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The Yonder Report: News from rural America - July 4, 2024

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News from rural America.

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A new wildfire map shows where folks are most at risk of losing a home nationwide, rural North Carolina groups promote supportive and affordable housing for those in substance-abuse recovery, and bookmobiles are rolling across rural California.



For the "Daily Yonder" and Public News Service, this is the news from rural America.

Are you at risk of losing your home to a wildfire?

Independent research in a new map shows who's in danger, an important tool for under-resourced communities.

In many rural places, there may not be as much staffing and resources to mitigate the risk.

Kelly Pohl with Headwaters Economics helped update a 6-year-old map from the U.S.

Forest Service.

She says the map shows counties and tribal areas in the most danger nationwide.

What we're seeing is really widespread wildfire risk across the country.

This is certainly not just a Western issue.

There are a lot of states, especially in the Southeast, that have wildfire risk.

Pohl says the new map incorporates the latest vegetation and climate data, home and building construction, and wildfire simulations.

Rural communities have long worried about wildfires and the staffing for fighting them, but the Biden administration has new grant programs to better equip communities for fire resilience.

Folks in substance-abuse recovery need a safe place to sleep.

That's one reason rural groups are promoting supportive and affordable housing.

Molly Egan has more.

Luke Laudermilk found it hard to get clean on his own.

After moving into a day-one recovery center in North Carolina, he's convinced housing and community are key.

I tried to get it clean several times, but it never clicked.

It's not until I came here that I realized that this is a weed program.

I can't recover by myself.

In rural areas, where services can be limited, recovery houses provide a bundle of aid.

Corey Richardson is with Integrated Care of Greater Hickory, North Carolina.

We incorporate housing, peer support, transportation, med management.

It's a real wraparound program.

With case-by-case care, Richardson says the housing projects offer personalized roads to recovery.

I'm Molly Egan.

Libraries are rolling across rural California this summer.

Save the Children is sending bookmobiles out to combat learning loss over the summer break.

Lucero Chavez Ramirez says their Make Summer Fair program is about boosting learning in out-of-the-way neighborhoods.

Especially for children in these rural, underserved areas, where they might not have the opportunity to participate in other activities.

Kids can lose two months' learning while out of school, with math and spelling skills slipping the most.

Along with mobile libraries, parents and caregivers can be the best teachers.

Save the Children's Yolanda Miner says kids can learn even through simple problem-solving while cooking dinner.

When you're preparing a recipe, talk about the measuring of the ingredients, the measuring cups, how many scoops, so many things that you can do at dinnertime.

For the "Daily Yonder" and Public News Service, I'm Roz Brown.

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