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Friday Afternoon News, July 19

Schneider Decides To Leave Extension Services

(Le Mars) -- After 32 years with the Iowa State University Extension Services,  Carol Schneider is leaving extension to pursue another career.  At the conclusion of the Plymouth County Fair, Schneider will assume the duties of teacher, a profession she had once before.

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This time around, Schneider will be teaching 6th graders at Gehlen Catholic.  Schneider has been a part of extension for the better part of her adult life, and not just here in Plymouth County.

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Schneider says in one form or another, she has been involved with 41 different county fairs.

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The extension official recalls her fondest memories of the Plymouth County fair, 4-H programs, and the services extended to the people of Plymouth County.

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Man Injured From Geese Flying Into Windshield

HOSPERS, Iowa (AP) - A Minnesota man was hospitalized with injuries he received after geese smashed into his pickup truck in northwest Iowa.
33-year-old Brian Nielsen of Fulda, Minn., was injured Thursday morning after he drove through a flock of geese on Highway 60, just north of Hospers.
The Sioux County Sheriff's Office says the geese crashed into the pickup's windshield, injuring Nielsen and causing about $3,000 damage to the pickup.
Another motorist drove Nielsen to a hospital in Worthington,
Minn.

 

Farmers Should Consider Cover Crops

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County farmers should consider planting cover crops on their fields this fall, and cost-share funds are available as an incentive to implement this practice.
State of Iowa Cost-share funds will pay producers $15.00 per acre up to a limit of 80 acres to establish a cover crop.  Producers should sign up as soon as possible at the NRCS Office in Le Mars, as the cover crops should be seeded in late summer or in the fall immediately after harvest.
Small grains are typically planted as cover crops, including cereal rye grain, winter wheat, barley, and triticale.  These species are ‘winter annuals’, which will germinate and grow in the fall, be dormant in the winter, and grow again in the spring.  Cover crop mixes can also include radishes and legumes.
The benefits of cover crops are many, including significantly reducing soil erosion.  In the spring of 2013, cover crop fields in northwest Iowa had low soil erosion rates, while heavily-tilled fields in the same neighborhood suffered very severe erosion.  Cover crops also ‘scavenge’ residual nitrogen in the soil, providing a water quality benefit by preventing nitrogen leaching into ground water.  When cover crop mixes include plants with significant taproots, such as radishes, soil compaction can be reduced.  Cover crops are noted for improving ‘soil health’, particularly by increasing soil organic matter and soil
structure.  Importantly, cover crops are a key conservation practice promoted in Iowa’s
Nutrient Reduction Strategy, as discussed by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

Cover crops can be aerial-seeded on standing row crops in late summer or can be drilled in fields shortly after harvest.  In the spring, the cover crops are typically killed with herbicides two weeks prior to no-till planting corn or soybeans.  Producers should also discuss the use of cover crops with their crop insurance agent.  Farmers are encouraged to sign up for this cover crop incentive soon, by contacting the NRCS Office in Le Mars, located at 1100A 12th Street SW, phone number (712) 546-8858.

 

Man Sentenced For Synthetic Marijuana

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska man has been given three years of probation in an Iowa case involving synthetic marijuana.
69-year-old Frank Firoz was sentenced Thursday in Woodbury County District Court. His 15-year prison sentence was suspended.
Firoz, of South Sioux City, Neb., had made a deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy as a habitual offender after prosecutors dropped two drug charges.
Police say an undercover officer bought green, leafy substances in July 2011 at Exotica, a now-closed store Firoz owned in Sioux City. Police say they found large quantities of suspected synthetic marijuana in the store.
Firoz still faces federal charges in Omaha, Neb., involving the sale of drug paraphernalia and chemical compounds found in synthetic marijuana and designer drugs.
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Authorities Break Up Prostitution Ring

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 15-year-old girl is among several people involved in a prostitution sting in eastern Iowa.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Department says the two-day, multi-agency sting involved two women making separate appointments with a law enforcement officer through a prostitution website. The women arrived in the eastern Iowa city of Hills on Wednesday with other women who were instructed to perform sex acts with a male subject.
Police say a man is accused of driving three women from Milwaukee to Hills for appointments set up through the website. One of those passengers was 15.
Authorities say five people involved in the sting face various pimping and prostitution charges.

 

Boone Man Convicted Of Killing Wife

BOONE, Iowa (AP) - A central Iowa man convicted of killing his wife has been sentenced to life in prison.

29-year-old Joshua Powell received the mandatory sentence in a Boone County courtroom Friday. The sentence carries no chance of parole.
A jury in May found Powell guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Jaclyn Powell.
A judge denied a motion Friday by Powell's attorney, Katherine Flickinger, for a new trial. Flickinger had argued that the state did not show evidence that there was premeditation or deliberation
in her client's actions.
Investigators say Josh Powell called 911 in October to report that he and his wife had fought and that he'd struck her. An autopsy showed his wife died of asphyxiation due to strangulation.
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One Year Old Falls From Apartment Balcony

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police say a 1-year-old boy was severely injured after falling 50 feet off an apartment balcony.
The boy fell from the balcony Thursday evening at an apartment west of downtown.
A police report says the child had been playing on the balcony with his 6-year-old brother while their mother was inside the apartment.
The brother ran inside to say the 1-year-old had slipped off a chair and fallen to a grassy area beneath the balcony.
The child was taken to Blank Children's Hospital, where a spokesperson says he was in critical condition Friday.
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Egypt Fertilizer Company To Get Additional Tax Breaks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa economic development officials have approved additional tax incentives for an Egyptian company spending nearly $2 billion to build a fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority voted Friday to approve an additional $25 million in tax credits for Orascom Construction Industries. The money is part of the original contract for the project approved in February 2012.
State and local governments already promised more than $200 million in incentives including loans that do not have to be paid back if promised jobs are created and tax credits.
The company also is financing more than $1 billion of the cost of construction with specially authorized federal bonds saving millions in interest costs.
Construction of the plant is under way near U.S. Highway 61 between Fort Madison and Burlington.



