Archive for August, 2008

Red State Update on Sarah Palin


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National Agricultural Summary 8/18-8/24/2008

Corn: The weather across the Corn Belt was mostly dry with temperatures within 3 degrees F of normal, except in isolated southern portions of the region. National acreage at or beyond the dough stage reached 68 percent, 20 points behind last year and 14 points behind the 5-year average. Acreage in Pennsylvania and Texas was reaching the dough stage ahead of last year, while development in Colorado, Michigan, and Pennsylvania was ahead of the average pace. Elsewhere, progress was delayed. Development to the dough stage was nearly complete in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Nationally, 26 percent of the corn acreage had dented, 32 and 21 points behind last year and the 5-year average, respectively. In Colorado and Pennsylvania, denting was occurring ahead of normal, while elsewhere, progress was delayed. Condition of the national corn crop was rated 64 percent good to excellent, a 3 point decline from last week and the first weekly decline since mid-June.

Soybeans: Weather conditions were mostly dry with normal temperatures throughout the growing region, except for some rainfall in the South and isolated areas along the Mississippi River. Blooming was nearly complete at 97 percent nationally, 2 points behind last year and the 5-year average. Other than a 14-point blooming delay in Missouri, blooming progress was within 4 points of both last year and the 5-year average in all States. Pod setting had occurred on 88 percent of the nation’s soybean acreage, 7 points behind last year and 6 points behind normal. Pod setting was complete in North Dakota, 1 point ahead of the 5-year average. Meanwhile in Missouri, development was 29 points behind the average pace. Condition of the national soybean crop was rated 61 percent good to excellent, 1 point lower than last week’s rating.

Rice: Eighty-five percent of the rice acreage was headed nationally, 10 points behind last year and 8 points behind the 5-year average. Heading was nearly complete in Louisiana and Texas. Nationwide, 10 percent of the rice acreage had been harvested, lagging 5 points behind last year’s harvest pace and 4 points behind the average pace. A significant delay was evident in Louisiana, where harvest progress was 21 points behind last year and the 5-year average. Condition of the crop was rated 72 percent good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week.

Sorghum: Nationally, 84 percent of the acreage had headed, 8 points behind last year and 2 points behind the 5-year average. Forty-six percent of the acreage was coloring, 10 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. In Colorado, the crop was coloring well ahead of last year and normal. All of the acreage in Louisiana had colored, and the majority of the crop had colored in Arkansas, Colorado, and Texas. Twenty-eight percent of the national sorghum acreage had reached maturity, 1 point behind last year but the same as the 5-year average. Maturation in Arkansas was 30 points behind the 5-year average. Nationally, producers had harvested 23 percent of the sorghum acreage, 2 points ahead of last year and 1 point ahead of normal. While harvest was just getting underway in Arkansas and Oklahoma, more than half of the crop had been reaped in Louisiana and Texas. Sorghum condition was rated 53 percent good to excellent, 1 point lower than last week.

Cotton: Eighty-nine percent of the nation’s acreage was setting bolls, 1 point behind last year and 5 points behind the 5-year average. Development was within 9 points of the 5-year average in all States. Boll setting was complete in the Delta, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia. Bolls were open on 16 percent of the nation’s cotton acreage, 5 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. Bolls were opening at or behind the normal pace in all States except Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas. Condition of the crop was rated 48 percent good to excellent nationally, unchanged from the previous week.

Small Grains: Barley producers had harvested 66 percent of the crop, 21 points behind last year and 9 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was delayed in all States when compared with last year and the average. The condition rating of the crop, at 52 percent good to excellent, remained unchanged from last week. Oat harvest, at 88 percent complete, was 7 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was complete in Ohio and Texas, but was at or behind the normal pace elsewhere, except in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Sixty-one percent of the spring wheat had been harvested, 22 points behind last year and 11 points behind the 5-year average. In Idaho, Minnesota, and Washington, harvest progress was 27 or more points behind the normal pace. Condition of the crop was rated 55 percent good to excellent, 1 point lower than last week’s rating.

Source: USDA

They are running out of summer quickly in the northern states, and some regions have already gotten their first frost.

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Shelling is Still Pretty Good at the Beach

I picked up a couple of (intact) conch shells, some sand dollars, false angel wings, and sea urchins today. 

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Tests Allegedly Confirm There Was a Decomposing Body in Trunk of Casey Anthony’s Car

ORLANDO, FL — Much-anticipated results from the University of Tennessee Body Farm reveal that the smell in the trunk of Casey Anthony, mother of missing 3-year-old Caylee, is human decomposition, a law enforcement source said Wednesday. Air sample tests taken from Anthony’s trunk were sent on August 10 by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to be analyzed at the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Facility, known as the “Body Farm.”

According to two sources, including one with direct knowledge of the investigation, initial tests on that foul odor in Casey Anthony’s car have come back positive for human decomposition. The finding is the first scientific signal that a dead body was in Casey Anthony’s car. The Body Farm is a place where human corpses are left to the elements, and every manner of decay is fully explored.

