Friday News, May 22
Northey Orders No Poultry Shows At County And State Fairs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - There will be no chickens or ducks at the Iowa State Fair this summer and no poultry shows at county fairs in Iowa this year as the bird flu continues to infect birds.
Iowa Department of Agriculture officials on Thursday prohibited all live bird exhibitions at fairs and live bird sales at livestock auctions and swap meets. The order lasts through the end of the year. Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey explains why there will not be any poultry exhibition shows.
Iowa has more than 25 million birds and more than 60 farms infected with the H5N2 virus.
Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the scale of the current outbreak is unprecedented and it's important to take every step possible to limit the spread of the disease.
Other states to take similar steps include Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Ernst To Host Bird Flu Townhall Meetings
(Sioux Center) -- Speaking about the bird flu, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is hosting a series of town hall forums addressing the the bird flu epidemic. The forums are scheduled for Saturday and will take place at Osceola, Lyon, and Sioux Counties. Joining Senator Ernst will be Iowa Republican 4th District Congressman Steve King, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, and various state representatives and state senators. The meetings are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the Cooperative Energy at Sibley, 11:15 a.m. at the Rock Rapids Public Library, and at 1:45 p.m. at the DeJager Student Activities Center at Dordt College in Sioux Center.
Preparations Being Made For "Avenue Of Flags"
(Le Mars) -- Monday is Memorial Day, and the Wasmer Post #241 American Legion of Le Mars will be hosting the annual "Avenue of Flags" event at the Plymouth County Courthouse. Post Commander, Wayne Schipper says the event will display over 1200 flags with each one with a name of someone who is being remembered and honored. Prior to the reading of the names ceremony, Schipper says there will be a parade.
The Courthouse grounds and surrounding area will be featuring more than 1200 flags, and Schipper says there will be the dedication of new flags presented.
Schipper says families wanting to dedicate a flag this year in honor of a loved one that has passed should contact either himself or Jim Rolfes by today (Friday).
The Post Commander says in addition to the dedication of the flags ceremony, wreaths will be placed recognizing those people who lost their lives from each war the United States has been involved. Pat Murphy will again read the names of the 1200 plus veterans who are being honored. Should it rain on Monday, the ceremony will be moved to the Le Mars Community Middle School auditorium. Keep listening to KLEM radio for further announcements regarding the Memorial Day ceremony.
Electronic Recycling Program Scheduled For Today
(Le Mars) -- If you have an electronic gadget that no longer is operational, or time has passed it by beyond its usefulness, you may want to consider recycling. Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole says an electronic recycling program is scheduled for today (Friday) in the parking lot behind the city hall between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Sioux City Farm Equipment Manufacturer Shuts Down Operations
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A farm equipment manufacturer in Sioux City is shutting down its two plants, eliminating more than 50 jobs in the area.
Soo Tractor, which has been doing business as Radius Steel Fabrication, will shut down production at its two Sioux City plants between the end of May and the end of June.
It's unclear why the company, founded more than 70 years ago, is shutting down the plants. Its chairman, Allen Mahaney, died in February at age 77.
Messages left for the company Thursday were not immediately returned.
The company will host a job fair May 29 for displaced workers such as welders, machinists and laser cutters.
Des Moines Continues To Grow
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Pat yourself on the back, Des Moines, you've never been bigger.
The U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday released an estimate showing Des Moines' population on July 1, 2014, was 209,220.
That tops the city's previous population high of 208,982 set in the 1960 census. Following that peak, the city's population began a long decline that saw the number of residents bottom out at 191,003 in the 1980 census.
It's been a slow climb back since.
Des Moines is Iowa's largest city, followed by Cedar Rapids, with at 2014 estimate of 129,195, and Davenport with 102,448.
Sioux City had a population of 82,517, Iowa City had 73,415 and Waterloo totaled 68,364.