Home News Saturday News, June 22nd

Saturday News, June 22nd


Trial For Mexican National Accused Of Killing Mollie Tibbitts Will Be Delayed

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) – The trial for a former farmhand charged with first-degree murder in the abduction and killing of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts has been delayed.
The Des Moines Register reported Friday that 25-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera will face trial Nov. 11 in Woodbury County. His trial had been set for Sept. 3, but was pushed back to give Rivera’s attorneys more time to prepare. A judge in March approved his request to have the trial moved about
250 miles away from Poweshiek County to Woodbury County.
Rivera is accused of killing Tibbetts, who disappeared while out for a run July 18 in Brooklyn, Iowa. Investigators recovered her body a month later in a cornfield. Officials say she was stabbed to death.
Rivera, a Mexican national, also is accused of being in the country illegally. He worked at a dairy farm a few miles from where Tibbetts disappeared.



Fireworks Vendors Is Down This Year

(Des Moines) — The number of vendors seeking a license to sell fireworks is down slightly this year. State Fire Marshal, Dan Wood, oversees the licensing process for the state.

This is the third year that the fireworks have been legal again in the state and Wood says the market seems to be figuring itself out.

Vendors can set up shop in a permanent building, or get a permit for a temporary location.

Last year he says they had 35 permanent sites out of the
nearly 800 total sites. While it is legal for you to buy fireworks and possess them anywhere in the state — the law leaves it up local leaders to decide if you can shoot them off in each city. Wood says they don’t get as many phone calls to his office now with questions about where it’s legal to shoot them off.

Those with permanent buildings can sell fireworks between June 1st and July 8th and those with temporary structures can sell them from June 13th to July 8th.



Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 2.4% in May, just where it’s been for nearly a year.
Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday that the rate hasn’t budged since July 2018. Iowa’s rate is tied with New Hampshire for the third lowest in the U.S., behind Vermont and North Dakota.
The total number of Iowa residents with jobs in May rose by 3,200 from April. The number of unemployed residents also edged up by 400 people.
Iowa’s rate compares to a national unemployment rate of 3.6% in May.



Bankers See Some Improvement In Farm Economy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Bankers surveyed in parts of 10 Plains and Western states are seeing improvement in the region’s farm economy.
The Rural Mainstreet survey released Thursday shows the survey’s overall index rising from a stunted 48.5 in May to 53.2 this month. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says higher agriculture commodity prices and rebuilding from recent floods boosted June’s index. Goss also noted that despite negative consequences from trade tensions and tariffs, nearly 7 of 10 bank CEOS surveyed support either raising or continuing the Trump administration’s current tariffs.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.



Rain Simulator Shows How To Reduce Nitrate Run-off

(Oyens) — The issue of nitrate run-off has been in the news quite a bit over the last few years, and officials are teaching farmers and landowners various methods on how to greatly reduce run-off, in order to have better quality water. Earlier this week, a conservation field day was held in Oyens, and
Andrew Commes with the Natural Resources and Conservation Services illustrated to the gathering of farmers what happens when to their soil and crop protection product when it rains. Using a rainfall simulator, Commes demonstrated how much run-off can occur on a six percent sloping hillside.

Commes simulated one inch of rain over various types of ground ranging from tilled ground with no cover crop, to soybean crop harvested residue, and grassland. He had jars to collect both the water that would run-off, as well as a second collection jar showing how much water would penetrate the soils into the roots system.

The lesson that was being taught was to show farmers the importance of maintaining some type of crop cover residue, or cover crops, in order to greatly reduce the run-off, as well as to making certain rainfall will penetrate the soils. As part of the rainfall simulator, Commes had a white board behind the display.

At that same field day, farmers were also shown a demonstration on the effective use of bio-reactors and buffer zones, which have proven to reduce nitrate levels by as much as 60 percent.



Governor Reynolds Sets August 6 As Date For Special Election For Vacant Iowa House Seat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A vote to fill a vacant Iowa House of
Representatives seat for northwest Ames has been set for later this summer.
Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday announced the special election will be held Aug. 6 to replace former state Rep. Lisa Heddens.
Heddens, a nine-term Democrat, resigned from her seat earlier this week to serve on the Story County Board of Supervisors, leaving the House District 46 seat open.
The Des Moines Register reports that county parties will hold
nominating conventions in the coming weeks to name their candidates for the office. Third-party or unaffiliated candidates can petition onto the ballot. The filing period closes July 12.



Oskaloosa Man Charged With Murder Of The Death Of 4 Month Old Boy

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) – A man has been charged with murder in Oskaloosa, accused of killing his girlfriend’s baby son.
Station WOI reports that 21-year-old Johnny Dale Jr. is being held on $1.25 million bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 28. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.
A criminal complaint says Dale was watching the 4-month-old boy when his girlfriend went to work on June 15. She told an investigator the boy had a bruise on his forehead and wouldn’t wake up when she got home. Doctors later told investigators the boy had suffered brain and spinal cord injuries consistent with child abuse.
The complaint also says Dale said he’d grown frustrated with the baby and said he bounced him on an air mattress in an attempt to get him to sleep.
Dale acknowledged that his actions likely injured the boy.
The complaint says the boy died Friday morning.