The McGold Card is real, and it could get you free McDonald’s for life

The stuff of pop culture rumors and fast food lovers’ dreams, the McGold Card does indeed exist, McDonald’s confirms.

“The mysterious McGold Card, which for years has been rumored to grant a select few free McDonald’s, for life, is in fact real and returning for one fan,” the company said in a press release.

The McGold Card doesn’t necessarily mean unlimited food however. According to the fine print, the winner can collect two free meals per week for 50 years.  McDonald’s is also going to award a custom-made mobile McGold Card phone case with the winner’s name engraved in gold.

So how did the McGold Card start? The company said this in a Facebook post:

Back in 1965, a McDonald’s Owner did the unthinkable! By awarding its most loyal customer with the McGold Card, giving the cardholder free McDonald’s for life. Too good to be true? It’s real all right and it will have you seeing gold!

Since then, there have been various rumors of celebrities and businesspeople getting free food for life.  Warren Buffett, Rob Lowe and Bill Gates are said to be among them, but  Business Insider reports that Gates is the only one who has a physical Gold Card.

This is the first time a McGold Card has been awarded in a contest.

To enter the sweepstake, customers need to use the app to make an order between the 10th and the 24th of August. Each time they use Mobile Order & Pay to order, they will gain another entry. It’s also possible to enter via email without buying anything. See the full rules here.

McDonald’s says they will do a random prize drawing “on or about” August 29, 2018.

Illinois’ butter cow not the only butter carving at a state fair

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) - The butter cow is a tradition, and almost the stuff of legend, at the Illinois State Fair. But it is not unique.

The 2018 Illinois State Fair butter cow has a bicentennial theme this year.

That's fitting, since the cow made from hundreds of pounds of real butter has been a staple at the fair in Springfield for decades. It's been so long that Marla Behrends with the Midwest Dairy Association says most folks can't remember a fair without one.

But Illinois isn't the only state fair with something carved out of butter.

"In Minnesota, they actually carve the head of the contestants of the Princess Kay of the Milky Way pageant," Behrends said, adding that Minnesota has 12 Princess Kay busts, each sculpted from 90 bounds of butter.

There are also butter sculptures across the Midwest and the plains, but participants can also butter designs in New York and Texas.

"Of course, our neighbors in Iowa have a cow as well. And then they also have various other things. One year it was an astronaut," Behrends said. "There have been some sculptures in North Dakota, South Dakota, down in Oklahoma, and in Texas."

Visitors can see Illinois' butter cow at the Dairy Building at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield through Aug. 19.

‘The place is going to burn,’ arson suspect allegedly texted before fire

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(CNN) — Josh Castro waited until the last minute to escape the massive inferno near his house in Southern California.

Despite mandatory evacuation orders, Castro had stayed behind to protect his Lake Elsinore home from looters, he said. His wife, children and dog had evacuated as the bright orange flames from the Holy Fire swept through the canyon, sending ash and billowing black smoke in his neighborhood.

Then the flames moved up the hill, closer to his backyard, and Castro decided it was time to leave. A sheriff’s deputy banged on his door and told him it will only get worse, and Castro left his home of eight years and joined the line of cars snaking out of Lake Elsinore.

“I don’t know anything about the neighborhood,” Castro said Thursday. “Hopefully I have a house in the morning.”

As night fell Thursday, the Holy Fire had destroyed about a dozen structures since it erupted Monday atthe Cleveland National Forest.

In a week, it has scorched 10,236 acres and was 5% contained. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties, where more than 21,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders.

And authorities said things will only get worse, with the area forecast to have temperatures in the 90s and gusty winds of up to 25 mph.

“These conditions will increase the likelihood of extreme fire behavior as well,” the US Forest Service said.

Man is accused of arson

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, the man who allegedly started the fire, was charged Thursday with aggravated arson and criminal threats, among other offenses.

Clark was arrested this week on suspicion of setting off the blaze after he allegedly sent a text to a volunteer fire chief two weeks ago saying, “The place is going to burn.”

Footage of the arrest shows the suspect standing in handcuffs without a shirt on as his neighbors’ homes burn nearby.

Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Milligan says he’s known the suspect for decades, and has long warned that he posed a danger to the community.

Milligan said he was so wary of the suspect that he avoided going to the area of the remote Orange County canyon where he lives.

Clark came to his home two weeks ago to return items he said he had “borrowed” from the fire department, Milligan said.

When he told Clark he wanted nothing to do with him, the suspect swore at him and called him a jerk, he said.

The next morning, Milligan said, he got a mysterious text from an unknown number: “911 call sheriff.” Milligan called back and though the reception was poor in the canyon, he recognized Clark’s voice, he said. Later came an expletive-laden text that ended with the ominous warning: “The place is going to burn just like you planned.”

Milligan said he did not know what he meant, adding that Clark sent emails to other people in which he talked about burning something.

Clark is being held at the Orange County Jail on $1 million bail and is expected to make a court appearance Friday. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Before he was arrested, Clark told a freelance cameraman he was asleep when the fire started and had no idea how it began.

‘This should be called the Holy Hell Fire’

Although it’s not the largest fire burning in the state, there are growing concerns about its effect on residential communities, including Lake Elsinore. Some small communities in Riverside County are under mandatory evacuation orders affecting about 7,500 residential structures, according to authorities.

Orange County supervisor, Todd Spitzer, said Clark “needs to suffer the fullest punishment of the law.”

“We know this district burns, but it should never burn because of an intentional act. This shouldn’t be called the Holy Jim fire, it should be called the Holy Hell fire,” he said.

Fire officials warned residents to heed evacuation orders.

“Even if you’re miles away, you want to be prepared if you’re near the fire area or in an environment that can burn,” said Thanh Nguyen with the SoCal Team One Fire Management Team, who suggested having a packed bag ready to go.

Over a dozen fires are burning in California

In addition to the Holy Fire, firefighters in California are battling 15 large fires.

The largest fire in state history is the Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of the Ranch and River fires in Northern California. That blaze has burned 305,152 acres and injured two firefighters, and was 52% contained by Thursday night.

The second biggest fire is the Carr Fire in Shasta County, also in Northern California. The deadly fire has been burning for more than two weeks and consumed 178,752 acres as of Thursday night. It is 49% contained, and has killed eight people, including three firefighters.

The third largest is the Ferguson Fire, near Yosemite National Park, incinerating more than 95,000 acres. The fire has lasted more than three weeks and killed two people.

Officer Involved Shooting In Galesburg

Shots fired (MGN)

Galesburg- One person is under arrest after an officer involved shooting.

Police say it happened around 3:45 p.m. Thursday August 9th on the 400 block of North Cedar Street as police were trying to do a traffic stop.

Investigators say the suspect tried to swerve, and hit an officer.

No one was injured in the shooting, but an officer was taken to the hospital.

Since then he has been released.

The suspect was taken into custody, and the shooting is still under investigation.


E-sports and virtual reality center officially opens Friday

DAVENPORT, Iowa--Andrew Houkal has been employed by Paradigm for less than a week, and he already feels his like he’s taking his gaming skills to a new level.

“It brings a whole different dynamic of playing video games with people and playing video games in general,” says Houkal.

E-sports and virtual reality center coming to Davenport

Paradigm, a virtual reality and E-sport experience help its first ribbon cutting in Downtown Davenport off 2nd and Iowa. The center allows players to compete online or roam virtual reality by themselves, but owner Steve Grubbs says it is so much more.

“We just secured our license to have sexual harassment training in virtual reality. So you can take people and put them in actual situations and they can respond,” says Grubbs, who expects to start offering those services in October.

The center will also offer virtual reality science torturing for students next month.

Paradigm will host its grand opening Friday, August 10 at 5 p.m.

The Score Preview – Central DeWitt Football

Central DeWitt hired a new football coach in the off season.  Ryan Streets is taking over the Sabers program. Streets was part of the Central DeWitt program back when they won back to back conference championships in 2007-08.  The Sabers hope the changes are the key to success.

Downtown business on path to recovery after Burlington fire

BURLINGTON, Iowa-- After a fire ravaged a historic Burlington building, neighboring businesses are trying to recover.

