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Rural

Opioids and their impact on our rural counties

Our series shares stories from three rural counties with high rates of drug overdose deaths. But they are just an illustration of the opioid epidemic that’s hitting your county, too. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to solving the opioid epidemic, but these solutions are from Ohio and around the country. Some are personal action items, some can be accomplished by organizations and others require local, state or federal governments to act. Which ones are at work in your community, and which ones can you work to put in place?

Concentrated Poverty Increased in Both Rural and Urban Areas Since 2000, Reversing Declines in the 1990s

The number of nonmetropolitan counties with high poverty rates increased between the 2000 Decennial Census and 2011–2015 (hereafter 2013) American Community Survey (ACS), and so did the share of the rural population residing in these disadvantaged areas. Over this time period, the percentage of rural counties with poverty rates of 20 percent or more increased from a fifth to nearly one-third, and the share of the rural population living in these places nearly doubled to over 31 percent.

NY: Cuomo offering free admission at state parks on Black Friday

Gov. Cuomo is offering New Yorkers a less costly way to spend Black Friday than shopping — visiting a state park. Cuomo announced Friday that state parks will have free admission on the day after Thanksgiving and will host various family friendly events and programs throughout the holiday weekend.

Florida let hepatitis C go untreated in prisons. Now it may cost taxpayers millions.

The state of Florida may have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in treatment costs to as many as 20,000 sick inmates after a federal judge ruled that prison officials had failed to properly care for felons infected with the hepatitis C virus. The ruling, by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker, requires the Florida Department of Corrections to immediately treat a significant portion of the state’s 98,000 inmates who test positive for the viral infection with direct acting antiviral drugs, a 12-week treatment that now costs about $37,000 per patient.

School mergers seen as barrier in rural economy

According to the nearly three dozen witnesses who testified at a Nov. 7 hearing of the state’s Rural Development Caucus, Vermont’s small towns are losing population, have unreliable internet, fewer job opportunities, higher transportation costs and a smaller tax base that makes paying for essential services difficult.

MI Soybean Farmers Partner with Midland County to Promote Better Rural Bridge Evaluation and Management

 Michigan farmers depend upon rural bridges to efficiently deliver their commodities to the local elevator or processing facility. The structural integrity of this infrastructure is essential to farmer profitability. Unfortunately, an increasing number of rural bridges in the state are load limited, requiring vehicles transporting agricultural commodities to detour - often at significant distances. This results in additional costs being inserted in the nation's food delivery system and diminished profitability for Michigan farmers.

Community Health Workers’ Role in Health Care Delivery

With current shortages of health care professionals in rural Pennsylvania, community health workers have the potential to play a significant role in the delivery of rural health services, according to research out of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Currently, there is no single definition of a community health worker (CHW).

Pharmaceutical, personal care pollution impacts aquatic life

Traditional toxicity testing underestimates the risk that pharmaceutical and personal care product pollution poses to freshwater ecosystems. Criteria that account for ecological disruption -- not just organism death -- are needed to protect surface waters, which are under pressure from a growing population and escalating synthetic chemical use.

Citizen investment drives rural Kansas

Without question, the most important resource in Phillipsburg, Dodge City, Pittsburg, Salina or any community in Kansas, is human resources. If you look up the definition of human resources, you will find it as: “the individuals who make up the community and their learned skills that create the ability to lead teams of people, manage systems and produce goods and services.” Rural communities thrive and prosper when farmers, ranchers and small community businesses work together for the common good.

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