07-16-2018  3:32 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Experience the Culture at the Second Annual Pan African Festival of Oregon

Event will take place from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 11 ...

Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest Now Open

Submissions for annual pet photo contest open until August 15 ...

Mark Christopher Lawrence to Perform at Harvey’s Comedy Club July 13-15

Former Big Mike of “Chuck” will perform at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 Sunday ...

Dragon Fest 2018

Lions, dragons and breakdancers descend on Seattle’s Chinatown-International District for the Pacific Northwest’s largest...

Slain retired police officer feared son would kill her

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Newly available court documents provide details about last month's killing of a retired policewoman in Central Oregon.The body of Gayla Smith was found wrapped in blankets in her Crooked River Ranch home. Police arrested her adult son, 29-year-old Gavin Smith-Brown.The...

Stranded woman drank water from moss after California crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Oregon woman who was badly injured and stranded for a week after her Jeep plunged 250 feet over a cliff into the ocean near Big Sur in California says she survived by drinking fresh water dripping from moss until she was rescued by a couple hiking along the beach.From...

Amazon's Prime Day runs into early snags

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's website ran into some early snags Monday on its much-hyped Prime Day, an embarrassment for the tech company on the shopping holiday it created.Shoppers clicking on many Prime Day links after the 3 p.m. ET launch in the U.S. got only images of dogs — some quite...

Man who was hitting woman dies after witnesses intervene

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Police say a man who was assaulting a woman in Yakima is dead after he was struck with a baton or baseball bat as witnesses intervened.Authorities say the fight happened late Sunday night outside the Connections Transitional Apartments. Officers arrived to find a...

OPINION

A Letter from America’s Children

American children struggling with poverty, violence and homelessness, deserve media coverage, too ...

Rep. Maxine Waters Takes Strong Stand for Fair Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently stepped up to file legislation designed to cure many of regressive ills pushed by Secretary Carson ...

10 Indoor Plants Every Pet Lover Must Have

Dr. Jasmine Streeter shares her tips on stress-busting plants ...

NAACP Statement on Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

NAACP opposes Kavanaugh's confirmation to the D.C. Circuit ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black students wrongly accused of leaving without paying

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police in a St. Louis suburb are reviewing what happened after 10 black college students were stopped by officers and escorted with squad cars back to a restaurant after being wrongfully suspected of leaving without paying.The incident occurred earlier this month in Clayton....

California man gets home detention in Maxine Waters threat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man who threatened to kill Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters in a profanity-laced voicemail was sentenced Monday to six months of home detention.Anthony Scott Lloyd, 45, also was sentenced in federal court in Los Angeles to three years of probation and 100 hours...

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has reinstated Hulk Hogan to its Hall of Fame, three years after he was found to have used racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex tape.The Connecticut-based company made the announcement in a statement Sunday."This second...

ENTERTAINMENT

Union opens probe into veteran Broadway actor's suicide

NEW YORK (AP) — A Broadway union is investigating a veteran actor's suicide, which happened about a week after his friends say he was subjected to a grueling, demoralizing rehearsal.Actors' Equity said it has retained a lawyer to examine the events surrounding the June 29 death of Jeff...

Stevie Nicks and LeAnn Rimes share heartbreak in new duet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stevie Nicks cried on her living room floor when she first saw LeAnn Rimes perform "Borrowed" on her TV in 2013.The song, about an intimate, yet fleeting romance between Rimes and her lover, came out on Rimes' "Spitfire" album when Nicks became enamored with it. The...

1st Comic-Con of the MeToo era grapples with harassment

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comic-Con, the annual gathering of over 130,000 fans, artists, collectors and geek culture savants, has already been changed by the #MeToo and Time's Up era, with at least one notable figure stepping aside due to sexual misconduct allegations. But questions remain about...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Stranded woman drank water from moss after California crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Oregon woman who was badly injured and stranded for a week after her Jeep plunged 250...

CNN's Cooper calls Trump's summit performance 'disgraceful'

NEW YORK (AP) — Seconds after President Donald Trump's news conference with Russian President Vladimir...

Elon Musk's social media conduct may be bad for his business

Whether it's investors betting against his stock or reporters or analysts who ask tough questions, Elon Musk has...