Doreen Roy, who owns the Gypsi on Jefferson, said she's dealing with water damage and a musty smell.

"It's a little disheveled," she said. "This is not normally what it looks like."

Inside the small boutique, racks of clothes are packed towards the front of the store. A half dozen green fans are whirring in the back.

We were actually locked out of the building for a few days," Roy explained. "They blocked it off so we were not able to get in here because of the danger of the building.”

Roy said she needs to replace the carpet, and she still has water in the basement from the fire hoses.

Outside, the Tama Building sits charred and falling apart.

"It’s a magnificent, majestic building. And it’s sad to see history destroyed," she said. "It's just hard to see things go backwards when you're moving forward."

The Tama Building was nearing the end of its renovation when it caught fire this past weekend.

The street is still blocked off around it, and Roy worries the loss of the Tama Building will have an enduring effect on the neighborhood.

"It's worrisome," she said. "Will we be able to sustain our business on this block?"
Roy said she hopes to be back open in about a week.

Wright Brothers exhibit takes flight at Rock Island museum

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - Rock Island now has a connection to Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flight at Kitty Hawk.

Orville Wright's personal account of that first flight is on display as part of a new exhibit at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum.

The exhibit also includes an original piece of cloth from the wing of the Wright Flyer and the report of the world's first powered flight.

"You know about the Wright brothers, but you never saw the significance of their achievement," says Thomas Cain, co-director of the Rock Island Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, "This display gives a more in depth learning about them."

The Wright brothers exhibit will be on display until fall, when it will be replaced by a new one on medical history.

The museum is located in the former Christian Science church on 22nd Avenue.

Quad City businesses are jumping on board with an environmentally friendly trend

DAVENPORT, Iowa  --  Baked Beer & Bread Co. has now jumped on board  the straw-less movement.

The Village of East Davenport restaurant  will no longer give out straws with drinks, unless a customer specifically asks for one.

General manager Cody Hootman decided to use his passion for the environment to incorporate it into the restaurant. He decided to change the policy a month ago and says it's making all the difference.

"We've easily saved thousands," Hootman says. "We probably have about 200 people that come here a day, more on the weekends, that's 1,2,3,4,5 drinks a person. It really adds up on how many straws we are reducing."

Baked has also stopped using foam take home boxes. They now use to-go boxes made from wheat.

Another restaurant who offers a sustainable alternative is The Coffee Revolution in Davenport. They now use paper straws with their drinks and offer bamboo straws for purchase.

Whitey's Ice Cream now has signs up in stores telling customers they can ask for no straw with their shake or malt.

In the U.S, 500 million plastic straws are used every day, according to Better Alternative Now, an analysis done by several pollution research groups.

Rauner blames Chicago mayor for ‘failure’ on violence

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has “failed horribly” on public safety after gunfire in the city last weekend injured more than 70 people and killed at least 11.

The Republican said Thursday that Chicago police have not received sufficient personnel, equipment or staffing assistance to be effective.

Rauner says he’s “disappointed” in Democrat Emanuel. Rauner says public safety is an officeholder’s first duty and that Chicago’s leaders “have fundamentally failed, failed horribly.”

A spokesman for Emanuel did not immediately respond. Chicago police added 400 officers to affected neighborhoods with plans for 200 this weekend.

Rauner made his comments after saying for a second day he would not dispatch the National Guard Chicago. He says Illinois State Police help patrol some neighborhoods and have jurisdiction on Chicago-area expressways.


Man donates kidney to wife of 30 years

SEATTLE – Lesley and Steve Kennedy are an active Seattle couple who share lots of laughs, two sons and a hunger for adventure.  However, for the last two years Lesley has been waiting for a kidney transplant.  That's where the love part of their story comes in.

"We're a team," said the couple, together at their home in mid-July.  "We can truly say we are a team.  We were a team before, but now we're really a team."

"I've been sleeping next to this kidney for thirty years," said Lesley.  "It knows me.  So I'm hoping it stays with me for a good long time."The Kennedys will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this October, and this year's will be especially important.

