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Monday Afternoon News, April 11th

Soil Conditions Still Cool For Planting As Farmers Prepare For Spring Fieldwork

(Le Mars) -- The calendar says it is time to be doing field work.  However, the soil conditions remain a little cool. So, should farmers be concerned?  Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for Northwest Iowa Joel DeJong says despite the cooler temperatures, soil conditions are showing signs of being ready.

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Ideally, soil temperatures should be at least 50 degrees before planting takes place. DeJong says the four-inch soil temperatures are currently in the low 40's, but he says the ten-day weather forecast is favorable.

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Many farmers are still applying anhydrous ammonia for their fertilizer needs, and DeJong says conditions are still favorable, if farmers make certain they are applying that anhydrous ammonia at deep enough levels.

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DeJong says southern Iowa farmers have already started with their planting, but he says northern Iowa farmers may want to wait a few more days, even though research studies indicate better yields are obtained with early planted seed.

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The extension crops specialist says farmers still have plenty of time to plant their seed, and there is no reason to rush.

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Plymouth County Republican Chairman Says District Convention Was Civil

(Le Mars) -- "Things went smoothly".  That's how Plymouth County Republican party chairman Don Kass described the activity of the Iowa 4th District Republican convention that was held on Saturday at Fort Dodge.

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Kass says the Ted Cruz campaign was well organized and well attended at the district political party convention.

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The Plymouth County republican official says he was surprised at how quickly the district delegates were able to approve the party's platform and its planks.  Kass says when usually it takes hours to discuss and approve, this time it took only minutes.  Republican voters will need to decide who they wish to have represent them from the fourth district in the U-S Congress as incumbent candidate Steve King of Kiron will face challenger State Senator Rick Bertram from Sioux City.  Kass says it was interesting that Bertram did not make an appearance at the district convention.

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Senator Chuck Grassley is seeking re-election this fall, and according to Kass, the U-S Senator gave a heart-felt inspirational speech to the district delegates.

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Plymouth County has 28 voting delegates for the the Republican convention, and Kass says the state republican convention is scheduled for Saturday, May 21st in Des Moines, and he encourages everyone to stay active.

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Kass was elected to serve on the electoral college, meaning his vote will count towards the presidential elecion.

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The Democratic District convention will be held in Ames and is scheduled for April 30th.

 

 

 

 

Sioux City Elementary School Converted To Become Apartments

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former elementary school in Sioux City has been converted into 14 loft-like apartments for families to live in.
The 25,000-square-foot building that used to be known as Joy Elementary School now houses two- and three-bedroom apartments. 
The more than 100-year-old building has 12-foot ceilings and exposed ductwork, granite countertops and sleek kitchen cabinets. The apartments also include all brand new appliances, such as a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave and in-unit washer and dryer.
Joy Elementary School closed in 2012 when another elementary school opened. Old School Properties LLC bought it for $70,000. The group also recently purchased Whittier Elementary, which closed in 2015, for $102,000 and plans to convert it into apartments as well.
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OSHA Fines Urbandale Postal Service For Safety Violations

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A federal safety agency has cited the U.S. Postal Service distribution center in Urbandale for one new and two repeated safety violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a news release Monday that the citations follow an October 2015 OSHA investigation of a complaint alleging forklift operators were handling unstable loads and driving forward with no clear path of visibility.
OSHA has proposed $88,000 in penalties.
OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said no accidents or injuries directly resulted from incidents cited in the citation. A regional post office safety administrator didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

 

 

 

Lawmaker Challenges Agency On The Restoration Work Of Iowa Battle Flags

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa lawmaker is challenging an agency's assessment that its longtime preservation work on historic battle flags is complete.
Sen. Bill Dotzler, a Waterloo Democrat, says the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is misinterpreting the intended scope of a project involving more than 300 battle flags stored at the state historical museum. He plans to propose language in a budget bill requiring DCA to keep restoring the flags.
Department spokesman Jeff Morgan says the project's original goal was to stabilize the flags in their current condition. Dotzler and historians say the project requires more labor-intensive conservation work addressing previous damage to the flags.
Documents show the department undertook the more extensive conservation work for years. Morgan says that was to allow a portion to be displayed as required by law.

 

 

 

 

Loras College Students Still Displaced After Fire Destroyed Dormitory

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Nearly a month after a residence hall fire at Loras College, some students continue living in other spots on campus and uncertainty remains about what will happen to the damaged structure.
45 people were displaced from Visitation complex after an apparent lightning strike sparked the fire March 16.
Seventeen students who lived in the south building were able to return to their living quarters within 10 days. Another nine students who lived in the north complex were able to move to an unused floor in the south building. The remaining 18 students have been relocated to a variety of campus apartment buildings and residence halls.
The assistant dean of students says officials haven't decided how to repair the damage.

