National Briefs - Bill aims to end daylight saving time

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs


Measure aims to end daylight saving time 

A state senator is pushing to eliminate daylight saving time in Washington. Republican Jim Honeyford has introduced a measure that would exercise Washington's right under the Uniform Time Act to opt out of daylight saving time and remain on Pacific Standard Time year round.

A persuasive argument for daylight saving time has been made in the past by by the agricultural industry, claiming the switch would be an economic benefit. Honeyford, a farmer for 20 years, isn't buying it.

"I think that it was a myth that it was designed for agriculture," Honeyford said. "I believe that it's out lived it's use."

Daylight Saving Time begins March 12.


State hatcheries could become privatized

A change in how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers interprets its acquisition regulations could mean operations at the Cole Rivers Hatchery on the Rogue River and six other Oregon hatcheries become privatized.

The agency is considering contracting the Cole Rivers Hatchery out to the lowest bidder on a one-year contract as early as this spring. The hatchery grows nearly 2.8 million fish for release in the Rogue River Basin. The Oregon agency also runs six other hatcheries associated with Corps dams.

Corps officials said a recent review of the Federal Acquisitions Regulations has led them to believe a contract approach would be more appropriate than the current cooperative agreement.


Online tool provides E. coli contamination info 

An interactive mapping tool produced by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will provide up-to-date information about E. coli bacteria levels in rivers and lakes and on beaches.

Testing shows E. coli levels are above established standards in 196 locations around the state. At those levels, there's an increased risk of illness from physical contact or accidentally swallowing contaminated water.

Untreated sewage, livestock agriculture and wildlife are among sources of E. coli. Officials say crumbling septic and sewage infrastructure is making the problem worse.

A report from Gov. Rick Snyder's office calls for a statewide septic code and encourages communities to set priorities for infrastructure replacement.


Vermont discusses concerns about immigrant farmworkers 

Vermont ag officials are discussing how to replace immigrant farmworkers, who are key to the success of the state's dairy industry, should they be targeted under the Trump administration's immigrant policy.

The state has about 1,000 Latino farm workers who are working or seeking work, and many are likely living in the country illegally. An estimated 177 of the state's 818 dairy farms use Latino workers, according to UVM extension, which estimates that about 660 immigrant workers are employed, working 60 to 70 hours a week.

Top agriculture officials met with UVM extension and other dairy industry representatives Thursday to discuss possible emergency workforce plans if those workers were deported.

The proposals include training inmates to do the work, employing temporary workers or refugees and attempting to use foreign workers through a seasonal visa program.


30 fall ill at science fair after suspected food poisoning 

Authorities say more than two dozen kids attending a science competition in north Florida fell ill and were taken to the hospital after eating a catered lunch.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page that 28 children and 2 adults were taken on Saturday to hospitals due to suspected food poisoning.

Authorities say people fell ill at Florida Gateway College in Lake City at a middle school Science Olympiad was being held.

The Florida Department of Health is investigating. Health officials told reporters that the affected people should recover quickly.