Problem of shrinking places, mostly rural, is a tougher issue in the U.S. than in other nations, The Economist reports
The Rural Blog
by Al Cross
1h ago
Chart by The Economist magazine, adapted by The Rural Blog The 2020 U.S. census was the first in which fewer people were counted in rural counties than in the previous census. "Over half of the country’s counties, home to a quarter of Americans, lost population," The Economist notes. "Over the coming decades still more will, because America’s population is     growing more slowly. The change will be wrenching, because of America’s demographic and administrative peculiarities." And that has special significance for rural areas. Many other wealthy countries "are growing ..read more
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Learn how to investigate the who, what, when, where, why and how of the 2024 elections on Wednesday, April 24
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
23h ago
Learn how to prepare for the 2024 elections when news coverage is scarce. You can register for the News Literacy Project's free online educational session on Wednesday, April 24, at 6 p.m., E.T.,  Register here. As mainstream and local news outlets have shrunk nationwide, more rural Americans find themselves in news deserts, where trustworthy local news is scarce. Particularly for rural residents seeking 2024 election information, navigating away from partisan politics and social media rumors and getting to actual facts might seem like finding a black cat in a coal mine. As an antido ..read more
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Some opioid settlement money is used to raise salaries and replace other funding; victims' families say that's wrong
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
23h ago
Addiction recovery advocates say redirecting funds isn't in the 'spirit of the settlement.' (Adobe stock photo) As opioid settlement funds hit state, county and city coffers, some have been diverted for staff salary increases and already-established budgets. Victims' families and addiction treatment advocates argue the practice, formally known as known as supplantation, is not what the money was intended to do, reports Aneri Pattani of KFF Health News. "Local officials say they're trying to stretch tight budgets, especially in rural areas. But critics say it's a lost opportunity to bo ..read more
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More than half of American teachers are worried about a school shooting on their campus; parents are worried, too
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
23h ago
1 in 4 U.S. teachers experienced a gun-related lockdown at their school. (Adobe stock photo) U.S. teachers must deftly manage tasks, lessons and discipline. To get the job done, educators make an average of 1,500 decisions a day. While that description sounds challenging, most teachers have the added worry of facing school gun violence, reports Jennifer Gerson of The 19th, a nonprofit newsroom for social issues. "The majority of American K-12 public school teachers say they are at least somewhat worried about the possibility of a shooting at their school, according to a new survey co ..read more
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Opinion: Don't rush to pass a new farm bill. 'This Congress already has failed. Let the next Congress take it up.'
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
1d ago
Art Cullen By Art Cullen, Editor Storm Lake Times Pilot A five-year farm bill was supposed to have been approved last year, but was held up in the House over disagreements on food stamps, conservation, crop insurance and funding. House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., announced that he will find a way to push a farm bill out before Memorial Day in order to get President Biden to sign a new farm bill by the end of the year. Don’t bet the farm on it. Sen. Chuck Grassley said he is pessimistic, and so is Sen. Joni Ernst, both Republican Ag Committee members. Rep. Ran ..read more
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New rule increases royalties for oil and gas companies that drill on public lands; bond will be at least 15 times more
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
4d ago
The Interior Department worked to bring oil and gas management into the 21st century. Drillers are angry. (Photo by J. Evans, Unsplash)   For decades, companies that  drilled on public lands for oil paid the federal government small royalties and spent little on cleanup funding, but that era is about to change. "A suite of regulatory changes from the Bureau of Land Management will increase royalties on oil and stiffen cleanup requirements," reports Heather Richards of E & E News. "The rule caps a multiyear effort by the Interior Department to 'modernize' how the U.S. m ..read more
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Working-age rural residents are dying at 'wildly higher rates' than their urban counterparts; cause is undetermined
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
4d ago
Photo by M. Vistocco U.S. mortality rates can fall into two very different camps -- rural working-age death rates and everyone else's death rate. "Rural Americans age 25 to 54 — considered the prime working-age population — are dying of natural causes such as chronic diseases and cancer at wildly higher rates than their age-group peers in urban areas, according to a new report from the Agriculture Department's Economic Research Service," reports Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez of KFF Health News. To compare the two groups, "USDA researchers analyzed mortality data from the Centers for Diseas ..read more
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Some states refuse bipartisan aid for school summer lunches; program gives eligible students $40 per month
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
4d ago
Some states won't accept aid for summer lunches. (Photo by Matthew Moloney, Unsplash) Some states have refused federal support that would be used to provide summer lunch money to families with children who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year.   "The new $2.5 billion program, known as Summer EBT, passed Congress with bipartisan support. The program will provide families with about $40 a month for every child who receives free or reduced-price meals at school — $120 for the summer," reports Madeline Cass of The New York Times. "The red-state refusals will k ..read more
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These centers offer specialized care for aging adults that allows them to live at home instead of in nursing homes
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
4d ago
PACE centers offer multiple types of care under one roof. (National PACE Association photo) As people age, most don't want to live in nursing homes. But when faced with extensive medical needs, many older adults end up in institutionalized care. While some older adults may need that degree of attention, a lesser-known option known as PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is gaining popularity as a cheaper, healthier alternative to nursing homes. "PACE has long flown under the national radar as an elder care option," reports Anna Claire Vollers of Stateline. "PACE center ..read more
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Eye-popping college costs vs. what students actually pay; research report looks at higher education comparisons
The Rural Blog
by Heather Close
4d ago
Brookings graph, from Department of Education data Younger generations may be bypassing college due to its eye-popping costs, but research shows that few students pay the "listed" price. "Public discussions regarding rising college costs typically focus on the listed cost of attendance (COA), or 'sticker price.' High and rising college sticker prices are the subject of considerable attention, reports Phillip Levine for Brookings. But the sticker price isn't what families pay. "The average amount students actually pay (the 'net price') has recently stabilized and even fallen in the las ..read more
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