House Passes Conference Report on Waterways Bill

first_imgOn a vote of 412 to 4 Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the conference report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The report, which the American Soybean Association fully supports, will now be voted on by the Senate likely later this week, at which point the report is expected to pass easily.“With today’s vote, the House has done its part to bring this legislation into port. Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member Rahall, Subcommittee Chairman Gibbs and Ranking Member Bishop have done a wonderful job balancing soybean farmers’ needs with the many other industries well represented in the bill,” said ASA President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser. “Now it’s on to the Senate and to the President’s desk.”The conference report includes multiple soybean industry priorities including provisions that will free up significant funding within the Inland Waterways Trust Fund for additional waterways infrastructure projects; increasing the level of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund dollars that will be spent on port maintenance and dredging; streamlining the Army Corps of Engineers’ project review process; increasing Corps flexibility to maintain navigation during low water events; and promoting the use of alternative financing and public-private partnerships to fund waterways infrastructure.“This legislation continues to be a huge priority for soybean farmers,” added Gaesser. “Not only do we need reliable waterways infrastructure to move our soybeans to market here domestically; the waterways are also a vital component of our international trade system, which saw us export more than $27 billion in soybeans last year as the nation’s top farm export. Our waterways are part of a significant competitive advantage for American soybean farmers, and we must continue to invest in them.”last_img read more

STB Addresses Competitive Switching Other Rail Oversight Issues

first_imgLast week the Surface Transportation Board (STB) proposed new regulations regarding competitive switching on railroads, which if adopted would give shippers who are served by only one major railroad the option to seek competing bids for access to a second Class I railroad nearby without facing hefty fees.Railroads play an important role in moving soy products in the U.S.The Proposed Rule responds to a petition for rulemaking submitted by the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) in July of 2011. The STB initiated a proceeding (EP-711) to consider NITL’s proposal, and received public comments.  In March 2014, the STB held a two-day public hearing to receive live testimony from stakeholders. The STB is now granting, in-part, the NITL’s petition for new regulations and setting out proposed regulations for comments, which are due on September 26th. The American Soybean Association (ASA) will be working with agricultural industry partners to analyze the Proposed Rule and potentially submit joint comments.In addition to the Proposed Rule on competitive switching, the STB is working on separate action to expedite consideration of rail rate dispute cases and implementation of the STB reform and reauthorization bill enacted by Congress.This week, the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a field hearing on rail shipper issues in Sioux Falls, S.D. that will focus on implementation of the STB reform and reauthorization bill. STB Board Members Dan Elliot and Deb Miller and a representative of CHS, on behalf of The Fertilizer Institute, will testify at the hearing.last_img read more

Suspect arrested in attempted bombing of Spokane MLK Day parade

first_imgSPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Federal agents arrested a man on Wednesday in the case of a bomb that had been placed at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Spokane in January but was found before it could explode and cause injuries, a law enforcement official said.The federal official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that agents were preparing to search a location tied to the man.Meanwhile, KHQ-TV of Spokane reported that federal and local law enforcement officers had surrounded a home near Colville, about 80 miles northwest of Spokane. Two T-shirts found inside the bomb were tied to that rural area.Additional details were not immediately available. The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case ahead of an official announcement planned later in the day.The bomb was found on Jan. 17 inside a backpack by city workers before the start of the parade, which was rerouted. The bomb was defused without incident.last_img read more

