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We were in airports yesterday and in every waiting room people were glued to television sets watching the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for over two months. Probably every television in every bar and restaurant across this country was tuned in on this incredible story.

Ken Ward Jr., in the Charleston Gazette, reflects on what might be learned from this incredible mine rescue. First, he writes, few U.S. mines have the emergency gear they need and that mine safety officials have said they should have. Mine safety legislation aimed at preventing disasters is stilled in Congress. And Congress has yet to hold hearings on the rescue provisions in U.S. law, even as the whole world sees the need on their television screens. 

• Iowa voters will have the chance to create a land conservation fund, the Des Moines Register reports. Sales tax money would be placed in a fund to buy wetlands, build trails and fund soil conservation efforts. 

• A new study finds that one in ten rural children attend after school programs. The national average is 15%. 

“This new data is alarming because it demonstrates that nearly 3 million rural children in this country are missing out on the educational, enriching activities that afterschool programs provide,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “While there are not enough afterschool programs to meet the growing needs of every community, the problem is particularly acute in rural America. We need more dedicated funding to ensure that rural communities are equipped with the resources to offer quality afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.” 

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