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Farmers lose their hemp lawsuit in court

BISMARCK, N.D. — Two North Dakota farmers who filed a federal lawsuit in June to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ban on commercial hemp farming in the United States have lost their court bid.

Federal Judge David Hovland last week dismissed the case in a 22-page decision.

Farmers David Monson and Wayne Hauge filed the lawsuit. Hovland said Congress needs to address the issue, not the courts.

Farmer cuts off arm to save himself

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CAMDEN, S.C. — A man whose hand got caught in a corn harvester cut off his own arm with a pocket knife after the machine started a brush fire.

"I just told myself, ’I’m not going to die here,"’ Sampson Parker said last week on NBC’s "Today Show."

"I just kept fighting, kept praying. And then when I did get loose, I jumped up running, I had blood squirting from my arm," he said of the September incident. "It was pretty scary there for a while."

Parker, a construction supervisor in Kershaw County about 20 miles east of Columbia, farms as a hobby. When he tried to remove a cornstalk stuck in the rusty harvester, his hand became stuck.

After about 90 minutes, his hand went numb. He jammed a rod into the machine and started cutting away his fingers, but the rod and machine sparked a fire. He used his free hand to fight the fire but knew he was in even more trouble.

"My skin was melting," he said. "Like melting plastic."

Nonprofit group cleans Upper Mississippi River Refuge

WINONA, Minn. — Part of the national Mississippi River refuge littered with junk from last summer’s flash floods looks much cleaner.

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Illinois-based Living Lands & Waters has yanked three wrecked cars, a semitrailer-sized storage container and a camper from part of the refuge just outside Minnesota City since Thursday.

A towing company took the cars to a scrap yard at no charge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which maintains the refuge, said Mary Stefanski, manager of the refuge’s Winona district.

Living Lands & Waters spent Friday sawing the storage container into smaller pieces for easier removal.

Stefanski said the container held a set of Bobcat tires, tractor tires and the personal belongings of Jessica Neyers.

Neyers had taken a nannying job in Colorado and left all her possessions in the container, which was owned by a family friend.

The container was sitting outside the Minnesota City Fire Department when the floods struck and it tumbled into the refuge, destroying all of Neyers’ things in the process.

San Francisco completes biodiesel switch

SAN FRANCISCO — Claiming it now has the largest green fleet in the nation, the city of San Francisco has completed a year-long project to convert its entire array of diesel vehicles to biodiesel.

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Using virgin soy oil bought from producers in the Midwest, officials said that as of Nov. 30, 100 percent of the city’s 1,500 diesel vehicles were powered with the environmentally friendlier fuel, intended to sharply reduce toxic diesel exhaust linked to an increased risk of asthma and premature death.

"Just like secondhand smoke, diesel is one of the worst things we can breathe," said the city’s clean vehicle manager, Vandana Bali, of the Department of Environment.

Bali said San Francisco’s diesel vehicles now all used a fuel known as B20, a mixture of 20 percent soy-based biofuel and 80 percent petroleum diesel fuel, which reduces emissions of carbon monoxide.

What To Read Next
Caitlin and Jason Keck’s two-year term on the American Farm Bureau Federation committee begins next month.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.