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Rural News

Residents say Dannon Yogurt factory produces ‘foul smell,’ start petition

Fox News | Posted on September 26, 2018

Utah residents in West Jordan are fed up with a foul odor they say is coming from the Dannon yogurt plant. Maurie Vance created a petition on, urging city, county and state officials to work with residents and Dannon to find a solution to the smell.She describes the smell as being obnoxious and says it is at its worst during the fall and winter months.“It’s like a sour milk, dirty diaper — disgusting,” Vance said.The petition has received hundreds of signatures.“It gags you so much, you don’t go outside. You run back into your house,” said West Jordan resident Dana Grandy.

As More Cities Push for Paid Sick Leave, States Push Back

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on September 26, 2018

A split is growing between cities that want to require private companies to give workers paid sick days and states that are determined to stop them. In the last three years, a dozen states have banned localities from passing paid leave requirements, more than doubling to 22 the states that now outlaw such local ordinances. The state moves come in response to the increasing number of cities and counties passing paid sick days ordinances. Since 2015, more than 20 cities, as well as eight states, have approved measures mandating that companies provide local workers with paid sick leave. Since San Francisco approved the first paid sick leave ordinance in 2006, paid sick day requirements have been passed in 35 cities or counties and 11 states.

Submerged by Florence, North Carolina's rural towns fight for attention

The New York Times | Posted on September 25, 2018

As the rivers trapped them inside their blacked-out town, the dwindling families of Ivanhoe collected rain to drink in plastic pitchers and flushed the toilets with buckets of rust-colored hurricane floodwater. They salvaged thawing chicken from their broken freezers and cooked it over wood fires. They handed out headlamps at bedtime so their family members could find the bathroom in the bottomless dark. They sweated through the night and wondered how long they — and their little farming town — could bear all this.It has been a week since Hurricane Florence slugged ashore, and as much of the Carolinas picks its way back home to assess the damage, this town at the confluence of the Black and South Rivers was still filling up with water. It is a drain trap for Florence’s record rain and floods, with no power and no roads in or out. “It’s just families, farmland,” said Thomas Brown, whose home was wrecked. “Small town. Why does it matter if we get flooded?”North Carolina is freckled with Ivanhoes, little rural towns that have long struggled to hold on to families and chart their economic future far from the state’s banking and tech hubs, or even from reliable cellphone service. Many lost businesses and residents after being pummeled by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and were limping along before Florence.Now, with the country’s urgent attention slipping away, people in places like Ivanhoe worry about being washed away unnoticed.


Puppies are making people sick — and it’s people’s fault

STAT news | Posted on September 24, 2018

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that have infected more than 100 people and that have been linked to pet store puppies appear to have spread at least in part because healthy dogs were given antibiotics — a decision that all but surely fostered antibiotic resistance. “This is shocking,” said Lance Price, head of George Washington University’s Antibiotic Resistance Action Center. “This is an important study that’s shining a light on something that we need to spend more time on.”More than half of the puppies in a sample of roughly 150 dogs studied as part of the outbreak investigation were given antibiotics not because they were sick, but to keep them from becoming so. The technique, called prophylaxis, has been widely used in food animal production and is blamed for fueling antibiotic resistance.

Is Poverty Inevitable

Gates Foundation | Posted on September 24, 2018

We  usually express our optimism by highlighting some of the recent mind-blowing improvements in the human condition—like the fact that advances in medicine have saved 50 million lives just since we started our foundation in 2000. We believe it’s worth repeating that until we’re blue in the face. Sometimes, though, optimism requires being candid about the hard problems that still need to be solved. That’s what this year’s Goalkeepers Data Report aims to do: confront a pressing yet neglected challenge, and identify some of the most promising strategies to meet it. To put it bluntly, decades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling. This is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else; more babies are being born in the places where it’s hardest to lead a healthy and productive life. If current trends continue, the number of poor people in the world will stop falling—and could even start to rise.Today’s booming youth populations can be good news for the economy; if young people are healthy, educated, and productive, there are more people to do the kind of innovative work that stimulates rapid growth. This helps explain the amazing progress of the past generation in most of the world, and it is the key to spreading that progress everywhere.Since 2000, more than a billion people have lifted themselves out of the extreme poverty represented by the sandal. The number is so huge that it’s almost impossible to appreciate the scale of this achievement. Above the extreme poverty line of $1.90 per day, people may still be poor, but they can begin to think beyond mere survival and look to the future.

