The Trump Administration Hasn't Released $16B in Storm Funds it Promised

Issue #31: Hep C meds aren't available to PR's, the island could help save the bees and more...

Ed. note: I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa – whatever you may celebrate – and a happy New Year. Now back to the weekly newsletter.
HUD Delays Release of Billions of Dollars in Storm Protection for Puerto Rico and Texas

Though the $16 million in storm mitigation funds was authorized last February, they have yet to be released. State officials say the feds have yet to draft rules for how local agencies can apply for the money. George P. Bush, a Texas elected official and the son of Jeb Bush, is among the elected officials who have issued a complaint. (Stuart Leavenworth / McClatchy)

People in Puerto Rico Can't Get the Same Hepatitis C Meds as Other American Citizens Do

A pilot project developed in 2015 to provided medication to Hepatitis C patients in Puerto Rico ran out of funding. The executive director of the ACLU said he is considering filing a lawsuit against Puerto Rico for failing to provide the medication to individuals enrolled in Medicaid.

Growing Opioid Crisis Adds to Puerto Rico’s Problems

The U.S. government and local nonprofits say the opioid problem in Puerto Rico is worse than is being reported because local officials are not keeping up with the count. The island’s government also failed to apply for a multimillion dollar grant that could have helped address the problem. (Danica Coto / Associated Press)

Puerto Rican Flag Mural Debate Still Rages, but La Placita is Opening Anyway

The furor over a giant Puerto Rican flag painted on the outside of a three-story building in Miami hasn’t quite died down. (Carlos Frias /

→ Puerto Rico May Hold the Answer to Saving the Bees

Scientists in Puerto Rico think that the local bee species, known for being gentle, could help give mainland bees a better chance for survivial. (Kari Sonde / Mother Jones)

→ 'We Are All in This Together': California, Puerto Rico Officials Join in Climate Fight

Officials from southern California joined San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz in San Juan and said they would support each other during climate emergencies. Said Cruz: “It's very important to know that you're not alone when you're going through this devastation.” (Kristin Lam / USA Today)

Puerto Rico’s Biggest Airport Continues to Rebound

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is continuing to see an uptick in traffic, according to new data. San Juan saw a 20.9 increase in passenger traffic in just December. (Caribbean Journal)

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