Welcome to Down Yonder – our new weekly roundup where we’ll be sharing some good reads from the past week.

Our goal is to showcase more perspectives on national and global issues through a rural lens. Down Yonder will appear Saturdays. Enjoy!

Grist: Coronavirus Is a Make-or-Break Moment for Climate Change, Economists Say

Economists, including the Nobel Prize-winning Joseph Stiglitz, argue that the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic stimulus packages could help the climate — if lawmakers make the right choices.

ProPublica: Ignoring Trump and Right-Wing Think Tanks, Red States Expand Vote by Mail

The Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups warn, with little evidence, that voting by mail fosters fraud. But some Republican secretaries of state reject those concerns and see no alternative to absentee voting if the pandemic persists.

Bloomberg: Rural Areas Reopen Around U.S. Cities Still Stuck on Lockdown

Governors navigate different rules as rural areas move quicker than their urban counterparts.

North Carolina Health News: Churches Are an Unlikely Ally in Solving the Rural Internet Access Puzzle

With the pandemic highlighting the depth of rural broadband needs, some churches have expanded their community service to include providing internet access.

Policy Pennings: Essential vs. Non-Essential Goods

The concern about maintaining a domestic production base to manufacture essential goods reminds us that we are a lot like other nations.

iBerkshires.com: ‘Remote Learning’ More of a Challenge in Remote Corners of Commonwealth

 When school buildings across the commonwealth were closed two months ago, students and families were told to continue education at home. But for kids in rural districts, going back to school could mean getting in the backseat of the family car and riding to an Internet hotspot.

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