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Tuesday News, April 21

Another Iowa Poultry Farm Infected By The Bird Flu

(Le Mars) -- Another case of the bird flu has been detected in Iowa.  This time it has struck a chicken layer farm in Osceola county.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the bird flu virus has been found at a farm holding nearly 10 percent of Iowa's egg-laying chickens.

The confirmation of the highly infectious and deadly H5N2 virus means up to 5.3 million hens must be destroyed at the farm in northwest Iowa's Osceola County.

Iowa is home to roughly 59 million hens that lay nearly one in every five eggs consumed in the country.

It's the first chicken farm in Iowa to be affected by the virus, which was confirmed at a Buena Vista turkey farm in the state last week.

Several Midwestern states have been affected by the outbreaks, costing poultry producers nearly 7.8 million birds since March.

The latest farm experienced a high number of chicken deaths and sent samples to labs.

Dr. Hans Koehnk is a veterinarian that specializes in poultry diseases.  He says although the disease is deadly to poultry, people don't need to worry about being infected.

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He says the bird flu is thought to be transmitted by way of migratory birds, particularly ducks and geese.

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Some people are wondering how is it that ducks and geese can carry the flu virus, but not be affected?

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Today's turkeys and chickens are primarily produced indoors to prevent an outbreak of diseases, so how are the migratory ducks and geese infecting the nation's poultry?  Koehnk says ducks and geese are attracted to the facilities because of the available feed.  He says when the wildlife fowl molts its feathers it also releases respiratory droplets that can be transmitted through the air.

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Again, Dr. Koehnk emphasizes that this particular strain of bird flu does not affect humans, nor does it hurt the safety of our food supply.


Supervisors Have Light Agenda For Today's Meeting

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the county courthouse board room. The supervisors have a short agenda for this week.  They are expected to approve a tile crossing permit in Elkhorn township, and they will hear from Doug Webb as he is seeking approval for a sub-division.


Sioux City Traffic Cameras Back On

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City's traffic cameras that were ordered to be shut down by the Iowa Department of Transportation are being turned back on. Justin Vondrak of the city attorney's office says a court order has been issued to allow the speed cameras placed on Interstate 29 to be reactivated by city police.
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Red light cameras at intersections on Outer Belt Drive and Lewis Boulevard will also be turned back on. Vondrak says the hearing originally set for Tuesday will now take place May 11th.
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Police say those cameras went back into operation at one minute past Midnight last night, early morning.


Iowa DOT To Spend $700 Million On Road Repairs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Transportation says it plans to spend a record $700 million on construction on state and interstate highway projects this year.
The department spent $656 million on road projects in 2014. A 10-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase, which took effect March 1, will provide about $200 million annually to cities and counties across the state. There are statewide plans to fill potholes, repair aging bridges and install new concrete and asphalt pavement.
Officials say that up to 500 work zones will be set up statewide from now until the end of the road construction season in November.
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Workforce Director Breaks Ties

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The new director of Iowa Workforce Development is cutting ties with a longtime agency employee who was recently named head of the division that oversees unemployment insurance disputes.
Director Beth Townsend told employees Monday she will follow guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and make the job overseeing administrative law judges available only to lawyers. The job is being posted Monday.
Townsend says 26-year employee Steve Slater has left the department. Slater was promoted to the administrator job months ago by then-director Teresa Wahlert but isn't a lawyer.
The Department of Labor last month said that Wahlert created perceived pressure on judges to favor employers over workers. Wahlert laid off the administrator who oversaw judges in 2013 and took on that role herself before naming Slater to the job.


Jurors To Deliberate Lawmaker's Sexual Abuse Case

GARNER, Iowa (AP) - Jurors are set to resume deliberating in the trial of a former Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife, who was suffering from dementia.
Closing arguments were delivered and jurors deliberated Monday before adjourning. They will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The case centers on the question of when a person is no longer capable of giving consent for sexual relations.
Prosecutors say 78-year-old Henry Rayhons had sex with his wife at a nursing home May 23 after being told she was no longer mentally capable of consenting. He's testified that he and his wife had no sexual contact that day.
Rayhons, who served nine terms in the Iowa House, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of third-degree sexual abuse.
His wife, Donna Lou Rayhons, died in August.
   

