Small town snippets: Proposed rural solutions

Closures of post offices across the country have made headlines. In Dickinson County, 17 families have been without mail delivery since 2009. Geraldine Kohman, 75, has worked to make her voice heard but to little avail.

A primary topic of discussion at the recent Kansas Rural Opportunity Conference was the status of the state’s water supply. The drought has worsened the problem, which is now raising concerns in certain rural areas of the state.

The need for doctors in rural Kansas is becoming a key issue in the southern community of Arkansas City. Hospital officials are hoping to begin recruitment soon, but a lack of resources to draw potential doctors in could pose a problem.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to support rural business owners. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the creation of the Rural Business Investment Program on April 21.

An expansion of the Medicaid program in the state could help the economy, according to a Kansas Center for Economic Growth report. According to the report, rural hospitals and those looking for jobs could benefit if the expansion were approved.

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Small town snippets: Changes in water, healthcare, Internet access

The USDA has taken on several programs dedicated to improving quality of life in rural areas. Now, the USDA Rural Utilities Service is working to improve water infrastructures in small communities across Kansas.

Rural health care may be harder to come by in the next five years, according to a group of primary care doctors in rural Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. The change is due in large part to recent and upcoming changes in health care regulations.

Sprint Nextel Corp. has joined the effort to expand internet access to rural areas. It is working with the Competitive Carriers Association and NetAmerica Alliance on a program which would allow carriers to use Sprint’s network in rural areas.

The Kansas PowerUp movement will be at the Capitol on Monday, April 1, to network with other PowerUps and meet with legislators. All Kansans who are ages 21-39 and rural by choice are able to attend.