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Rural News

Rescue Network Sends Southern Puppies North

Pew | Posted on February 28, 2019

The dogs, loaded onto a Dodge cargo van marked “Mississippi Mutts On the Move,” like at least tens of thousands of others making the trip northward might once have died for lack of shelter space. Before the Oktibbeha County Humane Society shelter started shipping puppies and dogs north a decade ago, half the dogs and cats in its care were put down — a “kill rate” of 50 percent. Last year, when the humane society transported 3,000 dogs north, 93 percent of its animals left the shelter alive.“We are the epitome of the Southern shelter. We are too small for the amount of animals coming in,” said Michele Anderson, a humane society board member. The shelter was built in 2005 to hold 100 dogs and cats, but typically has 120, using crates in hallways to hold the excess. Every day brings in as many as 20 more animals.The trend of relocating animals began in the mid-2000s, when a slew of massive hurricanes devastated the South and left thousands of pets homeless. Shelter dogs, many lost or abandoned by fleeing residents, were moved around the country by volunteers hoping to eventually reunite them with owners. Animal rescuers took note, set up a travel network and since then, thousands of Southern animals have made treks north.

At House Ag Committee, Secretary Perdue Addresses the State of the Rural Economy

Farm Policy News | Posted on February 28, 2019

During his opening statement Wednesday, Sec. Perdue pointed out that, “Net farm income has fallen nearly 50 percent from its peak in 2013, as most commodity prices have fallen over the past 5 years while global stock levels have rebounded with several years of record production. “We saw the largest U.S. soybean crop ever in 2017 and again in 2018, U.S. corn production was the second highest ever in 2017 and third highest ever in 2018. However, other countries have also seen high production numbers.

Recreation counties have higher net migration rates

Daily Yonder | Posted on February 28, 2019

In non-metro counties, recreation counties are growin while non-recreation counties are losing residents. Counties with outdoor recreation economies are more likely to attract new residents with greater wealth and have faster-growing wages than their non-recreation counterparts. These trends are particularly true in rural communities.These findings come as the economic headwinds facing rural communities gain more attention nationally, including the concentration of jobs in big cities and increasing productivity (meaning lower employment per dollar of goods produced) of industries like manufacturing.

Injured workers in rural areas more likely to receive opioid Rx

Daily Yonder | Posted on February 28, 2019

Injured miners and construction workers are in the occupations most likely to receive an opioid prescription, the study shows. Injured workers living in “rural” or “very rural” areas were up to 25% more likely than urban injured workers to receive opioid painkillers.

The 2018 Farm Bill: Refinancing the Rural Community, Reinvigorating Growth

NYC Food Policy | Posted on February 27, 2019

Called in full the Rural Infrastructure and Economic Development title, Title VI of the Bill covers rural development policies and programs across the U.S. Broadly, these policies are intended to support rural growth and economic sustainability for food suppliers and distributors in non-urban areas. Its two primary policies are: The Rural Development Act (RDA), which provides grants and loans to rural businesses and organizations that are trying to improve their health, community, and economy. Funding is directed towards a wide range projects, including but not limited to building a sustainable infrastructure, supporting rural businesses, expanding rural health care services, and encouraging community development.The Rural Electrification Act (REA), which specifically provides credit, loans, and grants to expand access to telecommunications services in rural areas.

Renewable energy and jobs up in rural areas

Canton Daily Ledger | Posted on February 27, 2019

While an ambitious “Green New Deal” to convert the country to 100-percent renewable energy by 2030 is discussed in Washington, the rural Midwest is already heading that way, according to a new report verified by area experts. Renewable energy is growing, says “Green Energy Sweeps across Rural America,” an 18-page study from the Natural Resources Defense Council, with support from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The report shows how wind, solar and other energy-efficiency efforts are dominating the rural economy, growing jobs and investment.Such green-energy sources outnumber coal, gas and oil, combined, says the study, using 2017 data from the Dept. of Energy. In Illinois, for example, the percentage of fossil-fuel jobs fell to 0.8 percent of all jobs; clean-energy jobs grew to 2.6 percent.
“Clean energy plays an outsize role in rural areas relative to the size of rural economies,” say the report’s chief authors, Arjun Krishnaswami and Elisheva Mittelman. “In 2017, more people in the rural Midwest were employed by clean energy than by fossil fuel power plants, extraction, refinement and transportation combined in 10 of 12 midwestern states.

