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The Rural Blog

Report for America, a national service program, wants to help newsrooms across the United States -- and particularly in rural areas -- add more than 50 positions next summer. Applications are open for newsrooms interested in hosting journalists for up to three years, with part of the salary paid by the Report for America program.
Razor-thin profit margins and see-saw market prices already make the life of U.S. dairy farmers tough. Farmers must now contend with the unknowns of an evolving bird flu virus, which could infect herds and farm workers.
As urban sprawl and industrial developments eat up Virginia countryside, Rappahannock County turns against the tide to remain a quiet, rural area with a protected "view shed.". . . . While other Virginia counties take the "easy dollars" developers are waving, Rappahannock County has a different goal: To remain a part of the state's "dead zone."
Is it possible to create a planet where plastic production and waste aren't a constant problem? Maybe. In March 2022, the United Nations "pledged to negotiate a treaty to 'end plastic pollution,' with the goal of delivering a final draft by 2025. One proposed solution was to negotiate with plastic makers to produce less, which hasn't happened. But. . . 
Part of rural living's appeal can be its wide open spaces with big skies and swaths of uninhabited land. While people may relish country living, it can be socially isolating and lonely, which isn't a healthy state for most people. In Madison, Minnesota, pop. 1,518, Dr. Hannah Fields, the town's family physician, is experimenting with a new prescription for some of her patients.
It has been almost a year since the Marion County Record was raided by police supposedly investigating charges of identity theft and illegal use of a computer by the Kansas weekly newspaper. In the process of confiscating newsroom property, the city's chief of police, Gideon Cody, injured Record reporter Deb Gruver's hand . . . . Gruver has reached a $235,000 settlement as part of a lawsuit she filed over the search, which set off a national discussion about press freedoms."
Access to a firearm can mean a person at the crossroads of ending their own life will succeed. Even though many other means of suicide exist, almost none are more predictably final. Psychiatry researcher Jeffrey W. Swanson looks at how extreme risk protection order laws prevent suicides and how they intersect with gun rights.
When Midwestern farming states steer around conservation practices and use more synthetic fertilizer and manure, their crops' run-off flows into the Mississippi River and contributes to the Gulf of Mexico's 'dead zone.'
Some rural populations have continued to shrink, leaving towns that were once vibrant places facing an uncertain future.

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