Skip to content Skip to navigation

Rural News

US interior secretary urges mining ban near Yellowstone

Chicago Tribune | Posted on August 30, 2017

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to speed up a proposal to block new gold mining claims on forested public lands in Montana near Yellowstone National Park and will also consider blocking other types of mining, agency officials said Monday. Federal officials are undergoing a two-year review of mining on more than 30,000 acres among the towering peaks of the Absaroka mountains just north of the park. Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said Monday that Zinke wants to move forward as quickly as possible with a proposed 20-year withdrawal of future mining claims in the area north of the park, known as Paradise Valley. The review of that withdrawal was scheduled to be completed by the U.S. Forest Service and Interior's Bureau of Land Management by November, 2018.

Report:Effect of pesticide exposure on birth outcomes

University of California Santa Barbara | Posted on August 30, 2017

Researchers unravel the negative effects of pesticide exposure on birth outcomes, such as weight, gestation and abnormalities.  A new study by researchers at UC Santa Barbara addresses the issue in a novel way — by analyzing birth outcomes in California’s San Joaquin Valley.With more than one-third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts produced there, the San Joaquin Valley, not surprisingly, is a heavy pesticide-use region. The UCSB team investigated the effect of exposure during pregnancy in this agriculturally dominated area and observed an increase in adverse outcomes accompanying very high levels of pesticide exposure.Their findings appear in the journal Nature Communications. “For the majority of births, there is no statistically identifiable impact of pesticide exposure on birth outcome,” said lead author Ashley Larsen, an assistant professor in UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. “Yet mothers exposed to extreme levels of pesticides, defined here as the top 5 percent of the pesticide exposure distribution, experienced between 5 and 9 percent increases in the probability of adverse outcomes with an approximately 13-gram decrease in birth weight.”They found negative effects of pesticide exposure for all birth outcomes — birth weight, low birth weight, gestational length, preterm birth, birth abnormalities — but only for mothers exposed to very high levels of pesticides — the top 5 percent of the exposure distribution in this sample. This group was exposed to 4,200 kilograms of pesticides applied in the 1-square-mile regions encompassing their addresses during pregnancy.

Appalachian health: more ODs fewer MDs

Daily Yonder | Posted on August 30, 2017

A region-wide health study shows that the gap between Appalachia and the rest of the U.S. is widening for health indicators such as infant mortality, cancer deaths, and poverty. Appalachians are sicker and die younger from conditions like heart disease, cancer, and drug overdoses than the rest of the nation, according to a study released today by a government agency and private charities.Health problems are worst in the 13-state region’s most rural and economically distressed areas, according to a joint press release from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was also part of the research.The study reviews 41 population and public health indicators to provide a comprehensive overview of the health of the 25 million people living in the Appalachian region, federally defined as 420 counties stretching from northern Mississippi to the southern tier of New York.

A KY town aims to shine long after the great American eclipse

Daily Yonder | Posted on August 30, 2017

The small city of Hopkinsville had its day in the sun -- and dark -- on August 21, as an estimated 150,000 out-of-town guests swelled the city's population by a factor of five. Having company is always a good incentive to spruce things up. Will the town's careful planning for the eclipse pay off with longer-term benefits?

The promise of telemedicine depends on bandwidth and technology

Daily Yonder | Posted on August 30, 2017

Through telemedicine, healthcare providers can use intranet or internet networks to diagnose, administer, initiate, assist, monitor, intervene, or report a medical procedure. And the services can include mental and physical rehabilitation. Telemedicine touches every medical discipline, including psychiatry. Just about every person from newborns to seniors may have telemedicine influence their lives at some time.One thing hasn’t changed, however. Broadband may still determine whether rural residents are telemedicine’s “haves” or “have nots.” Broadband links between medical facilities and emergency responders with portable ultrasound devices can save lives. With more data reaching doctors, patients can get to and through the ER faster, or they can be routed to the correct medical facility to begin with. Communities’ healthcare administrators, emergency preparedness teams, and broadband planning teams should work together to create both the communication infrastructure and telemedicine equipment.Psychiatrists are medical doctors, and they understand if you have an illness in a particular part of the body, this can affect your brain, and similarly the brain and the mind can affect parts of the body as well. Dr. Kaftarian says mental illness, in it’s extreme, can lead to death. “We have 30,000 Americans die every year from opioid addictions. That’s double the homicide rate in the country. We have over 40,000 suicides every year in the U.S., many of those as a result mental illness.”