BG school levy fails backers look to April

first_imgVoters OK levies for Vancouver school districtBattle Ground Public Schools failed to pass a replacement four-year maintenance and operations levy Tuesday night.But in spite of the failure, the levy’s backers say they’ve set their sights on the April ballot, when they’ll try again to pass the levy.Out of the five maintenance and operations levies to appear on the county’s February ballot, Battle Ground’s was the only one to fail. La Center, Camas, Ridgefield and Vancouver all passed their M&O levies. Vancouver and Camas also passed technology levies, while La Center failed to pass a first-time capital fund levy for sports facilities.The mood was somber at the Mill Creek Pub, where Battle Ground’s levy supporters gathered to watch the election results.John Idsinga, president of the Battle Ground School Board, said he was in “shell shock” following the release of the election results. The levy failed with more than 55 percent of district voters casting a “no” vote.“What we’re asking for is what we need,” Idsinga said. “This is the minimum amount we need.”The levy would have raised the district’s tax rate by 25 cents in 2014. For district residents, that would have meant a tax rate of $4.49 per $1,000 of assessed home value, which would have generated about $24.42 million in revenue for the district.Residents would have paid $898 in 2014 for a home valued at $200,000, a $50 increase over what they’re paying in 2013.Superintendent Shonny Bria said the district has a history of successfully running levies twice.The Battle Ground School Board will readdress the levy at a meeting later in the month.Still, a second failure could drastically affect the district’s revenue moving forward, officials said. Not only would Battle Ground, Clark County’s geographically largest school district, lose about 20 percent of its operating revenue, it would also lose an additional $6.1 million in levy equalization funds from the state.last_img read more

Plenty of optimism at Shares grand opening

first_imgBill Fromhold loved a party and loved helping people. He would have loved the grand opening that honored his legacy on Friday.That’s what the widow, family, friends and admirers of the late Democratic state representative said while officially unveiling the Share Fromhold Service Center at 2306 N.E. Andresen Road. Hundreds of people, including local politicians and many who work in social services, turned out to cheer the completed renovation of what used to be Timber Lanes Bowling Alley.Share, a leading Vancouver nonprofit that provides emergency shelter, hot meals and more for homeless and hungry people, moved its offices, its staff of 37 and many of its client functions to the building about a month ago.“Bill was a positive, energetic person — an optimist to the very depths of his soul,” said Marcia Fromhold, his widow. “He would literally whistle his way through his morning routine.” Fromhold said her late husband’s same sense of optimism animates Share’s new building and all its programs — “whether it’s a hot meal, housing or a backpack full of food.” Share believeswhat Bill believed, she said: Today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today.“The honor you’ve given Bill by naming the center after him would leave Bill humbled,” she said. “Bill loved a good party, and he would have loved this celebration.” Bill Fromhold died of leukemia in September 2010.CDM neighborWhile Share has been doing business out of its new headquarters since late February, there were some new announcements at the Friday afternoon grand opening, with its ribbon-cutting, tours and speeches in a dignitary-rich environment.last_img read more

Washington school bus driver accused of bullying

first_imgOLYMPIA — A school bus driver has been placed on leave while the Olympia School District investigates accusations that he bullied a developmentally disabled 14-year-old girl.The Washington Middle School student has been complaining about verbal abuse for more than a year but the district didn’t act until it saw video from a surveillance camera, her mother told The Olympian.The district showed the mother video taken April 17 that shows the driver encouraging other special-needs students on the bus to call the girl names. “You can clearly hear the driver calling my daughter names, encouraging other children to bully her,” the mother said. “All of the children on the bus are special needs with a variety of disabilities, which makes it even worse.”The girl was recently frightened by a bee on the bus, and on the video the driver says he will bring a beehive on the bus, according to the mother.last_img read more

Police Man arrested in 3 stabbings in Portland

first_imgPORTLAND — Police say they arrested a 23-year-old man in the stabbings of three people at the Syrian Lebanese American Club in Portland.Officers responded to a report of a fight and stabbing at the club a little before 1 a.m. Sunday, and arrived to find that two of the three people stabbed had already left for a hospital. They said witnesses identified the suspect as 23-year-old Christopher Pantoja, who was taken into custody without incident and treated for injuries sustained in the fight.None of the stab wounds was considered to be life-threatening.Pantoja was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on three counts of second-degree assault. He is expected to be arraigned Monday.last_img read more

Clackamas County family tied up robbed at home

first_imgOREGON CITY, Ore. — Authorities say five men with masks and gloves used flexible ties Friday morning to bind a homeowner and his family while they ransacked a Clackamas County home.The sheriff’s office says the thieves took a number of expensive items, including firearms, and what it called “a significant amount” of cash.Investigators said the thieves seemed aware that certain items would be in the Eagle Creek house, leading to the belief there’s some connection between the thieves and the victims.last_img read more

