ASA President Danny Murphy and First Vice President Ray Gaesser joined USB Secretary Lewis Bainbridge and Director Dwain Ford, and USSEC Director Vanessa Kummer in visits to industry organizations and soy operations in Beijing, Harbin, Qiqihar and Nenjiang late last month as part of Global Partnership Mission to China.While in Beijing, Murphy and Gaesser discussed the biotechnology approvals process before meeting with Zhang Taolin, Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Agriculture. Vice Minister Zhang reiterated to the American contingent that cooperation is in the mutual benefit of both countries and that the Ministry would proactively support cooperation between the Chinese and American soybean industries. The Vice Minister also noted that the U.S. advantage on biotechnology research and production and China’s rapidly-growing plant breeding program create a natural opportunity to share information for mutual benefit, although he did note that certain social barriers to biotech still remain.Murphy, Gaesser and the American group visited with the Heilongjiang State Farm Bureau in Harbin, which imports 5.5 million metric tons (approximately 202 million bushels) of soy each year. While in Harbin, the group also toured the facilities of 93 Group, a processing and ingredient company that makes tofu, soy milk, isolates, lecithin and other soy-based products. Additionally, the group toured growing operations, research and equipment stations and a co-op.“The Chinese market is so, so important to American soy,” said Murphy. “Trips like this one help the American industry better understand our Chinese counterparts, and help us to find those areas of mutual benefit in which we can work together.”
A coalition of 38 major farm groups, including American Soybean Association (ASA), wrote to House Agriculture Committee leaders in advance of the Committee’s oversight hearing on Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies that affect U.S. agriculture. The hearing was scheduled for January 26 but postponed due to weather; a new hearing date has not been set.While the groups commended EPA on some thoughtful actions, including the agency’s approaches to protecting the monarch butterfly and development of state managed pollinator protection plans, they also raised a number of concerns about the agency’s general conduct.Among them the concerns were EPA’s reliance on inaccurate modeling in its broad rule making to implement TMDL total maximum daily load) limits within the Chesapeake Bay watershed; publication of its paper which concluded that neonicotinoid seed treatments for soybean “provide negligible overall benefits” and was repudiated by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists; as well as the final clean water rule, which is even broader than the proposed rule, among many others.“These specific items are not exhaustive but do represent some of the most pressing issues farmers and ranchers currently face from EPA regulations. We commend the Committee for undertaking this oversight hearing, and we stand ready to work with you on common sense reforms that reflect Congressional intent without infringing on the legitimate rights of the agricultural community” the groups wrote.The full text of the letter is available here.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputies attribute the recent arrest of an off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer and his fiance to just good old fashioned responsible police work.A routine traffic stop conducted by a Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputy on October 8, 2010 resulted in the arrest of a female driver identified as Jamie Yvonne McFadden, 27, of Damascus.During this traffic stop, the investigating Deputy Sheriff discovered a substantial amount of drug paraphernalia and drug residue in the McFadden vehicle. It was also learned that Jamie McFadden has an established criminal history related to drugs. On this earlier occasion, Jamie McFadden was transported to the Clackamas County Jail and lodged with a charge of Possession of a controlled substance – meth.This arrest of McFadden triggered an alert to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS); which, requested the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office assist with a follow-up investigation to ensure the health and welfare of any minor children possibly associated with the McFadden residence in Damascus.On Thursday, October 14, 2010 at approximately 2:30 p.m. a DHS Case worker, accompanied by Clackamas County Deputy Sheriff’s, intercepted McFadden at a school as she arrived on campus in a 1990, Dodge, Pick-up truck.
Berry Plastics Corp. will close its Vancouver manufacturing plant in January, laying off 39 employees, the company said Tuesday.The company “will work diligently” to assist employees who are interested in employment at other Berry locations “or within the local labor market,” it said in a statement.The Vancouver facility produces specialized plastic film and sheeting.The Evansville, Ind.-based company, a maker of injection-molded plastic packaging and other plastics, said it’s closing the Vancouver plant to streamline operations in an uncertain economy.Vancouver operations will be transferred to Berry facilities in Wisconsin, Indiana and Georgia. The company said it announced on Nov. 3 that it would close the Vancouver plant “on or about” Jan. 3.
