In response to a letter to Senate leadership today encouraging “timely and open debate” on the recently introduced Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, the American Soybean Association (ASA) voices its support of the overwhelmingly bipartisan effort to consider the legislation that will reauthorize the nation’s farm programs. Earlier today, Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) joined 40 of their colleagues in urging Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring the Farm Bill to the floor.”The bill takes steps to reduce the deficit and decrease government spending by $23 billion. It passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on April 26 with a bipartisan vote of 16 to 5,” wrote the senators in the letter. “This sets an example of how senators can come together in a bipartisan way to craft meaningful, yet fiscally responsible, policy. We believe there is strong support in the full Senate to consider the bill in a fair and open manner that allows senators the opportunity to offer amendments.””We are particularly encouraged by the broad and diverse coalition of senators that have lent their support to this letter, and we echo their call to bring the legislation quickly to the floor in the interest of America’s soybean farmers,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb. “The nation depends on a vibrant agriculture sector, and agriculture depends on a practical and workable Farm Bill. The ramifications of this legislation are indeed huge, and it remains our goal to see a Farm Bill in 2012.””The risk management, conservation, research, trade promotion and nutrition programs in the legislation impacts nearly every American,” stated Johanns, Baucus, Blunt and Cantwell in a statement. “Many of these programs will expire at the end of the year if no action is taken to reauthorize the farm bill.”ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary membership in ASA by more than 21,000 farmers in 31 states where soybeans are grown.###For more information contact:Steve Wellman, ASA President, 402-269-7024, firstname.lastname@example.org Patrick Delaney, ASA Communications Director, 202-969-7040, email@example.com
As ASA continues to work alongside groups like the National Biodiesel Board to protect and advance the RFS in Washington, soy-producing states continue to double down on their investment in America’s only commercially-available Advanced Biofuel. Last week, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed an extension of that state’s biodiesel producer incentive. The incentive is a 2 cent-per-gallon refundable credit for the first 25 million gallons produced at one site, and is now good through the end of 2017, according to reports from Biodiesel Magazine. The extension comes on the heels of Minnesota’s statewide mandate for the use of B10, a ten-percent biodiesel blend for all diesel sold in the state. For more on Iowa’s news, please click here.
If you didn’t make it to the Succession Planning Workshop in Sioux Falls this week, there’s no need to worry—you can still register for this important multi-generational business continuity planning session coming to a city near you.As you look to retire and pass along the farm to your kids, do you have a plan to successfully transition and maintain profitability? Ask yourself these questions: Who do I want to make the decisions? What if that person doesn’t want to continue farming? What role will I have on the farm in the future? How do I communicate my intentions to my kids? These are all important questions that any business operator needs to ask and answer.You can find answers by attending one of ASA’s Succession Planning Regional Workshops. ASA in partnership with eLegacyConnect is conducting a series of six regional succession planning educational workshops in 2014. The Succession Planning Workshops titled “Five Keys to Effective Succession Planning,” are sponsored by Farm Credit and AGCO, Illinois Soybean Association, Kentucky Soybean Association, Michigan Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Association. The remaining workshop dates and locations are: Aug. 4, Memphis, Tenn., AgriCenter InternationalAug. 6, Paducah, Ky,, Julian Carroll Convention CenterAug.19, Columbus, Ohio, Renaissance Columbus DowntownAug. 21, Fort Wayne, Ind., The Landmark CentreThe workshops are open to all soybean producers and have a registration fee for ASA members of $50 for the first person in a family and $30 for each additional family member. For non ASA members, the registration fee for the first person in a family is $90 and a $70 fee is charged for each additional person. To register, click here and choose which session you want to attend. Walk-ins are welcome.The workshops are taught by Kevin Spafford, founder of Legacy by Design. Legacy by Design is a firm dedicated to succession planning for farm families and agribusiness owners. Over the last 10 years, he’s spearheaded initiatives to improve the way farmers, ranchers and agribusiness owners engage in the succession planning process.For more information about these workshops, visit ASA’s website. For more information about eLegacyConnect, click here.
