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More severe weather hits the Midwest as Iowans recover from devastating twister



Several tornadoes were reported in Iowa and Illinois as storms downed power lines and trees on Friday, just after a deadly twister devastated one small town.

The large storm system began overnight in Nebraska before traveling across central Iowa and into Illinois. Strong, straight-line wind gusts of up to 80 mph — equivalent to a weak tornado — were recorded across Iowa, said Chad Hahn, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines. The storm also brought rain that was heavy in some areas of Iowa, where totals have reached as much as 8 inches over the last week.

At least five tornadoes were reported south of Iowa City and near Moline, Illinois, early Friday, according to meteorologist John Haase with the National Weather Service’s Quad Cities office in Davenport, Iowa. No injuries had been reported.


“Emergency managers say they have some structures damaged, homes damaged, but we’re going out out take a look,” Hasse said.


In Oklahoma, a tornado was on the ground for about an hour Thursday evening in Jackson County and neighboring counties as a slow-moving storm moved through, according to Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Norman, Oklahoma, office. News outlets reported downed power lines and outages and damage to some structures in the area.

Severe weather was expected throughout the long Memorial Day weekend. The National Weather Service expects storm systems in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa starting on Saturday evening and into Sunday.

Tom Wiggins sorts through debris at his grandparents’ tornado-damaged home, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The latest severe weather comes as residents of Greenfield, Iowa, a community of about 2,000 people, have been cleaning up after a strong tornado on Tuesday. Friday’s storm system inflicted heavy rains, dime-sized hail and wind gusts of 75 mph on a community still reeling after four people were killed and 35 others injured when a tornado destroyed more than 100 homes and hit a nearby wind farm.

Among those killed were Dean and Pam Wiggins, said their grandson Tom Wiggins.


On Thursday, he tried to find any of his grandparents’ mementos that remained after the tornado demolished their home, leaving little more than its foundation. He described them as “incredibly loved by not only our family but the entire town.”

Not far away, Bill Yount was cleaning up.

“It’s like somebody took a bomb,” said Yount, gesturing to the land — covered with wood, debris, trees stripped of their leaves, heavy machinery and equipment to clean up the mess.

He waited out the storm in a closet.

“The roof raised up and slammed back down and then the windows all blew out,” he said Thursday. The tornado ripped the garage off his house and damaged interior walls. “Forty seconds changed my life immensely,” he said.


After surveying Tuesday’s destruction, the National Weather Service determined that three separate powerful tornadoes carved paths totaling 130 miles (209 kilometers) across Iowa, according to Donna Dubberke, the meteorologist in charge in Des Moines.

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Pennsylvania, Minnesota Blue, California Blue, Illinois top men’s Greco-Roman pools at AFSW Junior National Duals



Pennsylvania, Minnesota Blue, California Blue, Illinois top men’s Greco-Roman pools at AFSW Junior National Duals

Air Force Special Warfare Junior National Duals | June 19-22, Tulsa, Okla.


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Men’s Greco-Roman Gold/Silver Bracket

Pool A




Oklahoma Blue



Pool B

Minnesota Blue


California Blue




Men’s Greco-Roman Results

Pool A

1st Place – Pennsylvania


2nd Place – Idaho

3rd Place – Texas Blue

4th Place – Nebraska

5th Place – Oklahoma Red

6th Place – California Red


7th Place – Louisiana Blue

8th Place – Arkansas Blue


1st Place Match – Pennsylvania defeated Idaho, 38-28

3rd Place Match – Texas Blue defeated Nebraska, 37-32


5th Place Match – Oklahoma Red defeated California Red, 36-32

7th Place Match – Louisiana Blue defeated Arkansas Blue, 34-29


Pool B

1st Place – Minnesota Blue


2nd Place – Iowa

3rd Place – Ohio Red

4th Place – Indiana

5th Place – Oregon

6th Place – North Dakota


7th Place – Alabama

8th Place – Georgia


1st Place Match – Minnesota Blue defeated Iowa, 39-25

3rd Place Match – Ohio Red defeated Indiana, 51-14


5th Place Match – Oregon defeated North Dakota, 46-24

7th Place Match – Alabama defeated Georgia, 56-12


Pool C

1st Place – California Blue


2nd Place – Oklahoma Blue

3rd Place – Michigan

4th Place – Kansas Blue

5th Place – Wisconsin

6th Place – Florida


7th Place – Louisiana Red

8th Place – Texas Red


1st Place Match – California Blue defeated Oklahoma Blue, 47-18

2nd Place Match – Oklahoma Blue defeated Michigan, 44-25


3rd Place Match – Michigan defeated Kansas Blue, 43-21

5th Place Match – Wisconsin defeated Florida, 49-20

7th Place Match – Louisiana Red defeated Texas Red, 38-25


Pool D

1st Place – Illinois

2nd Place – Colorado

3rd Place – Washington

4th Place – Minnesota Red

5th Place – Utah


6th Place – Virginia Blue

7th Place – Ohio Blue

8th Place – Tennessee


1st Place Match – Illinois defeated Colorado, 46-18


2nd Place Match – Colorado defeated Washington, 38-29

3rd Place Match – Washington defeated Minnesota Red, 41-24

5th Place Match – Utah defeated Virginia Blue, 36-32

7th Place Match – Ohio Blue defeated Tennessee, 43-21

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Ports CEO: Containers represent a new frontier for cargo – Inside INdiana Business



Ports CEO: Containers represent a new frontier for cargo – Inside INdiana Business

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The Indiana Container Shipping Conference included a tour of the Indiana Rail Road intermodal terminal in Indianapolis. (photo courtesy of the Indiana Soybean Alliance)

The CEO of the Ports of Indiana says the recently launched Indiana Container Initiative aims to fill what he calls a critical gap in the state’s logistics sector.

