With the 2020 Census deadline looming at the end of September, today’s headlines look at local coverage from the five states with the lowest response rates as of September 9th, the most recent date available. Please note that many of these stories discuss grief and the final story includes discussion of suicide; the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. As always, these headlines are selected from the front pages curated by Newseum.org. The listed census response rates reflect the percentage of housing units enumerated from the Total Response Rates by State page of 2020Census.gov. Indigenous Territory names and Treaty information are taken from the Native Land map.
“2020 US census questionnaire mailed today” by user Ɱ, available under CC BY-SA 4.0, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
As of September 8th, Alabama was the only state in the country to have a Census response rate under 80 percent. The total response rate for the nation was 88.8% at the time. Alabama was projected to lose a seat in Congress before the Census started, a dire consequence that could be prevented if the state’s census count showed population growth.
“Gray Scale Photo of Topless Man Covering Face” by user pluetoe, available in the public domain, courtesy of Nappy.
At least two Savannahians have close personal ties to people who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center 19 years ago today, making the anniversary especially wrenching. Mary McCourt Sheffield lost her sister-in-law and 4 year-old niece when the plane they were taking to Disneyland flew into the North Tower. Before retiring to Savannah, Jim Grismer worked as general manager of building operations, safety, and security at the World Trade Center, meaning that the attacks resulted in the deaths of hundreds of his former colleagues and friends.
Gloria Hill decided to retire from Hinds County’s Manhattan Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in late July, just as COVID-19 infections at the nursing home were reaching their peak. The 180-bed facility had 144 cases among staff and residents, and 27 deaths in just over a month- the highest in the state- and Hill likened working there to a war zone, saying, “I don't to watch any more people die."
The Grizzly bear, Montana’s state animal, has been under Endangered Species Act protection since 1975. In that time, the grizzly population has rebounded, leading Gov. Steve Bullock to convene an 18-member council to study the issue and draft recommendations for a statewide grizzly management strategy. That council, convened a year ago, released its final recommendations yesterday.
Suicide is already the leading cause of death for Arizonans aged 10-14, and yesterday Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ expressed concern that the COVID-19 pandemic was exacerbating mental health problems and increasing residents’ risk.
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