A sidebar: Sterling girls little league softball team won and will play again today. Many of them also attended Challand Middle School and, in a sense, are trying to bring some good news to the area as it tries to deal with the tragedy. Also, in an interview with Jim Spencer on AM 1240 WSDR, live from Indy after the game, the coach noted there was a moment of silence before Monday's game to remember the girls. That noted, the team knew the names long before it was "officially" released. A sad note for sure. God bless all.
7.27.11 UPDATE: Monsanto bought De Kalb (flying ear of corn, my birthplace) Genetics in 1988. They will be celebrating 100 years of the flying ear. When I detasseled for them it was De Kalb Ag Research. Monsanto is based in St. Louis and inquiries are being directed there. However, the De Kalb firm is following the sad case very closely.
1. Note: ponds in fields all over due to heavy rains over the weekend; was there a lightning strike?; reports have that it may have been struck by lightning on Sunday (KWQC) and, perhaps, no detasseling should
have taken place Monday. It was noted by me that being behind schedule may have forced the issue of getting in the field. Monsanto has confirmed that lighting DID strike the irrigator.
From KWQC: In an e-mail, Monsanto spokesperson Tom Helscher writes "lightning damage to the power supply for the irrigator has been observed. However, to our knowledge exactly how or if that may have contributed to the accident has not been determined and
investigation of the matter is still underway."
Services for Hannah Kendall, 14, of
Sterling: Friday, (July 29) at 10 a.m. St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sterling. Visitation from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at McDonald Funeral Home, Sterling...for Jade Garza, 14, of Sterling: Friday, 1:30 p.m. at the McDonald Funeral Home, Rock Falls. Visitation, 5-8 p.m., Thursday, same
7.26.11 - According to Department of Labor Youth
Employment laws for farm jobs, 12-and-13-year-olds can work farm jobs
of this nature with parental consent, 14- and 15-year-olds can work
non-hazardous farm jobs outside school hours, and 16-year-olds can work any
farm job. Update: earliest in Illinois is 12, but Iowa is 14...
UPDATE: OSHA has two doing the investigation. Question to ask: Too much water, as electrical unit nearby? Lightning strike?
Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant: "I am saddened by this terrible accident
and loss. We place the highest priority on the safety of our contractors and employees; our greatest concern at this time is the well being of the family and friends of those involved in today’s devastating accident. Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of these individuals. We express our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and those affected by the incident, and we ask that everyone respect their needs at this time."
7.25.11 - UPDATE: Sad to report, but names released tonight: 2 pronounced dead at CGH were fromSterling. They are Jade Garza and Hannah Kendall, both 14. Another victim is at CGH, while still another is at St. Anthony's, Rockford.
* * *
It's summer in the Midwest and it is common site. That site is detasseling and a great way for school kids to make good money while on break. With that comes a way to get a tan, work with friends, but, at times, reality hits and the danger of doing this work strikes.
As it did near here in Tampico, a small village in Whiteside County. On Monday (July 25), 2 were electrocuted and died after getting shocked when they made contact with a farm irrigator. It had rained over the weekend pretty hard in Whiteside County, and thus, standing water filled many area fields when they came to work today (July 25). OSHA is investigating.
* In a related note, a detasseler went missing during one of the heat-filled days and has not been seen since. He was last seen during a water break.