Statelessness a hurdle for some rescued Thai boys

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — The 12 boys and coach of the Wild Boars youth soccer team who were rescued from a...

World Cup win gives France new set of heroes, needed boost

PARIS (AP) — The welcome was grand, the emotion visceral as France's victorious World Cup team rolled down...

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to a customs bill put...

Jim Suhr AP Business Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- An Illinois farmer made so much money this year he made loan payments on one tractor a year in advance and exchanged some older ones for newer models. An Iowa farmer upgraded his combine and also paid off debt, while an elderly Oregon farmer poured into retirement funds a bundle of his $2 million take from a well-timed sale of much of his turf and equipment.

While much of America worries about the possibility of a double-dip recession, such stories of prosperity are cropping up as U.S. farmers enjoy their best run in decades, thanks to high prices for many crops, livestock and farmland and strong global demand for corn used in making ethanol.

Farm profits are expected to spike by 28 percent this year to $100.9 billion, and the amount of cash farms have available to pay bills also is expected to top $100 billion - the first time both measures have done so, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. All the while, crop sales are expected to pass the $200 billion mark for the first time in U.S. history, and double-digit increases are expected in livestock sales.

"We're just experiencing the best of times," said Bruce Johnson, an agricultural economist at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. "It's a story to tell."

That's not to say that everyone is sharing in the good fortune. Near Gardner, Kan., a short drive south of Kansas City, a lack of rain and nagging winds conspired to leave Bill Voigts with about half of the soybeans he expected. His harvest of corn was worse, coming in at about one-third of his normal production. Even with insurance, he didn't quite break even on the 2,400 acres he farms - most of them rented.

"Had it not been for insurance in his area, it'd be a disaster. That's the only thing that saves us," said Voigts, 66.

But he noted that the drought plaguing farmers like him helped drive up prices for commodities like corn, soybeans and wheat, benefitting those fortunate enough to get a good crop.

"At the expense of some farmers, other farmers become wealthy," he said. "That's really the whole story. That's not the government's fault, it's nobody's fault. That's just the way things happen.

"Some people got left behind."

Yet most of the talk about U.S. farming remains bullish, with analysts widely trumpeting "the new normal" in U.S. agriculture: Demand in China, India and other developing countries for U.S. agricultural exports - and hunger for corn for ethanol - has been keeping prices high and farming profitable.

In central Illinois' Morgan County near Jacksonville, Dale Hadden says he was "pleasantly surprised" by the corn and soybeans he got from the some 4,000 acres he works with his brother and their parents, considering they lost about 400 acres of corn to 21 inches of rain in June.

All told, Hadden estimated his crops were worth 10 percent to 15 percent more than in previous years, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars. He spent a chunk of that on an advance full-year payment on a seven-year loan on one of his tractors and to pay down debt on land.

Much of the rest he cautiously set aside.

"It was a successful year," said Hadden, a 38-year-old with two children, ages 11 and 9. "But most farmers would tell you that just because you're flush with cash, you don't spend it all."

In Oregon, 79-year-old Warren Haught sure didn't. With four decades of farming under his belt, Haught - socked by the high cost of electricity to irrigate crops in high desert country - unloaded his 1,500-acre operation a couple of years ago. He pocketed $1.7 million on the land sale and $300,000 from liquidating everything from haying equipment to plows and tractors, using some of proceeds on two new homes - one of him, the other for his son and his family - while saving much of the rest.

"It was a pretty good deal at the time," said Haught, who now has just 72 acres near mountainous Klamath Falls on which he grows alfalfa and grass crops. He'd like to get at least 100 more acres, saying demand for hay in China and other Pacific Rim countries is boosting prices.

"It was kind of the perfect storm - what you had this year brought a good price," he said. "Everything seemed to be a good price."

In western Iowa near Kingsley, Jeff Reinking and his brother - partners in a 2,500-acre operation evenly split between corn and beans - recently traded in a 2006 combine for one three years newer - spoils from what Reinking called "the best year for me." He also paid off some debt and put some money aside in case things aren't always so rosy.

"I guess we're getting the better end of things right now," Reinking said. "That has not always been the case."

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