They both love to travel, but in the last few years the couple has been grounded.  Lesley has Polycystic Kidney Disease , a genetic condition that causes her kidney's to fail over time.  Earlier this year, she went on dialysis and needed a kidney transplant to survive.

"It's not easy asking someone for a kidney," Lesley told KCPQ.  "It's not something you just walk up to anybody on the street and say hey, would you be willing to give me a kidney?"

Lesley's colleague along with her sister, Lisa Meriwether both offered to donate their kidneys.

"Why?" said Meriwether.  "Because she's my sister and I'd do anything for her."

Unfortunately, neither woman was a match.  That's when Steve stepped up to the plate.

"It's probably the best thing I've ever done in my life, " said Steve Kennedy.

Lisa recalls seeing Steve visit Lesley after the surgery for the first time in the hospital.  "It was one of the most touching things I've seen," said Meriwether.  "It was pretty amazing."

It's been several weeks since the surgery and the couple are now back home.  Lesley is recovering and will be on medication for the rest of her life , but they're looking forward to planning their next big adventure.

"On my list is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro," said Steve.  "I've asked my son if he wants to and he's up to it."

The Kennedys say waiting for a deceased donor can take five to seven years, which is time Lesley may not have had.  Lucky for her, Steve wasn't just her match in life, he was the match that saved it.

"I've been sleeping next to this kidney for thirty years," said Lesley.  "It knows me.  So I'm hoping it stays with me for a good long time."

Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD affects about 200,000 people in the United States each year.  Steve and Lesley hope that by sharing their story, people learn more about the condition and consider becoming an organ donor.

Click here if you'd like to learn more about becoming a living donor.

Father and son caught on video shooting mother bear, ‘shrieking’ cubs: police

ESTHER ISLAND, Alaska – On Esther Island in Alaska, a motion-detecting camera was set up in a bear den as part of a joint three-year study between the US Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

What that camera captured has now led to felony and misdemeanor charges against a Palmer father and son, who authorities say shot dead a sow black bear and her two just-born cubs, then tried to cover it up once they saw the mother bear was collared, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Per court documents, Andrew Renner, 41, and Owen Renner, 18, were charged after video clips showed them skiing past the bear den on April 14, when the sow caught their eye. Per an Alaska State Troopers dispatch, Owen Renner then shot at the mother bear twice, and when the baby bears started “shrieking,” Andrew Renner shot and killed them.

Additional clips are allegedly said to show the Renners skinning and butchering the sow for meat, discussing getting the collar off her, and Owen Renner declaring, “They’ll never be able to link it to us.”

The men are also reportedly seen coming back to the site two days later to pick up empty shells and retrieve the cubs’ bodies.

Troopers say later that month, Andrew Renner brought the bear skin and collar to ADF&G in Palmer and said he, not his son, had shot the sow, and that once he saw she had teats, he looked for but didn’t see any cubs. It’s illegal in Alaska, except at certain sites, to take cubs or sows with cubs.

Andrew Renner now faces felony charges of tampering with evidence, as well as unsworn falsification and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (Owen Renner was only 17 in April). The men also face misdemeanor charges, including unlawful take of a sow with cubs and the cubs themselves.

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Moderate drought hurts bottom line for Illinois and Iowa farmers

MONMOUTH, Illinois -  Farmers are now battling low prices, tariffs and drought. That's after the southern portion of the WQAD viewing area was designated in moderate drought.

Abnormally dry conditions also reach directly into the Quad Cities.

"Your beans are mostly made in August," said Research Specialist Marty Johnson, at the University of Illinois Research Center, on Thursday, August 9.

But high above Monmouth, the view shows areas of moderate drought spreading into the area.  During this crucial month, crops are feeling the stress.

The latest crop report lists about one-quarter of Illinois and Iowa corn and soybeans at fair to poor.

"That's hard," said Johnson, digging into the ground with a soil probe. "The front foot is just powder."

Powder dry is not a good sign this time of year.

"It tells me that there's no moisture," he continued.

There's a similar story in nearby Mercer County.  The last full-fledged drought took place in 2012.

