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Rural

Virginia’s uneven recovery mirrors its growing political divide

The averages may say that Virginia’s job growth almost tracks the nation’s recovery. But those overall numbers are driven by large urban counties, especially in the northern suburbs of the District. Across Virginia, as voters decide the nation’s most-watched election this year, most areas had fewer jobs in 2016 than in 2007.This uneven economy could impact the governor’s race between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Of the 133 counties and cities in Virginia, 85 have lost jobs since 2007.

Notes from the Senate: Rural Georgia’s economy

The Georgia House and the Senate have appointed study committees to examine issues in rural development. Attendance at the meetings has been strong. Rural hospitals top the list. Communities with no healthcare facilities are pretty much dead in the water for economic development.There’s the fear that an existing hospital will close its doors and a community will be perceived as without a future.This has caused local governments to support their hospitals with local tax dollars.

Veterinarians help reverse K-9 overdoses

The opioid epidemic is affecting more than just people. "They're not just dogs I mean the dog lives with me, he's my partner, he's with me 24/7," Deputy Chad Beasley, with the Champaign County Sheriff's Office, says. "I always jokingly say, 'he's with me more than my wife' which is probably true."Arco is Deputy Beasley's partner. He is a 5 year old Dutch Shepherd."I've had him on the street for about 4 years now," Beasley says.Arco helps with tracking people, finding weapons, and seeking out heroin.

Regulation Is Killing Community Banks – Public Banks Can Revive Them

Crushing regulations are driving small banks to sell out to the megabanks, a consolidation process that appears to be intentional. Publicly-owned banks can help avoid that trend and keep credit flowing in local economies.The number of US banks with assets under $100 million dropped from 13,000 in 1995 to under 1,900 in 2014. The regulatory burden imposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act exacerbated this trend, with community banks losing market share at double the rate during the four years after 2010 as in the four years before.

USDA proposes lifting mining ban near Grand Canyon

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday proposed lifting a mining ban on land near Grand Canyon National Park as part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to sweep away regulations impeding development.“Adoption of this recommendation could re-open lands to mineral entry pursuant to the United States mining laws facilitating exploration for, and possibly development of, uranium resources,” the department wrote in a report to the White House seen by Reuters.The area potentially affected by the reopening is managed by the department’s Forest Service.

Minnesota testing farmer health care cooperative

Farmers in most of the country are left largely with the same health-insurance options they have faced in the past when it comes to the law, though a new experiment is starting in Minnesota with a farmer health-insurance cooperative. The idea of a farmer health-care cooperative had been kicked around in Minnesota since 2009 but had faced multiple regulatory stumbling blocks.

Cover crops provide bed and breakfast layover for migrating birds

After harvesting a corn or soybean crop, farmers may plant a cover crop for a variety of reasons—to reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff, increase organic matter in the soil, and improve water quality. Now there’s another reason. University of Illinois research shows that migratory birds prefer to rest and refuel in fields with cover crops. “Here in the Midwest, we’re in one of the major flyway zones for migratory birds, where there once was plenty of habitat for grassland birds to safely forage and rest during their migration.

The changing politics of woods work

Cash-strapped agencies use private contractors to the detriment of local communities. Hawkinson’s assertion that manual labor such as tree-planting, thinning timber and fuel-reduction logging is the kind of work that no modern Americans want to do comes up over and over again. There is, of course, a built-in conundrum in the question: As long as we have thousands of poor migrants, willing to plant our trees for $13.85 per hour or less, and as long as local Americans are actively discouraged from taking such jobs, we’ll never know the answer.

VT Lawmakers group to hold hearing at Statehouse for public feedback, new ideas on local economy

The Vermont House Rural Development Caucus will hold a public hearing at the Statehouse, from 5-7 p.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to hear from municipal, business, education, and nonprofit interests in rural Vermont about what issues are the most pressing. The Rural Development Caucus, also known as the Rural Economic Development Working Group, is a nonpartisan group of Vermont lawmakers that seeks to ensure that the needs of rural Vermont are considered when public policy is contemplated, debated, or enacted

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