 






   

Friday News, July 19

Merrill To Have Water Outages

(Merrill) -- Merrill city officials say there will be periodic water outages beginning the week of July 22 in and around the 5th Street project, including side streets in Merrill.

 

School Board Nominations Due In Two Weeks

(Le Mars) -- Candidates seeking a position on the Le Mars Community School District Board of Education have just two weeks to submit their petition papers.  This year the positions for District 1, 2, 3, and 4 are up for election.  So far, three candidates have filed.  They include incumbents Brenda Phelan running for District 4, and Mark Hemmingson and Chris Collins seeking a position for District 3.  Due to re-redistricting, Collins and Hemmingson are now both residing in the same district.  Nomination papers are due no later than 5:00 p.m. August 1st.  A total of 50 signatures are required for nomination, along with living within the Le Mars Community School District.

 

Hinton To Host Annual Tractor Pull Tonight

(Hinton) -- The trucks and tractors will be kicking up the dirt and puffing out the smoke at this evening's Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. at Hinton.  The annual event is sponsored by the Hinton Civic Club and it draws competitors and spectators from all across the midwest.

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Doug Roberts serves as president of the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pulling Association and explains what people will see tonight.

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Roberts says the tractors are not those you would commonly see in the field, but they have been modified with longer bodies, larger tires, bigger engines, and often fueled with 100 percent alcohol for the specific purpose of pulling the weight sled. 

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This year the fans will have an extra vantage point of viewing the competition as the truck and tractor pull will feature a jumbo television screen allowing the fans to get close up view.

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Iowa Unemployment Remains Steady

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate in June remained unchanged from the previous month at 4.6 percent.
A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows the rate remained the same despite the state adding 6,500 jobs.
It's still an improvement from the same period last year, when Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 percent and the state had 24,800 less jobs.
The industries of construction, leisure and hospitality added 2,600 jobs in June. Professional and business services also added 1,900 jobs in the same period.
Education, health services and government each lost 1,700 jobs in June.
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Wells Fargo Lays Off 50 People

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Wells Fargo and Company says 58 workers in its home mortgage division in Des Moines have received layoff notices.
Company spokeswoman Vickee Adams said Thursday that the layoffs are a reflection of the cyclical nature of the business. Employees were notified Wednesday.
Increasing home loan rates have slowed refinancing. The average rate on a 30-year loan is 4.37 percent this week. Just two months ago the rate was 3.35 percent. Rates had surged in recent weeks amid concern over the Fed's bond purchases, which have kept interest rates low.
Adams says some workers may find other jobs in the company.
Wells Fargo posted profit of $5.27 billion on Friday, 20 percent higher than the same period a year ago.


Egyptian Fertilizer Company May Get More Tax Breaks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa economic development officials are considering whether to give an Egyptian company additional tax incentives for spending nearly $2 billion to build a fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority is scheduled Friday to consider an additional $25 million in tax credits for Orascom Construction Industries.
The state and local governments already have promised more than $200 million in incentives including loans that do not have to be paid back if the promised jobs are created and tax credits.
The company also is allowed to finance more than $1 billion of the cost of construction through the specially authorized federal Midwest Disaster Area Bonds saving million in interest costs.
Construction of the plant will be located just off U.S. Highway 61 between Fort Madison and Burlington.

 

Governor's Driver Stops To Assist At A Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa State Patrol is praising a trooper who responded to a house fire while he was driving Governor Terry Branstad.
The patrol said Thursday trooper Greg Steffen was driving Branstad to Des Moines after an event Wednesday in Eddyville, when they passed through Monroe on Highway 163.
Steffen noticed black smoke, couldn't tell where it was coming from and decided to investigate, eventually finding a house engulfed in flames. An elderly resident had escaped the fire with multiple burns.
Steffen moved the woman and bystanders away after noticing a propane tank, and rendered first aid until emergency crews arrived.  Branstad stayed in the vehicle a safe distance away.
Captain Mark Logsdon says Steffen "demonstrated a great example of public service" by protecting the governor and residents during the incident.


Should Farm Buildings Be Inspected For Electrical Uses?

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Electrical Examining Board is expected to decide Aug. 15 whether Iowa farm buildings must be inspected.
The  board weighed conflicting opinions on the matter at a hearing Thursday.
A judge had ordered the board to reconsider rules adopted after electrical regulatory legislation was passed by the Legislature in 2007. The judge said the board had gone too far in requiring the
inspections.
Some farmers and their supporters object to the inspections as a power grab by the board. Other farmers and their supporters say the inspections are needed for safety.
State records say that since 1994, Iowa has had 15 farm deaths from electrocution.
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