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The radio show This American Life ventured into rural Georgia recently, sending a half dozen or so reporters into the state to find some stories. The idea was to follow in the footsteps of Charles Salter, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal who wrote the “Georgia Rambler” column. Salter would, well, ramble, until he found a story.
Every big state newspaper used to have this kind of columnist, but that was back before the big regional dailies abandoned their rural readers. The radio reporters were sent to rural communities to find stories. What they found became an edition of This American Life, which can be found here.
• Speaking of radio, North Country Radio’s Brian Mann has a conversation with Verlyn Klinkenborg, who writes the “Rural Life” column on the New York Times editorial page. Klinkenborg’s prescription for rural communities is smaller farms.
• Shrimpers got back to work Monday in the Gulf. Federal officials said it was safe, but the Washington Post reports that fishermen were wary.
Twenty two percent of federal waters in the Gulf are still closed from the BP oil spill, down from 37 percent. The government has taken 3,500 samples of Gulf water and haven’t found enough oil or dispersant to be harmful. People should be able to buy shrimp with confidence, says an Food and Drug Administration official.
• August 29 is the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the levee system in New Orleans. President Obama plans to go to the Gulf Coast to commemorate the date.
• The British countryside could become “part dormitory, part theme park and part retirement home” without reforms that would allow the construction of more affordable housing in rural areas, according to Great Britain’s Rural Coalition. The Rural Coalition warns that housing prices are rising rapidly in rural communities while wages lag 20% behind urban regions.