Friday, December 18, 2020

Quick hits: federal gov't stymies Texas law to remove racist place names; wildfire expert urges tougher building codes

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

Appalachian shale drillers are still losing despite spending cuts. Read more here.

In 1991, Texas passed a law to remove the word "Negro" from place names across the state, but many still haven't changed because the federal government blocked them. Read more here.

An 89-year-old Black woman from rural North Carolina worried that the oral histories from her family and community would be lost, so she self-published a memoir recounting them. Read more here.

A wildfire policy expert urged state and local governments to toughen building codes for houses in wildfire-prone areas. Read more here.

Missouri will stop printing paper income-tax forms in an effort to encourage more people to file their taxes electronically. Residents can file paper returns, but will have to download and print the forms. About 12% of the state's taxpayers filed paper returns in 2019. Rural residents without broadband access may have a harder time with the new rule. Read more here.

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