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SARL Members and Alumni

Americans more likely to die of opioid overdose than in car crash

For the first time in American history, one of the leading causes of deaths - vehicle crash - has been supplanted by opioid overdoses. Data, collected in 2017, shows Americans have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103. Opioid pain relievers are the most fatally abused drugs and they're entirely legal. Roughly 60 people die every day as a result of overdoses from opioids - that's 22,630 Americans.

Suburbs fuel Nebraska's job growth

Employment in Nebraska remained solid through 2018, benefiting from strong gains in recent years by residents of the state’s suburban areas. Employment in Nebraska in recent years has increased most notably among residents of west Omaha and Sarpy County with rural parts of the state still struggling to add jobs. Overall, Nebraska’s unemployment rate has remained one of the lowest in the country and job prospects throughout the state are strong heading into 2019.

Ron DeSantis unveils sweeping environmental plan to fix Florida’s water woes

Two days after he took office, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled sweeping measures to clean up Florida's troubled waters Thursday, including spending $2.5 billion and launching more aggressive policies to address algae choking Lake Okeechobee and polluting the state's coasts. The newly minted governor, who angered environmentalists on the campaign trail by dismissing climate change as a significant threat, also promised to establish a resiliency office to address looming dangers.

N.H. Agriculture Proposes 'New Hampshire's Own' Dairy Label

The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food wants to create a new label for New Hampshire milk to help keep local dairies afloat. Agriculture Commissioner Shawn Jasper is working with Gov. Chris Sununu and lawmakers on a House bill to create the program, called the Dairy Premium Fund.Gallons with the “New Hampshire’s Own” sticker would carry milk from New Hampshire farms, and would cost an extra 50 cents for customers.

Environmental groups pull out of Wolf Plan talks

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is forging ahead with a long-overdue update of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, even as four environmental groups withdrew from mediation and announced they will oppose it. In a Jan. 4 letter to Gov.

NW legislatures take up issues impacting agriculture

In Oregon and Washington, the changing climate tops the governors’ legislative agendas. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee hope to help stanch global climate change by capping carbon production in their states. Though both proposals would exempt farmers and ranchers directly, the prospect of higher costs for fuel, energy and fertilizers caused by the caps poses a concern for agriculture. Meanwhile, in Idaho, legislators and new Gov.

New bills would change how Michigan cops seize property

The new session of the Republican-controlled Legislature began on a bipartisan footing Wednesday with the Democratic attorney general and lawmakers from both parties uniting behind a package of bills to reform civil asset forfeiture.

Ohio’s prison farm closure more costly than first thought

New cattle barns and an unfinished milking facility, which were part of the Ohio prison farm system and brought to a close when Ohio Gov. John Kasich decided to sell the farms in 2016, were more costly than first realized.  The state-owned farms were operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, along with the Ohio Penal Industries, and used inmate labor to produce food for the prisoners. A report by the Ohio Inspector Generalshows that the new facilities cost the state a little more than $13 million, compared to roughly $8.6 million spent on the buildings.

State lawmakers join forces against offshore drilling

A group of nine Democratic state lawmakers from different coastal states announced that they are going to use their coming legislative sessions to try to block attempts at offshore drilling. The lawmakers’ announcement came as new and re-elected legislators were entering office around the country after an election that saw high turnover in some states, and the group said it wants to take advantage of new political dynamics that could favor environmental bills.

Storm Lake: a study in rural resilience, diversity and hope

The small city of Storm Lake, Iowa, is full of surprises. Its population grows with each Census. Its public-school students speak 23 languages. It still has two newspapers, one of which won a Pulitzer Prize. Art Cullen shows the complexity of today’s rural America in the book Storm Lake.

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