OLYMPIA — The Legislature is on the verge of having enough support to make Washington the seventh state to approve gay marriage, according to a tally by The Associated Press.A same-sex marriage bill is expected to be introduced by the end of the week. The AP reached out to all 49 state senators over the past week and found that more lawmakers are firmly supporting gay marriage than opposing it, by a margin of 22-18.The measure needs 25 votes to pass the Senate. The House is widely expected to have enough support, and Gov. Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed gay marriage for the first time last week.Four Democrats say they are considering whether to support it, including one who is leaning in favor. A pair of Republicans is among those supporting the proposal, and two first-term GOP members said they are still discussing the issue with constituents.Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has for years led efforts to approve same-sex marriage, said that he’s “50 percent optimistic” it will pass. He noted that he saw a gay civil rights measure he spearheaded lose by one vote in 2005 before it passed by a single vote the following year.
As C-Tran looks for ways to pay for operating light rail in Vancouver, an early analysis shows most of the recently explored options wouldn’t foot the bill by themselves.If they don’t pencil out, that would leave the agency right back where it started: pursuing a sales tax increase — and a November ballot measure — to pay for light rail.That’s the path C-Tran had long assumed until earlier this year, when Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt and others pushed for more study of funding sources that wouldn’t require a sales tax hike. Last month, the full C-Tran Board of Directors told agency staff to explore possible alternatives, while keeping an emphasis on a November ballot measure this year.C-Tran and the city of Vancouver have since looked at several possible options: an employer tax, a car rental sales and use tax, and a vehicle license fee among them. The agencies also evaluated using money from their respective general funds. In C-Tran’s case, that would require a change in board policy. Officials even included a “sales tax windfall” from the Columbia River Crossing — that is, using the extra tax revenue generated during construction of the $3.5 billion megaproject.By themselves, most of those examples appear to fall well short of covering the estimated $2.57 million annual cost to operate light rail in Clark County, according to a staff report form C-Tran Executive Director Jeff Hamm. An employer tax across C-Tran’s entire service district could collect as much as $3 million per year, but that’s a slow-growing revenue source not likely to keep pace with the rising cost of light rail over time, according to the report released Friday.
Elmer and Betty Toops danced their first square dance in 1980. In the 32 years that have followed, nothing’s stopped their dancing.Their two children, now adults, took dance lessons. Weekends concluded with Sunday evening dances. Family vacations included square-dance festivals.You can do-si-do your way to better health at these upcoming events:o Round-dancing lessons with Dorothy Lowder: 3-6 p.m. every Sunday at Clark County Square Dance Center, 10713 N.E. 117th Ave., Vancouver. First lesson free; $5 per lesson after. 503-232-7544.o Country line-dance lessons, 6:30- 8 p.m. every Tuesday at Fishers Grange No. 211, 814 N.E. 162nd Ave., Vancouver. Admission is $4. 360-521-8360.o Square dance with the Buzzin’ Bees, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at Hazel Dell Grange No. 1124, 7509 N.E. Hazel Dell Ave., Vancouver. Admission is $6. 360-833-0879.o Sunday dances, 2-4 p.m. every Sunday at Luepke Senior Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver. Admission is $3. 360-487-7055.Not even Elmer’s end-stage renal disease diagnosis two years ago has been able to stop the dancing duo. In fact, Betty believes the dancing is what keeps Elmer healthy after nearly four decades with a disease that has slowly destroyed his kidneys.“That’s what keeps him going,” she said. “I truly believe it was the square dancing and the physical exercise. That’s why his kidney function went as long as it did.”Elmer was 35 years old when routine blood work revealed he had Berger’s disease.Berger’s disease develops when an antibody lodges in the kidneys, hampering their ability to filter waste, water and electrolytes from the blood. Over time, it can lead to blood and protein in one’s urine, high blood pressure, and swollen hands and feet, according to the Mayo Clinic.
SAN FRANCISCO — Politicians on both sides of the aisle continued to blame each other Saturday for the federal budget cuts, the so-called sequester, that began to take effect late Friday after all 11th-hour efforts to reach an agreement failed.In his weekly address Saturday, posted on the White House website just hours after the sequester officially took effect, President Barack Obama said the pain of the sequester “will be real,” with ripple effects across the economy.“These cuts are not smart, they will hurt our economy and cost us jobs,” he said. At a time the U.S. economic recovery is taking hold, “the last thing Washington should do is to get in the way.”The longer these “cuts remain in place, the longer the damage,” costing an estimated loss of more than 750,000 jobs and slowing the U.S. economy by more than one-half of 1 percent, he said.The weekly Republican address, delivered by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, blamed Obama and congressional Democrats for failing to act and avoid the sequester.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Firefighters held the line Friday on a Colorado wildfire in which two people were killed as they tried to escape and 379 homes were destroyed.The Black Forest fire zone near Colorado Springs remained at 25 square miles, thanks to lighter winds and firefighters quickly stamping out flare-ups. Sheriff’s deputies patrolling for looters directed crews to dozens of hot spots, incident commander Rich Harvey said.For the first time since the fire started Tuesday, authorities seem optimistic that they can stop it. El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa said he was feeling much better about the fire in a heavily-wooded area with houses on large lots.“I thought last night was a success,” Maketa said.The destruction surpassed last June’s nearby Waldo Canyon Fire as the most destructive in state history. That blaze burned 347 homes and killed two people.About 38,000 people across roughly 70 square miles have been ordered out of their homes, including residents of 1,000 homes inside Colorado Springs. Colorado’s second-largest city, with a population of 430,000, also asked residents of 2,000 more homes to be ready to evacuate.
