Friday, September 22, 2017

Quick hits: Smarter rural narrative needed; a vision for rural prosperity; FCC chair talks broadband . . .

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 The Rural Blog at

The Washington Post's Chris Ingraham says the recent narrative about rural America is dominated by despair, but raw data doesn't tell us everything, and we need to take a smarter and more nuanced look at rural life. He should know: in early 2016 Ingraham moved to Red Lake Falls, Minn., pop. 4,057, after an "intense and exceedingly polite" backlash to the story he wrote about how it was the worst place in America to live. Suffice it to say, he's changed his mind on that point.

The mayor of Charles City, Iowa, shares a detailed vision for rural prosperity in The Des Moines Register. Among his ideas are eliminating unfunded mandates, develop a universal preschool program and make day care affordable, and better meet the needs of senior citizens. 

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai in West Plains, Mo., joined a roundtable about bringing broadband service to rural areas, the West Plains Daily reports. Pai, who grew up in rural Parsons, Kan., says he believes loosening federal regulations is the key to making widespread rural broadband a reality.

Two Knoxville nurse practitioners tell NPR's StoryCorps about how they established one of the first treatment protocols in the nation for babies born addicted to opioids. They also established a program that connects opioid-addicted mothers with treatment and therapy.

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