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Rural News

Niles To Roll Out Free Textile Recycling Program

Journal & Topics | Posted on May 10, 2018

Niles officials awarded a contract for textile recycling, such as used clothing and rags, to a company last month which will begin pick up services in late June. Village trustees signed a contract with Great Lakes Recycling, which runs Simple Recycling, at their April 24 board meeting. The contract is expected to earn the village $900 in direct revenue and save Niles taxpayers nearly $28,000 by diverting nearly 600 tons of trash from landfills each year. Beginning Monday, June 25, Simple Recycling trucks will follow trucks from the village’s regular waste hauler Groot, along trash and recycling pickup routes on a weekly basis to collect textiles that residents want to recycle.

Newly introduced Utah public-lands bill that would protect 1 million acres is already drawing fire from conservation groups

The Salt Lake Tribune | Posted on May 10, 2018

A new land bill introduced in Congress Wednesday seeks to set aside more than a half-million acres of wilderness in Utah’s Emery County.Backed by Utah Rep. John Curtis and Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Emery County Public Land Management Act would also create a 4-square-mile national monument at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry and national conservation areas totaling 383,380 acres, mostly around the iconic San Rafael Swell.Proponents lauded the bill, nearly 20 years in the making, as a locally driven solution to long-standing land-use conflicts, bringing “desired certainty to a broad range of stakeholders.”

A sheriff’s dilemma in the face of Trump’s immigration agenda

High Country News | Posted on May 10, 2018

Located in the sprawling farmland of southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley, five hours away from Denver, the closest major city, Alamosa can feel about as far removed from D.C. politics as you can get. But not when it comes to immigration enforcement: More than half of the town’s 15,000 people are Hispanic, many of them immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala who now find themselves in the crosshairs of the government’s immigration crackdown. It wasn’t just immigrants and their families who felt targeted. Since the 2016 election, the Trump administration has ramped up pressure on local law enforcement across the country into becoming a “deportation force.” From signaling its intention to aggressively promote the 287(g) program, which allows local law enforcement to question people about their immigration status, to withholding federal grants from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, the White House has made it clear that it aims to enlist local police and county sheriffs in its war against unauthorized immigration. While some law enforcement officials support the administration’s efforts, others feel caught between these new demands and their legal and ethical ramifications.

Abuse of Opioid Alternative Gabapentin Is on the Rise

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on May 10, 2018

Doctors who are cutting back on prescribing opioids increasingly are opting for gabapentin, a safer, non-narcotic drug recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By doing so, they may be putting their opioid-using patients at even greater risk.Recently, gabapentin has started showing up in a substantial number of overdose deaths in hard-hit Appalachian states. The neuropathic (nerve-related) pain reliever was involved in more than a third of Kentucky overdose deaths last year.Drug users say gabapentin pills, known as “johnnies” or “gabbies,” which often sell for less than a dollar each, enhance the euphoric effects of heroin and when taken alone in high doses can produce a marijuana-like high.Medical researchers stress that more study is needed to determine the role gabapentin may have played in recent overdose deaths. However, a study of heroin users in England and Wales published last fall concluded that combining opioids and gabapentin“potentially increases the risk of acute overdose death” by hampering breathing and reversing users’ tolerance to heroin and other powerful opioids.

Tens of thousands of Louisiana residents could face eviction from nursing and group homes

CNN | Posted on May 10, 2018

More than 30,000 Medicaid recipients in Louisiana, many in nursing or group homes, could lose their benefits due to proposed state cuts -- a situation that could force thousands to move.Louisiana Department of Health Deputy Secretary Michelle Alletto said the agency will notify about 37,000 Medicaid recipients, whose eligibility to receive the benefit could end on July 1, they may have to move out of the nursing and group home facilities because of the lack of state funding.The letters, which will be mailed out Thursday, also will go to Medicaid patients with developmental disabilities and some who receive home-based services to give recipients time to develop appropriate plans, the agency said. The health department also will evaluate any eligibility options, according to the agency.

Vermont Governor To Study Whether To Sign Drug Importation Bill

Northeast Public Radio | Posted on May 10, 2018

Republican Governor Phil Scott plans to study a bill passed by the Vermont Legislature that would set up a first-in-the-nation system to allow the state to import prescription drugs from Canada before deciding whether he will sign it. Scott spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley said Wednesday the governor supports the goal of making prescription drugs more affordable, but he has questions about the implementation of the bill.The National Academy for State Health Policy says Vermont is the first state in the nation to approve the importation of less costly prescription drugs from Canada.

NOAA considering letting fishermen take endangered skate

The Sacamento Bee | Posted on May 10, 2018

Federal fishing managers are considering allowing commercial fishermen to take a species of endangered skate that is currently prohibited. Fishermen catch skates for use as food and bait on both coasts. They are currently prohibited from possessing barndoor skates, or bringing them to shore. Barndoor skates are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says proposed changes to the skate fishery include an allowance for limited possession of barndoor skates. The new rules weren't yet in place on May 1, which was the start of the new fishing year, and the skates are still prohibited at the moment.

New Data Shows Millions of Hungry Americans Ineligible for Federal Nutrition Assistance

Feeding America | Posted on May 8, 2018

The national anti-hunger nonprofit, Feeding America, announced new data, today, that shows 97 percent of counties include families facing hunger who are likely ineligible for federal nutrition assistance and, as such, must rely on charitable food banks to help put meals on their tables. This finding is according to the eighth annual Map the Meal Gap 2018, the latest research report published by Feeding America®. Map the Meal Gap is the only study that provides local-level estimates of food insecurity across the United States, including every county and congressional district.

Conservative groups demand farm program reforms

Agri-Pulse | Posted on May 8, 2018

Heritage Action for America and other fiscally conservative groups are calling on House members to demand major changes to commodity programs and crop insurance in the House Republican farm bill.  “The bill not only fails to make reforms to farm subsidies, but actually makes the subsidies even worse,” says the letter released Wednesday by 14 organizations. The letter could complicate the House GOP leadership’s attempt to win passage of the farm bill this month because of reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that the legislation includes. Democrats are expected to be united in opposition to the bill. 

Shorebirds, the World’s Greatest Travelers, Face Extinction

The New York Times | Posted on May 8, 2018

A worldwide catastrophe is underway among an extraordinary group of birds — the marathon migrants we know as shorebirds. Numbers of some species are falling so quickly that many biologists fear an imminent planet-wide wave of extinctions.These declines represent the No. 1 conservation crisis facing birds in the world today. Climate change, coastal development, the destruction of wetlands and hunting are all culprits. And because these birds depend for their survival, as we do, on the shorelines of oceans, estuaries, rivers, lakes, lagoons and marshes, their declines point to a systemic crisis that demands our attention, for our own good. Populations of all three of these shorebirds are crashing. Since 1974, pectoral sandpipers have declined by more than 50 percent, and Hudsonian godwits have declined by more than 70 percent. The bar-tailed godwit may have lost half its global population within just the past few decades. What’s driving these declines? Conditions are changing at multiple places across multiple continents, from northern breeding grounds to southern wintering grounds, and at essential stopover places, disrupting patterns thousands of years old.