Home News Wednesday News, July 11th

Wednesday News, July 11th


Veteran Park Board Honors Schultz and Law Families

(Le Mars) —  The Board of Directors for the Plymouth County Veterans Park held a ceremony Tuesday during the lunch hour, in which they honored Richard Schultz and Yvonne Law, and their families, for their contributions to the establishment of the Plymouth County Veterans’ Park.   Board chairman Wayne
Schipper explains the Law and Schultz families helped create the popular park.

The Veteran’s Park was first established in 2005, and since that time it has become a popular attraction for tourists visiting Le Mars.  Schipper says, after visiting the Veterans’ Park, many tourists feel inspired.

The park acknowledges all branches of the nation’s military, as well as, show all the names of those from Plymouth County that died during combat of the various wars and conflicts.

Schipper says another popular feature at the park is the poem “Come Visit My Grave” by Jim Rolfes.

Schipper says the plaque will be situated inside the gazebo located at the park.

The park chairman says efforts are underway to create a new display featuring the names of donors to the park.



BNSF Says Oil Spill Is Less Than Earlier Believed

DOON, Iowa (AP) – BNSF Railway says less oil spilled from derailed tanker cars in northwest Iowa last month than originally believed.
BNSF spokesman Andy Williams says officials now believe 160,000 gallons (605,648 liters) of tar sand oil spilled from 10 of 32 tanker cars that derailed on June 22 into floodwaters of the Little Rock River near Doon.
Officials had previously said 14 tanker cars were compromised, spilling an estimated 230,000 gallons (870,619 liters).
Williams also says testing of nearby private water wells and municipal wells in Rock Valley, which is downstream from the spill, show no contamination of drinking water.
The oil mostly contaminated nearby corn crops and topsoil, which Williams says will be replaced with clean topsoil.
Williams says cleanup is expected to take several months.



Farmers Learn About Protecting Water Quality And Reducing Erosion At Field Day

(Oyens) — Farmers attending Tuesday’s Deep Creek Watershed Quality Field Day near Oyens were given a demonstration of how crop residue and cover crops can help protect, not only the soil from eroding, but also it can help reduce nitrate run-off for better water quality. Michael Henderson is an agronomist
with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services, and he used a rain simulator to emphasize his points.

Henderson discussed the soil’s health as being a factor when considering planting a cover crop and utilizing crop residue.

The NRCS agronomist says there are several benefits to having a cover crop, however, he says farmers need to plan ahead before planting a cover crop.

Farmers interested in obtaining cost-share funding have until August 1st to sign up for the conservation programs.



Attorneys Over-billed State For Representation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Four of 14 attorneys who were paid by Iowa to represent low-income defendants have been convicted of over-billing the state following state audits that found excessive billings of nearly $500,000.
The Des Moines Register reports that the 10 other attorneys have repaid the government, but weren’t criminally charged.
Kurt Swaim is a former state representative and first assistant public defender for the state. He says most of the cases that weren’t prosecuted involved unintentional bookkeeping errors.
Auditors say the attorneys made excessive billings or mileage
reimbursement claims during a nearly five-year period that ended in August 2013.
Swaim says attorneys so far have been ordered to or voluntarily agreed to repay more than $250,000. He says Iowa is seeking restitution of more than $100,000 in one case and repayment in multiple cases not involving criminal charges.



University of Iowa Cuts Programs and Issues Lay-offs Due To Budget Cuts

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa plans to cut staff, sell property in Des Moines and make other moves in response to state funding reductions.
The university announced the move Tuesday in a news release, saying it will close seven centers and permanently furlough 33 full-time staffers whose positions are not directly tied to student instruction.
The centers closing are: the University of Iowa Center on Aging;
Confucius Institute; Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research; Iowa Center for Higher Education; Labor Center; Office of Iowa Practice Opportunities; and UI Mobile Museum.
Since the 2016 fiscal year, the Iowa Legislature has cut UI’s budget by $16 million. A midyear cut in April of nearly $5.5 million also forced the university to adopt a five-month moratorium on construction projects.  The university says it will continue to offer classes in Des Moines but will close the former AIB College of Business campus and will seek a buyer for the property.



Pharmacy Worker Accused Of Stealing Painkillers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A former Des Moines hospital pharmacy worker accused of stealing painkillers from hundreds of patients has been sentenced to more than 2 years in federal prison.
Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Victor Van Cleave was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months.
Van Cleave pleaded guilty in February to product tampering. In
exchange, prosecutors dropped a charge of obtaining fentanyl by
misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge.
Officials say Van Cleave was a pharmacy technician at Iowa Methodist Medical Center who used a syringe to steal fentanyl and other powerful painkillers from vials, then replaced the painkillers with sterile water.
Many of the painkillers were to be used for patients undergoing surgery or giving birth.
Several lawsuits filed against the hospital say patients suffered
needless pain because of the thefts.