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  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Flies COVID-19 Vaccines to Veterans in Rural Montana

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Flies COVID-19 Vaccines to Veterans in Rural Montana | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs press release dated: January 25, 2021) Washington - - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) flew doses of the Moderna vaccine to the Montana VA Health Care System (MTVAHCS) last week, as part of a new pilot program providing vaccines to Veterans living in rural parts of the country. Chosen as the initial site for the pilot, MTVAHCS provided 240 Veterans in Havre, Montana with the vaccine. Montana was selected due to size and rurality. It is the country’s fourth largest state and its mountainous terrain makes for difficult driving conditions during the winter. The facility arranged transportation via air charter to deliver the vaccines. “The delivery of the Moderna vaccine to Havre, Montana gives solace knowing we are helping protect rural Montana Veterans from COV...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Three Deputy Under Secretaries in the Areas of Nutrition, Rural Development and Marketing and Regulatory Programs

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Three Deputy Under Secretaries in the Areas of Nutrition, Rural Development and Marketing and Regulatory Programs | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 21, 2021)

    Washington, Jan. 21, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced three senior appointments today.

    USDA announced that nutrition policy expert Stacy Dean has been named Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). Prior to joining USDA, Dean served as Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. She directed the Center’s food assistance team, which publishes frequent reports on how federal nutrition programs affect families and communities and develops policies to improve them. She joined the Center in 1997 and has deep experience understanding the delivery of health
    ...
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  • Biden Administration Announces Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension

    Biden Administration Announces Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension That Will Bring Relief to Rural Residents | site |



    USDA Extends Evictions and Foreclosure Moratorium to March 31, 2021 and Provides Additional Guidance for Servicing Loans Impacted by COVID-19


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 20, 2021) Washington, Jan. 20, 2021 — In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden requested federal agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for millions of Americans. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans (SFHDLP and SFHGLP) through March 31, 2021. The actions announced today will bring relief to residents in rural America who have housing loans through USDA. USDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pande...
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  • Veterans Affairs expands Access to Telehealth Services during COVID-19 Pandemic for Older, Rural and Homeless Veterans

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expands Access to Telehealth Services during COVID-19 Pandemic for Older, Rural and Homeless Veterans | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs press release dated: January 6, 2021)

    Washington - - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today its Digital Divide Consult has helped more than 12,000 Veterans obtain internet access or a video-capable device for their health care needs.

    As part of the program, VA providers refer Veterans to a VA social worker, who determines eligibility for various programs to assist with getting the internet service or technology needed for VA telehealth — ensuring older Veterans, those living in rural areas and Veterans who are homeless or in temporary housing have the opportunity to participate.

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Veterans with lower incomes, more severe
    ...
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  • USDA says Trump Administration Invests 4.6 Million Dollars in High-Speed Broadband in Rural Georgia

    U.S. Department of Agriculture says Trump Administration Invests $4.6 Million in High-Speed Broadband in Rural Georgia | site |


    ReConnect Funding to Connect 1,326 Rural Georgia Households to High-Speed Internet e-Connectivity


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release: January 7, 2021)

    Claxton, Ga., Jan. 7, 2021 - - The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $4.6 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Georgia. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program. “The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” U.S. Secret...
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  • FCC Grants Additional 2.5 GHZ Rural Tribal Priority Window Licenses

    FCC Grants Additional 2.5 GHZ Rural Tribal Priority Window Licenses

    Federal Communications Commission Grants Additional 2.5 GHZ Rural Tribal Priority Window Licenses | site |




    22 Licenses Granted to Tribal Applicants for Prime Mid-Band Spectrum to Close Digital Divide by Enabling Advanced Wireless Communications, Including 5G



    (Information contained in Federal Communications Commission [FCC] press release: December 30, 2020)​​​​​​​

    Washington, December 30, 2020 - - The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has granted 22 additional applications for licenses to use the 2.5 GHz band to close the digital divide and to provide broadband and other advanced wireless services to rural Tribal communities. These spectrum licenses, which were granted to Tribal entities across the country through the agency’s first-of-its-kind Rural Tribal Priority Window, provide for exclusive use of up to 117.5 megahertz of 2.5 GHz band spectrum that can be used by Tribes to connect their communities. ...
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  • USDA Launches New, Streamlined Process for Private Lenders to Invest in Rural America

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Launches New, Streamlined Process for Private Lenders to Invest in Rural America | site |


    USDA says "Trump Administration Keeps Promise to Cut Red Tape and Increase Private Investment in America’s Rural Communities"


    (October 1, 2020) - - Today, October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the following information: WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2020 – The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for the department’s four key loan guarantee programs under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative. “Rural America needs a mix of public and private partnerships and investments to build stronger, healthier communities,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is cutting red tape and streamlining private investment so w
    ...
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  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Awards 15 Million Dollars to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Tribal Communities