Stephen L. Censky is the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) Chief Executive Officer. As ASA’s top executive, Censky is in charge of managing ASA’s legislative, trade policy, international market development, communications, and leadership development programs.The American Soybean Association is the national, not-for-profit trade association that represents U.S. soybean farmers on policy and trade. ASA works as the domestic and trade advocate for all soybean producers.Prior to joining ASA, Censky worked in Washington, D.C. for over a decade. He began his career on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for agricultural and transportation matters to Senator Jim Abdnor (R-SD). Later he served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), helping to craft the 1990 Farm Bill and eventually serving as Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service where he was involved in global trade negotiations and running our Nation’s export programs.Censky received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from South Dakota State University and his Postgraduate Diploma in agriculture studies from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minnesota. He and his wife Carmen reside in suburban St. Louis and have two daughters who are both in college.Note: Right click on the photo and select “Save image as” to save a high resolution copy of Steve Censky.
Officials mounted a search-and-rescue mission Tuesday afternoon after learning that a drift boat had been found wedged against a partially submerged log on the North Fork of the Lewis River with no fishermen to be seen.About 2 p.m., officials with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office rushed to the scene near the Haapa boat launch, several miles east of Woodland in far-north Clark County.Fire District 6 sent its rescue boat and crew, the Vancouver Fire Department sent its Heavy Rescue 5 tool truck and members of the Southwest Washington Organization of Rescue Divers responded as well.Sheriff’s deputies found a cell phone, damaged by the water, with the boat and used information on its SIM card to find the boat’s owner, according to a bulletin from Dawn Johnson, spokeswoman with Fire District 6.As it turned out, a Vancouver man had borrowed the boat from the owner and was alone on the water when the mishap occurred. He waded to shore and was not injured.
o What: Free “Helping Hurting Teens” suicide prevention seminar.o When: 7 to 9 p.m. today.o Where: City Harvest Church, 8100 N.W. Ninth Ave., Vancouver.o Information: Unite 4 Life: 360-670-9468 or its website.Five Clark County teens have died by suicide in the past four months. In response, a local nonprofit that addresses teen suicide and depression is offering a free seminar tonight.The Unite 4 Life event is from 7 to 9 p.m. at City Harvest Church, 8100 N.W. Ninth Ave., in Vancouver. Two Vancouver teens — a girl at Columbia River High School and a boy at Skyview High School — died by suicide within one week of each other in mid-May. In February, two high school boys — one at Battle Ground High School, the other at Union High School — took their lives, said Aaron Chidester, Unite 4 Life executive director. A fifth teen died by suicide in recent months as well, but Chidester said he didn’t know details about the teen.Tonight’s 90-minute presentation, “Helping Hurting Students,” is a prevention message for teens, parents and other interested community members. Topics covered include understanding depression and how it affects teens, identifying warning signs of teen depression and suicide, and creating a help-seeking atmosphere for hurting teens.The presentation will be followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session.The church can hold 700 people, and Chidester said he expects the event will be well-attended.“I’m expecting a full building,” he said. “I think the concern in the community is at a high. There are teenagers who have questions. There are parents who are scared.”The organization might host additional seminars if tonight’s event indicates there is a need for more outreach, Chidester said.Chidester said he has meetings scheduled next week with the Clark County commissioners and Vancouver Councilwoman Jeanne Stewart to discuss a communitywide response.Unite 4 Life also will offer crisis intervention and small-group discussions for teens who want to talk about their feelings of depression or about the loss of their friends.
A 50-year-old California man who died last month on the eve of the Rainbow Family Gathering suffered a fatal heart attack, according to an autopsy performed by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.Stephen Pierce of Fort Bragg, Calif., died June 24 while helping set up for the festival in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.Pierce’s autopsy results came back this week, said Adam Kick, Skamania County prosecuting attorney.Around 20,000 people participated in the annual Rainbow Family Gathering, July 1-8. The event, which convenes at a different national forest each year, attracted camping enthusiasts, peace activists and spiritual seekers from across America and Canada.Kick said authorities have not yet received toxicology results for Amber Kellar, a 28-year-old California woman who died July 6 during the Rainbow Family Gathering. Kellar’s family and friends said they believed a heart condition led to her death. Authorities said their investigation did not yield evidence of drug use.