Monday Afternoon News, April 20

City Will Continue Flushing Hydrants On Tuesday

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Water Dept. will start flushing the southeast part of town on Tuesday beginning at 8:00 AM. Flushing will continue each day until 3:00 p.m., or when they finish flushing the hydrant at that time.  City water crews plan to flush through the week until done. If discolored water is noticed please refrain from using hot water and flush the outside hose bib periodically till the water clears.

 

 

 

Sioux City Police Investigate Hit-And-Run Accident

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are investigating a hit-and-run accident in which two juvenile girls were struck as they were crossing West 3rd Street. The accident happened Saturday morning, shortly before 12:00 noon.  Both girls, ages 10 and 11 were injured and transported to Mercy Medical Center by ambulance. The vehicle involved left the scene of the accident.  With the assistance of witness accounts, police have identified what they believe to be the vehicle involved in that hit-and-run accident.  It is a maroon colored 2007 four-door Kia.  Police are still investigating the accident.

 

 

 

Nebraska Man Charged With Strangling His Wife

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska man has been charged with strangling his estranged wife in Sioux City.

Sioux City officers who were sent to an Iowa Street address around 12:40 a.m. Sunday found the woman and her husband. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead there.

Police say 27-year-old Rogelio Pablo-Morales is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of 21-year-old Margarita Morales and is being held in the Woodbury County Jail. Online court records don't list the name of an attorney who could be contacted to comment on Pablo-Morales' behalf.

Relatives of Pablo-Morales live at the address, and they'd called police.

Pablo-Morales was charged earlier this month in Dakota County, Nebraska, with beating his wife at the home they'd shared in Emerson. She reported that he punched and choked her.

 

 

 

 

Iowa DOT Plans To Spend $700 Million On Road Repairs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Transportation says it plans to spend a record $700 million on construction on state and interstate highway projects this year.

The department spent $656 million on road projects in 2014. A 10-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase, which took effect March 1, will provide about $200 million annually to cities and counties across the state. There are statewide plans to fill potholes, repair aging bridges and install new concrete and asphalt pavement.

Officials say that up to 500 work zones will be set up statewide from now until the end of the road construction season in November.

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Branstad Tells Clinton Officials Gas Tax Should Be Used For Salaries

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says it would be a "mistake" for an eastern Iowa city to use additional fuel tax revenue to hire staff instead of spending directly on road and bridge work.

Branstad says Monday the proposal from Clinton city officials "violates" the spirit of the fuel tax increase, approved by lawmakers this session. The move raised Iowa's fuel tax by 10 cents to finance infrastructure work.

The Clinton City Council is considering using more than half of $470,000 in additional money to hire three employees, whose work would include street repairs.

State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Andrea Henry says the agency encourages local governments to use the money for infrastructure needs, but it's a local decision.

Messages left for Clinton officials were not immediately returned Monday.

 

 

 

Bodies Found In Urbandale Involve Former Police Officer

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - Urbandale police say a former Des Moines police officer and a woman whose bodies were found at an apartment complex had been strangled in an apparent homicide and suicide.

Sgt. Gary Lang announced Monday an autopsy confirmed the bodies were ex-officer Mersed Dautovic and Mevlida Dzananovic.

An autopsy showed she'd been strangled and he died of self-inflicted strangulation.

Officers checked on the couple Sunday morning and found their bodies in an attached garage.

Des Moines police fired Dautovic after a 2008 incident in which he and another officer beat a man during a traffic stop.

Dautovic was convicted of using excessive force and obstructing justice. He was released after serving a 20-month sentence, but an appeals court ruled the sentence was too lenient.

He was scheduled to be resentenced Monday.

 

 

 

 

Louisiana Governor Finds Presidential Bid Not Popular At Home

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal's focus on states important in the presidential campaign is drawing criticism at home in Louisiana and doing little apparent good for his 2016 prospects.

Lost at least for now in a pack of better-known White House contenders, Jindal is taking heat in Louisiana for a budget shortfall that threatens colleges and health care services with deep cuts. Lawmakers from both parties see his national political ambitions as a distraction.

Despite frequent travel, attention to national issues and strong relationship with religious conservatives, Jindal is making little impact in the Republican race.

Even so, it's early in the contest, and the term-limited governor is expected to announce a presidential bid after the legislative session in mid-June. He's sent aides to Iowa and hired an operative for New Hampshire.

 

 

 

 

 

   

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