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Monday News, May 25

Origin Of "Taps"

(Untitled) -- The sound of taps will be heard at thousands of cemeteries across the nation today, as people take the time to honor veterans who either sacrificed their lives, or passed on before us.  There are many legends as to the origin of the musical tune taps, but the most common is that it started in 1842 by Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield.  Within months both the Union and Confederate forces adopted the tune.  It was officially recognized by the United States Army in 1874. It was Captain John C. Tidball, a West Point cadet from the class of 1848 that started the custom of playing taps at military funerals. "Taps" is sounded during each of the military wreath ceremonies conducted at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, including the ones held on Memorial Day.

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Avenue Of Flags Ceremony

(Le Mars) -- The American Legion Wasmer Post #241 of Le Mars will hold its 50th annual "Avenue of the Flags" ceremony today at the Plymouth County Courthouse grounds.  The program will begin at 10:00 a.m., but prior to the ceremony will be a Memorial Day Parade. Post Commander Wayne Schipper explains.

 

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The ceremony is colorful, and often times somber and emotional as families present a flag honoring a loved one that served in the United States military forces.  Schipper says this year an additional 35 flags will be dedicated to join the growing number of flags.

 

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Each of the flags represent a veteran that has passed on, and American Legion member Pat Murphy will read all of the 1200 plus names.  In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at the Le Mars Community Middle School Auditorium.

Remsen And Oyens Hold Avenue Of Flags Ceremony

(Remsen) -- Remsen and Oyens will also honor its veterans with their own "Avenue of Flags" and Memorial Day ceremonies. The  Remsen Memorial Day program will be held at the Remsen-Union gymnasium, and the Oyens program will be held at 11:00 at St. Catherine's school cafeteria. The Remsen Memorial Day program will begin at 10:00 a.m.   Madison Tentinger, daughter of David and Beth Tentinger, along with Draven Haefs, son of Peter and Mendy Haefs will both read essays during the program.  Bob Gengler will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, and the speaker will be Reverend Dennis Martens of the Christ Lutheran Church.  A total of 339 flags will be flown On Washington Street Boulevard, Happy Siesta Health Care Center, Bavarian Meadows, St Mary's Catholic Church, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Christ Lutheran Church and at the cemetery. Oyens will have 74 flags to honor its veterans.

Vehicle Hits Wall Of Saloon

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department was dispatched to the Red Hanky Saloon located at 18 2nd Street Northwest at about 2:50 p.m. Saturday afternoon, for a vehicle that hit the wall of the saloon, causing some bricks to fall.  The vehicle had hit two other vehicles before striking the bar's outside wall.  Fire Department personnel were called to the scene to assist with the clean up of debris, and of the fluids from the vehicles. The fire and rescue department checked the structural integrity of the building, and to make certain there were no electrical wires that were exposed.  Fire personnel rendered the building safe after the accident.  There were no injuries with the driver, or any patrons inside the building at the time of the accident. The Le Mars Police Department and the Le Mars Ambulance were also called to assist at the scene.

Ernst, Northey, And King Comment About Bird Flu At Town Hall Meeting

(Sioux Center) -- Discussion focused on the bird flu at a town hall meeting held Saturday afternoon at Sioux Center.  Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey answered questions from producers, feed company representatives, and other people concerned about the bird flu outbreak that has affected millions of chickens and turkeys.  Some poultry producers were wondering if the U-S government would step
in and help with some financial aid.  Senator Ernst says there is an indemnity fund, but it has its limitations.
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Ernst reminded the gathering that Iowa is not the only state affected by the avian flu, but it has been hit the hardest.
Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is concerned after sterilization and sanitation has taken place in the affected facilities, what assurance will there be to make certain the virus has been totally destroyed.
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Two landfills in the state recently agreed to take birds.  However, Iowa Congressman Steve King is concerned about the long term health and environmental impacts at the landfills.
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King further explains his position.
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The Iowa Republican Congressman says he would like to learn more information about how to kill the bird flu virus.
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Many of the producers attending the townhall meetings felt frustrated by the lack of assistance, and the lack of information.