The initiative seeks to explore the development of multiple international container terminals throughout the state, including at Indiana’s three ports and at various inland locations.

The Ports of Indiana, along with the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, hosted the inaugural Indiana Container Shipping Conference this week, which was attended by Gov. Eric Holcomb and leaders from Indiana’s business, agriculture and transportation sectors.


Jody Peacock told Inside INdiana Business that when it comes to containers, Indiana has missed the boat both literally and figuratively.

“We have a great [container] hub in downtown Indianapolis with the Indiana Rail Road,” Peacock said. “But for the most part, the larger container hubs in the Midwest require Indiana businesses to go out of state; so they have to drive to Chicago or Columbus or other points in the Midwest. That adds shipping costs to anybody who’s shipping and receiving goods via containers.”

Peacock said from a port perspective, containers mean growth. The state’s ports at Burns Harbor along Lake Michigan and at Mount Vernon and Jeffersonville along the Ohio River are not handling containers, which he called “a shame.”

Establishing international container terminals is not an easy task, he said. It requires significant investment and regulatory approvals to make it happen.

“That’s part of why we’re launching the Indiana Container Initiative is that we really have to have our ducks in a row,” he said. “To be able to do this, we need everybody on the same page. We need to understand the market challenges, the investment requirements that are going into this, the federal regulations that are going to be involved for us to get approval to move forward.”


Those efforts were also the catalyst for the Indiana Container Shipping Conference. Officials wanted to gather leaders together to discuss ways to develop new container ports, which could help grow agriculture exports and expand global trade.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock, and Indiana Soybean Alliance CEO Courtney Kingery speaking at the Indiana Container Shipping Conference. (photo courtesy of the Indiana Soybean Alliance)

Courtney Kingery, CEO of the Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Corn Growers Association, told IIB that having container infrastructure in place would bring big benefits to Indiana’s agriculture sector.

“The value of corn and soybean exports out of Indiana is about $4 billion, but shipping containerized exports out of Indiana is really just in its infancy,” Kingery said, noting that there are currently only about 7,000 containers going out of the state with agricultural products.

“What we’ve seen is that it could grow to closer to 20,000 containers going out of the state in addition to what we already have. So there’s a tremendous opportunity for growth of those containers shipments of agricultural products out of the state.”

Kingery said adding container infrastructure could bring additional opportunities for farmers to bring in more revenue for their products. Peacock said farmers would also have the chance to reach customers in countries that they previously couldn’t reach.

“If they can have access to a container facility close to the farm, they can fill a container with Indiana soybeans that have premium properties that are attractive to world markets,” he said. “And they can sell that container of soybeans to a country that just can’t take a full ship load, but they can take 20 containers or 50 containers. And that can be a big deal for for an Indiana farm community.”


Peacock said it also means the state’s global trade efforts can grow, supply chain costs can be reduced, and more businesses could possibly locate in Indiana.

Kingery said for the effort to be successful, it will require massive collaboration across the entire supply chain in Indiana.

“The railroads, the loaders, the farmers, the freight forwarders, everyone across that supply chain to get the agricultural products from the field, onto a container, onto some sort of transportation…all of those pieces have to come together,” she said.

The potential investment in container terminals would depend on the size that is needed at each location, Peacock said, noting that an estimate is not yet known. He said developing the sites would be a long process.

“What we’re seeing now is the idea that we’re prepared and we’re committed to do this,” he said. “If we’re trying to spell out what are the next steps right away, it starts with regulatory approval. So we need to really commit to getting regulatory approval to do this if we’re going to do an international container terminal.”


He said officials also need to start identifying potential customers and partners to make the effort happen, which started with the conference. Additionally, they need to develop a funding strategy.

“The nice thing about our ports is the infrastructure is in place. We have the rail connections. We have the waterway connections, but we’re going to need to build out the equipment, the operators, the individual container facilities that are needed to handle the boxes as they move through our facilities.”

Peacock noted that the big thing he observed at the conference was the support that exists across industry sectors and the government for the effort to bring container terminals to Indiana.

“I commend Indiana’s statewide agricultural sector and port leaders for convening this important discussion about growing Indiana’s global trade by expanding our international container shipping opportunities,” Gov. Holcomb said in written remarks. “Leveraging all our port, rail and transportation resources to expand our container shipping connections will strengthen our economy and create even more opportunities for Hoosier farmers, businesses and families.” 

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Poison hemlock



Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Poison hemlock

Radio Iowa reported on June 14 that Hancock County Weed Commissioner Jason Lackore “is sounding the alarm” after finding poison hemlock in two public areas upstream from sites where cattle producers let their animals graze.

“If it was any other plant, I wouldn’t be making such a fuss, but this plant — all parts are extremely poisonous to humans, domestic animals,” Lackore said. “And you hear a lot about livestock, cattle, ingesting small amounts. It’s fatal.”

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) is best known as an ancient method of execution, used to kill the Greek philosopher Socrates. This European native has unfortunately spread across the U.S. and is prevalent in Iowa. I see it almost every day while walking my dog. I took all of the photos enclosed below less than a mile from my home in Windsor Heights.


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