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Rural

Report calls for the end of NC broadnband restrictions

Electric cooperatives offer a promising way for small cities and rural areas in North Carolina to build access to high-capacity broadband. But state laws hamper those efforts, and large commercial providers are in no hurry to fill the gap, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.  Commercial internet providers are making progress with fiber-to-the-home and other high-capacity services in major urban parts of North Carolina, the report says. But in rural areas, fiber and higher-capacity build outs are few and far between, the report says.

Politics and elections: rural voters - not issues - get attention

A recent internal federal investigation reminded us of why elections are important — and how damaging it is that discussion of issues affecting rural America is nearly missing from this presidential campaign. The Office of Inspector General of the federal Health and Human Services Department released two reports criticizing the care provided in 28 hospitals directly operated by the federal Indian Health Service.

Drug-Addiction Epidemic Creates Crisis in Foster Care

The nation’s drug-addiction epidemic is driving a dramatic increase in the number of children entering foster care, forcing many states to take urgent steps to care for neglected children.  Several states, such as New Hampshire and Vermont, have either changed laws to make it possible to pull children out of homes where parents are addicted, or have made room in the budget to hire more social workers to deal with the emerging crisis.  Other states, such as Alaska, Kansas and Ohio, have issued emergency pleas for more people to become foster parents and take neglected children, many of them

Winter Is Coming, And It Could Get Wicked

According to AccuWeather’s winter 2016-2017 outlook, chances are high for temperature and precipitation extremes to impact large portions of the U.S., making a long season seem even longer for many.  Of particular note for Florida citrus growers, reports indicate that while very mild air is expected to hang on in the Southeast region throughout December, 2017 will bring with it a pattern change and sudden burst of cold air. Other highlights from the forecast include:Frequent storms across the northeastern U.S.

UNH Research Finds Rural Immigrants Twice as Likely to Be Poor than Workers Born in the U.S.

Rural immigrants are more likely to be of working age (18-64), are more racially and ethnically diverse, are less educated and are more likely to have children than the rural population born in the U.S., an analysis of data by researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy found. The researchers found that working rural immigrants are nearly twice as likely as rural U.S. born workers to be poor, and they are poorer and have less education than their urban counterparts.

Supporting rural broadband & economy

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $32 million in loans and grants that will promote economic development and provide access to broadband in more than 80 rural American communities. Vilsack, who is chair of the first-ever White House Rural Council, convened the forum with rural policy, business and nonprofit leaders to discuss pertinent issues facing rural communities, including opportunities for economic growth and strategies for improving health care and housing.

New partnership leverages more than $400 million for rural facilities

A new private-public partnership with USDA, private foundations, and banks will help rural community development organizations take advantage of more than $400 million in federal loans to build community facilities like health clinics, schools, and child-care centers. The Uplift America fund, which was announced today, will provide private grants to help community development financial institutions manage and invest USDA Community Facilities loans. The organizations receiving the loans via USDA will, in turn, re-lend the money locally to facilities projects.

Cabela’s Deal Spurs Uncertainty for Small Nebraska Town

The small town’s biggest success story and biggest employer, outdoor-gear retailer Cabela’s Inc., was being sold to rival Bass Pro Shops for $4.5 billion. The combination, which had been rumored for months, set off fresh fears about job losses at Cabela’s headquarters and what it could mean to the area’s future.  “When Cabela’s thrives, the town thrives,” said the 61-year-old. “It means there are more people who are going to buy more products here. We have car dealerships.

Screwworm infestation threatens tiny deer in Florida Keys

An agricultural emergency has been declared in the Florida Keys over a fly larvae infestation threatening endangered deer found only in the island chain. In a statement Monday, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the discovery of New World screwworm in the National Key Deer Refuge “sends shivers down every rancher’s spine.” Screwworm feed on the animals’ flesh, and infestations can be fatal to livestock and pets.  Refuge manager Dan Clark says about 40 of the 3-feet-tall Key deer have had to be euthanized over the last month due to the screwworm infestation.

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