No hate in my holler

Daily Yonder | Posted on August 30, 2017

When Hale and others learned in February that a white supremacist group known as the Traditionalist Worker Party planned to hold a rally with the National Socialist Movement and the League of the South in Pikeville, they were stunned. In response, Hale headed up a day of making art at the Boone Youth Drop-In Center, where she coordinates workshops. That day, she developed a print that read “No Hate in My Holler,” with the hashtag #GoHomeNaziScum at the bottom. The image stirred something in the community’s imagination, and requests for prints and t-shirts followed. Hale’s image appeared on shirts of protesters throughout the rally that day, and #NoHateInMyHoller became a hashtag on Instagram and Twitter in the weeks that followed. Hale assumed the phrase would decline after Pikeville. This month, however, it was revived as neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups descended on Charlottesville.

Farmland Scenes from Hurricane Harvey | Posted on August 30, 2017

While emergency responders work to ensure Houston’s residents are out of harm’s way, farmers and the Texas Animal Health Commission with the assistance of volunteers and police are doing what they can to keep livestock safe from Hurricane Harvey. Little is known about the number of cattle deaths so far as ranchers are cut off from parts of their land and groups like the Horseback Emergency Response Team, a group of volunteers who ride horses into affected areas, are waiting for waters to recede. 

Governor revamps panel to strengthen animal cruelty laws

Minnesota Star Tribune | Posted on August 30, 2017

Sununu, a Republican, joined officials from the Humane Society and the Wolfeboro Police Department on Thursday to sign an executive order expanding the duties of the 13-year-old Commission on the Humane Treatment of Animals. Sitting on a table in front of him was an eight-week-old puppy, born to one of Fay's dogs that had been surrendered to an animal shelter shortly before the other dogs were seized. Sununu said he looks forward to working with the panel to strengthen animal cruelty laws."We're not just re-establishing it ... we're putting a little more oomph into it," he said of the commission."Whether it's dogs or cats or bears, we do have a responsibility," Sununu said. "It's part of who we are in the state of New Hampshire. It's part of our culture."

Why the War on Opioids Is Entering Veterinarians’ Offices

Governing | Posted on August 29, 2017

Colorado and Maine recently enacted laws that allow or require veterinarians to check the prescription histories of pet owners as well as their pets. And Alaska, Connecticut and Virginia have imposed new limits on the amount of opioids a vet can prescribe. Veterinarians typically do not dispense such widely abused drugs as Vicodin, OxyContin or Percocet, but they do dispense Tramadol, a painkiller; ketamine, an anesthetic, and hydrocodone, an opiate used to treat coughing in dogs – controlled substances that humans abuse.But even as some states push for veterinarians to assess the records of human clients, many veterinarians maintain they’re unqualified to do so. And while a handful of states now require vets to check the prescription histories of pet owners, about two-thirds of the states explicitly prohibit it.

Abused Dogs and Cats Now Have a (Human) Voice in Connecticut Courts

The New York Times | Posted on August 29, 2017

Jessica Rubin’s turn to approach the judge came between drunken-driving cases and a series of procedural appearances best measured in seconds. She unspooled an account of how the police found eight pit bulls kept in filthy conditions with scars that looked like they came from staged fights. She read from a police report of the scene where an officer wrote that “words cannot describe the stench.” Professor Rubin, who teaches law at the University of Connecticut, had come to the Superior Court here to argue against returning two of the dogs, including one that was pregnant, to a man who claimed to own them. Instead, she said, the dogs needed to be released from animal control to rescue groups.“That’s what the advocate would recommend to the court,” Professor Rubin told the judge. “Every day that passes continues the suffering of these dogs and makes it more unlikely they can have a normal life.”Last year, Connecticut enacted a law that, according to legal experts, made it the first state to allow judges to appoint lawyers and law students as advocates for dogs and cats in cases of cruelty, abuse and neglect. The case in Manchester was one of several that Professor Rubin and her students had been assigned to, bringing them to court regularly, almost always flanked by unofficial advocates from Desmond’s Army, the assembly of activists named for the dog whose death in 2012 inspired the law.A rising movement in the criminal justice system has placed an emphasis on giving more of a voice to and adding support for crime victims. Across the country, judges routinely appoint advocates in cases involving children and the infirm.