rural issues

It became clear in the last election that a stark division existed between urban and rural areas. In places such as north Idaho, people with similar political stripes have begun seeking each other out.

When Adrien Koch retired last summer from her job with FEMA in the Bay Area, she and her husband resettled in the wooded mountains of north Idaho. They had visited only a few months before on a vacation but had quickly fallen in love. For Koch, Idaho reminded her of the California she knew in the 1970s.

Moriah, N.Y., is a tiny, sleepy place on the shore of Lake Champlain. Not so long ago, this was a major industrial port. Iron ore carved out of the hills here was packed onto train cars and barges. That iron ore helped build America's cities, but "then it all came to an abrupt halt," Tom Scozzafava says.

Scozzafava grew up in Moriah and now serves as town supervisor. He remembers the good times and he remembers the summer the good times stopped.

"1971, the miners — 600 of them — went home for their annual August vacation and they were never called back," he says.

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President Obama sees a role for himself in rebuilding the Democratic Party after he leaves office — coach.

The day after Donald Trump swept to victory, the head of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Zippy Duvall, released a videotaped statement aimed at the President-elect and other political leaders in Washington.

"Rural America turned out and made their voice heard in this election," he said. "Now it's time for our elected leaders to support rural America."

People might be forgiven for thinking that the Affordable Care Act is the federal government's boldest intrusion into the private business of health care.

But few know about a 70-year-old law that is responsible for the construction of much of our health system's infrastructure. The law's latest anniversary came and went without much notice in August.

About 7 percent of homeless people live in rural areas, but homeless advocates say services in those areas don't get as much federal funding as they deserve — partly because the number of homeless people might be underestimated.

Missouri cattle farmer Greg Fleshman became so concerned about keeping his local hospital open that in 2011 he joined its governing board.

Good day care can be hard to find, especially in rural areas. Low population density means commercial day care centers are rare, so a lot of parents rely on smaller child cares run out of peoples' homes. In one New York county, those family-run establishments are disappearing.

Teri Brogdale lives on a quiet street, near the edge of town. But inside, her house is pretty lively — she runs a day care called Teri's Little Angels.

Brogdale has been at this for almost 23 years. But now she's getting out of the day care business. She's ready to retire.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahomans in charge of fixing the state’s rural roads and bridges are raising concerns over a state budget cutting $72 million from funding.

Randy Robinson with the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma says the money is designed to replace dilapidated and dangerous bridges across the state.

"That have been around in the 20s and 30s and 40s that are just no longer capable of holding up the loads and holding up the traffic."

Robinson says Oklahoma remains an agricultural state which is dependent on getting products to market.

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