Weather Eye Reflections on changing seasons after a hot August

first_imgAugust is now in the record books, and boy, what a summer it was. There are so many records and near-records as well as the warmest summer in many years for just about every city in the Northwest. It wasn’t that we had record-breaking high temperatures to make it the warmest in years but the consistent high and low temperatures that averaged well above normal. Now, if you go by the average mean temperature, which is the average of all the highs and lows for August, it was the warmest August since 1967 in many areas around Portland and Vancouver. We won’t fidget over a tenth of a degree or so. Remember this glorious summer when the cold north wind is blowing, brushing your windowpanes with a frosty design come winter.For us weather folks, Monday was the first day of the autumn season. It reminds me of a short snippet I wrote a few years ago about the changing of the seasons: “She told me the seasons were changing. “The sun was shining but it was not hot. I could feel a sense of irritability in the air. Breezy, calm, breezy, no one noticed, and no one cared at least not this day. Perhaps when one thinks about yet another change to endure or maybe the days gone by they will fret.last_img read more

Burned dog rescued from West Palm Beach house on the mend

first_imgMooky has since been recovering over the last few weeks, and he’s hoping for a second chance in a loving home. “I’m going to rehabilitate him to go back into society and to get a good family to adopt him,” Pelaez said.The friendly canine has yet to undergo surgery, so the clinic staff has set up a crowd funding campaign.If you’d like to help or adopt Mooky, go here.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A chained up dog was found beaten and bruised, and investigators are now blaming his West Palm Beach owners for the abuse.The dog, named Mooky, was branded and continues to suffer from burn wounds, but his life was saved thanks to a local vet and an animal outreach group, Thursday.“What human being can do this to a dog?” said Elisa Pelaez with Pet House Clinic. “He’s like a gentle giant.”The clinic said this is one of the more serious animal abuse cases that they have seen. “That is a third to fourth degree burns,” Pelaez said. “I mean, you can die from that.”He was rescued from his home in West Palm Beach after a good Samaritan called police. They also said that he was chained outside with no food or water for several days.After investigators retrieved Mooky, he was transported to the Miami Beach clinic.“If you leave him outside, that the good Samaritan didn’t come to his rescue, he probably would have been dead,” Pelaez said. last_img read more

South Florida student graduates from FIU after crash left him paralyzed

first_imgHe woke up six weeks later from a coma to discover he was left paralyzed.“My injury took away some physical abilities, but I’m just going to keep pushing and live as if nothing happened to me,” he said. “I’m still going to study, I’m still going to work, and I’m still going to be persistent throughout my life.”Almendral was recognized at the graduation for persevering academically, despite the challenges in place.He said he’s far from done. “Next? That’s a great question,” Almendral said. “I plan on pursuing a career as a sports psychologist.”For Almendral, he’s now searching for internships in sports psychology and wants to help other athletes overcome their hurdles to success. He also plans on pursuing a master’s degree.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida college student is celebrating his graduation after a car crash left him facing challenges.Jordan Almendral took on the new title of graduate as he joined others at Florida International University, Monday.“I think today is my first accomplishment since I’ve been injured,” Almendral said.Getting up on the FIU stage for his summer’s commencement ceremony was a dream come true.“It’s just an amazing feeling that I think a lot of people thought I’d never get here,” he said. “I doubted the fact that I’d get here, but I’m here today and really, it means more than anything.”Almendral had dreams of being a professional baseball player, but a car crash in July 2010 left him unable to walk and set road blocks on his studies.Almendral was saved by emergency brain and spinal surgery after the crash. last_img read more

Archbishop Wenski holds mass in observance of Ash Wednesday in Miami

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Archbishop Thomas Wenski held a mass at Gesu Church in downtown Miami as Christians around the world observed Ash Wednesday.The holy day derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of worshipers.Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a period of prayer, fasting and reflection before Easter.Christians commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ at the end of Lent.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Fort Lauderdale Police horse will retire in April

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A Fort Lauderdale horse is about to retire after serving the community for several years.Sheba, one of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s mounted horses, will finish her service in April.The department’s barn has been her home since 2013.Sheba was donated to the city and has served the community for the last six years.The horse will soon be enjoying the rest of its life at the Retirement Home for Horses, Inc. at the Mill Creek Farm in Alachua.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more