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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

TX nonprofit helps rural towns secure infrastructure improvement grants

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Monday, March 25, 2024   

A lack of staff and know-how often means rural towns miss out on grants to improve their communities, and a Texas group is trying to balance the scales.

Billions of dollars will soon be flowing from the federal government to states for broadband, water and energy upgrades, transportation infrastructure and other projects. To help rural towns and nonprofits secure the money, Texas Rural Funders has stepped in.

Kelty Garbee, executive director of the group, said their online grants hub includes a list of grants available to rural groups.

"I regularly receive calls saying, 'We need to upgrade our fire station or our school is looking for support for a particular project,'" Garbee explained. "It's very overwhelming to figure out where to find grants in the first place."

Garbee noted about 50 federal and state grant opportunities are listed on the website, along with grant writers who can be hired to assist rural governments or organizations with applications. She explained the Hub preselects grants for which they know rural areas are eligible.

She pointed out essential needs in small towns to often go unfunded because of limited tax revenues. She hopes resources on the hub's website will give small communities a leg up.

"Often in a rural community, one person has so many jobs," Garbee observed. "What we've done is vet the grant writers. They'll send in work samples of grants they've written so you can actually download this roster of grant writers."

Texas is expected to receive about $2.5 billion for water infrastructure through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. As the state with the largest rural population, it also will receive billions in federal dollars in broadband infrastructure grants.


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