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Rural News

Americans in rural areas more likely to die by suicide

CDC | Posted on May 16, 2018

ural counties consistently had higher suicide rates than metropolitan counties from 2001-2015, according to data released today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. There were more than half a million suicides during the 2001–2015 study period.“While we’ve seen many causes of death come down in recent years, suicide rates have increased more than 20 percent from 2001 to 2015. And this is especially concerning in rural areas,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “We need proven prevention efforts to help stop these deaths and the terrible pain and loss they cause.”Mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) include demographic, geographic, and mechanism of death information derived from death certificates filed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The new report examined annual county level trends in suicide rates during 2001-2015 for rural counties, medium/small metropolitan counties, large metropolitan counties, as well as demographics and mechanism of death. Overall, suicide death rates for rural counties (17.32 per 100,000 people) were higher than medium/small metropolitan counties (14.86) and large metropolitan counties (11.92).

American Airlines bans emotional support amphibians, ferrets, goats and more

Chicago Tribune | Posted on May 16, 2018

First United Airlines barred an emotional support peacock from boarding. Now American Airlines is telling passengers some of their service and emotional support animals — including goats, hedgehogs and tusked creatures — can’t fly. The carrier is joining rival airlines in tightening rules for passengers flying with emotional support animals, expanding the list of animals that can’t fly in addition to requiring customers vouch for their animal’s ability to behave.

Connecticut environment groups file federal lawsuit against state

Connecticut Post | Posted on May 16, 2018

Several Connecticut environment groups and companies are taking the state to federal court over the legislature’s decision to remove money from state energy funds in the two-year budget passed in October. The Connecticut Fund for the Environment and 11 other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Tuesday in order to stop the $165 million sweep.Using the funding for other than its intended purpose is a breach of the contracts clause of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs argue. Much of the money is raised through a small surcharge on electric bills; because the money is now allocated for different purposes, the plaintiffs say this qualifies as an illegal tax on tax-exempt organizations — such as nonprofits that are ratepayers.

Recreation bigger share of economu than ag or mining

Daily Yonder | Posted on May 16, 2018

The outdoor recreation industry is a critical engine for the national economy, larger in size than the agriculture and fossil fuel mining and drilling sectors, according to a recent Department of Commerce report. The report also said that rural communities and small business owners are a key ingredient in the growing economic engine.

NeighborWorks America reports nearly $3.6 billion in rural economic impact in fiscal year 2017

Pilot Online | Posted on May 16, 2018

NeighborWorks America announced today that in 2017, members of the NeighborWorks network leveraged nearly $3.6 billion of investment in rural communities. A total of 166 NeighborWorks organizations – 67.5 percent of the network – serve rural America. In 2017, NeighborWorks members created or maintained more than 35,000 jobs in rural communities. Facilitating access to financial services and other programs that create ladders of opportunity is critical for people in rural communities. A recent NeighborWorks America consumer finance survey found that 46 percent of U.S. adults living in rural areas are "not too confident" or "not confident at all" of their ability to withstand a sudden financial emergency.

CDC report finds vector-borne diseases on the rise

Veterinary Practice News | Posted on May 16, 2018

According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been significant increase in instances of vector-borne diseases across the U.S., with reported cases of diseases transmitted through the bites of blood-feeding ticks, mosquitos, and fleas nearly tripling nation-wide over a 13-year span.

Does Rural Entrepreneurship Pay?

Iowa State | Posted on May 16, 2018

Rural entrepreneurship can help stimulate local economies by creating local jobs and providing goods and services that improve the quality of life of nearby residents. However, as Reynolds et al. (1995) note, rural entrepreneurs can face difficulties through lack of sufficient capital, infrastructure, and access to educated labor. These hardships often result in lower firm entry rates when compared to urban areas and businesses characterized as low-income and low-growth. This leads to the common notion that rural entrepreneurship is necessity driven—entrepreneurs create rural businesses in order to remain in, or relocate to, a rural location. Recent research, however, has shown that the factors that affect rural business location also increase the likelihood that business will survive, suggesting that rural entrepreneurs possess location-specific capital that increases the probability of becoming an entrepreneur and offers greater returns relative to being a wage earner. In order to fully analyze and understand the location choices of entrepreneurs, we analyze survey results from 4,448 Iowa State University alumni who graduated between 1982 and 2007. Furthermore, we assess returns to location-specific human capital by location and the relative earnings of rural and urban wage earners and entrepreneurs.

Trump officials worried about 'public relations nightmare' over contaminated drinking water near military bases

CNBC | Posted on May 16, 2018

Trump administration officials are worried about a Health and Human Services report on a class of chemicals that could be a "public relations nightmare." The HHS study indicated that the chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, present a risk to health at levels far lower than EPA previously determined. The chemicals have already been found in drinking water and groundwater at levels beyond what EPA says is safe near 126 U.S. military locatio

What Another Dry Winter Means for Colorado and the West

5280 | Posted on May 16, 2018

With dangerously low snowpack levels across the state, Colorado is facing a severe water shortage. We take a look at what that means for rivers, wildfires, and the future of water use in the West. It was another low snow season, the latest in what is becoming an increasingly common occurrence in Colorado. As skiers across the state bemoaned the lack of fresh powder this winter, climate scientists and hydrologists recognized something more acute: The dry winter exacerbated water scarcity in the Centennial State, placing more stress on our rivers and increasing the likelihood of an active fire season.To put things in perspective, on April 9—which is historically the peak day for snowpack in Colorado—almost the entire state was sitting at below-average levels. Southern Colorado had it worst. The Upper Rio Grande basin, for instance, boasted a meager 43 percent of its normal snowpack. The Gunnison basin sat at only 57 percent. The Arkansas basin was at 63 percent. Only the North and South Platte River basins approached normal levels.

Health Centers look to new Facebook tools for help during disasters

Fox News | Posted on May 16, 2018

Community health centers in Texas that helped thousands of people during and after Hurricane Harvey have new crisis-response tools from Facebook that could enhance their ability to reach victims when a hurricane hits. The hurricane season officially starts next month. And with the effects of Harvey still lingering in many communities — nearly nine months after the storm devastated parts of the coast and Houston area — about 20 centers from around the state met in Houston this week to hear about how the new tools could help them better publicize their services and distribute resources during a natural disaster.  One is Community Help, a page within Facebook where aid organizations, businesses and government agencies can now post what services they offer during a specific crisis. The other is Disaster Maps, which uses geolocation data gathered from people using Facebook to show select organizations where people are located to help improve aid delivery.Disaster Maps is currently being used in Hawaii to show how local residents are moving in response to the eruption of the Kilauea volcano. It also used in December during wildfires in California to help with the distribution of respirator masks, said Andrew Schroeder, director of research and analysis for Direct Relief. The California-based medical aid nonprofit responded during Harvey and sponsored the workshop in Houston.