Midwest states expand telemedicine, allow dental therapists among steps to open wider access to dental services

CSG-Midwest | Posted on February 27, 2019

Often overlooked in the national debates and discussions about health insurance, dental care is having something of a moment in the Midwest as states embrace ways to expand oral health access. The need is great, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts: More than 56.7 million people in the United States live in areas with shortages of dentists, and only about one-third of dentists accept public insurance, which limits access for the 72 million children and adults on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).The Midwest has 1,448, or one-quarter, of the nation’s 5,834 designated Health Professional Shortage Areasfor dental care, according to the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration. Which is why John Grant, project manager of Pew’s Dental Campaign, says the biggest problem “as far as the states go, especially in the Midwest, is expanding the dental workforce.”“Basic dental care is out of reach for most Americans,” Grant says. “Unlike the flu, dental decay doesn’t get better with time; it gets worse. For a lot of people, there’s a quality-of-life issue; people miss work because of pain or can’t get a job because their teeth look bad.”

Dodge City manager offers blueprint for dealing with rural Kansas housing shortage

The Hutchinson News | Posted on February 27, 2019

City Manager Cherise Tieben’s firm belief housing construction was a market-driven segment of the economy didn’t survive a 2007 meeting with exasperated Dodge City bankers, developers, realtors and employers. She learned from the group the southwest Kansas community’s housing stock was profoundly inadequate and the private sector was incapable of keeping pace. Teachers were residing in colleagues’ basements. Employers placed hires in hotels for up to six months. Families paid a premium for deplorable rentals. Bank financing was scarce. Most homes on the market were overpriced.A study showed the city would require 950 housing units by 2013, but banks were prohibited from offering rural development loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture because Dodge City no longer met the definition of rural.“We quickly realized this was an issue the city couldn’t take on all by itself,” Tieben said Thursday in testimony to the House Rural Revitalization Committee. “We literally used the scatter-gun approach.”The city plunged ahead with acronym-laden incentives through the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP), Rural Housing Incentive Districts (RHIDS) and Moderate Income Housing Program (MIH). They formed Community Housing Association of Dodge City (CHAD) to tackle blight projects and abandoned homes. City-owned surplus property was provided to developers.Tieben said the result has been the addition of 340 housing units serving Dodge City residents. Twenty units are under construction and 160 more are being planned, she said.

Washington lawmakers consider bill that would provide the homeless with a free ID card

The Seattle Times | Posted on February 27, 2019

People without identification have a harder time renting an apartment, opening or accessing a bank account, using medical insurance, qualifying for federal benefits, like food stamps, or even staying in some homeless shelters. And, of course, getting a job is nearly impossible. Even joining the military, a common outlet from poverty in the past, is also unlikely without identification.A 2006 national survey conducted by the Brennan Center found that as many as 11 percent of Americans, or more than 21 million people, don’t have government-issued photo ID, with elderly, minority populations or low-income individuals being least likely to possess identification. Meanwhile, the $54 fee for a state-issued identification card in Washington is too much for many, particularly those who lack shelter.A measure in the state Legislature, Senate Bill 5664, is aimed at eliminating barriers to identification for homeless people. If passed, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Licensing (DOL) would be required to create a program to provide homeless individuals with a free ID card, also known as an identicard.

Can Florida import cheaper drugs from abroad? Not so fast, says Senate president

Miami Herald | Posted on February 27, 2019

A proposal from Gov. Ron DeSantis to reduce prescription drug prices by importing medications from Canada is drawing concerns from the leader of the Florida Senate, who said he worries parts of the plan sketched out by the House might run afoul of Congress’ jurisdiction.Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, told reporters Friday that the governor’s plan to allow the state to import drugs from America’s northern neighbor was something he was “interested in exploring,” particularly to save the state money for Medicaid patients or institutions like state prisons’ healthcare.But he threw cold water on another potential plan, included in a House bill mirroring DeSantis’ announcement, that would allow individuals or private entities to receive imported drugs from abroad.