Monday, April 27, 2015

USDA Continues to Expand Local and Regional Market Data

"Are you in the market for data covering locally and regionally produced agricultural products?  You are not alone.  Consumer demand for local and regional food products continues to soar, with retail sales at an estimated $6.1 billion in 2012.  Thanks to support from the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA Market News created a series of market reports on locally or regionally produced agricultural products. 
USDA Market News – administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – provides unbiased, reliable data that serves as the information lifeline for America’s agricultural economy.  The reports for local and regional food outlets – available on the Local & Regional Food Marketing Information webpage – provide farmers, agricultural businesses, and consumers with a one-stop-shop for market and pricing information..."
Local and regional food data

The DIGEST Of Equal Employment Opportunity Law

Find the latest quarterly issue of the Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law, April 2015.

One-Stop Shop for Stats on Specific Industries: Now with Even More Information

"If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or business development specialist looking for key information about an industry in your local area, you are in luck.
The Census Bureau today launched an expanded version of its Industry Snapshots. These Snapshots permit you to select one of more than 1,000 detailed industries and pull up national and state-level data tables and county-level thematic maps for that industry..."
Industry Statistics

Saturday, April 25, 2015

America’s Youngest Outcasts:a Report Card on Child Homelessness

"America’s Youngest Outcasts reports on child homelessness in the United States based on the most recent federal data that comprehensively counts homeless children, using more than 30 variables from over a dozen established data sets.

A staggering 2.5 million children are now homeless each year in America. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the United States. Child homelessness increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia from 2012 to 2013. Children are homeless in every city, county, and state—every part of our country.

Based on a calculation using the most recent U.S. Department of Education’s count of homeless children in U.S. public schools and on 2013 U.S. Census data:
 • 2,483,539 children experienced homelessness in the U.S. in 2013.
 • This represents one in every 30 children in the U.S.

From 2012 to 2013, the number of children experiencing homelessness annually in the U.S.:
 • Increased by 8% nationally.
 • Increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia.
 • Increased by 10% or more in 13 states and the District of Columbia..."
Homeless and children

Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies

"Mountaintop removal mining involves removing the top of a mountain in order to recover the coal seams contained there. This practice occurs in six Appalachian states (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio). It creates an immense quantity of excess spoil (dirt and rock that previously composed the mountaintop), which is typically placed in valley fills on the sides of the former mountains, burying streams that flow through the valleys. Mountaintop mining is regulated under several laws, including the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)..."

Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress

"Cuba remains a one-party communist state with a poor record on human rights. The country’s political succession in 2006 from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl was characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. In 2013, Raúl began his second and final fiveyear term, which is scheduled to end in February 2018, when he would be 86 years old. Castro has implemented a number of market-oriented economic policy changes over the past several years. A 2011 party congress laid out numerous economic goals that, if implemented, could significantly alter Cuba’s state-dominated economic model. Few observers, however, expect the government to ease its tight control over the political system. While the government has released most long-term political prisoners, short-term detentions and harassment have increased significantly over the past several years, reflecting a change of tactics in repressing dissent..."

EIA report highlights top 100 U.S. oil and natural gas fields

"The top 100 oil fields in the United States accounted for 20.6 billion barrels of crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves, or 56% of the U.S. total in 2013. The top 100 natural gas fields accounted for 239.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas proved reserves, 68% of the U.S. total. Proved reserves are defined as estimated quantities of oil and natural gas that analysis of geologic and engineering data demonstrates with reasonable certainty are recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions..."
Oil & gas fields

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Your money, your goals

Your Money, Your Goals is a toolkit to help front line staff and volunteers as they work with consumers to…
  • Make spending decisions that can help them reach their goals
  • Order and fix credit reports
  • Avoid tricks and traps as they choose financial products
  • Make decisions about repaying debts and taking on new debt
  • Keep track of their income and bills
  • Decide if they need a checking account and understand what they need to open one..."
    Your money, your goals

Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Blue Bell Creameries Products

"Read the Advice to Consumers, Institutions, and Retailers>>
  • Read the Information for Health Professionals>>
  • On April 20, 2015, Blue Bell Creameries voluntarily recalled all of its products currently on the market made at all of its facilities, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Blue Bell announced this recall after sampling conducted by the company revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015 and March 27, 2015 contained the bacteria.
  • CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products, and that institutions and retailers do not serve or sell them.
  • Listeriosis is a life-threatening infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium (germ) Listeria monocytogenes. People at high risk for listeriosis include pregnant women and their newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.
  • This is a complex and ongoing multistate outbreak investigation of listeriosis illnesses occurring over several years. Several strains of Listeria monocytogenes are involved in this outbreak. Information indicates that various Blue Bell brand products are the source of this outbreak.
  • As of April 21, 2015, a total of ten people with listeriosis related to this outbreak have been confirmed from 4 states: Arizona (1), Kansas (5), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (3). Three deaths were reported from Kansas..."
    Listeria outbreaks

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


"On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). As described in the President’s Climate Action Plan, this first-ever review focuses on energy infrastructure and identifies the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions..."  
Quadrennial energy review

Applying for VA Claims Just Got Easier

"Filing for veterans’ benefits, and appealing decisions on claims, can be time-consuming and confusing. But with the recent roll-out of new, streamlined claims processes, applying for veterans benefits now promises to be faster, easier and more accurate.
The changes involve:
  • new requirements to use standardized forms for filing for benefits
  • a new form for appealing decisions
  • a new “intent to file” a claim process for those who need more time to gather information while preserving an effective date for benefits..."
    VA claims

2015 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

"Every year at this time, the U.S. observes National Crime Victims’ Rights week—promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. Millions of Americans each year are victimized by crime—acts of terrorism, violent crime, human trafficking, hate crimes, financial fraud, child abuse, cyber crime, kidnapping, bank robbery...the list goes on. And the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance (OVA) is responsible for ensuring that victims of crimes investigated by the Bureau are afforded the opportunity to receive the services and notifications they are entitled to and the assistance they need to cope..."
National crime victims

Five minutes to health

"In Five Minutes or Less, You Can:
  1. Wash hands
    Handwashing is one of the best things we can do to keep from getting sick and avoid spreading germs to others. Learn when and how to wash your hands the recommended way.
  2. Buckle up
    Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. Seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Get the facts about seat belts.
  3. Protect your skin
    Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. To protect your skin use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, seek shade, cover up and avoid indoor tanning.
  4. Read food labels
    Look at nutrition labels to know what you're eating. See how much fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars, and other ingredients are in your food.
  5. Find a site near you
    Find STD testing near you to know your status.
  6. Test your smoke alarm
    Test your smoke alarm once a month to make sure it works properly. Replace the batteries if needed during the time change each spring and fall.
  7. Listen to a health podcast
    CDC offers many podcasts on a variety of topics. Listen to them for health and safety information.
  8. Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and strokeEvery year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Learn the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke..."
    Five minutes and health

Living with Diabetes: Keep Your Feet Health

"If you have diabetes, take care of your feet and the rest of your body.
People with diabetes can develop serious problems with their feet that can affect how easily they can walk, and even can lead to amputation.
Many of these serious problems can be prevented by taking good care of your feet and your health. Manage your diabetes, including keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar (glucose) and cholesterol at levels your health care provider recommends..."
Diabetes and foot health

Monday, April 20, 2015

Status of Stocks 2014(fisheries)

"Overfishing and Overfished Numbers Hit All-Time Lows
As a result of the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils, and all our partners, the number of stocks listed as subject to overfishing or overfished continues to decline and is at an all-time low.
Check out the infographic below highlighting the progress we've made rebuilding stocks and ending overfishing. This progress demonstrates that our science-based approach to determining stock status and managing for sustainability is working..."