Rural

Boise State Public Radio

Health disparities experienced between urban and rural communities are a result of many different factors, one of these being access to physicians. In an effort to increase this access WWAMI offers a Rural Underserved Opportunities Program. This gives medical students the chance to serve in areas with doctor shortages and learn more about community medicine.

Wi-Fi can be hard to find in the rural parts of our region. In fact, about six in ten rural Americans believe access to high-speed internet is a problem where they live. But that might change. Today the Department of Interior announced a new effort to increase access to broadband on federal lands.

The American Hospital Association has released a new report on the state of rural hospitals across the country. There’s good and bad news about how the Mountain West stacks up.

First, the bad news. When it comes to the number of mental health professionals, our region looks like a black hole.

St. Luke's

St. Luke's Health System is investing $3.4 million in a virtual care center - a "high tech hub" with a medical team available to provide assistance 24/7. The center will be able to connect doctors with rural Idahoans and those with mobility issues. Idaho Matters discusses this new trend in health care with St. Luke's and how this could be a game changer for underserved rural communities.

On The Monday, August 27, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters

Aug 24, 2018

  • Idaho parents are given the option to refuse children's vaccinations.
  • Voter demographics in Idaho are shifting ahead of the mid-term elections.
  • A Boise State University program addresses student addiction.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

We hear the fourth installment of 'Our Changing Idaho' and talk to BSPR reporter Matt Guilham about a small Idaho town that is neither growing like many Idaho cities, nor shrinking like many American small towns.

SAMANTHA WRIGHT / BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO

Boise State Public Radio is rolling out a series looking at the growth in Idaho and the various social, economic and environmental impacts on the people and institutions of the state. The first installment of Our Changing Idaho airs on Monday's Idaho Matters.

Bringing Doctors To Idaho's Rural Regions

Jun 6, 2018
MOLLY MESSICK / STATEIMPACT IDAHO

A study by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that only 53% of medical residents stay in the Gem State to practice medicine at the conclusion of their residency. While this is above the national average for in-state retention of doctors, this still makes it difficult to lure licensed medical professionals to Idaho's rural communities. Idaho Matters speaks with State Representative Mat Erpelding about ways to keep doctors in-state and provide quality health care for the state's rural residents.

Mike Vogt / AP Images/Idaho Press Tribune

Idaho’s doing better than in previous years when it comes to emergency preparedness. That's according to a new national study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 


Tim Albano / Flickr Creative Commons

You’ve likely heard of food deserts — maybe you've even heard of news deserts. But classical music deserts? The New York City-based Piatigorsky Foundation has made it their mission to bring classical music to underserved communities, including in rural Idaho.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Images

Tuesday, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. But in order to streamline these projects, the administration is proposing changes to the way they are reviewed for environmental impact.

The National Environmental Policy Act was enacted in 1970. Called NEPA for short, the law was created after the construction of the Interstate Highways System damaged delicate ecosystems around the country.

learning elementary student teacher
Alvin Trusty / Flickr Creative Commons

A number of rural Idaho school districts are struggling to lure licensed teachers to classrooms causing the districts to hire more unlicensed educators.

The Times-News reported on Sunday that the Twin Falls School District hired 20 unlicensed educators this year as other nearby districts are also hiring more unlicensed teachers.

Dave Harbison / Idaho Education Association

Teachers around the state are ready with lesson plans as a new school year gets under way. But in one tiny school district in rural Idaho, salary negotiations are making this hectic time of year a little more stressful.


Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

It’s hard not to pick up a hammer and start working when you see the nearly destroyed Atlanta Club up-close. Built in the 1940s by a Yugoslavian bootlegger, the club has survived wildfires and the collapse of the mining industry in this tiny town northeast of Boise.

But this year's record winter was devastating for the building; after an unlucky mix of conditions the old roof couldn’t take it anymore. It collapsed one day, emitting a cloud of dust so thick it looked like smoke.

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Department of Labor says between 2015 and 2025, the state is expected to grow by 15 percent.

Using a new model to project these changes, the agency says the state’s pace is about three times higher than the nation’s when it comes to population.

So where is this boost coming from? The trend of older people moving to the state for retirement continues to lead the way. The department predicts the 65 and older crowd will grow by about 36 percent.

Screengrab / Feeding America

A new report shows the number of people dealing with hunger in Idaho has dropped overall. But children in some parts of the state are still struggling to get enough to eat.

The annual study by Feeding America – a national network of food banks – shows that overall food insecurity in the state has decreased incrementally.

Screengrab / Senate Natural Resources Committee

Sunday night, Congress negotiated a budget bill to fund the government for the next six months. One provision not included was a reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act, or SRS.

Rural schools, Idaho County, bus
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Skip Hall has been a teacher at Grangeville High School for 31 years. His early American history class with freshmen and sophomores will be one of his last: he’s retiring at the end of the school year.

As Hall’s class works together on projects, he takes a moment to reflect on the state of education in his district.

“The biggest thing I see is lack of choice for the students," Hall says.

screenshot

Update, April 20: The Valley County team did not take home one of the top prizes in Denver, despite making it to the finals. 

Peter Barker / Flickr Creative Commons

A lumber mill in northern Idaho has closed down, leaving about 40 people without work.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Tri-Pro Forest Products closed its Orofino mill on Tuesday. Resource Manager Mike Boeck says a lack of cedar logs forced the company to curtail operations at the Clearwater County mill over the past few weeks.

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

"Nitrate" may as well be a four-letter word in the small town of Ashton, Idaho.

The eastern Idaho town of 1,200 people is about 20 miles from the border of Wyoming. Settlers in the area in the 1890s quickly took advantage the fertile volcanic soil beneath their feet, and began diverting water to irrigate the land. Seed potatoes are the big cash crop, though wheat, barley and hay also contribute to the local economy.

IcaWise / Flickr Creative Commons

If you lived in a rural part of the state in 1990, there’s a good chance that you now live in a town or city. That’s according to census data parsed by the Idaho Department of Labor. Researcher Janell Hyer says people are continuing to move where the jobs are – and that means more populated cities like Boise and Meridian.

“People are coming from the rural areas moving into the urban areas," says Hyer. "Even though they may not be growing as fast as they were in previous years, they are still growing and that’s where the growth is taking place.”

City of Emmett

Many people in Idaho know the city of Emmett for its annual cherry festival, which draws thousands to the small town every year. But its place on a recently published list is drawing some negative attention.

InciWeb

The Soda Fire has burned more than 400 square miles of sage brush and rangeland 40 miles west of Boise. It’s just eight miles from Jordan Valley.

Ranchers and farmers are building firebreaks to protect their property. Power poles have burned up, leaving some without power. Despite the danger, the communities throughout the area are coming together to help those in need.

Oregon's congressional delegation is hoping to secure a two-year extension of timber payments to rural counties. The Secure Rural Schools provision is tucked in a bill the U.S. House is voting on this week.

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