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Rural News

Wary of opioid abuse, Virginia veterinarians look for red flags in pet owners

The Virginia Pilot | Posted on January 2, 2019

A man in Fairfax County said his 10-year-old boxer chewed the floor trim, peed on pillows and scared easily from thunder. He insisted his pet needed treatment for separation anxiety. On top of that, he claimed a recently dislocated knee was giving the dog pain.During that summer of 2016, he took the boxer to six different veterinarians, according to police, and received several doses and early refills of Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, and tramadol, an opioid used to treat pain.The man was charged with prescription fraud, and the scheme prompted the department to publish a brochure the next year on the warning signs of “vet shopping” – what might be one of the most unexpected turns in the opioid epidemic.The incident has the ring of an urban myth, but substance abuse experts say it’s happening. As the heroin and prescription painkiller crisis devastates communities across the country, some users have sought narcotics through back channels when they couldn’t find a willing doctor.Virginia has recently established new policies for veterinarians on how they can use opioids for acute and chronic conditions, and in the 2018 General Assembly session, lawmakers expanded the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program – a tracking system previously used only by human doctors – to include veterinarians. Failure to enter mandatory data in the system could result in penalties from the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Maryland courts will allow immigrant parents who are concerned about deportation to designate guardians for their children

Baltimore Sun | Posted on January 2, 2019

Immigrant parents in Maryland concerned about being deported may now designate someone to care for their children under an expansion of emergency guardianship measures that take effect Tuesday.

Planting seeds to conquer addiction: Woodrow Project residents maintain sobriety through farming | Posted on January 2, 2019

Jacque Jones watched as an autumn breeze sent dozens of leaves to land between rows of red peppers and eggplants. Chickens clucked at her feet. "My life couldn't be much better," Jones said. Jones is one of eight women who live at the Woodrow Project recovery house and farm. The North Royalton recovery house and farm started in February as a way to provide stability and training to women in recovery, Woodrow Project executive director Erin Helms said."There's no treatment here," Helms said. "It feels like a home." Residents may attend their own counseling, psychiatry or medical appointments.On the farm, women grow and harvest a variety of produce and collect eggs from their chickens in the hoop house. They've also made some fruit jams, jellies and pies. They sell their items at several farmers markets. There are standards in place for the safety of all residents, Helms said. "There is a problem with unregulated sober living," Helms said. "We go through a certification process."Just as the recovery house feels like a home, the recovery farm feels like a job. Women are paid for their work on the farm as part of Woodrow Project's job training program."Many job training programs are not designed for women in recovery," Helms said. "Many are unpaid and won't work around their schedules."The women spend part of their day working in the farm or hoop house, but may also take some time to meditate by the fire pit, go to a recovery meeting or attend social outings, whether it be a sporting event or a camping trip.

Here’s what research shows about immigration’s impact on an economy

CNBC | Posted on January 2, 2019

Controlling immigration was one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s primary arguments during the 2016 election, with him campaigning to limit entries into the U.S. and proposing building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.  According to the United Nations, nearly 50 million people in the U.S. are foreign born, which accounts for about 15 percent of the total population. That percentage lies in between Canada and the U.K., where immigrants represent 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively.In 1970, foreign-born individuals made up less than 5 percent of the American population.A report from the International Monetary Fund found a “1 percentage point increase in the share of migrants in the adult population increases GDP per person in advanced economies by up to 2 percent in the longer term.”

New requirements for captive deer herds following CWD detection

WJHL | Posted on January 2, 2019

Hunters harvested the deer in Fayette and Hardeman counties. Targeted sampling by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) indicated the presence of CWD. CWD has no known risk to the health of humans or livestock. However, testing is recommended prior to consuming deer or elk meat harvested within the CWD Management Zone, which includes Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy Counties. CWD is a contagious and deadly neurological disorder that affects cervids, which are animals in the deer family including deer, elk, moose, caribou, and reindeer. With the new emergency rules in place, owners of captive deer and elk will be required to report their herd inventory, location, and any sick animals to the State Veterinarian. They will also be required to report deaths among their fenced captive cervids within 24 hours and make the carcass available to TDA for further testing.Additionally, the importation of captive cervids into the state and the movement of captive deer or elk within the state require prior approval and a permit from the State Veterinarian, as well as USDA-approved identification. The requirements from the new emergency rule do not apply to white-tailed deer and wild elk, which are prohibited from being retained in captive facilities.