Chad Bell is already bracing for economic impact at his farm.

"We could go through an extended period with lower crop prices, which means less money in our pockets as farmers," he said.

Back at the test farm in Monmouth, a second soil sample reveals similar results.

"It's hard and dry," Johnson said.

Dry because this farm is short about eight inches of rain in 2018.

"If you have a low price and low yields, that's a recipe for disaster," Johnson said.

Weather is now part of the pressures on farmers, who already feel like they've got two strikes against them.

"Overall, that's just a bad deal for farmers," Bell concluded.



Trump 2020 to sell ‘Space Force’ merch

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(CNN) — President Donald Trump’s re-election team seized on his administration’s push for a “Space Force” on Thursday, pledging to sell branded merchandise to his supporters.

“President Trump wants a SPACE FORCE — a groundbreaking endeavor for the future of America and the final frontier,” read an email from the Trump campaign. “As a way to celebrate President Trump’s huge announcement, our campaign will be selling a new line of gear.”

The letter from campaign manager Brad Parscale then invited supporters to vote on the campaign’s logo for the proposed military branch. The campaign email followed efforts from the Trump administration on the same day to drum up support for the proposal and outline how the Pentagon would take its first steps.

Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech where he called for the creation of a new military service for space by 2020, building on Trump’s previous calls for one, and Trump issued a tweet on Thursday where he said, “Space Force all the way!”

The Department of Defense provided a report to Congress calling for the creation of US Space Command, and officials told CNN that the command would likely include existing military resources and personnel, like the US Air Force’s Space Command.

Establishing a new military service geared at space would be a massive undertaking and require action from Congress both to establish the service and provide funding.

After Friday’s small rain chance, we’ll have a beautiful weekend

After our hot and humid Thursday afternoon, we are tracking the chance for a few storms early this evening. The best chance for any rain is going to be north of I-80. Once we get past the sunset, these storms will quickly dissipate. We’ll end up seeing a mostly clear sky with lows in the upper 60s.

Thankfully, our Friday is looking more comfortable! Highs will only top out in the mid 80s with a partly cloudy sky. An isolated shower or storm will be possible, but the rain will be hard to come by in our area.

The weekend is going to be a picture perfect! We can expect beautiful sunshine on both Saturday and Sunday with highs in the mid to upper 80.

-Meteorologist Taylor Graham

Video captures teen girl being pushed off 60-foot bridge

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YACOLT, Wash. – A cell phone video showing a teen being pushed off a high bridge above the Lewis River is making a stir, as the teen recovers from injuries in a Vancouver hospital.

The Yacolt Fire Department confirmed that medics responded to Moulton Falls Regional Park Tuesday afternoon on reports that a teen girl was hurt after going over the popular pedestrian bridge.

First responders told FOX 12 the girl was out of the water when they arrived and she was alert and conscious when she was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The teen’s step-grandfather, Alex Jessen, told FOX 12 that she broke five ribs in the fall. Jessen also wrote on Facebook that the push could’ve killed her. He and several other community members online expressed a desire that the person responsible for the push be held accountable.

The video shows a girl standing on a ledge over the railing while surrounded by a group of people. One person is heard yelling a countdown, and when the teen doesn’t jump, another person is seen pushing her off the bridge – her arms flail out as she appears to fall toward the water torso-first.

Tanner Peterson was jumping off the same bridge Wednesday evening. He said he saw the video of the teen falling off the bridge on YouTube, and decided to visit the park for the first time, just to jump.

“She face-planted that, her pusher just threw her whole upper body off and that would be the scariest five seconds of her life,” Peterson said. “If that was someone I knew, I’d be really upset with the person who pushed them.”

Despite signs warning people not to dive or jump of the bridge, several others jumped off Wednesday evening.

Peterson said he wasn’t worried about the water or his jumping technique, but believes a push off the bridge should be a crime.

“You hit wrong and it’s like hitting concrete,” Peterson said. “You could die, easy. If your head hits and your neck breaks, you’re going to die.”

Firefighters said the jump is dangerous, not recommended, and the injuries at the bridge are stacking up. Officials said medics have responded to four cases this summer alone – a new record.