The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment.  Read the rest at

Hmmmm.  Nothing official yet; allegedly an offer for some type of immunity has been made in return for the whereabouts of the little girl’s body.

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2nd Jacksonville Student Arrested with Gun

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Less than two weeks into the new Duval County school year, a student was arrested because police said he was carrying a gun on campus.


The student is the second 15-year-old who Jacksonville police said was caught with a gun in just the last two days.


The most recent incident took place Wednesday morning, when a teen, whose name is not being released because of his age, was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to Raines High School and hiding it near his crotch.  See News4Jax for the rest of the story.

If I lived in the neighborhood some of those kids live in, I’d be carrying, too.  According to FirstCoast News:

The student told police that he needed the gun because he was going to his neighborhood.

The other kid was (allegedly) a crack cocaine dealer and a convicted felon at the age of 15.

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Electricity Back Up, Flooding Down

It has been a most interesting weekend.  There are still three trees down that we need to do something with once the water recedes a bit more (two oaks and a plum tree).  There are no pears left on the trees in the yard.  There will be no pecans here this year judging from the number of immature pecans that were pelting the roof when the tropical storm force winds were occurring.

The only casualty in the house during the entire course of Fay was my computer.  It hung up on a program, refused to shut off, then was abruptly shut off when the battery backup ran out of juice.  It wouldn’t boot back up and is in the computer hospital for diagnosis.  It is “old” for a computer; it has been my faithful companion for six or seven years, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when things go wrong.  It may not be cost effective to repair.  I will get the news Wednesday or Thursday.

In the meantime, I will blog in fits and starts as I can on borrowed computers in between the demands of work and school.

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My Electricity is Out Now!

Hope y’all have better luck in the storm. D’OH! I just bought milk, too.

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Woman Drowns at Neptune Beach

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. — One of two people pulled from rough surf Thursday afternoon has died and the other is hospitalized.

“Two teenagers had come in here and asked me to call 911 and said that somebody was drowning out on the beach,” said Terry Williams, who works at an Atlantic Beach business. “They immediately drug her up off the beach. She was just lifeless. It was just really scary.”

One victim was transported to Beaches Baptist in critical condition. Channel 4 learned that she died.

Some mistakes don’t have a do over.

Update: She was a tourist from Indiana.

When I mentioned in front of some developmentally delayed kindergarteners and first graders that I was going to the beach Wednesday, they got VERY upset. “No! Don’t go in the water! You’ll get drownded in the storm!”

Every child here knows that tropical storms are dangerous. Too bad that tourists don’t understand that.

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School is Out Friday for Jacksonville Area Schools, Electrical Outages, Flooding, Debris in Roads

South Bank Camera.

Putnam County schools and county offices have been ordered closed Friday. (12:24 p.m.)

Clay County public schools have been ordered closed Friday, officials said. (12:19 p.m.)

Nassau County schools will be closed Friday, officials announced at noon. (12:07 p.m.)

Duval County schools closed Friday (1:32 p.m.)

Butler Boulevard westbound closed at Intracoastal (1:32 p.m.)

About 27,000 homes and businesses are without power, including 15,000 in Duval, 5,000 in St. Johns, 4,600 in Flagler and 2,000 in Nassau.

The City of Jacksonville has 24 work crews responding to drainage issues and 20 separate teams removing trees and debris from roads. Once Fay’s winds and rains become too dangerous, the crews will be pulled back. “We will reach a point where the storm overwhelms our crews,” said Marty Senterfitt, chief of emergency preparedness for Duval County (1:14 p.m.)

Trees reported down on homes from Nassau County to Mandarin, but no reports of injuries. (5:09 p.m.)

Traffic lights reported out in various areas. Police warn motorists to treat such intersections as four-way stops. (5:08 p.m.)

At least 95,000 homes and businesses now reported without power region-wide, including 75,000 in Jacksonville. (5:04 p.m.)

Source: breaking news.

Wind is picking up considerably now with much more rain. Several reports of trees down in my area which, with the saturated ground, isn’t surprising. If conditions don’t deteriorate further tonight, I believe our trees will be safe.

For Okefenokee power outages, click here.

I couldn’t find the FPL site to check for power outages.

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Ryan McDonald, 16, Killed in Knoxville High School Shooting

Central High School student Ryan McDonald died this morning after being shot in the school cafeteria by another student, according to Knoxville police and a hospital spokesman.

The confrontation occurred about 8:11 a.m. before classes began at the school in Fountain City, according to Knoxville Police Department Deputy Chief William C. Roehl.

The students knew each other, according to Roehl, but he said he did not know what led to the shooting.

“They had contact with one another,” Roehl said.

It was not a random shooting, he said.

“It was an isolated incident,” Knox County Schools Superintendent James McIntyre said at a press conference.

Police said they were notified about 8:57 a.m. that the 16-year-old boy had died. University of Tennessee Medical Center spokesman Jim Ragonese identified the victim as McDonald.

Read the rest at Knoxville News

My deepest sympathies to the students, faculty, and family members.

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