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Friday Afternoon News, June 26

Plymouth Energy Chairman Testifies At EPA Hearing On Renewable Fuels

(Kansas City) -- The Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing on Thursday regarding the renewable fuels standard.  The E-P-A has proposed lowering the amount of ethanol and biodiesel to be produced annually, and going against the level that was stipulated by Congress.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey both testified at that hearing on behalf of the renewable fuels industry.

Another person that testified was John Becker. Becker is a former manager of the Farmers Cooperative in Craig, and now the current chairman of the board for Plymouth Energy, the ethanol manufacturer based at Merrill.  Becker says the attending audience at the hearing was by far in favor of the renewable fuels industry.

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Becker says the attending EPA officials were listening and attentative to the comments of the witnesses.  He wonders though, if those messages shared on Thursday will reach the top decision makers within the Environmental Protection Agency. Becker is complimentary of Governor Branstad and Secretary Northey for their positive stance on renewable fuels.

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Becker says when he testified before the EPA officials, he told them how the rural lifestyle has changed for the better because of the ethanol and biodiesel industries.

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The former grain elevator manager says the ethanol industry is responsible for the growth of the livestock production increase for this area.  Because of the growth, a new feed mill has been constructed.  In terms of the argument that corn should be used for food and not fuel, Becker says because of improvements with seed genetics there is now enough corn for both food and fuel.

 

 

Several Hundred People Visit Dairy Farm's Open House Farm Tour

(Maurice) -- Several hundred people attended an open house farm tour last evening at the Dykstra Dairy of Maurice.  Darin Dykstra is a co-owner of the dairy farm.  He says he allows the tour to let people know what happens on a dairy farm.

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Dykstra milks 3000 head of cows three times daily totaling 31,000 gallons of milk, or five tankers that travel each day from his farm to Le Mars with all his milk delivered to Wells Enterprises to make Blue Bunny ice cream.

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He says people are becoming generations removed from agriculture and specifically a dairy operation, and he says people are interested in seeing a modern farm operation.

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The dairy producer says it is important for those making a living off the farm to tell their story.

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Catholic Bishops Express Disappointment On Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Same Sex Marriages

(Des Moines) -- Iowa's four Catholic bishops say they are saddened by a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country.
In a statement released Friday soon after the court issued its decision, the bishops expressed sadness and noted, "To make something legal does not mean that it is true or good. Take, for example, the ruling that legalized abortion."
The bishops say they will lead people to live under the gospels and quoted the passage: "One man and one woman who freely give themselves to each other in a permanent and exclusive partnership, to be helpmates for each other, and to be open to conceiving and bringing up children."
The statement was signed by the archbishop of Dubuque and the bishops of Davenport, Des Moines and Sioux City.

 

 

 

Former Iowa Supreme Court Judge Not Surprised By Same-Sex Ruling

(Des Moines) -- Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Baker says he's not surprised the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed same-sex marriage on constitutional equal protection grounds.
Baker was among the seven Iowa Supreme Court justices to rule unanimously in 2009 that an Iowa law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. He lost his job along with Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justice Michael Streit the following year when they failed to get enough votes in a judicial retention election. It was the result of an effort to defeat them by gay marriage opponents who spent millions of dollars on advertising.
The Iowa court's decision made Iowa only the third state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
Baker says the decision raised awareness of the issue because Iowa, not viewed as a strong liberal state, found gay marriage to be constitutionally guaranteed.
He says with the change in public opinion - 37 states have declared same-sex marriage legal - the court has ratified what was eventually going to happen anyway.

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Friday News, June 26

Our Lady Of Assumption Church To Hold Final Mass On Sunday

(Sioux City) -- Sunday will mark the final mass services for the Our Lady of Assumption Parish located in Merrill.  The church had served the people around Merrill for 122 years.  Bishop Walker Nickless of the Sioux City Diocese will lead the final mass.  He says it will be very emotional for the congregation and for himself.

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The Catholic Bishop says Sunday's mass service will also be a way for the people to express gratitude to the parish for serving the community for so many years.

