Maine groups get more than $700K to grow rural opportunities

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Organizations in Maine are slated to get more than $700,000 from the federal government to help with rural challenges such as high-speed internet, education and health care.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the money will help address the “digital divide” in rural parts of the country. It’s part of a nationwide effort.

The largest of the grants is to Unity College, which is slated to receive a distance learning and telemedicine grant of more than $360,000. The USDA said the grant will help Unity with a project designed to integrate virtual reality technology and help rural students interact with others around the world.

The University of Maine System and Medical Care Development Inc. are also slated to receive grants. The grants are also focused on distance learning and telehealth.