Turkey Producer Comments About Bird Flu

(Sioux Center) -- One of the turkey producers attending the Bird Flu town hall meeting at Sioux Center was Rod Parker.  Parker raises turkeys in Cherokee County and on May 7th he was informed that his turkey operation had tested positive with the avian flu.  Parker says his flock was healthy up until the time the flu had struck. He says he noticed an increase of mortality of the birds. Parker's facilities were within the quarantined zone from another facility that was previously infected.

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Parker, who also serves on the Iowa Turkey Federation Board, wouldn't say how many turkeys were lost, but he did admit all the turkeys within his five buildings of his operation would need to be euthanized.  Parker says he has started the composting process of the dead birds.

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The Iowa turkey grower says he must now monitor the temperature of the composting pile.

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He says USDA officials tell him it could be at least six months before he can repopulate his facilities with new birds.

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Parker believes the virus is airborne, and the strong spring winds have helped it spread throughout northwest Iowa.  He says several producers are not being told vital information in a timely manner, and are left with several questions.

 

School Officials Are Frustrated Over Legislator's Delay For Education Funding Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As budget talks drag on in the state Capitol, educators are growing increasingly frustrated.

School funding has been a central point of conflict throughout the legislative session, with the Democratic-led Senate seeking to provide more new dollars than the Republican-controlled House for the 2015-2016 academic year. The two sides are about $50 million apart on funding.

Paul Gausman, superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District, says his district removed about 20 instructional assistant jobs from its payroll as it waits for word about additional money.

David Benson, superintendent for the Cedar Rapids Community School District, says the impasse has forced his district to keep about 30 teaching jobs on hold.

Legislative leaders say they are making progress on reaching a budget deal. They'll resume negotiations this week.

 

 

 

Red Cross Is Consolidating Offices In Eastern Iowa

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Several American Red Cross offices in eastern Iowa will be consolidating to reduce costs, but the nonprofit says it is not cutting jobs or services.

The agency will close its Marshalltown office and move to a smaller Waterloo office.

Pami Erickson is executive director of the south and eastern Iowa chapter of the Red Cross. She says the chapter will actually add one job as part of the changes.

The Marshalltown office had been used only for storage in recent years. Those items will move to the emergency management building.

In Waterloo, the Red Cross will give up four offices it is leasing and move into free space provided by Red Cross Blood Services.

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Saturday Afternoon News, May 23

Egg Prices Rise To Record Levels

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa egg production for April fell 8 percent from the month before and 4 percent from a year ago as the bird flu claimed millions of egg-laying hens.

The first case was found in Iowa chickens around April 20th so the decline reflected in the U.S. Department of Agriculture monthly report reflects only some infected farms. The June 22nd report will show a more complete picture. The virus has spread to 63 farms killing more than 21 million egg-layers.

The average number of layers on hand was 56.1 million in April, 5 percent lower than the year before.

Egg prices surged to a record on Friday, a month after bird flu was first detected in the chicken flock in Iowa, the nation's leading egg producer.

Midwest large eggs reached $2.32 a dozen.

Rick Brown, a senior vice president for Urner Barry, a commodity market analyst says that's a 95 percent increase in the month since bird flu first hit Iowa chickens. He says the previous record was $2.27 set on December 4th.

Eggs used to make ice cream, mayonnaise and other processed foods set a record Friday of $2.13 a dozen, up 238 percent from the selling price of April 22nd around the date Iowa's first chicken farm tested positive.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is predicting food companies will soon face an egg supply problem.

 

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More than 21 million of Iowa's egg-laying hens have been killed.  KLEM news visited with a local official with a grocery store.  The official indicated he has not yet had any trouble in obtaining a supply of eggs, though he noted egg wholesale prices have increased.  The official also indicated he has not yet seen an increase with food products made with eggs.
Economic Development Awards Business Incentives
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The department that oversees economic development in
Iowa says it has approved investment funding that will eventually create more than 1,300 jobs in the state.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority says its board awarded money and tax benefits Friday to six companies expected to add jobs and expand projects.
The investment will help projects or proposed projects in Des Moines, Urbandale, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Colfax, Fort Dodge, and Sioux City.  Kay Henderson tells us more.
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Department officials estimate the awards will create nearly $392 million in new capital investment in the state.

   

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