OLYMPIA — The state Supreme Court is weighing arguments over legislative action in recent years to end some pension benefit increases for state and local government employees.At issue are two actions taken by lawmakers. In 2007, the Legislature repealed pension “gain-sharing” that benefited retirees when the markets were doing well. Then in 2011, lawmakers ended cost-of-living increases for pensions for former state employees enrolled in two older pension plans. Lawsuits were filed by various unions that opposed the changes, including the Washington Federation of State Employees. The high court heard both cases Thursday.In 2010, a King County judge ruled that lawmakers violated contractual rights by taking away gain-sharing without providing comparable replacement benefits. And last year, a Thurston County judge ruled that the Legislature was wrong to eliminate the annual increase in benefits to retirees.
NEW ORLEANS – President Barack Obama traveled to this waterfront city Friday to push a plan to spend more money on ports from Miami to Tacoma as a way to put Americans back to work.“Nationally we’re falling behind. We’re relying on old stuff. … We should have some new stuff,” Obama told a crowd of 650 gathered at the Port of New Orleans. “That is going to help us grow and keep pace with global competition.”Obama has proposed spending $50 billion on improvements on roads and bridges, airports and ports as he looks to boost the U.S.’s infrastructure investment, which has dropped 50 percent since 1960 and lags behind other nations, including China.“We should close wasteful tax loopholes that don’t help our jobs, don’t grow our economy, and then invest that money in things that actually do create jobs and grow our economy,” he said. “And one of those things is building new roads and bridges and schools and ports. That creates jobs.”Obama arrived in New Orleans as criticism of his health-care law mounts. The website where consumers enroll continues to have glitches, and millions of people are losing insurance plans Obama promised they could keep. In a national TV interview Thursday, the president apologized for the problems.
Competing accounts have emerged in a crash involving two C-Tran buses Monday morning.A C-Tran official on Wednesday said that five passengers were on board during the crash at the intersection of Highway 99 and Northeast 88th Street. At the same time, people claiming to be passengers have told the Columbian via email that there were six people on the bus at the time of the 6:45 a.m. crash.Both accounts contradict the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, which reported that no passengers were on either of the buses. Sheriff’s Sgt. Duncan Hoss stood by the county’s original report when asked about the discrepancy Wednesday.“I don’t understand where the disconnect is coming from,” Hoss said. The patrol sergeant will be notified and will look into the incident, he added.The crash occurred at 6:45 a.m. Monday when bus driver Patricia Hern was driving north on Highway 99 in foggy conditions and ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 99 and Northeast 88th Street, officials said. Her bus struck a southbound bus turning east onto 88th Street with a green arrow, according to the sheriff’s office. C-Tran spokesman Jim Quintana said that Hern’s bus was carrying five passengers. However, Quintana said that video equipment on Hern’s bus had malfunctioned and video was not captured. Video footage from a southbound bus driven by Sharon Stewart shows no passengers.
A Vancouver man is accused of attempting to stab a man he found in his bed with his girlfriend.Luis Armando Lopez-Montejo, 26, appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree assault.Judge John Nichols held him on $50,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Jeffrey Barrar to defend him against the charge. His arraignment is scheduled for Friday.According to a court affidavit, Lopez-Montejo returned home to find a man in bed with his girlfriend. Lopez-Montejo grabbed a 12-inch kitchen knife and told the man in Spanish: “I’m going to kill you,” according to the affidavit. He attempted to stab the man in the abdomen, but the man grabbed the knife’s blade, the affidavit says. After a struggle, the man seized control of the weapon from Lopez-Montejo, but he sustained a cut to his hand from the blade and a cut to his nose during the struggle, the affidavit says.Vancouver police responded to the residence in the 2100 block of Northeast Bridgecreek and found a large amount of blood on the bedroom floor, window, the victim and Lopez-Montejo’s girlfriend, according to the affidavit. Police said they found the blood-drenched knife in the kitchen sink. The date of the incident was not included in the court affidavit.Lopez-Montejo turned himself in to the Vancouver Police Department East Precinct early Saturday, according to the affidavit. He allegedly confessed to the crime beforehand in a phone conversation, the affidavit says.
