Hickman KY Police Officer Found Dead in Flooded Field

HICKMAN, KY – Hickman City Police officer was found dead Saturday morning in a flooded field.

Kentucky State Police say 45-year-old Officer Rodney Smith of Boaz was located at 5 a.m.. in the field off of Bernal Avenue in Hickman City. Police say the cruiser he had been driving was also located.

Please click on the link for the full story from Matt Margraf of WKMS radio, of Murray State University.


USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Central U.S. Flooding

From the United States Department of Agriculture 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by flooding in the central U.S.

The National Weather Service reports that heavy rain that began last week and continued through the weekend has brought widespread flooding to a large swath of the central U.S., from the gulf coast to the great lakes and Ohio River valley. Numerous river systems are expected to remain in flood stage well into this week. The National Weather Service expects another round of rainfall across the mid and lower Mississippi valley Tuesday into Wednesday, which will exacerbate the ongoing river flood threat.

Flooding can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the areas affected by these floods should pay close attention to the forecast. FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.

Food safety after a flood:

  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water—this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel‐type can opener.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during severe weather events. An infographic is also available outline steps you can take before, during and after severe weather, power outages and flooding. FSIS provides relevant food safety information during disasters on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.

If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.


Janus vs. AFSCME to be heard today by the U.S. Supreme Court

AP file photo

WASHINGTON, DC – Nerves are on edge today for an Illinois state employee challenging a public sector union over forced fees that workers have to pay the union as a condition of employment.

The case Janus vs. AFSCME, which originated in Illinois, will be heard this morning in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mark Janus, the state government employee at the center of the case, said he’s nervous.

“But what I think is important to note is that there is just as much right to say ‘no’ to a union as there is to say ‘yes’ to a union,” Janus said. “And that is a right that I don’t have [under the status quo].”

Please click on the link for the full story from Greg Bishop of Illinois News Network


Severe storms, possible tornadoes rip through Southern Kentucky

WHOP radio in Hopkinsville KY image.

HOPKINSVILLE – KY – Severe storms killed at least one person, injured several others and caused destruction Saturday evening across Southern Kentucky.

Christian County Emergency Management Director Randy Graham told WHOP that a possible tornado injured 9 people at Eagle Crossing Apartments.

Graham said 6 people were treated on the scene for minor injuries while three other people were taken to an area hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

Please click on the link for the story from WKRN-TV in Nashville, TN.  WHOP radio from Hopkinsville added to this story.

Severe storms, possible tornadoes rip through Southern Kentucky


Late pastor Billy Graham to lie in honor in US Capitol

Former US presidents, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, pose with evangelist Billy Graham (center) and his son, Franklin Graham in 2007.PHOTO:   REUTERS

WASHINGTON, DC   – The body of Reverend Billy Graham, a spiritual adviser to several presidents, will lie in the US Capitol Rotunda next week so Americans can pay their respects to the globally influential preacher, lawmakers said on Thursday (Feb 22).

The rare honour of placing an American’s remains in the Capitol is usually reserved for US presidents, military officials and politicians.

Graham, who died Wednesday at age 99, would be only the fourth private citizen so honoured, and the first person since US senator Daniel Inouye in 2012.

Please click on the link for the full story from The Straits Times


Bost Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Improve Soil Quality

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Nutrient Management Technical Service Provider Certification Act, to expand options for agriculture producers to access nutrient management technical assistance. This bill would allow qualified individuals, including Certified Crop Advisors or Certified Agronomists, to act as Technical Service Providers for nutrient management.

The Nutrient Management Technical Service Provider Certification Act is supported by The Fertilizer Institute, Agricultural Retailers Association, Land O’ Lakes, American Society of Agronomy, and the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association.

“Our bipartisan bill cuts red tape and gives our farmers more resources to improve soil quality,” said Bost. “The Department of Agriculture has said that it lacks the manpower to provide technical assistance to farmers trying to implement nutrient management practices.  I appreciated working with Rep. Soto on a solution that expands options for farmers seeking technical assistance related to these practices.”

“Agribusiness retailers’ commitment to professionalism is evidenced in their decision to employ agronomists who have achieved the CCA or CPAg certification,” said TFI President, Chris Jahn. “USDA recognition of these agronomists as Technical Service Providers is a win-win for farm profitability and the environment.”

“Agricultural retailers serve as trusted advisors to farmers. Streamlining the certification process for agricultural retailers to achieve technical service provider status will allow farmers, retailers, and NRCS to better communicate and collaborate, as well as improve conservation planning, soil health and nutrient stewardship initiatives and efforts,” said Agricultural Retailers Association President and CEO Daren Coppock.