Portland Fire & Rescue and Crime Stoppers of Oregon on Thursday asked for the public’s help in determining the cause of a fire that destroyed a vacant Janzten Beach hotel this summer.The fire was reported in the early morning hours of Sept. 2 at the Thunderbird Hotel at 1401 N. Hayden Island Drive, Portland. The fire caused an estimated $17 million in damage.“At this point, investigators consider the fire suspicious and cannot rule out the possibility of arson,” a Crime Stoppers release said.The organization is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.Tips can be left at crimestoppersoforegon.com or by calling 503-823-4357.Property records indicate Thunderbird Hotel LLC buildings and property has an assessed value of $18,824,780.The Thunderbird had been vacant since 2005. It has a central building and five wings. It was once owned by the late Tod McClaskey of Vancouver and the late Ed Pietz of Ridgefield, who sold their 54-hotel empire in 1984. The site once was mentioned as a possible site for a Walmart store, but plans fell through.Paul Suarez: 360-735-4522; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leon Panetta WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is ending the ban on women serving in combat in the U.S. military, potentially opening up more than 200,000 positions on the front lines and possibly also jobs with elite commando units. Pentagon officials said Wednesday that Panetta gave the armed services until 2016 to ask for special waivers if they believe any positions should remain closed to women.Although women have never been assigned to American front-line fighting units, the decision specifically overturns a 1994 rule that barred women from serving with smaller ground combat units.Panetta’s decision was seen as a recognition of women’s contributions to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because of the demand for troops, women often found themselves on the front lines serving as drivers, medics, mechanics and other roles when commanders attached their units to combat battalions. They didn’t receive combat decorations or other special recognition, however.The move also will help women climb the military ranks. Female service members have struggled to gain promotions in part because of their lack of combat experience; the Pentagon’s first four-star female general, Ann Dunwoody, wasn’t promoted until 2008.The Pentagon took an initial step last February when it opened 14,000 combat-related jobs, mostly in the Army, to female service members. The new policy would open up to women more than 200,000 combat jobs, including in Army and Marine infantry units.
Police arrested a northeast Vancouver man for shooting and killing an alleged prowler outside his house early Tuesday morning. Vancouver police took a report of suspicious circumstances at 14802 N.E. 33rd St. at 3:53 a.m. Four minutes later, police were called to the same address for a report that the prowler had been shot outside of a residence, said Kim Kapp, Vancouver police spokeswoman. Sean H. Doucette, 27, was later booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder. Doucette does not have a criminal record, according to the Washington Courts website. He is expected to make a first appearance in Clark County Superior Court this morning.The identity of the individual shot by Doucette was not available from authorities pending positive identification by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to a news release from the Vancouver Police Department.However, KATU-TV reported the man is Iosif Dumitrash, 19, of Portland. Kapp did not say whether the two 911 calls were made by the same person, but she said no one else is being sought in relation to the incident. Tax records show the property is owned by Sean and Rachelle Doucette. Patricia Newstrom works the graveyard shift as a caregiver in a house near the shooting. As she sat drinking coffee on the couch around 4 a.m., she said she heard four loud “booms” of a gun in a row. Soon after, she heard the screeching tires of police cars.
What’s open and what’s closed on the Fourth of July:o GARBAGE: Waste Connections will operate on its regular schedule. In Camas, Thursday’s pickups will be made Friday.o MAIL: Post offices closed. No home delivery except for Express Mail. The postal unit inside the Shell gas station at Fisher’s Landing, 16320 S.E. Cascade Park Drive, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.o PUBLIC SCHOOLS: No classes.o COLLEGES: No classes at Clark College or Washington State University Vancouver.o PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Closed.o BUSES: C-Tran buses follow Sunday/holiday schedules. TriMet buses follow Sunday schedules; MAX and Portland Streetcar follow Saturday schedules.o GOVERNMENT: Offices closed.nBANKS: Most closed. Check your bank for details.o FINANCIAL MARKETS: U.S. markets close at 1 p.m. Wednesday and will be closed Thursday.o DRIVER LICENSING: Closed.o VEHICLE LICENSING: Closed.o EMISSIONS TESTING: Stations closed.o CLARK PUBLIC UTILITIES: Offices closed. For 24-hour customer service, call 360-992-3000. For outages or emergencies, call 360-992-8000.o FIRSTENBURG COMMUNITY CENTER: Closed.o MARSHALL COMMUNITY CENTER: Closed.o WESTFIELD VANCOUVER MALL: Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday. Hours of department stores and restaurants may vary.o ZOO: Oregon Zoo open.o THE COLUMBIAN: Offices closed. Circulation lines, 360-694-2312, open 4:30 a.m. to noon.
