madison. "When you're supporting another state, your state is losing money."

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Adaptive Reuse Could Help Address Wisconsin's Affordable Housing Shortage

A project in Oshkosh is converting a historic former elementary school into affordable housing, and similar adaptive reuse projects could help address the state’s housing shortage.

In 2021, demand for rental units reduced vacancy rates and drove up rents nationwide, disproportionately affecting low-income households who struggled to cover rents, according to a 2022 report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Wisconsin is no exception. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, one-quarter of the state’s renter households are "extremely low income," and 69 percent of those extremely low-income households dedicate over half of their income to housing.

The coalition says Wisconsin needs over 126,000 affordable rental units to address the issue. And the American Planning Association says adaptive reuse could be part of the solution.

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Wisconsin Speller Advanced To The Quarterfinals In Scripps National Spelling Bee

A Wisconsin speller is moving forward in the Scripps National Spelling Bee!

The Spelling Bee started Tuesday morning with 231 spellers taking the stage. Tonight, that number will shrink with just about 70 or so spellers making it to the next round, the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals start Wednesday at 7 a.m.

Representing the State of Wisconsin, and our only speller from the state this year, Aiden Wijeyakulasuriya is moving on!

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Risk Of Pavement Buckling Rises With Temperatures

Warmer temperatures forecast throughout Wisconsin could create conditions for pavement buckling. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is advising motorists to be alert and take extra caution.

Pavement can buckle when the weather quickly goes from cool to very hot. This causes slabs of pavement to expand and push against one another. If the pressure becomes great enough, the pavement can buckle and create unexpected bumps or dips.

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Wisconsin DNR Warns Of Elevated Fire Danger This Week

Current fire danger is High across most of Wisconsin after an extended period of dry weather. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, contributing factors include warm temperatures, very low relative humidity and wind. Much of the state has not had any rain in the past 10 days. In addition, the rain that was received prior was minimal. The WisBurn Fire Map provides updated fire risks for all 72 counties.

The DNR and local fire departments responded to over 90 wildfires in the last week, burning an estimated 30 acres. Fortunately, annual green-up progressed across most of the state, and the winds have been light. Suppression crews have been successful with attacking fires quickly, minimizing fire growth.

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Last Update: May 31, 2023 6:47 am CDT

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