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Rural News

New Pa. law makes leaving animals in cold felony

WKBN | Posted on November 14, 2017

The new Pennsylvania state law could make pet owners felons if they mistreat or neglect dogs and other pets — that includes leaving them outside in the cold for too long. As it pertains to cold weather, dogs may not spend more than nine hours tethered in a 24-hour period. The maximum time limit dogs can be left outside when temperatures are below freezing is 30 minutes.


Animal rights groups demand action against Iowa fur farm

Des Moines Register | Posted on November 14, 2017

Federal inspectors have repeatedly ordered a southeast Iowa fur farm to improve the grim living conditions for ferrets, foxes, raccoons and skunks it sells to government laboratories and pet stores. So far no charges or enforcement action has been taken against the Ruby Fur Farm near New Sharon, 65 miles southeast of Des Moines. However, animal rights groups are calling for rescue of the animals, revocation of the farm's federal license and fines for neglect.The farm is licensed to Randy Ruby as a registered federal dealer by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and it holds state permits as an animal dealer and a pet shop.Mahaska County Sheriff Russ VanRenterghem said he accompanied a USDA inspection team to the fur farm three or four times in July."I don't see any violations," he said, describing the farm's owners as "very reputable, very good people."


‘Ponce’s Law’ bill allows animal abusers to be barred from having pets

The Daytona Beach News Journal | Posted on November 14, 2017

A bill called “Ponce’s Law” would put more bite into Florida’s animal cruelty cases by allowing judges to prohibit people convicted of abusing animals from owning pets and giving prosecutors more leverage in the cases, said state Rep. Tom Leek, who introduced the bill. The bill is named in honor of Ponce, a Labrador retriever puppy found beaten to death in the Ponce Inlet backyard of Travis Archer earlier this year. The bill is a positive note to an otherwise grim event, said Leek, an Ormond Beach Republican.


Vibrant ag economy helps urban areas, planner says

Capital Press | Posted on November 9, 2017

If growers near cities work with local planners so land-use and transportation decisions will help maximize the farms’ profitability, the result will be an improved economy for the region, an official said during a conference. While working with government is “not an arena they normally like to play in unless they have to,” farmers can benefit from the relationships, said David Schabazian, a manager for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.Schabazian is leading a project called the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy, a nearly decade-long effort to more explicitly include rural areas in the region’s land-use and transportation planning decisions.He said the project has demonstrated to regulators and others that agriculture outside town plays a key role in an urban area’s economy as well as providing environmental benefits such as wildlife habitat and flood control.


Practicing the small town art of participation

Daily Yonder | Posted on November 9, 2017

A new generation of young people is returning to rural areas to immerse themselves in the difficult and rewarding work of being part of a community. Maybe rural America has something to teach the rest of the country on that score.


Foreign born resident account for most of rural population growth

Daily Yonder | Posted on November 9, 2017

In a period of very low population growth, an increase in the number of rural residents who were born in foreign countries helped keep the non-urban population stable from 2010 to 2015.  Rural America showed almost no population growth during the first half of this decade. But the little growth that did occur outside the nation’s metropolitan areas came from an increase in foreign-born residents.Rural counties added 161,000 residents from 2010-15, according to Census population figures. Nearly three-quarters of that growth was the result of people who moved to rural America after being born in foreign countries, according to Census data.Rural America’s population grew by a scant 0.3 percent during the period and now stands at 46.2 million. Without the increase in foreign-born residents, the rural population growth would have been 0.1 percent, Census estimates show.


Forest Bonds may provide a way to support fire prevention

Daily Yonder | Posted on November 9, 2017

Managing public forests in ways that prevent wildfires could save millions of dollars in future fire-emergency costs. But restoring forests is expensive, and limited public budgets emphasize short-term disaster spending rather than long-term management. A private firm is testing a new model that they say could fill the short-term budgetary needs to get forest restoration practices up and running.“The value of forest restoration oftentimes exceeds the cost,” said Leigh Madeira, one of Blue Forest Conservation’s founders. “But that doesn’t mean that the beneficiaries have the capital to pay for needed restoration projects.”Blue Forest says they’ve come up with a way for communities to use that future increased value or cost savings of forests to pay for restoration activities today.Blue Forest’s funding model is to collect private capital through a “forest resilience bond,” based on the money the forest owner is likely to make later, either through the reduced chance of forest fires or through additional earnings from forest products like lumber. Blue Forest then helps to coordinate forest restoration activities with business partners on the ground, often small, local enterprises who do the actual restoration work. The beneficiary of the restoration, whether a federal agency like the Forest Service or a publicly-owned water utility company, then pays for the services on a long-term contracted rate.


A Wyoming county pursues a private immigration jail

High Country News | Posted on November 9, 2017

Uinta County officials have endorsed a private company’s proposal to build a for-profit immigration jail near Evanston, Wyoming. Both Evanston’s city council and Uinta County’s commission unanimously passed resolutions in June to support the Management Training Corporation’s plan to build and manage an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center just outside Evanston city limits. The jail would have the capacity to hold 500 undocumented immigrants detained by ICE while they await court hearings in Salt Lake City.Uinta officials are uncertain whether they need Wyoming’s five statewide elected officials to approve the project. It is possible a jail holding immigration detainees does not require the same level of approval as other forms of private prisons regulated under Wyoming law, a county official said. Either way, MTC’s efforts to jail immigration detainees from throughout the northern rockies in Uinta County have thus far gone largely without notice in the state at large.The private jail would be similar to an MTC-operated ICE detention facility in Southern California, said Mike Murphy, MTC’s vice president of corrections marketing.


‘Ponce’s Law’ bill allows animal abusers to be barred from having pets

Daytona Beach New Journal | Posted on November 9, 2017

A bill called “Ponce’s Law” would put more bite into Florida’s animal cruelty cases by allowing judges to prohibit people convicted of abusing animals from owning pets and giving prosecutors more leverage in the cases, said state Rep. Tom Leek, who introduced the bill. The bill is named in honor of Ponce, a Labrador retriever puppy found beaten to death in the Ponce Inlet backyard of Travis Archer earlier this year. The bill is a positive note to an otherwise grim event, said Leek, an Ormond Beach Republican.


Addiction: a Rural Reality

Farm and Dairy | Posted on November 8, 2017

“In these rural areas, it’s a great challenge to cover distances with people and get people to where they need to be,” Black said. But rural communities also have their advantages. Karen Wiggins, director for the Guernsey County Alcohol and Drug Services, said rural communities have the advantage of “working together” and being able to give people battling addiction “a personal touch.”“We can’t lose sight of the clients we’re working with,” said Wiggins. “My big thing is personal touch, talking with people — making them feel like they matter.”But Wiggins, like Black, admits that rural communities have challenges. There’s less funding, fewer facilities and greater distance between those facilities.


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