The Friday Leader
News from the Champaign County Farm Bureau
News for the Week Ending Friday, April 24th,2015
· TPA UPDATE - The stage is now set for floor fights over whether to fast-track a pair of new trade agreements. The House Ways and Means Committee Thursday night approved, 25-13, a Trade Promotion Authority bill one day after the Senate Finance Committee advanced its version of the legislation, which guarantees that trade deals can get an up-or-down-vote in Congress without any chance of being amended.
· GRAIN BELT EXPRESS - The Illinois Farm Bureau Board Thursday voted to intervene in a proposed high-voltage direct current overhead transmission line case before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). In counties along the proposed route, several county Farm Bureau boards oppose the project and requested IFB intervene.
· SCOTUS AND RAISINS - With scorn bordering on anger, some of the Supreme Court’s more conservative members on Wednesday gave a hostile reception to a government program dating to the Great Depression meant to increase raisin prices by keeping some raisins off the market. A ruling in the case is expected later this year.
· FARMWEEK PREVIEW – Check out Monday’s FarmWeek for details on a recent ACES tour to teach U of I students about real-life farming. We’ll have the latest on bird flu, and a profile of Illinois agriculture director Philip Nelson.
· LANDFILL GIVES UP STORING TOXIC WASTE OVER ILLINOIS AQUIFER (AP, 4/23) – A company that for years has planned to store toxic PCBs in a landfill sitting atop a central Illinois aquifer says it’s giving up on the idea. The Pantagraph reports Peoria-based Area Disposal has tried since 2007 to get state and federal permits to store PCBs at its Clinton Landfill.
· LOST FUNDING RESULTS IN LOST PHONE CALLS AT IRS- The IRS’ overloaded phone system hung up on more than 8 million taxpayers this filing season as the agency cut millions of dollars from tax payer services to help pay to enforce President Barack Obama’s health law. For those who weren’t disconnected, only 40 percent actually got through to a person and many had to wait on hold for more than 30 minutes.
· NASDAQ NEARS RECORD AMID GAINS BY TECH – The Nasdaq Composite Index inched closer to breaking its 15-year-old record on Wednesday, with help from earnings-led gains in technology stock. The Nasdaq rose to 5040.65 in intraday trading. Also gaining Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 88.68 points to 18038.27 and the S&P 500 advanced 10.67 to 2107.96.
· IN PAIN, U.S. OILMEN PLEAD FOR EXPORTS– American oilmen have seized on one solution to their financial woes in the face of low oil prices: They want to export U.S. crude oil. Soon. Their new battle cry – Exports Now! – has echoed through the halls at the giant energy conference, known as IHS CERAWeek, in Houston. This would require overturning a decades-old federal ban on selling American crude abroad.
· SCALE MODEL OF WWII MEMORIAL MAKING FINAL STOPS IN ILLINOIS – A scale model of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., is making one of its final stops in Illinois before it’s taken to the nation’s capital to be put on display at the Smithsonian Institution. The Kankakee Daily Journal reports the model will be in Manteno at the Manteno Sportsman’s Club on Sunday afternoon. The group coordinating the stops in Illinois – Pillars of Honor Inc., says the model will be displayed over the next several months in Streamwood, Des Plaines, McHenry, Milan and Arlington Heights.
· FARM FINANCES - The continued erosion of grain prices has farm loans on the rise again in the nation's midsection, according to a report released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Bank officials say they don't expect overall credit conditions to fall much in the near term, but continued stagnation in farm incomes could change that in the longer term.
· PROPANE PRICES - The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a propane inventory build of in excess of 2 million barrels for the second week in a row, a little above expectations. Propane prices have remained relatively calm despite U.S. stocks topping 62 million barrels.
· FOOD FADS – A commentary in Slate by religion professor Alan Levinovitz looks at food fads. Because despite a veneer of scientific rhetoric, he says food fads are ultimately about devotion to dogma; religion, not science.
· FACEBOOK GROWING - Facebook said last month it counted more than more than 300 million people who use Instagram each month and 800 million who use WhatsApp. Together, that's close to the 1.44 billion people Facebook says logged into its service as of March 31, including the 600 million people who use Messenger.
Mark Your Calendar!
MAY 4, 2015 AT 05:00PM
Defensive Driving Reservation Deadline
MAY 6, 2015 FROM 09:00AM TO 12:00PM
Premier Ladies Marketing
MAY 12, 2015 FROM 08:00AM TO 12:00PM
801 N Country Fair Dr
Champaign, IL 61821
REMINDER: Most Committees do NOT meet during the month of May due to planting season, drive safe, be alert!
NOTE: Limit 5 boxes for shred event**
Today in History
· 1898 Spain declares war on the United States starting the Spanish-American War.
· 1981 The first IBM PC is introduced.
· 1990 The Hubble Space Telescope is launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery.
· 1184 BC Greeks enter Troy using the Trojan Horse
Thank you and have a safe weekend!