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Michigan needs $59B more for infrastructure to fulfill new 20-year improvement vision

Michigan became the first state in the U.S. to develop a full list of infrastructure recommendations when Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled that report. More than 100 recommendations across four areas - water, transportation, energy and communications - resulted from months of work by the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission. "This is not an answer by itself, but a road map," Snyder told a crowd gathered at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, in addition to viewers at satellite locations in the state.

State Medicaid Expansion impacyon Health Insurance Coverage at the County Level

Counties and states with large shares of uninsured risk having to contend with a range of health and economic impacts, such as reduced workplace productivity, unsustainable demands on emergency departments, higher tax burdens resulting from uncompensated care costs, and deteriorating health care quality due to reductions in public spending. In 2013, before the implementation of major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, 41 million U.S. adults age 19–64 had no health insurance. Coverage varies considerably by geographic location.

Extreme downpours could increase fivefold across parts of the US

At century's end, the number of summertime storms that produce extreme downpours could increase by more than 400 percent across parts of the United States — including sections of the Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, and the Southwest — according to a new study.

How a Texas community saved its hospital — and vice versa

In the early 2000s, no one in Jacksboro, Texas thought much of Faith Community Hospital, the fifty-year-old hospital in the center of town. The building was substandard. Staff morale was low. Patients preferred to drive thirty miles or more to Fort Worth or Wichita Falls for care. And when the hospital flunked a Medicare inspection due to mold and asbestos, voters rejected a bond issue to build a new hospital by a 3-to-1 margin.Then, in 2010, Frank Beaman came to town, taking on the role of Faith’s CEO with a keen understanding of what was at stake.

Fighting Opioid Abuse in Indian Country

When Misty Jones looks back on her drug-using years, she sees a pattern. Since she was 18, she’s been having babies, using drugs, losing custody of her babies, and trying to quit drugs so she can get them back. Now 36 and in recovery from heroin addiction for 15 months, Jones, a member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe, said she realizes she needs to beat her drug habit before she can take care of her children. “This time it’s going to be all about Misty and getting clean and not about Misty and getting her kids back,” she said.

Texas Lowe's hires retired vet and his service dog, now an internet 'celebrity'

After suffering a leg injury while enlisted in the Air Force, finding work became a challenge for a Texas man and his service dog until he walked into a Lowe's Home Improvement store.  Clay Luthy was working as a handyman, doing his best to support his three children, when he was shopping the Abilene store and decided to submit a job application, Lowe's spokeswoman Karen Cobb told mySA.com, adding Luthy's injuries prevented him from bending his knee.  Human Resources Manager Jay Fellers said he was unaware the 35-year-old veteran had a service dog until he showed up for an interview, but th

Help Wanted: More Jobs for America

Why are there so few constructive responses to America’s unemployment and underemployment problems? Many individuals who were once members of the middle class or who grew up in solidly middle-class families are justifiably dissatisfied with current political and economic realities. This dissatisfaction partly accounts for Donald Trump’s election. Although corporations are creating jobs for robots, computers and offshore employees, little is being done to create well-paying jobs for Americans. The private sector either is no longer able or no longer willing to do so.

Rural meatpacking town a model for diversity, study finds

A recent University of Kansas (KU) study concludes that Garden City, Kan., home to a Tyson Foods beef packing plant, sets a positive example for how a community can help new immigrants and refugees assimilate.  Tyson’s Finney County complex, as it is called, employs 3,200 workers

After 118 years in business, rural Nebraska retailer is closing up shop for good

When it comes to small-town businesses, Lukasiewicz Furniture, Flooring and Appliances has always been the exception.  As the bank, the grocery store and even the gas station closed up shop in this Polish farm town of 122 people, the furniture store thrived and even expanded over the decades.At its peak, the business employed a dozen people and occupied 12 storefronts on both sides of the main street in town. “The Farwell mall,” it was called. Five generations of the Lukasiewicz family drew in customers with the promise of quality merchandise, competitive prices and good service.

New lawmaker hopes to improve technology infrastructure in rural Idaho

New Idaho lawmaker Megan Blanksma hopes to shine a spotlight on the lack of technology infrastructure in rural Idaho, which she says places farmers and ranchers at a competitive disadvantage.  “I want to try to see what we can do to push out this technological infrastructure into rural areas and improve it,” said Blanksma, a Hammett farmer.

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