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Pre-Existing Conditions Are a Thing in Pet Insurance Too

California’s pet insurance regulations, which experts peg as the strictest in the country, owe their existence to a dearly departed golden retriever named Bodie. It was Bodie’s death more than a decade ago from blood cancer, and his owner’s subsequent tussle with a pet insurance company for reimbursement of medical expenses, that led to the legislation requiring California’s pet insurance rules today. But outside of the Golden State, pet insurance is governed by a loose, state-by-state set of regulations that vary widely, experts say.

Minnesota grant program offers money, and legitimacy, for urban agriculture

Urban farming in Minnesota reached a milestone this summer, when the state announced the first round of grants for agriculture education and development projects in cities. It’s the first time the state has allocated money specifically for urban agriculture, and it took several tries to get the legislation passed.

How young Iowans in one small town could land jobs paying $75,000

This north-central Iowa town of about 4,200 people faces many of the problems other rural communities face: Shrinking population, deteriorating downtowns, aging homes and consolidating schools. But a unique agreement with a Des Moines technology consultant could change its future — and possibly provide a model for revitalizing other rural Iowa communities. Pillar Technology plans to open a $1.7 million office in Jefferson and hire up to 30 workers.

USDA launches interactive tool addressing opioid epidemic

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced the United States Department of Agriculture has launched an interactive data tool to help community leaders build grassroots strategies to address the opioid epidemic. The opioid misuse Community Assessment Tool enables users to overlay substance misuse data against socioeconomic, census and other public information.

Partnership helps to expand broadband service in Illinois, Iowa, and South Dakota

There are more than 19 million people living in rural America who lack access to a broadband internet connections, including about 22 percent of people in rural Iowa, 36 percent of people in rural Illinois, and 25 percent of people in rural South Dakota. A partnership between Microsoft and  an Illinois-based wireless internet provider hope to cut into those numbers at least a little.

Tech Giant, Local Agencies Work to Bring Broadband to Rural Virginia

Southern Virginia's economy has been devastated by the loss of the tobacco and textile industries that sustained it through much of its history. Now with the help of a corporate giant, local innovators are trying to remake part of Southside in the image of the digital age.Microsoft first came to Southside Virginia when it picked a location in Mecklenberg County for a new data center in 2010. As that center has grown so has the company's interest in supporting digital infrastructure growth and education in Mecklenberg and surrounding counties.

Business Council passes Wyoming broadband plan

During a special meeting, the Wyoming Business Council approved the Wyoming Broadband Advisory Council’s plan to enhance internet access in the state.The broadband council was established during the state’s most recent legislative session through Senate File 100, allocating $10 million for broadband improvement projects and outlining strategies to help maximize funding distribution.

New Study Says BLM Lands Bring Money & Jobs To Idaho

A new study says wildlife-related activities on Bureau of Land Management land brings in millions of dollars to western states.  The study found things like hunting, fishing and wildlife watching on BLM land brings in more than $3 billion in total economic output to 12 western states including Idaho.the 246 million acres of land supports 26,500 jobs and generates $1 billion in salaries and wages. The land also brought in $421 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.For Idaho, that translated into $85 million in salaries and wages in 2016.


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