rural issues

Dr. Max Self grabs a sanitary wipe and cleans off the small flashlight in his hands. More than 20 years as a family doctor in rural Fort Scott, Kan., has taught him a few tricks for dealing with little kids: "I've got my flashlight. See? Look, you want to hold it?"

Libraries around the country are increasingly starting to lend out mobile hotspot devices for patrons to connect to high-speed internet at home.

Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of New York wants to see this effort expanded and has proposed a new bill that would provide grant money for more mobile hotspots in communities, particularly so students who don’t have internet at home can do their homework.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Erika Buzzard Wright doesn’t hesitate to admit she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Before today, she’s never organized a press conference or put together a media kit. That lack of experience hasn’t stopped her from trying to be a voice for rural Oklahomans who like sending their children to school four days a week instead of five.

Flickr / alamosbasement

Parents and teachers in Oklahoma school districts with four-day weeks gathered at the state capitol Monday to ask lawmakers not to adopt rules they say would effectively end abbreviated school weeks.

Of Oklahoma’s more than 500 school districts, about 100 go to school only four days a week. The practice has exploded in recent years because of a change in how the state measures school years, saying students need to be in class for 1,080 hours rather than 180 days each year.

The impossible cost of health care in Appalachia: $40,000 for a single ambulance ride. We take a look at the cost of health care consolidation in rural America.

Despite the hot economy, Dollar General continues to thrive due to a loyal customer base and an expansion strategy focused on rural areas that lack other retail options.

Jill Schlesinger (@jillonmoney), a business analyst for CBS News and the host of Jill On Money, joins us.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

KOSU is adding a new agriculture and rural issues reporter position to highlight Oklahoma voices and combat the spread of news deserts. 

The position will be partially funded with $20,000 in seed funding from Report for America, a national service program aimed at increasing reporting on under-covered issues and communities. The new position will also expand KOSU’s regional reach, as the station partners with Harvest Public Media, a collaborative network of reporters and radio stations throughout the Midwest and Great Plains.

With fewer than 100 days left before the 2020 census is fully underway, rural communities caught in the digital divide are bracing for a potential undercount that could make it harder for them to advocate for resources over the next decade.

For many people, turning on the tap or flushing the toilet is something we take for granted. But a report released Monday, called "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States," shows that more than 2 million Americans live without these conveniences and that Native Americans are more likely to have trouble accessing water than any other group.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

At the beginning of November, hundreds of new laws took effect in Oklahoma, including a big change to short-term health policies. 

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