The American Angus Association® produced a film to expose the impact of urban sprawl on American Agriculture – “Losing Ground”—an I Am Angus® production. The documentary features five Angus farm and ranch families who talk about the challenges and opportunities they have experienced with urban sprawl in their areas. The Lovin family, Lexington, Georgia; Marsh family, Huntley, Illinois; Stabler family, Brookeville, Maryland; Cropp family, Damascus, Maryland; and the Nelson family, Wilton, California, discuss how urban sprawl has impacted them, and American Farmland Trust CEO John Piotti talks about their research report “Farms Under Threat,” which shows the issue on a national level. For more information on “Losing Ground,” visit angus.org/LosingGround.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) maintains a sophisticated disease surveillance system to monitor animals and insects that can carry West Nile virus: dead crows, robins, blue jays, mosquitoes and horses. Mosquitoes can either carry the virus or get it by feeding on infected birds. Mild cases of West Nile infections may cause a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death. Usually symptoms occur from three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Persons at the highest risk for serious illness are those 60 years of age or older. The best way to prevent West Nile encephalitis and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood and avoid mosquito bites. To learn more, read materials available on the IDPH West Nile virus Web site or call the hotline at 866-369-9710, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The 30th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book explores how America’s child population — and the American childhood experience — has changed since 1990. Of the 16 areas of child well-being tracked across four domains — health, education, family and community and economic well-being — 11 have improved since the Foundation published its first Data Book 30 editions ago. The rest of the 2019 Data Book — including the latest national trends and state rankings — rely on a shorter review window: 2010 to 2017. The data reveal, in the United States today, more parents are financially stable and living without burdensome housing costs. More teens are graduating from high school and delaying parenthood. And access to children’s health insurance has increased compared to just seven years ago. But it is not all good news. The risk of babies being born at a low weight continues to rise, racial inequities remain systemic and stubbornly persistent and 12% of kids across the country are still growing up in areas of concentrated poverty. New Hampshire has claimed the No. 1 spot in overall child well-being, followed by Massachusetts and Iowa. Mississippi, Louisiana and New Mexico sit at the other end of this list. The overall rank for Illinois is 23.
Rural towns across the country are increasingly putting on, or allowing, LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations. "Advocates say it’s a hopeful sign of shifting public attitudes toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents in Kentucky and other parts of rural America, where more than 2.9 million LGBTQ residents live," Chris Kenning reports for the Louisville Courier Journal. The increase in rural Pride events reflects changing attitudes. A Pew Research Center report "showed sharp increases in support for LGBTQ people and issues since 2004 among many groups," Kenning reports. "Nationally, about 52% of rural residents support same-sex marriage (compared with 64% of urban residents)" according to a 2017 Public Religion Research Institute survey.