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Bishop Nickless says nearly five years ago, the diocese took a strategic look at all the parishes to determine their sustainability.  Bishop Nickless says many rural churches have fallen victim to declining attendance, as well as the declining number of Catholic priests able to serve the parish.

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Bishop Nickless says the Catholic parish of Ellendale and St. Michael's of Sioux City will be combining by sharing a priest, and he says St. Joseph Catholic Church in Struble will become a worship center, but will not necessarily have regular Sunday masses.

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Congressman King Is Disappointed In Supreme Court Ruling On Affordable Health Care

(Washington) -- Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King is upset over the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the subsidies being paid for the Affordable Health Care Act.  Speaking yesterday following the decision, King says the Supreme Court has ruled against what the law reads.  King says the Supreme Court's ruling is another case where the law doesn't mean what it says, and the Supreme Court will make it up as they go. King says it was a frustrating day, when Congress is in the business of writing laws, and the Supreme Court amends those laws at will, by using their judgment as to what public policy should be, as opposed to what Congress actually wrote by the will of the people.

 

 

 

38,000 Iowans Will Be Able To Continue To Have Health Insurance Based On Supreme Court Ruling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With the U.S. Supreme Court upholding tax credits for the federal Affordable Care Act more than 38,000 Iowans will be able to continue insurance coverage with government support.
Had the court struck down the tax credits those Iowans would have lost subsidies and likely would have dropped coverage.
In Iowa, more than 45,000 Iowans use the federal insurance exchange to buy health care coverage and 86 percent of them receive tax credits to help pay premiums. 
Iowa is among 34 states using a federally-facilitated model that allows state officials to maintain some management of the insurance program but allows citizens to sign up using the federal government exchange.
The challenge to the law focused on whether states without their own state exchange, like Iowa, could still offer subsidies to users.

 

 

 

 

Branstad Testifies For Renewable Fuels During EPA Hearing

(Kansas City) -- The Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing on Thursday regarding the renewable fuels standard.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad testified at that hearing on behalf of the renewable fuels industry.  Branstad says Iowa has greatly benefited from the renewable fuels industry.

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The Iowa Governor says the EPA is violating the law.

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Dykstra Dairy Open House Attracts Hundreds Of People

(Maurice) -- Several hundred people attended an open house farm tour last evening at the Dykstra Dairy of Maurice.  Darin Dykstra is a co-owner of the dairy farm.  He says he hosts the farm tour to let people know what happens on a dairy farm.

Listen to

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Dykstra milks 3000 head of cows three times daily totaling 31,000 gallons of milk, or five tankers that travel each day from his farm to Le Mars  with all his milk delivered to Wells Enterprises to make Blue Bunny ice cream. He says people are becoming generations removed from agriculture and specifically a dairy operation, and he says people are interested in seeing a modern farm operation.

Listen to

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Landfill Says They Won't Accept Any More Dead Birds From Bird Flu

MALVERN, Iowa (AP) - A southwestern Iowa landfill has stopped accepting dead birds and related waste from the recent bird flu outbreak.
Mills County spokeswoman Sheri Bowen says  the Loess Hills Landfill stopped taking in more birds after Wednesday's shipments.
Officials say the landfill might consider taking in more birds if another outbreak of avian flu were to occur. But at this point, Bowen says, "we're unsure if we'll take on more."
As of Tuesday, trucks had hauled in 426 containers to the landfill, with each carrying seven to eight tons of dead birds, clean-up and protective equipment and other products for use during disposal.
Millions of turkeys and chickens have died or have been euthanized to prevent further spreading of the avian flu.
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Authorities Investigate Laser Beam Directed To Airplane

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating after the pilot of an inbound Delta Airlines flight said a laser was pointed at it about five miles northeast of the Des Moines International Airport.
According to a police report, the pilot told police the plane was about 2,000 feet above ground when he saw a green laser around 11 p.m. Tuesday. The pilot told police the laser was pointed at the aircraft for about 20 to 25 seconds, and did not appear to be on the ground or on top of any structure.
The pilot said he ducked behind a shield to avoid eye damage.
According to the report, the pilot believes his aircraft was intentionally targeted.

 




 


 

   

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