Drought was big concern
Throughout much of 2012 a shortfall in precipitation was a great concern to many people throughout the United States; Indiana and Rush County were no exceptions.
Rain finally arrived as summer was winding down but it was too late for production crops. Corn was especially hard-hit, but beans and wheat also suffered from a lack of precipitation.
Based on the Palmer Drought Index, severe to extreme drought affected about 45 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of November 2012, an increase of about 8 percent from the previous month.
About 1 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.
About 60 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the Palmer Drought Index) at the end of November.
On a broad scale, the 1980s and 1990s were characterized by unusual wetness with short periods of extensive droughts, the 1930s and 1950s were characterized by prolonged periods of extensive droughts with little wetness, and the first decade of the 2000s saw extensive drought and extensive wetness.
According to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), about 62.7 percent of the contiguous U.S. (about 52.4 percent of the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) was classified as experiencing moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought at the end of November.
It’s not clear to what extent the drought will impact food prices, but early indications make it clear some consumables, such as milk and meat, will see a price increase over the course of the new year.
Ison gets life for killing 5
In mid March we reported that a southeastern Indiana man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting five people during an apparent drug dispute was sentenced to life in prison without parole after telling a judge he deeply regretted the killings.
David Ison, of Glenwood, avoided a possible death sentence by unexpectedly pleading guilty to murdering an estranged couple, two of their adult children and a neighbor near Laurel.
Franklin Circuit Judge Steven Cox found during the hearing in Brookville that prosecutors had proved beyond a reasonable doubt the aggravating factors in the killings, which included the multiple deaths and that Ison was on probation at the time of the Sept. 25, 2011 killings, said prosecutor Melvin Wilhelm.
Ison, 46, also addressed the court, telling the judge he was high on drugs when he killed his victims, the prosecutor said.