Friday News, August 8
State Fair Features Many Plymouth County Exhibits
(Le Mars) -- The Iowa State Fair started yesterday in Des Moines and will continue through Sunday, August 17th. Among the thousands of entries to be judged at the state fair will be several items representing Plymouth County.
Janelle Johnson, serves as the Program Coordinator with Plymouth County Extension Services. Johnson says the number does not reflect the communication projects slated to participate at the Iowa State Fair.
The Extension Official says Plymouth County has several first-time exhibitors at the state fair.
In addition to the static displays, 32 4-H members from Plymouth County will be exhibiting either horses, livestock, poultry, and/or small animals at the Iowa State Fair.
Ann Schoenrock serves as the co-program director and 4-H and Youth Director for Plymouth County Extension. She says don't expect to see all of the Plymouth County animal entries for the eleven-day duration of the fair.
Man Sentenced To Federal Prison After Bank Robbery
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for his role in robbing an Iowa bank last year.
Michael Clayton, of Omaha, must also serve three years of supervised release after his prison sentence and must pay $12,500 in restitution to the Citizen's State Bank in Fort Dodge.
A jury convicted Clayton on a bank robbery charge in February.
U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau says in a statement trial evidence indicated the 44-year-old Clayton called Fort Dodge police on Feb. 7, 2013, and threatened to shoot up an elementary school. The call, intended to divert police attention away from the bank, was two months after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.
While police responded to the school, prosecutors say Clayton robbed the bank.
Study Shows Significant Soil Erosion In Iowa
(Des Moines)-A new study shows significant soil erosion in Iowa this year. Craig Cox, with the Environmental Working Group, says soil erosion is a major problem for water quality, and it also hurts farm production while damaging the environment.
The study found almost one-third of that lost soil came from just four counties: Adair, Cass, Clayton and Pottawattamie. The report surveyed 63-million acres of cropland and found about 35-million acres had a moderate-to-high need for more conservation measures. Cox, the E-W-G's senior vice president of ag and natural resources, says the study found evidence of farming conservation practices that have helped recently, but he says more needs to be done to reduce soil erosion.
Cox says it's unfortunate that federal policymakers have cut back on funding for conservation and the Conservation Reserve Program has faded to only 25-million acres nationwide, including about one-and-a-half million acres in Iowa.
Veishea Is Canceled And Name Retired
(Ames)-Iowa State University president, Steven Leath, today (on Thursday) announced his decision on the future of a springtime tradition on the Ames campus.
Veishea has been marred by violence several times in recent decades and the event was cut short this year after students and others flipped over cars, ripped out street signs, knocked over light poles, and threw rocks and beer cans at police in the Campustown area of Ames. Leath said he understands that many people will be upset a 92-year-old tradition has ended.
One student was badly injured this year when they were hit by a falling light pole. That student has fully recovered. Previous violence associated with Veishea has included a young man being stabbed to death in a fight outside a fraternity house in 1997. Riots in 2004 led then-ISU President Greg Geoffroy (JOH-free) to suspend Veishea in 2005. Today's decision to end Veishea follows recommendations delivered to Leath from a task force that held several public meetings over a three month period. Leath said some traditions associated with Veishea will likely continue, but the content and timeframe of any old or new events has not been determined.
Leath noted that he believes the money that ISU spends on Veishea could be "reinvested" to better serve students.
According to Leath, nine ISU students have been suspended and police have filed 250 criminal charges in relation to the disturbances during this year's Veishea. Leath said he recognizes ending Veishea won't stop all of the problems associated with alcohol on campus.
Leath said he and other ISU administrators will continue to work with Ames community leaders and police to address issues related to student conduct on and off campus.