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We are fascinated by the Kingfish, former Louisiana Sen. Huey P. Long who was assassinated 75 years ago Wednesday. Long was shot by a young doctor, Carl Weiss. But why? New Orleans writer Robert Travis Scott recounts the killing — killings, really, since Long’s bodyguards immediately killed Weiss. Was there a plot? Did Weiss really shoot Long? (A relative says no.) Above, Long is in his casket.
In 1985, the life insurance company that had a policy on Long released a report saying it was likely that Long was killed by his own bodyguards after Weiss struck the Senator. The insurance company claimed the death was accidental and could therefore pay double indemnity to the Kingfish’s widow. Over the years there have been theories about bullets and guns. Read on for all the details.
• Record numbers of students have enrolled at Iowa State University and University of Iowa.
• Is this a made-up story from USA Today? The newspaper reports that curfew sirens are making a comeback in small towns. Whitefish, Montana, has brought back its 10 p.m. siren. Same with Martin, South Dakota. We don’t know if this constitutes a trend, but we like town sirens — noon, fire or otherwise.
• The Obama administration has released a report on hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. Nutrient runoff, primarily from agriculture, has created “dead zones” in the Gulf where oxygen levels are too low to support life.
Chris Clayton at DTN summarizes the report. “Despite the use of improved production methods in recent years, agriculture is still a leading source for nutrient pollution in many watersheds due, in part, to the high demand for nitrogen-intensive crops, principally corn,” the report states. Increased production of ethanol will make the problem worse, especially in the Gulf.
• Former President Bill Clinton was campaigning for Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln yesterday. Lincoln is chair of the Senate Ag Committee, but is way behind her Republican challenger, Rep. John Boozman, at least in the polls.
“It would be a terrible mistake to squander something I have personally waited all my life to see, somebody who gets Arkansas its fair share and rural America its fair share,” Clinton said.