Florence’s Floods Reveal Exposure of Rural Areas to Climate Change

Scientific American | Posted on September 20, 2018

The severity of Hurricane Florence’s destruction caught some residents here by surprise, and they said local officials are overwhelmed, too. The storm’s devastating flooding is a sign that coastal states should prepare for future hurricanes to hit harder—and differently—than they have in the past, according to experts who study climate change. For now, few cities or counties have begun adapting to storms that promise to be wetter, from rain and higher seas, because it’s hard to believe such extreme conditions could be common enough to plan for, said Sarah Watson of the Carolinas Integrated Science & Assessments and the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. Florence’s rainfall hit especially hard because the region was already saturated by an unusually wet summer. North and South Carolina broke their annual rainfall records, joining Texas and Hawaii to make four new state records in the past year, according to The Washington Post.“Our challenge is trying to manage the everyday [weather] that suddenly seems completely out of character,” Watson said. “The afternoon thunderstorm that sits over a localized area and drops 6 inches of rain in two hours—you can’t adapt to that. You can’t build infrastructure to manage that. Even if you could, you couldn’t afford it.”

Bureaucracy could be death of famous porker

Toronto Sun | Posted on September 13, 2018

Esther the Wonder Pig’s two dads have a new crusade to make all companion animals equal in the eyes to the government. The social media darling who is Esther – and has 1.4 million followers on Facebook – recently had been diagnosed with cancer and late last month had an operation to remove a breast tumour.She may need further treatment such as chemotherapy but bureaucracy could be the death of Esther.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency doesn’t consider her a companion animal, but a pig which is or potentially could become part of the food chain and is therefore denied a whole host of life-saving drugs or treatments.Dads Steve Jenkins and Derek Walker are going to petition the government to recognize Esther and others in her situation as a companion animal and entitled to the veterinary care offered to any pet cat or dog.

She Grew Up Poor on a Kansas Farm. Her Memoir Is an Attempt to Understand Why.

The New York Times | Posted on September 13, 2018

Sarah Smarsh’s memoir, “Heartland,” opens with a perplexing ode to an imaginary baby. “I’m glad you never ended up as a physical reality in my life. But we talked for so many years that I don’t guess I’ll ever stop talking to you.” Throughout the book an apparition of the author’s unborn child pops into the prose like Ally McBeal’s Baby Cha-Cha, inducing the otherwise sage Smarsh to write in the inexorably sentimental second person.Smarsh escaped poverty, she believes, because, unlike her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she didn’t become a teenage mom. In part, she says, this was because she was among the first generation of her family to have at least one constant home, dating to when her maternal grandmother, Betty, married her seventh husband, Arnie. (By contrast, Smarsh’s mom, Jeannie, moved 48 times before starting high school.) Such is the reality of poverty. The memoir flickers to life at that home, a humble farmhouse on 160 acres of wheat fields outside Wichita.

Nebraska checking elk carcasses for chronic wasting disease

News Press Now | Posted on September 13, 2018

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is asking for elk hunters' cooperation in testing for chronic wasting disease.The commission's Todd Nordeen says staffers at check stations will be asking hunters to allow removal of lymph nodes from elk carcasses to test for the disease.The tests have about a two-week turn-around, and staffers will notify hunters if their animals tested positive. All test results will be posted to links at the bottom of the commission's website page on the disease.

About 1,300 dogs, roosters seized in western Wisconsin

tmj4 | Posted on September 13, 2018

About 1,300 dogs and roosters have been seized from a property in western Wisconsin after authorities say they uncovered evidence they were used in organized fighting.The Pierce County Sheriff's Office says the animals were living in deplorable conditions. They say the dogs were tied to heavy chains and had injuries and scars associated with fights. The roosters also showed evidence of fighting. Authorities say paraphernalia used in dog and cockfighting was found on the property in the Town of Gilman.