PORTLAND — The Portland Trail Blazers key to success without LaMarcus Aldridge boils down to one thing: energy. After trailing by as much as 18 points on Sunday, the Blazers received a major lift from Thomas Robinson and their bench to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-97.Damian Lillard scored 32 points to lead the Blazers, as he and the rest of Portland’s supporting cast made a major second-half push to comeback for a big win. Robinson finished with 14 points and career-high 18 rebounds off the bench in a major match-up against Minnesota’s Kevin Love at the Moda Center. Robinson did start the second half and played more than in any game of his two-year career.The energetic Will Barton got extended minutes for the second straight game and he, along with Robinson and Spanish forward Victor Claver, helped propel the Blazers to a dominating run. The three combined for the play of the game at the 8:39 mark of the fourth quarter, moments after a dust-up between Minnesota’s Corey Brewer and Lillard, that led to Lillard’s fifth foul. “I was going to let it slide, but then he kept going. I wasn’t going to let somebody play me like that. So, he had to get off me,” said Lillard who felt like Brewer fell on him and locked legs on purpose.
DENVER — Three-fourths of Americans say it’s inevitable that marijuana will be legal for recreational use across the nation, whether they support such policies or not, according to a public opinion poll released Wednesday that highlights shifting in attitudes following an era of drug war and “tough on crime” legislation.The Pew Research Center survey also shows increased support for ending mandatory minimum prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders and doing away altogether with jail time for small amounts of marijuana. The opinions come as public debate on these topics has led lawmakers around the nation to consider policy changes. Since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, at least 19 others, and the District of Columbia, have followed suit, including two that have approved recreational use. More than a dozen state legislatures considered legalization measures this year. Meanwhile, critics and political leaders, both liberal and conservative, have clamored for an end to harsh drug sentences, saying mandatory minimums have contributed to prison overcrowding, civil rights violations and strained budgets. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been pushing Congress to overhaul drug sentencing policies. The telephone survey found that 75 percent of respondents — including majorities of both supporters and opponents of legal marijuana– think that the sale and use of pot eventually will be legal nationwide.
In a recent story distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, reporter Curtis Tate notes that building the Keystone XL pipeline would not be likely to affect proposals to haul Bakken crude oil by rail to West Coast seaports, including Vancouver. Tesoro and Savage Cos. have proposed a facility at the Port of Vancouver, where oil could be received by train, stored and shipped by water to refineries.“North Dakota is producing a million barrels a day, nearly three-quarters of which move by rail, and could produce 2 million barrels a day in a few years. At most, Keystone would move 100,000 barrels of Bakken crude a day, barely a dent in the production,” Tate wrote. “What’s more, it would reach only Gulf Coast refineries, not the ones on the East and West coasts, which have become increasingly reliant on unit trains.”He also noted that the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from western Canada to the Gulf Coast would be completed long after energy, pipeline and rail companies made major investments in rail infrastructure, including loading and unloading terminals, tank cars, locomotives and track.WASHINGTON — A widely popular, bipartisan energy savings bill fell victim in the Senate on Monday to election-year politics and the Obama administration’s continued indecision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.A procedural motion to end debate and bring the measure to a floor vote without amendments fell five votes short of the 60 votes needed for approval.
Carrie Galli is now executive director of human resources at PR and communications agency Golin.Based in Chicago, Galli leads global HR, performing general HR duties, recruitment, spearheading diversity and inclusion, and learning and development initiatives.Galli joins from Edelman, where she was senior vice president of global learning and development. Prior to this, she held a variety of HR roles at organisations such as Foote, Cone and Belding (FCB).
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a boy who went missing from his Pompano Beach home, Tuesday afternoon, has been found safe.According to detectives, 10-year-old Kayden Lemos disappeared from his residence at around 5 p.m.Authorities said he is now back with his family.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – A South Florida man accused of running a drug lab out of a Southwest Miami-Dade house appeared in bond court, Monday.Bond for Omega Demetrius DuPont was set at $14,500, three days after he and another man were taken into custody.FBI investigators arrested DuPont, 45, and 29-year-old Tyree Shawon Tyson after they found carfentanil, a synthetic drug more powerful than heroin, in their house. Authorities also found guns at the residence.Tyson is being held without bond.Investigators said the pair sold the illegal drug from the home on several occasions.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – Dunkin’ Donuts is now brewing coffee at more than just their stores.A branded cold-bottled brew is now available in grocery stores across the country. The company joins Starbucks in what has been a popular market.Coca-Cola will manufacture, distribute and sell the product.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.