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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.

State Laws Slow Down High-Speed Internet for Rural America

Electric cooperatives want to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban America as more federal funding becomes available for rural broadband. But a 77-year-old law may prevent one of the nation’s poorest states from fully tapping into millions of new federal dollars to expand high-speed internet service to needy rural communities.Mississippi is among the states that rely most heavily on rural electric cooperatives, nonprofits that deliver power to their members in rural areas.

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.

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.

Medicaid ‘Buy-In’ Could Be a New Health Care Option for the Uninsured

Even as calls for “Medicare for All” grow louder among Democrats in Washington, D.C., at least 10 states are exploring whether to allow residents to pay premiums to “buy in” to Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor. Currently, Medicaid recipients pay for their coverage in only a handful of states, and the buy-in plans that states are considering might not offer the full range of benefits available to traditional beneficiaries.

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.

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