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El Nińo strengthening: The U. S. Climate Prediction Center said Sept. 10 the El Nińo weather anomaly should strengthen this fall and through the 2009-10 Northern Hemisphere winter.

El Nińo is an abnormal warming of waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Despite its current weak state, El Nińo has apparently affected the annual Atlantic hurricane season. Last month, NOAA cut its 2009 storm forecast to between seven and 11 storms, with three to six becoming hurricanes, pointing to El Nińo as a prime reason. Seeking nominations: The Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame, which was formed to recognize persons who have made outstanding contributions to the improvement of agriculture and the betterment of rural living in Manitoba, is now accepting nominations for persons for induction into the Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2010. Individuals, community groups and industry organizations are invited to submit nominations. The deadline for 2010 nominations is Oct. 31, 2009. For more information please contact: www.manitobaaghalloffame.com.Processing boost: The newly announced federal AgriProcessing Initiative (API) will deliver $50 million over five years in repayable contributions to processing facilities. The funds will support the purchasing and installing of equipment to enable the adoption of new manufacturing technologies and processes. It may also contribute towards costs related to the contracting of external expertise for equipment installation, and consultation regarding new (novel to facility) manufacturing technologies, processes and products. Grow op busted: The Morris RCMP Detachment executed a search warrant Sept. 10 for the production of marijuana at a rural property north of Sundown in the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn. Approximately 325 marijuana plants in various stages of growth and approximately 40 pounds of harvested marijuana were seized along with other property associated to the marijuana production. The total estimated value of the marijuana seized is approximately $375,000. The investigation is continuing. Farm rollover death: An 80-year-old Manitou-area farmer lost his life Sept. 12 in an all-terrain vehicle accident. Manitou RCMP were called to a farm collision early Saturday evening where they found the victim pinned under his overturned quad in a slough area on his farm property. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was alone out checking his crops earlier in the day and did not return at the usual time. Family later located him and notified RCMP. He was not wearing a helmet and alcohol was not a factor.

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