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Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide Represent Growing Share of U.S. Mortality

Americans are killing themselves at an alarming rate. Nationwide, the mortality rate from drug poisoning, alcohol poisoning, and suicide increased by 52 percent between 2000 and 2014. Most of this increase was driven by a surge in prescription opioid and heroin overdoses, but overdoses from other drugs, suicides by means other than drugs, and alcohol-induced deaths also increased over this period. Between 2010 and 2014, drugs, alcohol, or suicide were the underlying cause of death for 537,000 people and were contributing factors in an additional 133,000 deaths.

Colleges Discover the Rural Student

“All of a sudden, rural is on everyone’s mind,” said Kai A. Schafft, director of the Center on Rural Education and Communities at Penn State, adding that November’s vote amplified the plight of people who had heretofore been “pretty systematically ignored, dismissed or passed over.” That’s partly because, while the federal government labels 72 percent of the nation’s land area “rural,” it is home to only 14 percent of the population, and rural schools educate just 18 percent of the nation’s public school students.

How To Make Broadcast Towers More Bird-Friendly: Turn Off Some Lights

"We were able to reduce the numbers of bird fatalities on communications towers by simply extinguishing those nonflashing lights," she says. "Those fatalities were reduced by as much as 70 percent."  Exactly why isn't yet clear, but she has a theory.  "Some research has documented that when birds are exposed to long wavelengths of light such as red or white that it actually interferes with their ability to use magnetic fields for navigation," Gehring says.  She says that's especially true on cloudy nights when birds can't navigate by the stars.

Community Banks On The Decline Since 1980s

Community banks across America are disappearing at astonishing rates due to pressure from the rising costs of doing business. In an AgDay exclusive, stockholder-owned lending company Farmer Mac is releasing the results of its study on the health of the farm economy. The lender says more than 10,000 community banks have ceased to exist since 1984, largely due to failure, mergers and acquisitions. Farmer Mac economists are quick to point out that many of these banks were smaller with a limited number of employees and were gobbled up by larger banks.

Federal Court Orders Wisconsin Legislature To Redraw District Lines

A federal court has ordered Wisconsin lawmakers to redraw the state’s legislative district lines by Nov. 1, saying the current lines are unconstitutional and should be replaced in time for the November 2018 election. "Under the prevailing view in this court, the people of Wisconsin already have endured several elections under an unconstitutional reapportionment scheme," wrote Judges Kenneth Ripple, Barbara Crabb and William Griesbach in an eight-page court order.

Restoring rural America: community building in the modern era

Small business drives the rural economy. Rural areas that don’t have the infrastructure and population to draw in big business, support thriving small businesses. Over the last 30 years small businesses created over eight million new jobs. Fifty-five percent of all U.S. jobs are with small businesses. In Ohio, the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry has an 87 percent small business employment share. Mom’s diner and Pop’s bait shop create a sense of place for community members.

Tennessee rural development depends on broadband plan

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has been working to ensure that Tennessee is the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs and succeeding.  In the past two years, TNECD has received nearly 50,000 job commitments from expanding or relocating businesses that have committed nearly $11 billion capital investment in our state.

Holes in Rural Insurance

During year-end meetings with farm clients, Minneapolis-based consultant Rod Mauszycki, heard farmers pose a question the veteran tax adviser had never heard before, "What's the penalty for not carrying health insurance next year?" "Many farm families are getting charged $20,000, $30,000, or even close to $40,000 in premiums and out-of-pocket costs before their insurance kicks in," said Mauszycki, a principal with Clifton Larson Allen LLP's agribusiness and cooperative group. "The federal penalty of $1,000 to $2,000 is relatively minor.

Rural Georgia’s struggles getting lawmakers’ attention

Lawmakers are talking about the problems that plague some of Georgia’s smaller communities. Main Street businesses that have closed. Financially struggling hospitals. Poor internet connections. Schools that don’t offer all the classes that will help students get into the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech. Young people moving to cities and never coming back.  Now there’s a move afoot in the state House to try and look at all these things comprehensively.

NASA, NOAA Concur 2016 Was World’s Warmest Year on Record

It it felt like this past year was hotter than usual, you were not imagining things. According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Planet Earth’s surface temperatures during 2016 were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.  This finding makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures and continues what has been a long-term warming trend. Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 1.78°F warmer than the mid-20th century mean.


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