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Recent posts by Trenton Buhr

Diller-Odell Public Schools navigates challenge of unbalanced state funding

Like most rural schools in Nebraska, Diller-Odell Public Schools faces an imbalanced funding stream caused by a complex property tax and school funding system.

While no school is the same, Diller-Odell, located on the Jefferson-Gage County line along the Kansas border, shows the tumultuous times rural schools and the agriculture economy have faced in recent years. With little state funding, the district is reliant on local property taxes and, because of a recent spike in land valuations, most of the burden is on area farmers.

Next step for rural broadband

As the 2020 session of the Nebraska Legislature approaches, the state’s rural broadband policy is ripe for new development.

Rural broadband in Nebraska has seen two big changes in recent months, first when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its plan for a new broadband mapping requirement. Also, Nebraska’s Rural Broadband Task Force finished its report, which recommends policy change to strengthen rural broadband.

State line determines access to health care coverage

The 102nd meridian and 41st parallel separate Colorado and Nebraska. When crossing this artificial barrier, you will not see a big change in the landscape, people, or towns. However arbitrary these borders may be, your place on either side can greatly change your access to one important service: Medicaid.

No Medicaid, no normalcy for the Lockwoods

​Deb and Curtis Lockwood have lived and worked in the Fremont area for most of their lives. They raised children, welcomed grandchildren, and began to plan for a comfortable retirement. As far as anyone could see, they were living the American dream.

When Medicaid expanded in late 2018, the Lockwoods did not believe they would need it. After one unexpected injury and a bureaucratic nightmare, today, they find themselves waiting for coverage they desperately need.

FCC calls for precision ag task force

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the formation of the Task Force for Reviewing Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States. Agricultural producers of various backgrounds and operation sizes and types are encouraged to apply. Applications are also being sought from individuals involved in providing rural internet services.

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