They rescued a man who lost consciousness after making the jump a couple of weeks ago.

“Someone pulled him out of the water, and just right under the bridge, and put him on a rock that’s pretty even,” Edgar Ruesga said. “He was out, he was unconscious.”

As for the teenage girl, officials at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center said she is in stable condition.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office told FOX 12 that the case is being investigated and several witnesses have been contacted.

Crocs shoe maker is closing its remaining manufacturing facilities

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NIWOT, Colo. – The Crocs shoe manufacturer has announced that its closing its manufacturing facilities.

The company said in a press release this week that it closed its manufacturing facility in Mexico and is moving ahead with plans to close its last manufacturing facility in Italy.

The company did not say how it will continue making the products.

Crocs also announced that the company’s chief financial officer, Carrie Teffner, plans to resign.

While there a few stores still operating, the company said it grew earnings and revenue in the second quarter.

“I’m very pleased with our most recent quarter,” said Andrew Rees, President and Chief Executive Officer, in a press release.

“Revenues and gross margin exceeded our guidance, and our diluted earnings per share were 75% above last year’s second quarter based on the strength of our product and the growing demand for our brand. Our clogs and sandals continue to perform well, and we are well positioned for the back half of the year.”

Buffalo Wild Wings wants to place a bet on sports gambling

(CNN Money) — Wings and wagers? Buffalo Wild Wings thinks they’re a natural fit.

The sports bar chain, which has about 1,200 restaurants in all 50 states, said it is exploring the possibility of offering sports wagering now that the Supreme Court has opened the door for states to legalize sports betting.

“As the largest sports bar in America, we believe Buffalo Wild Wings is uniquely positioned to leverage sports gaming to enhance the restaurant experience for our guests,” a company spokesperson said Thursday. “We are actively exploring opportunities, including potential partners, as we evaluate the next steps for our brand.”

Three states — New Jersey, Delaware and Louisiana — have legalized sports gambling since the Supreme Court decision in May. Before the ruling, Nevada was the only state where it was legal to bet on sports.

Many other states are considering legislation that will allow for sports betting in the hopes of cashing in on what could be a multibillion dollar industry.

“We’re still waiting for state legislatures and regulators to hash out licensing rules, so it’s unclear how they’ll [Buffalo Wild Wings] have opportunity to participate,” said John Decree, head of North America equity for Union Gaming, a boutique investment bank that focuses on the gaming industry.

Currently there are 43 states with some type of legal casino. But even states without casinos could move to allow sports gambling.

Decree said that he thinks it’s likely that Buffalo Wild Wings will partner with an established casino or other sports betting entity, rather than try to get licenses on its own as states move to allow sports wagering.

“It’ll be hard for them to try to get licensed in every state that allows it. There’s a lot of legal costs and time involved,” he said.

Much of the coming boom in sports gaming is expected to take place online, especially on mobile apps, meaning that many customers watching games at a Buffalo Wild Wings will be able to place bets at a variety of sports books in their states.

Decree said it’s likely that some states that allow online wagering will require people to put money on their account in person and using cash, rather than using a credit card.

In that case, Buffalo Wild Wings could reach an agreement with some sports books that would allow people to put money on their account in one of their restaurants.

“That alone can generate a lot of foot traffic,” he said.

Buffalo Wild Wings was purchased for $2.9 billion earlier this year by privately-held Arby’s.

Northeast Iowa streams impacted by major diesel spill

PEOSTA, Iowa (AP) — State officials say about 60,000 gallons  of diesel leaked from a storage tank in eastern Iowa.

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports that the Iowa Natural Resources Department is leading cleanup efforts at the BP facility near Peosta. The tank has been emptied since the leak was discovered Monday morning.

Tom McCarthy with the department says about 13,000 gallons have been recovered, but 47,000 gallons have not yet not been cleaned up.

State officials say the fuel likely contaminated soil, and a small amount ran into a tributary of the south fork of Catfish Creek.

McCarthy says he expects remediation will be a lengthy process but couldn’t predict how long it will take.