Thursday, September 16, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Bridging the Digital Divide in OR


Monday, July 19, 2021   

TILLAMOOK, Ore. -- Like other infrastructure needs, the widening gap in internet access is affecting people across the country.

In the spirit of New Deal initiatives during the Great Depression, the nonprofit Lead for America has started the American Connection Corps. In 2021, the program is training fellows in 12 states, including Oregon.

Benya Kraus, co-founder of Lead for America and director of the American Connection Corps, said in both Tillamook and Morrow counties, where the Oregon fellows will serve, there is a need for infrastructure in hard-to-reach places, and also reaching out to people.

"We're, from the get-go, thinking about digital inclusion and literacy and making sure that it's not just about the build-out," Kraus explained. "It's actually about making sure that people know how to use it and have access to the devices and the costs that would allow them to be able to participate in the digital economy."

To date, the American Connection Corps has placed more than 100 fellows in 26 states. Oregon ranks 34th in the nation in access to broadband, according to the website BroadbandNow.

Kraus noted one important component of the fellowship is choosing people in their hometowns or who are moving back to their hometowns. She added the program's training focuses on solving challenges and building relationships.

"There's a lot of purpose and personal meaning that is fulfilled when you live your life in deep relationship to your place, to people, to the commitments to those people and places," Kraus contended.

With people stuck at home during the pandemic, the digital divide was in stark relief. However, Kraus emphasized underserved families across the country have known and lived with the issue for a long time.

"But I do think COVID has brought on this greater urgency now to get creative between public and private partnerships and nonprofit partners like us, too," Kraus remarked. "How can we team up together to solve one of the most pressing challenges our country is facing?"

get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…

Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…

Arkansas' rental-assistance program has distributed funds to more than 3,200 households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Indiana ranks 44th out of 50 states for bankruptcy. (Andriy Blokhin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021