Home News Thursday Afternoon News, October 5th

Thursday Afternoon News, October 5th


Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office Investigating City of Westfield’s Finances

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from the City of Westfield of an alleged theft. The sheriff’s office is looking into the possibility of misappropriated funds. No additional information is being released at this time due to the fact that the investigation is not complete and
is on-going at this time.




Northey Appears Before U-S Senate Agriculture Committee For Confirmation To U-S-D-A Post

(Washington) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey appeared before the U-S Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday morning in Washington D.C. for his confirmation hearing. Northey has been nominated to oversee the revamped U-S
Department of Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services which oversees Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, Farm Services, and Conservation programs. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley introduced the Iowa Agriculture Secretary to the Senate
Agriculture Committee.

Northey says he will act as an advocate for farmers and ranchers within the administration. Northey began his testimony by introducing himself to the Agriculture Committee, and establishing his credentials.

photo contributed by RadioIowa.
Northey continued to explain to the Senators his qualifications.

Senators on the Agriculture Committee had a wide and varied line of questions for Northey.  Republicans John Thune from South Dakota, and John Hoeven of North Dakota were both interested in Northey’s comments about expanding the
Conservation Reserve Program, and whether there could be more flexibility to allow farmers and ranchers the opportunity to hay and graze those long-term set-aside acres during dry years. Hoeven also was interested in hearing Northey talk about whether crop insurance should be expanded.  The high plains states of South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana suffered from a drought this growing season.  Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobucher inquired about Northey’s stance on dairy
programs.  Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst asked Northey to explain the water quality program started in Iowa, and how it is attempting to reduce the level of nitrate run-off.  The ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow from Michigan inquired about Northey’s position with regards to
President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Agriculture Department’s budget.
Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture, Greg Ibach also appeared before the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Ibach has been nominated to serve as the Under Secretary for Agriculture for Animal and Plant Research.  Chairman Pat Roberts, a
Republican from Kansas, says both nominees are qualified for their positions, and says they have “boots on the ground experience.”



Northwest Iowa To Get Additional Wind Turbines

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) – Alliant Energy has announced plans to build a 300-megawatt wind farm in northwest Iowa. The project will cover about 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares) in neighboring Clay and Dickinson counties. Officials say the 121 turbines planned for the project should produce enough power for 130,000 homes. Alliant estimates the project will provide more
than $40 million in local tax benefits over its lifetime and provide $45 million in landowner payments over the next 25 years.

photo contributed



New Trial Ordered For Man Accused Of Stabbing His Girl Friend

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A new trial will be held in Scott County for a man originally convicted of stabbing to death his former girlfriend in Linn County. The Iowa Court of Appeals in May ordered another trial for Nicholas Luerkens, saying the trial court erred in denying his request to submit an insanity defense instruction to the jury. A judge agreed to move the second trial out of Linn County because of pretrial publicity. It is scheduled to begin March 19. In November 2015 a jury found Luerkens guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of 29-year-old Lynnsey Donald. Officials say Luerkens stabbed Donald dozens of times in a Marion parking lot in April 2015. Defense lawyers say Luerkens was overusing an antidepressant drug, which contributed to diminished mental capacity during the attack.