Friday, July 06, 2018

Quick hits: Sessions saves a town's fireworks; Appalachian adoption, foster care; good analyses of Farm BIll and trade

Here's a roundup of stories with rural resonance; if you do or see similar work that should be shared on The Rural Blog, email us at

The small town of Hamlet, N.C., just east of Charlotte, canceled its Independence Day festivities in 2017 because of threats of gang violence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, infuriated when he heard the news, "sent a team of federal prosecutors to Richmond County to team up with state and local law enforcement along with the courts to combat the area's violent crime, Michael Gordon reports for The Charlotte Observer. After the crackdown, the town felt safe enough to have their usual Independence Day celebration this year. Read more here.

The Ohio University Press Podcast's latest installment is a fascinating discussion with Wendy Welch about her book Fall or Fly: The Strangely Hopeful Story of Foster Care and Adoption in Appalachia. The featured review on reads: "In Fall or Fly, Welch invites people bound by a code of silence to open up and to share their experiences. Less inspiration than a call to caring awareness, this pioneering work of storytelling journalism explores how love, compassion, money, and fear intermingle in what can only be described as a marketplace for our nation’s greatest asset." Listen to the podcast here.

As jobs disappear in rural coal country, a private prison pitches itself as the solution to one rural Kentucky town's financial woes. But some residents are pushing back. Read more here.

Farmdoc Daily has an excellent analysis of the Farm Bill and its prospects. Read more here.

The Agricultural Policy Analysis Center offers a solid breakdown of the politics of international trade. Read more here.

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