DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process for farmers to apply for government disaster help as crops in many states burn up in the widest drought in nearly 25 years.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says more than 1,000 counties nationwide will automatically qualify for disaster assistance if they're in a severe drought for at least eight weeks or were in extreme drought this growing season.
The department also is lowering the interest rate on emergency loans to 2.25 percent from 3.75 percent. As much as $39 million is available under the program.
In addition, the government will help farmers use part of the land set aside in a conservation program for hay or grazing since the drought is expected to reduce the amount of corn available for feed.
The Shamrock community is coming together to celebrate the return of injured volunteer firefighter James Moya.
Two teams of railroaders on the morning of June 28 left on trips that would end in twisted, burning wreckage near Panhandle - three people dead, one injured.
Lakes across the Panhandle are preparing for large crowds this Memorial weekend but one lake is offering a new event for visitors.
A new program called Revelation in Self Elevation, or RISE, is working to boost the chances for young men from the North Heights neighborhood to do well in areas such as school and work.
The Deaf Smith County Hospital District could refinance $23 million in debt to save almost $3 million in interest.