Indiana's smelly news

April 22, 2010
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Manure makes great news in Indiana. The Wall Street Journal last month ran a howler about giant methane bubbles rising from beneath the plastic lining of an outdoor manure pond on a dairy farm near Winchester.

The bubbles were so big that they could be seen in satellite images and threatened to push manure over the earthen berms. The farmer, who came from the Netherlands to set up the operation, wanted to puncture them with a Swiss Army Knife, but his neighbors objected.

A farmer next door was quoted as saying, "If that thing back there blows, God help us all for miles.”

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management objected, too, deeming the possibility of explosions “not acceptable.” So, IDEM brought in professionals from Louisville who bled off some of the pressure through valves and then slit them to release the rest of the methane.

No explosions. Crisis averted.

Manure news continued this week when police found a drug suspect hiding in a manure pit on a northeastern Indiana hog farm. The man, who was wanted on methamphetamine charges, was up to his neck beneath a livestock building.

How he survived the gases is one question. Another is how the police car and hospital where he was taken to be treated for hypothermia were cleaned. As if that wasn’t enough, he got rowdy later and was brought under control with two charges from a stun gun.

So there you have it. Some of the most significant news from the Hoosier state in the past month.

Incisive analysis, anyone?

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