 

 

 

 

Work Release Fugitive Now Apprehended

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities say a man listed as escaped from a work release facility in Council Bluffs has been apprehended.
Iowa Corrections Department spokesman Fred Scaletta said Monday that Colton Benson-Blaine is in custody at the Shelby County Jail. Benson-Blaine was put on escaped status Sunday after he didn't return from his job.
The 25-year-old is serving a 12-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter and other crimes. He began serving his time on Aug. 5, 2011. He was transferred to work release on March 16.




 





   

Monday News, April 11

Remsen Fire Department Responds To Tractor Fire

(Remsen) -- The Remsen Fire and Rescue Department responded to a tractor that had caught on fire.  The call was made at about 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Fire officials went to a field between 200th Street and County road C-38.  Todd Tentinger, the fire chief for the Remsen Fire Department describes the scene when fire fighters had arrived.

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Tentinger says given the fact the tractor was hitched to a pair of anhydrous ammonia tanks gave fire fighters reason to be even more concerned, but fortunately, Tentinger says the winds were in the right direction pushing the flames away from the anhydrous ammonia tanks.

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The Remsen fire chief says the fire fighters were not able to unhook the anhydrous ammonia tanks until after the fire was extinguished.  He says the tractor is a total loss.  Tentinger says he is uncertain as to what caused the tractor to start on fire, but an investigation is continuing.

 

 

 

 

Le Mars FFA Chapter Celebrates 75th Anniversary

 

(Le Mars) -- Nearly 270 people filled the Carey gymnasium at the Le Mars Community High School to attend the 75th anniversary celebration honoring the Le Mars F-F-A chapter on Saturday evening. The group consisted of school administrators, current members and their parents, and a large group of Le Mars FFA alumni.  A slide presentation reviewing the past 75 years was presented by high school senior, and current Le Mars FFA chapter treasurer, Jacob Holck.  Holck detailed the historical aspects of the chapter, recognizing the previous advisors, past chapter alumni, and the many accomplishments by the chapter and members of the Le Mars FFA chapter. Special recognition was given to the attending charter member, Cliff Tonsfeldt, as well to those families that have had four generations involved with FFA.  Following the banquet and program, past FFA members gathered by decades to have their pictures taken, as well as past presidents, state degree honorees, and American degree recipients.  Advisor Brett Oetken encouraged all attendees to visit with their friends, neighbors, grandchildren, and children to become active in agriculture.  Oetken says agriculture is an ever-changing and growing industry that offers many opportunities, and today's youth should take a serious look at agriculture for future careers.

 

 

 

Legislature Still Trying To Decide Which Programs To Receive Funding

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature has taken another step toward adjournment by agreeing to budget spending targets, but lawmakers still must decide details over what areas of state government will actually get some of the limited new dollars available.
It's unclear whether the split Legislature will reach consensus in time for an adjournment scheduled on April 19th, but some legislative leaders believe it's possible. It will come down to a set of budget groups that must allocate funding based on the spending targets. Many areas of state government will receive little new money.
Lawmakers agree there is about $7.34 billion to spend on the state budget that takes effect in July.
It's also unclear whether lawmakers will pass legislation before the session wraps up that addresses water quality initiatives or medical marijuana.

 

 

 

 

Iowa Republican Delegates Pledge Support For Ted Cruz

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Eleven of the 12 Iowa GOP delegates chosen at the state party's four district conventions held across the state on Saturday have pledged their support to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, bested the rest of the GOP field in the Iowa caucus back in February.
Cruz's successes on Saturday came at the expense of Trump, the Republican front-runner whose campaign had vocal groups of supporters at each convention. None of the delegate selected Saturday pledged support to Trump.
The lone delegate not pledging to support Cruz is Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a former official in Governor Terry Branstad's administration and a former congressional candidate. She declined to commit to any candidate on Saturday.

 

 

 

Private Company Sells Grain Elevators To West Bend Cooperative

WEST BEND, Iowa (AP) - A group of seven northwest Iowa grain elevators are being sold to a farmers cooperative in the area.
MaxYield Cooperative in West Bend, Iowa, is buying the elevators in Superior, Gruver, Milford, Everly, Spencer, Langdon and Greenville, Iowa. The deal also includes an LP gas storage facility in Royal.
Agribusiness company The Andersons is selling the grain elevators to MaxYield after owning them since 2012.
The purchase price was not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by May 1st.

 

 

 

 

Sac, Buena Vista, and Calhoun Counties Collect $900,000 For Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The three northern Iowa counties being sued by a Des Moines water utility have received $900,000 in donations to cover most of their legal bills, but officials won't identify the donors.
Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties released released about 260 pages of legal records.
One of Calhoun County's attorneys, David Wollenzien, says the counties are trying to get permission from donors to share more, but they don't believe they're required to identify them because state law exempts donations from foundations that support government.
The lawsuit filed last year by Des Moines Water Works alleges the three counties that oversee 10 agricultural drainage districts should be required to obtain federal water pollution discharge permits because they release pollutants into rivers much like regulated factories.







 


   

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