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How to turn a struggling small town around

This story is the first installment of a three-part series focusing on the challenges and solutions for affordable housing in Boulder, Montana.rom that work came ten goals and strategies for implementing those goals.

The ‘scenery economy’ reinvigorates a Montana town

As the holiday season gets its start on a clear morning in late November, Main Street here looks like something out of a Hallmark movie. A window washer cleans down storefronts along blocks of historic brick buildings — a candy store, a microbrewery, coffee shops, restaurants, antique stores. Wreaths hang off ornate light posts. The surrounding hills are scattered with snow. Banners hung from windows and balconies celebrate the high school football team, the Titans, which has won a state 8-man class championship the previous weekend. This was a much different scene a quarter century ago.

How to turn motorized rec into a sustainable economy

Mining and ranching is the main economy of Challis, Idaho. When the Thompson Creek Mining Company, a molybdenum mine west of Challis, ended their mining operations in 2014, the bust in the economy rattled the community. At its peak, the molybdenum mine employed around 400 people, accounting for more than half of Custer County’s tax roll. Today, around 50 remain. “They were the largest employer but now they are probably the second largest,” said Greg Webster, owner of The Bent Rod outdoor store and president of Challis’ Chamber of Commerce.

Washington Senate committee advances bill on rural water wells

A bill to reopen rural Washington to new wells unanimously passed the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, an unprecedented but tenuous bipartisan response to the Hirst court decision. The committee’s lead Republican, Moses Lake Sen. Judy Warnick, said she expects the full Senate to vote on the legislation in the next few days.“This is a necessary bill for the fishermen and all the people who want to live and work in rural areas,” she said.Senate Bill 6091 proposes short-term regulations for new household wells.

Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country. The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries.

Animal research helps pets, too

This past October, the Foundation for Biomedical Research launched its "Love Animals? Support Animal Research" campaign to educate the public about how animal research has improved the health and welfare of companion animals. Similar public outreach efforts have focused on the benefits to human health derived from animal research, such as development of vaccines for polio and hepatitis A and B. "Love Animals?

Trump declared an opioids emergency. Then nothing changed.

President Donald Trump in October promised to "liberate" Americans from the "scourge of addiction," officially declaring a 90-day public health emergency that would urgently mobilize the federal government to tackle the opioid epidemic. That declaration runs out on Jan. 23, and beyond drawing more attention to the crisis, virtually nothing of consequence has been done.Trump has not formally proposed any new resources or spending, typically the starting point for any emergency response.

Single payer could solve the rural hospital crisis

America’s rural hospitals are closing down at an alarming rate. According to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, there were seventy-two rural hospital closures between 2010 and 2016, close to double the number that shut down between 2005 and 2009. Hundreds more are teetering on the brink of closure. Consequently, rural America faces a serious health care delivery challenge, which is made all the more urgent by the fact that rural residents tend to be much sicker to begin with. They have higher rates of chronic conditions and greater psychological distress.

Climate and Weather Disasters Cost U.S. a Record $306 Billion in 2017

Hurricane Harvey's extreme rainfall and the most devastating wildfire season on record contributed to $306 billion in damages from climate and weather disasters in the United States in 2017, shattering the previous record by more than $90 billion, according to a federal report released Monday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's recap of the nation's climate over the past year found that 2017 was the third-warmest on record. What's more, it was warmer than average in every state across the lower 48 and Alaska for the third consecutive year.

New Jersey set to ban animals in circuses

New Jersey could become the first state in the nation to essentially ban old-fashioned circuses, ones with wild animals. The state Assembly, in one of its last voting sessions scheduled for tomorrow, is slated to give final legislative passage to S-2508, a bill that would prohibit the use of elephants and other exotic animals in acts traveling to or around New Jersey.


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