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Crop circles appear in wheat field

SEATTLE — Mysterious crop circles have appeared in an eastern Washington wheat field – not far from the nation’s largest hydropower producer – but area farmers preparing for the summer’s harvest find the distraction more amusing than alarming.

“You can’t do anything other than laugh about it,” said Cindy Geib, who owns the field with her husband, Greg. “You just kind of roll with the theory it’s aliens and you’re special because aliens chose your spot.”

Friends called the Geibs on July 24 when the pattern of flattened wheat was spotted off Highway 174, about five miles north of the town of Wilbur. The field is about 10 miles south of the Grand Coulee Dam, which the Bureau of Reclamation says is the largest hydropower producer in the United States.

The circles resemble a four-leaf clover and remind Cindy Geib of Mickey Mouse ears. The design knocked down about an acre of their wheat. Some of it could be salvaged by combines when the harvest starts in a week or two, she said, but some will be lost.

“Of course, we don’t have alien insurance,” she said.

Crop circles have been a worldwide phenomenon for decades, and this is not the first one in Lincoln County. Similar circular patterns were left in crops in the Wilbur area in 2010 and in 2008 or 2009, Mrs. Geib said.

Lynne Brougher, public affairs officer for the Grand Coulee Dam, hadn’t heard about the latest crop circles but said the previous such incident was no cause for alarm.

OHIO

Survey: Cincinnati library ranked busiest

CINCINNATI — The Public Library Association says the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library’s downtown branch was the busiest central library in North America in 2011.

The ranking, announced Tuesday, came from a comparison of 1,300 public libraries that included the largest ones in the United States and Canada.

About 6 million, or 34 percent, of the total 17.6 million books and materials borrowed from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County last year were checked out from its main library downtown.

NORTH CAROLINA

Army sergeant gets 30 days in battery of soldier

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