Friday, October 01, 2004

Winter's Coming

Today's weather was crappy! The sun shone for about five minutes this afternoon. Late this afternoon it rained like it was coming out of a bucket. The low temperature tonight is going to be below freezing.

We had some excitement at the local newspaper this morning. Apparently someone mailed an envelope full of some kind of powder to the paper with a three or four page letter. The latest reports claim the brown granular substance is metaldehyde, a component of snail poison. The Iowa Department of Health said late Friday that metaldehyde is not dangerous "if handled properly". The substance can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested, which did not happen at the Register. It also could cause skin irritation if left on the skin for a long enough time. A hazardous materials crew, FBI agents, Iowa National Guard troops, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, a Secret Service agent and U.S. Postal Inspectors responded to the scene. The Secret Service was involved because President Bush will be in town on Monday to campaign and they checked to make sure there was no threat to the president.

In other news, Mount St. Helens erupted after 24 years of silence. It was a very mild eruption, there were no lava flows and ash only drifted a few miles down range. The ash plume reached 16,000 feet. Compared to the 1980 eruption this time was mostly steam. There might be more in the coming days but for now that all.

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