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Awards $15 Million to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Tribal Communities| site |



    (May 28, 2020) - - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published (today) the following information: Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $15 million to 52 Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and other health services providers to Tribes across 20 states to prepare, prevent, and respond to COVID-19 in rural tribal communities. “President Trump stands with Tribal nations across the country as they grapple with COVID-19 in rural communities,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Today’s funding gives Tribes critical support to build up their capacity for fighting COVID-19, boost testing capabilities, increase purchases of PPE, and hire and pay the personnel they need.” These awards ...
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  • Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai Tees up 20.4 Billion Dollars Rural Digital Opportunity Fund for Vote at FCC's January Meeting

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai Tees up $20.4 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund for Vote at FCC's January Meeting| site |



    FCC says Fund Would Deploy High-Speed Broadband to Millions of Rural Homes and Businesses


    (January 8, 2020) - - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published the following information: WASHINGTON, January 8, 2020—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today presented his colleagues with final rules to launch the new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The rules, which will be voted on by the Commission at its Open Meeting on January 30, would establish a two-phased process to provide funding for the deployment of high-speed broadband in areas of the United States where there is currently not fixed broadband service that meets the Commission’s minimum speed standard (25/3 Mbps). “While we’ve made substantial progress in expanding broadband deployment ov...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture to Make 550 Million Dollars in Funding Available in 2020 to Deploy High-Speed Broadband Internet Infrastructure in Rural America

    U.S. Department of Agriculture to Make $550 Million in Funding Available in 2020 to Deploy High-Speed Broadband Internet Infrastructure in Rural America | site |


    Announcement Made at Round One Investment in Iowa


    (December 12, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the following information:

    STANTON, Iowa, Dec. 12, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the availability of a second round of $550 million in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Reconnect Pilot Program funding appropriated by Congress. The application window for this round of funding is set to open Jan. 31, 2020. Secretary Perdue made the announcement alongside Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds while congratulating the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton, Iowa, for receiving $6.4 million in first-round Reconnect Pilot Program funding to connect 477 households, 35 farms and 21 businesses in Montgomery and Page counties.
    ...
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  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Walmart open Telehealth Locations to Serve Veterans in Rural Areas

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Walmart open Telehealth Locations to Serve Veterans in Rural Areas| site |


    (December 10, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published the following information:

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Walmart cut the ribbon in Asheboro, North Carolina, Dec. 10, for a new VA-led Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations (ATLAS) services pilot location. The public-private affiliation provides convenient health care to Veterans in their communities. “This type of collaboration is the way of the future,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Veterans need the expansion of choice, and this partnership is vital to affording them convenient access to VA health care services where they live.” Walmart has donated equipment and space at five sites as part of a pilot initiative allowing Veterans to meet with a VA provider in a private room via video technology. VA teleh
    ...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests 62.3 Million Dollars in Rural Broadband Infrastructure for Alabama Families

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests $62.3 Million in Rural Broadband Infrastructure for Alabama Families | site |



    (December 5, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the following information:

    HAMILTON, Ala., Dec. 5, 2019 – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced USDA has invested $62.3 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure that will create or improve e-Connectivity for more than 8,000 rural households, 57 farms, 44 businesses, 17 educational facilities, 14 critical community facilities and three health care facilities in rural Alabama. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments. “Beyond connecting us to our friends and family, high-speed broadband internet connectivity, or e-Connectivity, is a necessity, not an amenity, to do business, access opportunities in educatio
    ...
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  • Federal Reserve Board Publishes Report on Bank Branch Access in Rural Communities

    Federal Reserve Board Publishes Report on Bank Branch Access in Rural Communities | site |



    (November 25, 2019) - - Today, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published the following information:

    The Federal Reserve Board on Monday released Perspectives from Main Street: Bank Branch Access in Rural Communities, a report that examines how rural consumers and small businesses use bank branches and how their communities have been affected by branch closures. Of the counties analyzed in the report, more than half lost bank branches between 2012 and 2017, with some predominantly rural counties experiencing considerable declines. The deeply affected rural counties tended to be less economically well off and have residents with lower levels of education. They also had a greater proportion of minority residents relative to other rural counties. Much of the information in the report was gathered at listening sessions hosted by Federal Reser
    ...
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  • USDA Invests in Drinking Water Quality and Wastewater Management for 784,000 Rural Residents and Businesses in 42 States

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests in Drinking Water Quality and Wastewater Management for 784,000 Rural Residents and Businesses in 42 States| site |


    Projects will Improve Water Pressure, Address Public Health and Environmental Issues

    (November 19, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the following information:

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that the department is investing $635 million in 122 projects to improve water systems and wastewater handling services in rural communities in 42 states. USDA is funding the projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. “These investments will bring reliable infrastructure to rural communities. They will replace old, fragile, leaking water pipes with new ones and allow upgrades to water handling systems that are decades old, boosting wa
    ...
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  • U.S. Small Business Administration Issues Direct Final Rule that Will Allow Governors to Seek HUBZone Designation for Certain Rural Areas

    U.S. Small Business Administration Issues Direct Final Rule that Will Allow Governors to Seek HUBZone Designation for Certain Rural Areas| site |


    (November 18, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published the following information:

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration today issued a direct final rule that will allow governors to petition the SBA’s Administrator to designate HUBZone status to certain covered areas. A covered area is an area in a state that is located outside of an urbanized area, as determined by the Census Bureau, with a population of not more than 50,000, and for which the average unemployment rate is at least 120 percent of the average unemployment rate. The rule is published in the Federal Register and effective January 1, 2020, unless significant adverse comment is received by December 15, 2019. “This expansion of HUBZone areas will provide a valuable resource to small businesses in underser
    ...
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  • Staff Reporter 1
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Flies COVID-19 Vaccines to Veterans in Rural Montana
    by Staff Reporter 1
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Flies COVID-19 Vaccines to Veterans in Rural Montana | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs press release dated: January 25, 2021) Washington - - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) flew doses of the Moderna vaccine to the Montana VA Health Care System (MTVAHCS) last week, as part of a new pilot program providing vaccines to Veterans living in rural parts of the country. Chosen as the initial site for the pilot, MTVAHCS provided 240 Veterans in Havre, Montana with the vaccine. Montana was selected due to size and rurality. It is the country’s fourth largest state and its mountainous terrain makes for difficult driving conditions during the winter. The facility arranged transportation via air charter to deliver the vaccines. “The delivery of the Moderna vaccine to Havre, Montana gives solace knowing we are helping protect rural Montana Veterans from COV...
    01-27-2021, 03:00 AM
  • Staff Reporter 1
    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Three Deputy Under Secretaries in the Areas of Nutrition, Rural Development and Marketing and Regulatory Programs
    by Staff Reporter 1
    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Three Deputy Under Secretaries in the Areas of Nutrition, Rural Development and Marketing and Regulatory Programs | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 21, 2021)

    Washington, Jan. 21, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced three senior appointments today.

    USDA announced that nutrition policy expert Stacy Dean has been named Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). Prior to joining USDA, Dean served as Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. She directed the Center’s food assistance team, which publishes frequent reports on how federal nutrition programs affect families and communities and develops policies to improve them. She joined the Center in 1997 and has deep experience understanding the delivery of health
    ...
    01-24-2021, 05:41 AM
  • Staff Reporter 1
    Biden Administration Announces Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension
    by Staff Reporter 1
    Biden Administration Announces Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension That Will Bring Relief to Rural Residents | site |



    USDA Extends Evictions and Foreclosure Moratorium to March 31, 2021 and Provides Additional Guidance for Servicing Loans Impacted by COVID-19


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 20, 2021) Washington, Jan. 20, 2021 — In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden requested federal agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for millions of Americans. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans (SFHDLP and SFHGLP) through March 31, 2021. The actions announced today will bring relief to residents in rural America who have housing loans through USDA. USDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pande...
    01-24-2021, 05:28 AM
  • Staff Reporter 1
    Veterans Affairs expands Access to Telehealth Services during COVID-19 Pandemic for Older, Rural and Homeless Veterans
    by Staff Reporter 1
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expands Access to Telehealth Services during COVID-19 Pandemic for Older, Rural and Homeless Veterans | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs press release dated: January 6, 2021)

    Washington - - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today its Digital Divide Consult has helped more than 12,000 Veterans obtain internet access or a video-capable device for their health care needs.

    As part of the program, VA providers refer Veterans to a VA social worker, who determines eligibility for various programs to assist with getting the internet service or technology needed for VA telehealth — ensuring older Veterans, those living in rural areas and Veterans who are homeless or in temporary housing have the opportunity to participate.

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Veterans with lower incomes, more severe
    ...
    01-10-2021, 05:30 AM
  • Staff Reporter 1
    USDA says Trump Administration Invests 4.6 Million Dollars in High-Speed Broadband in Rural Georgia
    by Staff Reporter 1
    U.S. Department of Agriculture says Trump Administration Invests $4.6 Million in High-Speed Broadband in Rural Georgia | site |


    ReConnect Funding to Connect 1,326 Rural Georgia Households to High-Speed Internet e-Connectivity


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release: January 7, 2021)

    Claxton, Ga., Jan. 7, 2021 - - The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $4.6 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Georgia. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program. “The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” U.S. Secret...
    01-07-2021, 09:57 PM

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