Loader inventor Keller dies

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A man credited with helping invent the skid-steer loader made famous by Bobcat Co. has died.

Louis Keller of Edgeley died July 11. He was 87. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Keller and his brother Cyril built the original skid-steer loader in their Rothsay, Minn., blacksmith shop.

The three-wheel, self-propelled loader was invented to ease manure-removal chores on area turkey farms. North Dakota-based Melroe Manufacturing Co., which later became Bobcat, bought the rights to the Keller loader in 1958.

Medford weighs pigs as pets

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- Deputy Police Chief Tim George told the Medford City Council that he and City Attorney John Huttl have been chewing the fat over whether a pig can be a pet.

Local laws prohibit livestock within city limits, but it's unclear whether that includes a Medford woman's 128-pound pot-bellied pig.

Places such as Las Vegas and St. Louis have enacted specific laws to deal with pot-bellied pigs.

But the Medford attorney told the council to avoid doing so for now.

Huttl recommended the city issue a citation against the woman for keeping livestock in her house and let a municipal judge decide the livestock-pet question. Council members followed his advice.

Trapping for wolf hunt OK'd

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Idaho wildlife officials will allow trapping and the use of electronic calls in this year's wolf hunt.

Members of Idaho's Fish and Game Commission said they hope the measures will help reduce the state's wolf population, The Spokesman-Review reported. The decision comes the same week that Montana more than doubled its quota for this year's wolf hunt.

Idaho's population is estimated at a minimum of 835 wolves, while Montana had at least 524 wolves at the end of last year.

The commission will set quotas for Idaho's fall wolf hunt in August.

Advocates for public wolf hunts hailed the states' decisions, although some said they would still like to see stronger action.

But opponents of hunting wolves said Idaho's changes are going too far.

Weather slows wheat harvest

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Damp weather across Kansas has slowed the progress of the winter wheat harvest.

In its weekly crop-weather report July 12, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service said the harvest was 92 percent complete -- roughly average for this time of year.

Northwestern Kansas continues to lag the rest of the state in the harvest.

Less than half the wheat has been cut in that region.

The agency rated the condition of the Kansas corn crop as 14 percent excellent, 60 percent good and 20 percent fair. About 6 percent was rated in poor to very poor condition.

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