Tap water is safe to drink, but don’t get it up your nose: A potentially deadly amoeba has been detected in a Louisiana water system, and while officials say tap water is safe to drink, they are urging people to avoid getting it in their noses. The Louisiana Department of Health notified the Schriever Water System and town officials Thursday after confirming the amoeba’s presence. The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, causes a brain infection that leads to the destruction of tissue. READ MORE

Farm Bureau cheers WOTUS reversal: To cheers from farmers and ranchers, EPA announced last week it is rescinding the Waters of the U.S. rule (“WOTUS”) and recodifying the regulations that existed before 2015. The agency also said it would look carefully at the definition of “waters of the United States” and propose a new rule. This reversal under new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was hailed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and may be one of the most popular actions taken in the first 180 days of the Trump Administration. The rule’s reversal is of great importance to farmers and ranchers on privately owned lands, who said they saw the recent EPA WOTUS rule as a significant and potentially abusive over-reach of federal authority and interference into their business operations. READ MORE

PERSONNEL SECURITY

Why you need a plan to handle workplace violence: A guman identified as a doctor opened fire in a New York City hospital Friday, killing a woman and wounding several people before killing himself, according to law enforcement officials. The shooter, Dr. Henry Bello, was a former employee at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in the Bronx, the borough north of Manhattan. Sadly, the incident illustrates the need to be careful with employees and the need to have plans in place for workplace violence as well as terrorism incidents. Dr. Bello is believed to have had several prior arrests, and resigned from the hospital in 2015 before being fired. He allegedly hid an M16 assault rifle under his white lab coat as he spread mayhem on several floors of the hospital. READ MORE

TERRORISM

Investigations of ISIS sympathizers continue: Shortly after North Carolinian Justin Sullivan was sentenced to life in prison for planning to commit mass murder in support of the Islamic State, U.S. Attorney Jill Rose of Charlotte, N.C., confirmed that investigations of other suspected ISIS sympathizers continue in North Carolina. A domestic-terrorism expert told the Charlotte Observer this week that the North Carolina probes are among some 1,000 active FBI investigations into ISIS-related threats encompassing all 50 states. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Cattlemen testify in support of NAFTA: Kevin Kester, a fifth-generation California rancher and president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – the oldest and largest national association of cattlemen – last week testified in support of the market access that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has delivered for America’s cattle producers. He also warned against the re-adoption of failed policies that harmed the industry in the past. Testifying at a hearing hosted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, he said NAFTA opened Canada and Mexico as important U.S. export partners. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Big win for food industry: Last week’s big story of a $5.7 million lawsuit settlement between ABC News and Beef Products Inc (“BPI”) was a big win for BPI and the food industry. The lawsuit resulted from news stories in 2012 characterizing BPI’s finely textured ground beef product as “pink slime.” BPI suffered sustained damage to its image and brand, as well as significant loss of market share and revenue in the aftermath of the ABC News story. READ MORE