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Valley News Nuggets.The Heat / High Speed Rail Station/ Birds Cost $1.5 Mil Delay

Extreme heat gradually subsided in the West says the latest USDA crop report Aug 29 noting the Midwest finally got some drought busting rain too late for most summer crops. But closer to home  Lancaster, CA, recorded 23 consecutive days (July 29 – August 20) of triple-digit heat, eclipsing the mark originally set from July 11-31, 2009. Lancaster also set a record with 20 days of 100-degree heat in August (previously, 19 days in 2001). Elsewhere in California, Fresno narrowly missed breaking a record for consecutive triple-digit days. Fresno’s streak of 100-degree readings lasted 19 days, from August 6-24, tied for third all time.

Tulare County still hopes to convince the California High Speed Rail Authority to run the bullet train to the east of Hanford aligning with Hwy 198 near 7th Ave instead of to the west of Hanford around Ave 13 – a six mile difference.That would make any roundtrip from Hwy 99 some 12 miles further,not good for ticket sales from the most populated part of the region – east of 99.One calculation is that Kings County is likely to sue CHSRA whichever choice they make although the Authority has not fully committed to a station in Kings County.

Nesting Swainson’s hawks with chicks on the construction route of Hwy 198 Expressway between Hanford and Visalia delayed construction of the big project for a number of weeks costing an extra $1.5 million says a Cal Trans communication to the Kings County Association Of Governments.The delay triggered a clause to pay the contractor in the event of such a delay.The paving where the nest was has now resumed as the baby birds developed, and all construction work is expected to be complete in November.KCOG director Terri King says federal and state funds paid for the delay.

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