USDA official to visit Indiana farms amid drought

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A federal farm official will visit three Indiana farms this week amid a statewide drought that left Indianapolis poised to tie its driest 45-day stretch on record.

Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Undersecretary Michael Scuse will travel to Indiana on Wednesday and Thursday to tour drought-stricken farm fields in Allen and White counties in northern Indiana and Johnson County south of Indianapolis, Executive Director Julia Wickard of the Indiana Farm Service Agency said Monday.

The National Weather Service has recorded 0.09 of an inch in rainfall that in Indianapolis since June 1. If the forecast for no rain on Monday held up, that total would match a stretch in August and September 1908 as the city's driest since weather service record keeping began in the 1870s.

Other parts of the state aren't faring much better: Fort Wayne has recorded just 0.70 of an inch of rain since June 1.

Receding water levels at Morse Reservoir about 20 miles north of Indianapolis contributed to a boat running aground and causing about $5,000 damage to the craft, Indiana Conservation Officer Rick Garringer said.

The accident occurred Sunday when a 19-foot ski boat operated by Jeff Clinton of Noblesville ran aground in what is normally 8 feet of water, he said.

"As the water level of the reservoir lowers new hazards appear near the surface throughout the lake," Garringer said.

Citizens Water, which operates the reservoir, said it's about 6 feet below its full level. The utility serving Indianapolis and some of its suburbs says it has reduced its water releases from Morse, Geist and Eagle Creek reservoirs but some release must continue to maintain stream flow.

The water utility for Indianapolis and some of its suburbs utility has seen about a 20 percent drop in water use since a lawn watering ban went into effect Friday. Daily water use fell about 40 million gallons per day from about 200 million gallons before water use restrictions were put in place, the utility said.

The utility began calling for conservation after customers used a record 233 million gallons on June 26.


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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.