“CCAs and CPAgs have met the standards for agronomy knowledge, experience and ethics set by the American Society of Agronomy.  They are a trusted farm adviser in agronomic practices and inputs.  We are very excited to see them recognized for their professional expertise in this bill,” said American Society of Agronomy spokesman Karl Anderson.


The demand for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) conservation technical assistance and the financial incentives provided by farm bill conservation programs is at an all-time high. The natural resource concerns and regulatory challenges our farmers face are also growing and use of conservation practices, like the 4Rs (Right Place, Right Rate, Right Source, and Right Time) are being widely implemented across farm country. Increasing the engagement of the private sector in conservation delivery can help with this demand on capacity and resources.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) utilizes Technical Service Providers (TSPs), which are either individuals or businesses with technical expertise in conservation planning that help producers achieve conservation goals. The current certification process can be time consuming, expensive, and duplicative to many trained conservation professionals and proves to be an impediment to the private sector’s desire to become a TSP.

Amid massacre, a story of courage: Football coach stepped in front of bullets, reports say

PARKLAND, FL – When a shooter opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County on Wednesday afternoon, reports emerged on Twitter of a football coach jumping in front of students to protect them from the shooter.

Coach Aaron Feis was initially said to be dead, eliciting tributes on social media. Subsequent posts, including by a fellow coach, said he was wounded but had survived the shooting.

But by 9 p.m., the hope that had been rekindled on Twitter was extinguished. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel announced that “a beloved football coach is dead.”

Please click on the link for the full story from Manny Navaro, Andre Fernandez, and Kyra Gurney of the Miami Herald.


Florida high school under lockdown after reports of shooter, victims, police say

A Florida high school is on lockdown after reports of a shooter, police say. (WSVN from Fox News website)

PARKLAND, FL – At least 20 students were feared hurt in a shooting Wednesday at a high school in Parkland, Florida, as local media reported a student was considered a person of interest.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is under lockdown and police are on the scene after reports of shots fired and potential victims, officials said Wednesday.

According to WSVN, the Margate Fire Rescue team described the scene as a mass casualty incident, meaning at least 20 people had been injured.

Please click on the link to follow the full story from Fox News.




Bost Takes Plight of Southern Illinois’ Steelworkers to White House

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro), Co-Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, joined a select, bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House to meet with President Donald Trump about steel trade policy. The administration is currently reviewing recommendations from the Department of Commerce following its investigation into the national security implications of unfairly traded foreign steel imports. Bost detailed the negative impact that these imports have had on Granite City Works, which temporarily idled operations in 2015 and laid off over 2,000 employees.

“American steel jobs are at risk due to global competitors who refuse to play by the rules”, said Bost. “We’ve seen the harm that unfair and illegal trade practices have done to our steel industry right in Madison County, with the idling of Granite City Works and layoffs at Alton Steel. That’s why it’s vitally important for President Trump to take action to ensure U.S. companies and workers have the ability to compete on an even playing field. I have no doubt in my mind that the American steelworker is second to none when competing on equal footing.”

The purpose of the Section 232 investigation is to determine whether imports are harmful to national security and whether measures should be taken to protect domestic industries critical to national security. The Commerce Department report summarizing findings from the Section 232 investigation was delivered to the President on January 11, 2018. The Administration has 90 days following the delivery of the report to decide on any potential action.

Link to the video of Congressman Bost’s statement to President Trump

Bost Votes to Keep Government Open

Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which averts a government shutdown, protects our economy from a dangerous debt default, strengthens our national security, and repeals Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Additionally, the legislation provides funding to support National Institute of Health (NIH) research, combat opioids and support mental health programs, reduce the VA healthcare maintenance backlog, and invest in infrastructure.

“This legislation isn’t perfect, but it averts a government shutdown, protects the economy from debt default, and provides certainty to our troops and our seniors,” said Bost. “While these are all good things, we can’t keep governing from short-term crisis to short-term crisis. I’m ready and willing to work with anyone, regardless of party, to provide better certainty to the American people.” 

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 provides the following:

  • Prevents a dangerous default that would threaten our economy—increases the debt ceiling through March 1, 2019;
  • Strengthens our national security and protects our troops—increases the spending cap by $165 billion for the Department of Defense over the next two years;
  • Protects Seniors from Obamacare—repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB): 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats with the power to mandate drastic cuts to Medicare


Late last year, Representative Bost led a group of over 20 members in urging Speaker Ryan to incorporate language to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) into must-pass legislation. More information on this effort is available HERE.

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