Maybe the cheerleaders don’t show quite as much leg as they used to, but they sure wave their pompoms and clack their blue clackers with spirit. Maybe the players are slower getting up to the pitcher’s line, but Rick Owen is there to cheer them on and then challenge them with his cries of “Hey batter, hey batter.”Maybe 102-year-old Dolly Anders can’t play anymore, but she’s still recording the scores and calculating the stats. “We take this very seriously,” she said, her smile tightening at the suggestion that anybody wouldn’t.There’s the windup — and the pitch. The blue bean bag tumbles through the air and plops directly into the “Home run” hole. The crowd erupts in hollers and applause, activity director and team coach Kathi Walko hoots through a big white megaphone, and one gray-haired champion pumps her fist in the air.Bean bag baseball fever has hit the Cascade Inn, a 186-apartment senior citizen home on Southeast Seventh Street, as well as many other retirement homes in Clark County and throughout the nation. Nobody on hand is exactly sure who got it started and how, but the game has become a popular pastime for residents looking for camaraderie and laughs, exercise and excitement.“They are competitive. They get a little rowdy. I love it,” said director of services Kathryn Merrill. The Cascade Inn once hosted a daylong tournament that drew teams from sister retirement inns and featured special courts, lunches, popcorn and other festivities; sometimes competitions are held at other facilities and even at the Firstenburg Community Center. The National Anthem is always played before the game, of course.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — High winds and a lack of rain combined to whip up a dozen small fires around Western Oregon, many in old logging slash that was burned in recent months and would have been doused by rain in a normal winter.The Oregon Department of Forestry said two fires burned Friday on private timberland southeast of Cannon Beach. One was 50 acres and another 30 acres. Both were in old logging debris that had been burned recently.In southwestern Oregon, Grayback Forestry President Mike Wheelock sent crews to two fires rekindled in piles of logging slash.One has burned 125 acres on private timberland north of Shady Cove and another 8 acres in the Ashland watershed.Five fires were burning in the Cascades southeast of Salem, and three outside Coos Bay.
SEATTLE — Officials monitoring lower than usual snowpack levels in Washington state say it’s not time to panic, but they’re nevertheless preparing in case of a possible drought. The Department of Ecology plans to ask the Legislature for drought-relief money in case dry weather conditions persist into spring. And a committee of state and federal officials that monitors the state’s water supply is meeting next week to start preparing for the worst. The last time they met was 2010, when there were similar concerns about a possible drought.“Nobody is blowing a whistle yet or raising a red flag. It’s more of a yellow flag,” said Scott Pattee, a water supply specialist with Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mount Vernon. His office, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tracks snowpack levels using a network of weather stations throughout the state.The state relies on mountain snowpack to supply water for drinking, irrigation, fish migration, power generation and other needs through the year.Statewide, snowpack levels are about 50 percent less than average for this time of year, though basins vary, Pattee said. The Olympic peninsula basin is at 34 percent of normal, while the Lower Columbia basin is at 45 percent of normal, Pattee said.About 93 percent of Washington state is in moderate drought conditions, according to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor.The winter has been drier than usual, with ski resorts opening later than usual. But experts say there’s still time to catch up.
Hours of interviews and a closed-door meeting ended with an impasse Tuesday, as Clark County’s two commissioners failed to agree on whom they should appoint to join their three-member board.Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke said they would try to reach an agreement at a June 3 emergency meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m. The two commissioners conducted three hour-long interviews with candidates Craig Pridemore, Kelly Love Parker and Ed Barnes starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday. They then met in executive session for about 45 minutes before announcing they could not agree on the appointment. The announcement was made with no public deliberation following the closed-door executive session.The candidates thanked the commissioners for the opportunity to answer questions. And some wondered aloud what would happen in the ensuing week to change the commissioners’ minds in a process that has proven both political and partisan. The two sitting commissioners are Republicans and they are tasked with appointing a Democratic colleague.The audience, many of whom had sat through a nearly four-hour-long question-and-answer session, responded with heckles of “make up your minds,” “waste of time” and “what about leadership?”Madore left the board room immediately after announcing the impasse, saying only that the board would readdress the appointment in a week. Mielke explained that the two commissioners had disagreed on what direction to take the board.
