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Washington state can sue Purdue Pharma over opioid marketing: judge

A Washington state court judge has rejected OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit by the state’s attorney general seeking to hold the pharmaceutical company accountable for its role the opioid epidemic. King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Moore on Friday denied Purdue’s motion to dismiss Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s case, becoming the third judge nationally to allow a state to pursue claims against the opioid manufacturer.

Trump signs executive order pushing work requirements for the poor

The president called for enforcing work requirements that are already in the law and reviewing all waivers and exemptions to such mandates. Also, the executive order asked agencies to consider adding work requirements to government aid programs that lack them. The agencies have 90 days to submit a list of recommended policy and regulatory changes.The move is the latest step in the administration's effort to require low-income Americans to work for their federal benefits.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs new limits on welfare programs into law

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday signed new limits on welfare programs into law, committing state and federal taxpayers to nearly $80 million in spending to draw more people into the labor force. "Our ... welfare reform bills ensure help to those who truly need it, while providing the training and assistance they need to re-enter the workforce and regain independence," Walker said in a statement.Supporters have said that, with the state's unemployment rate at an all-time low of 2.9%, it's the ideal time to shift more people from food stamps and other public benefits to jobs.

Iowa 'sanctuary' city ban signed into law

Iowa cities and counties that intentionally violate federal immigration law will have their state funding revoked under a bill signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds Tuesday.  Senate File 481 targets so-called sanctuary communities across the state and has drawn widespread debate in the Capitol and across the state. It takes effect July 1. Reynolds, a Republican, did not hold a public bill signing event.

USDA offering funding to address opioid crisis in rural communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications to a pair of grant programs that aim to address opioid misuse in rural communities. The federal agency is setting aside $5 million in the Community Facilities Grant program and is giving priority to Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program applications that propose innovative projects addressing the issue."The opioid epidemic is dramatically impacting prosperity in many small towns and rural places across the country," said Anne Hazlett, the assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development.

Tom Campbell: Our rural areas are suffering. What will help?

Eighty of North Carolina’s 100 counties are considered rural -- the population density is less than 250 people per square mile. Our state has the second-largest rural population of any, just behind Texas. When many of us think rural, we immediately think agriculture. There are some 50,000 farms in our state, most of them small.I’d ask why a company would not want to be in a region so wonderful. This produced the recitation of rural problems, as true today as it was then. Despite conscientious efforts, rural areas still don’t have major road networks.

Broadband funding is in the works for rural communities in Georgia

A program is now in place to bring fast internet to hard-to-reach rural communities in Georgia. Now, lawmakers just have to fight about the money. Both chambers passed state Sen. Steve Gooch's Achieving Connectivity Everywhere Act last week, creating a grant program to fund broadband expansion. But the bill, which will go to Gov. Nathan Deal's desk, does not guarantee funding.

Florida Fish and Wildlife offers wild hog hunts

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers late spring and summer hog hunts on several wildlife management areas across the state? And you don’t even need a hunting license to participate in these great opportunities. Wild hogs, also called wild pigs, wild boars and feral pigs, are not native to Florida but were introduced over 500 years ago by Spanish explorers.

Opioid shortage affects animal medications, too

An opioid shortage affecting how hospitals care for patients has reached veterinary clinics and how they sedate pets during surgery. Since last year, less opioid medications have been manufactured because of concerns about the oversupply of the addictive drugs. And production facilities for opioids such as morphine and Dilaudid have shut down because of damage from the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico and floods in Texas in 2017.Hospitals, and now veterinary clinics, have to stockpile the sedatives they have, and are turning to alternative medications.

Tennessee Economic Development Officials Offer To Help Rescue Rural Hospitals

Tennessee's economic development officials want to help rescue rural hospitals. They propose dispatching restructuring specialists to a dozen or more hospitals that are teetering on the edge. Tennessee has lost more hospitals since 2012 than any state but Texas, and the Department of Economic and Community Development argues that hospitals are doubly important for rural communities. They're often the largest employer around, and without one, it's virtually impossible to recruit major businesses to the area.

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