Deer were rare in Ohio not so long ago

Farm and Dairy | Posted on January 2, 2019

Controlled deer hunting actually got its Ohio start in 1943 when a first-ever, very short, buck only “season” was held in three rural counties with a total kill of just 168 bucks. Even back then Buckeye hunters expressed interest in big game hunting, probably after experiencing the activity in neighboring states.According to Ohio Division of Wildlife publications, 8,500 permits were sold for that first controlled hunt.It’s known that even though many of us had never seen a deer in the wild before that butchering day, there were already a considerable number of white-tails in parts of the state including some northeast Ohio counties.After decades of none or nearly none, the number of deer had grown significantly mostly from the influx from expanding herds in Pennsylvania and other nearby states.It didn’t take too long for Ohio deer managers to learn that a limited doe harvest was needed to keep the herd in check and healthy.The first year to see an Ohio deer harvest total in excess of 10,000 was 1974 when 10,747 were tagged. Hunting in all 88 counties was not permitted until 1979.

Rumors of Rural America's Death

Daily Yonder | Posted on January 2, 2019

For the umpteenth time, an urban commentator has suggested that small-town residents would be better off if they packed it in and moved to a big city. But Athens, Tennessee, a town of about 13,000 located between Chattanooga and Knoxville, has other ideas. And they live by them. These pieces usually unfold like this: Rural America is poorer, sicker, and less connected than the rest of the country, with fewer job opportunities and wealth to make us players in the global market. High rates of addiction and poverty make rural America beyond saving. If you live in one of these small towns, you should consider moving to the closest city so you and your children will have some chance at a good quality of life.  Yet rural places and small towns still have a heartbeat because people still work, live, and worship in them. I sure would relish sticking it to the Times and every other self-appointed prophet that presumes to announce the decline of my community or any other small town in the United States. They measure our worth in dollars from thousands of miles away, but don’t seem to understand that you can’t put a price on the way we keep showing up. 

New Residency Program Aims to Keep Doctors in Rural Southeast

Daily Yonder | Posted on January 2, 2019

Boris Calderon was not your typical medical student. At 45 years old, the Army veteran lived in Fayetteville and worked as a paramedic when he applied for only one medical school: a college of osteopathic medicine in Virginia. And when Calderon finished medical school and was looking for a post-graduate residency program in 2015, Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton was beginning its program for medical residents. He signed up and was part of the first graduating class earlier this year. Calderon found the residency at Southeastern to be extremely hands on. He said by the time the syllabus indicated that his class should start doing admissions, they had already done 500. So the students requested more learning time in the ICU and staff granted their request.And when it came time for graduation this spring, Calderon knew where he wanted to be. He already lived locally and decided to remain at Southeastern Regional as a hospitalist.

How Rural America Is Saving Itself

City Lab | Posted on December 24, 2018

Rural regions dominate the American landscape, comprising 97 percent of the country’s land mass. While 20 percent of Americans live in these regions, many still doubt their importance in the 21st century. A new wave of commentary and reports have tackled a question on many urban Americans’ minds: can rural America be “saved”? One of these, a New York Times op-ed by Eduardo Porter, went as far as to say, “one thing seems clear...nobody—not experts or policymakers or people in these communities—seems to know quite how to pick rural America up.” With stagnant or declining populations in many rural counties, and “superstar cities” hogging most of the economic growth, Porter’s view would have us believe that rural life is fading away.While rural regions may not be swimming in investment capital, they are awash in local pride and tight-knit communities. The tech industry is one asset that rural communities can support at a scale that makes sense for them. Michigan’s rural communities are full of organizations doing work to support the expansion of the tech industry. The MTEC SmartZone located in Houghton, Michigan, over 200 miles away from the closest metropolitan area, runs a business accelerator that supports budding local tech entrepreneurs in building and growing their companies locally. Their accelerator program runs three cohorts a year, and collectively their programming has led to over 700 local jobs created since 2011.

Few Wells Tested for Contamination After Major Flooding From Hurricanes

Pew Trust | Posted on December 24, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of homes in the Southeast may have had their wells inundated by record-level floodwater resulting from major hurricanes this year, yet only a fraction have been tested for harmful contaminants. That’s because North and South Carolina, Florida and Georgia — like most other states — don’t require routine testing of private wells. Lawmakers have long been hesitant to put requirements on wells on private property.Hurricanes Florence and Michael dumped more than 30 inches of rain on some areas stretching from Florida to North Carolina, creating a toxic soup that may have overwhelmed the nearly 650,000 homes in those areas that rely on well water, according to estimates from the National Groundwater Association.