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Rural America is stranded in the dial-up age

As in many rural communities, broadband here lags behind in both speed and available connections. Federal data shows only a fraction of Washington County’s 25,000 residents, including Ms. Johnson, have internet service fast enough to stream videos or access the cloud, activities that residents 80 miles away in St. Louis take for granted.

As High-Tech Farms Take Hold, Can Farm Towns Hold On?

That means farms on the Great Plains and in many other parts of the country have had to grow in size and adopt new technologies to make ends meat. He can’t just farm 80 acres and make a living, he says. “I wish you could. I think life would be a lot simpler, easier,” Biesemeier says. “And there’d be a lot more people out here if that was the case.”About a hundred years ago, farming was the way a third of the country made its living.

Communities take the search for broadband into their own hands

2017 has been a great year for winning legislative battles against bills threatening to curb or eliminate municipal broadband networks. For example: Missouri: anti-muni bill defeated;Tennessee: co-op won, muni lost in compromise bill that became law;Virginia: anti-muni bill also defeated;Maine: anti-muni bill DOA, sponsors killed it within day of introducing it. Constituents were able to work without the threat of punitive legislation in several states. West Virginia and Georgia are among those states whose legislators have opted to work with communities.

Texas budget includes funding for vet school at Texas Tech

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a 2018-2019 state budget worth around $217 billion, vetoing about $120 million in planned expenditures but keeping $4.2 million in funding for a Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. “For everyone in the Panhandle, this is a big victory,” Smithee said.

Court Rules Chimpanzees Are Not Persons

An appeals court ruled that chimps are not legal persons but are they missing something? The New York State Appeals Court rejected an appeal by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) seeking rights for a pair of chimpanzees. The group is not going to let this setback stop them for finding a way to give highly intelligent animals legal rights. The captive chimpanzees in question – Tommy and Kiko – will remain in their cages for now until the NhRP can find a way to help them.

Drug crisis is pushing up death rates for almost all groups of Americans

he opioid epidemic that has ravaged life expectancy among economically stressed white Americans is taking a rising toll among blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, driving up the overall rate of death among Americans in the prime of their lives.Since the beginning of this decade, death rates have risen among people between the ages of 25 and 44 in virtually every racial and ethnic group and almost all states, according to a Washington Post analysis. The death rate among African Americans is up 4 percent, Hispanics 7 percent, whites 12 percent and Native Americans 18 percent.

Heroin Vaccine Blocks Drug High in Tests on Monkeys

A vaccine designed to block a heroin "high" worked in monkeys, which could open the door to human clinical trials, researchers say.This is the first vaccine against an opioid proved to be effective at this stage of testing, according to the development team at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.The vaccine already worked in rodents.For the new trial, four rhesus monkeys given three doses of the vaccine had an effective immune response that neutralized varying doses of heroin. The effect was strongest in the first month but lasted more than eight months after vaccination.

Enviros and BLM reach major public lands settlement in Utah

Thousands of miles of dusty two-tracks crisscross Utah’s remote public lands. Some are historical routes, while others were carved more recently by backcountry recreationists in trucks and four-wheelers. Which roads should still be used and which should be abandoned to protect the environment has been a topic of intense debate for years. Now, Utah is one step closer to ending its roads controversy.  Last week an eight-year lawsuit spanning 11 million acres and 20,000 miles of routes in southern and eastern Utah ended with a settlement.

Communities, not telcos, should define success of municipal broadband networks

For years, incumbents, state legislative allies, and public broadband detractors relied on CTIC and others analysis reports to influence anti-municipal laws, lawsuits, and adverse telecom policies. Communities intend to change the narrative by conveying how they, rather than incumbents, define broadband success. Generating revenue sufficient to cover on-going operating costs and retiring debt incurred to build the original network is considered financial success. Sebewaing Light and Water (SLW) built a gigabit network in 2014.

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