Clark College officials met with legislators and legislators-elect at the second annual Clark College Legislative Breakfast on Monday morning at the campus, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.The breakfast was not a public event, but was by invitation only. Clark College participants included members of the board of trustees, student government representatives, deans and the head of the faculty union, said Chato Hazelbaker, Clark College spokesman. Speaking on behalf of Clark College were President Bob Knight, Rekah Strong, chair of the board of trustees, and student Bryce Rupp on behalf of the Associated Students of Clark College. Participants spent about 30 minutes with legislators talking about their legislative priorities, Hazelbaker said.Budgets and spending priorities are expected to be the big issues in Olympia this session as the Legislature attempts to meet a mandate of the state Supreme Court to vastly increase funding for K-12 education. Clark College is a state-funded community college.Elected officials who attended were Reps. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver; Paul Harris, R-Vancouver; Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver; Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama; Liz Pike, R-Camas; Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver; and Sens. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, and Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver.
Spring Budget 2017: The government’s tax-free childcare scheme will be rolled out from April 2017.In his Spring Budget 2017 speech, Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that the scheme will be introduced next month and that all eligible parents will be brought into the scheme by the end of the year.The government’s tax-free childcare policy will provide parents with children under the age of 12 up to £2,000 a year per child to help cover childcare costs.As previously announced, working families in England with children aged three and four years old will see their entitlement to free childcare increase from 15 to 30 hours a week from September 2017.Hammond said: “Next month we will see the introduction of our flagship tax-free childcare policy, which will allow working families across the UK to receive up to £2,000 a year towards the cost of childcare for each child under 12. The scheme will be rolled out to all eligible parents by the end of the year.“And from September, working parents with three and four year olds will get their free childcare entitlement doubled to 30 hours a week. That’s worth around £5,000 a year to a young family with a three year old and both parents working.“By the end of this parliament, government spending on childcare will have reached £6 billion a year.“These childcare measures represent a further huge step forward in support for ordinary working families, and for women in the workplace.”
Ross lived in the house for nearly 50 years, and officers saw that she could use the help. “This was a home that was in need of a paint job, of landscaping,” Perez said. “We partnered up with awesome community partners in the community that donate certain items for Mrs. Ross and her beautiful home. We put it all together.”This effort is part of the Northside District’s Home Beautification Project. Four times a year, officials select a family to assist and help.Her home now is a little brighter after these officers went above and beyond the call of duty. “I love the house! I say ‘wooo!’” Ross said. “Praise God! Yes, I really enjoyed that.”Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Miami-Dade Police are helping an 80-year-old woman spruce up her South Florida home.Officers worked to paint her house and plant flowers in Catherine Ross’ front lawn, Friday.“This is from the heart,” said Miami-Dade Police Maj. George Perez. “What you see here is officers taking action to beautify this home.”Ross raised five children as a single mother after her husband died, all while working for Miami-Dade Schools as a custodian for decades.Despite her challenges, Ross became known in her community as someone who always helped others.“Whenever someone would get sick, she would be the one, out of all the neighbors, to come to where they were,” said Ross’ daughter, Marcella Robinson.Now Ross is on the receiving end of generosity. “We felt we could serve her at a time of need,” Perez said.
If you have any information on these shootings, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A shooting victim has been released from the hospital after bullets rang out at a vigil for a mother slain in Liberty City.Eighteen-year-old Devonte Williams, a student at Miami Central High School, was struck in the shoulder while attending a vigil for 30-year-old Victoria Tutson, Tuesday night. Miami-Dade Police said Williams and three others were victims of the shooting.Williams was released on Wednesday night. Officials believe the remaining victims will also be OK.Police believe the vigil shooting is connected to Tutson’s murder. City of Miami Police released surveillance video of Tutson’s murder, which officials are hoping can help narrow down those involved. A silver SUV was seen in the video, which is believed to be involved in the shooting.Tutson’s family spoke out, Wednesday, and made an emotional plea to the public. “We, as a family, we will never be the same again,” said Tutson’s father, Clarence. “There’s no way we will ever be the same again. She was the fiber of the family. She just was such a lovable person. We are tore up.”Related: Family pleas for help in finding shooter who killed mother in Liberty City“We just want justice,” said Tutson’s sister, Shakurah. “If you don’t want to do it for us, do it for her children. They deserve it.”