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Drought conditions in South Dakota stable over past week

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Drought conditions in South Dakota have remained relatively stable over the past week.

The Aug. 3 U.S. Drought Monitor map shows 82 percent of the state in some stage of drought, up slightly from 80 percent the previous week.

Pockets of extreme drought make up about 13 percent of the state, down from 15 percent. The worst areas are in central and western South Dakota.

There are still no areas of exceptional drought in the state, as there are in neighboring North Dakota.

Farmers and ranchers in several counties are eligible for aid due to disaster declarations in the Dakotas by the federal government.

Drought conditions in North Dakota stable over past week

BISMARCK , N.D. (AP) — Drought conditions in North Dakota haven’t changed much over the past week.

The Aug. 3 U.S. Drought Monitor map shows 82 percent of the state in some stage of drought, up slightly from 79 percent the previous week.

Most of central and western North Dakota remains in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories.

The federal government has declared numerous North Dakota counties to be disaster areas, and Gov. Doug Burgum last week also declared a drought disaster. That has opened to door to various forms of aid, such as emergency loans and haying and grazing of conservation land.

North Dakota Farmers Union on Aug. 3 called for federal disaster payments for drought-impacted farmers and ranchers.

NC company recalls ground beef for possible contamination

WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina company is recalling nearly 5,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with plastic foam.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a news release on Aug. 1 that JBS USA Inc. of Lenoir reports the ground beef was produced on July 15.

JBS USA said the 2-pound, black trays wrapped in plastic were labeled “Certified Angus beef ground chuck 80% lean 20% fat” with a production date 7/15/17 and case code 541640.

The department said the products bear the number “EST. 34176” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The problem was discovered July 29, when the company was alerted to shredded pieces of plastic foam in the meat. So far, no adverse reactions or injuries have been reported.

Texas calf looks like rocker Gene Simmons

KERRVILLE, Texas (AP) — A newborn calf in Texas has strikingly similar black-and-white facial markings to KISS frontman Gene Simmons, and the rock star likes their shared look.

Simmons’ onstage persona includes face paint, black leather clothing and wild hair. He tweeted his admiration for the calf named Genie, saying, “This is real, folks!!!”

The female calf was born on July 28 at a ranch near Kerrville, 60 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Heather Taccetta, who lives at the ranch with her family, said on Aug. 1 that the calf belongs to her grandmother. The animal is named for Simmons.

Taccetta found the calf in a pasture. She says the 75-pound farm animal and its mother are fine.

Taccetta also says Genie is a family favorite and won’t be sold for slaughter.

German supermarket chain yanks eggs amid pesticide scare

BERLIN (AP) — A major supermarket chain is removing all eggs from sale in its German stores amid a scare over possible pesticide contamination.

Aldi said Friday the move is a “purely precautionary measure” and there’s believed to be no health risk. It said that, effective immediately, it will only accept eggs tested negative for the pesticide Fipronil.

The scare, which originated in the Netherlands and Belgium, has drawn growing attention in neighboring Germany. Germany’s agriculture minister and the European Commission both have said the situation is under control.

Dozens of farms were being checked in the Netherlands, and Belgium’s food safety agency was probing how Fipronil might have entered eggs destined for supermarkets. Fipronil is banned in products for treating animals like chickens that are part of the human food chain.

2,400 piglets die in farm fire outside German capital

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities say 2,600 pigs and piglets died in a fire at a farm southwest of Berlin that caused an estimated 800,000 euros ($950,000) in damage.

The fire broke out on Aug. 7 evening in an enclosure that housed 6,700 pigs in the area of Frankenfoerde.

Some of the animals were rescued, but police told Germany’s dpa news agency on Aug. 8 that 200 adult pigs and 2,400 piglets were killed in the blaze.

It took firefighters hours to bring the fire under control. The cause is not yet known, but police say there is evidence of arson.

Woman saves piglet from traffic, raises cash for its surgery

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman who rescued a piglet that was darting in and out of rush-hour traffic is getting help from local businesses to fund a surgery it needs to survive.

Francesca McAndrews tells LNP she was driving to work when she saw the tiny swine dodging cars in Lancaster last month. She slammed on her brakes and caught the little pig. She says she’s had some practice catching pigs at fair.

She thinks the piglet fell off a livestock truck. Veterinarians say the animal needs surgery on a hernia it likely developed in the fall from the truck.

If the hernia gets much bigger, it could rupture.

Two local businesses are holding fundraisers to help pay for the pig’s medical bills, including an event called “Swine and Wine.”

Brown County 4-H Royalty Crowning – Aug. 17

Brown County 4-H has 5 candidates for 4-H Queen and one candidate for 4-H King this year. Brianna Goldade, Mckenzie Hassebroek, Peyton Lynn Johnson, Megan Malsam, Hannah Sumption, and Dylan Frey are the Royalty candidates for the 2017 Brown County Fair. The crowning of the royalty will be on Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Ken’s tent. Candidates will need to report to the Ken’s tent at 5:45 p.m.

— Staff reports