Home News Thursday News, August 4

Thursday News, August 4


Ben Phillips of rural Akron has an unusual FFA project this year.
It’s a 3.5 acre sunflower patch, which is open to the public.

One of the purposes of the sunflower patch is to learn more about growing sunflowers. The other is to pad his college fund.

The response to his sunflower patch has been great so far.

But his patch won’t be open for long, as the sunflowers are near the end of their growing cycle.

After that, comes the harvest.

Ben says it wasn’t difficult to convince his father to let him plant 3.5 acres of sunflowers.

Ben Phillips’ Sunflower Patch is open through this weekend. You can find it 3 miles east of Akron along Iowa Highway 10.’


The Sioux Center City Council Wednesday agreed to help the Sioux Center Christian School with their expansion project. The school plans to break ground on a 14.7 million dollars expansion next year. The City Council Wednesday agreed to contribute 750-thousand dollars over five years toward the project. The school’s new addition is a 50-thousand square foot structure, called the Blazer Center. It will included ten new classrooms, work rooms, a multipurpose room, and a lobby. The expansion will create an additional 10 to 15 jobs in the school. Sioux Center Christian School enrolls about 1/3 of the elementary school children in Sioux Center, and provides several childcare programs to the community. The school employs 90 people.


The Plymouth County Soil and Water Conservation District is now taking cost share signups from farmers interested in P-band (low disturbance manure) and N-serve (nitrapyrin) on land in the Deep-Creek-Willow Creek Watershed. Cost share is 3 dollars per acre, up to 200 acres for N-Serve, and 10 dollars per acre for P-Band, up to 200 acres. The Deep Creek-Willow Creek Watershed is mostly in eastern Plymouth and Southeast Sioux Counties, but also includes parts of O’Brien and Cherokee Counties. Applications will be accepted until September 30.


There’s been a slight uptick in the amount of water flowing into reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin over the past two months, but the Army Corps of Engineers says it’s not enough to reverse long-term drought conditions along the Missouri River corridor. The Army Corps of Engineers is slightly increasing the water flow out of the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota. That will help barges and other vessels navigate the Missouri River through Sioux City, Omaha, Nebraska City and Kansas City. However, the Army Corps intends to conserve water releases if there is no commercial navigation in a given area. The National Drought Mitigation Center estimates that 62 percent of the Missouri River basin is abnormally dry or in a drought.


The pilot of a spray plane that crashed near Ute Iowa last Saturday has been identified. The Monona County Sheriffs Department said 45 year old Brady Neil of Weatherford, Oklahoma, died in the crash, which occurred on 230th, near the intersection of Teak Ave. A caller to the 911 center that morning indicated the plane hit power lines and crashed on the road. Responders arrived on the scene to find the air plane in flames. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board concluded their investigation into the crash, but it will be several months before a final report is released.



A car-scooter accident north of Sheldon Wednesday claimed the life of a 15 year old.  The Iowa State Patrol says the accident occurred at 12-30 pm at the intersection of Iowa Highway 60 and 280th street, east of Ritter, in northern O’Brien County.  The victim, who was not identified, was riding a scooter/motorcycle west on 280th, and was in the intersection at Iowa Highway 60. The rider crossed the southbound lanes of Iowa 60, into the path of a vehicle driven by 71 year old Bonnie Jean Allison of Spencer.  The teen suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, and later died of those injuries.  Allison was not injured in the crash.  The Iowa State Patrol continues to investigate the crash.



A Sioux Center teen was injured Tuesday morning accident on Fig Ave, four miles west of Sioux Center.  16 year old Savanhah De Groot was driving a car northbound on Fig when she lost control of the vehicle entered a ditch, and rolled.  De Groot was taken by Sioux Center Ambulance Sioux Center Health for treatment of  her injuries.  She was cited for failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle.



The Marcus Community Fair is ready for its run next week.  Board member Jake Watter says the Fair is an institution in Cherokee County.

The community has gotten behind the fair for decades

The Marcus Fair has some established events – and some new ones.

The Marcus Fair has been staged for over 85 years, and the community comes together each year to make it happen.

The four day event is packed with activities.

The 86th Marcus Community Fair is next week, August 11 through 14.  Admission is free.  The complete schedule of events can be found at marcuscommunityfair.com



A Des Moines man’s request for a trial delay has been rejected by a federal judge.  Doug Jensen is facing charges for his role in the January 6th Capitol riot.  His defense lawyer had asked that his trial be moved to next February, saying the ongoing publicity from the House Select Committee Hearings and the upcoming release of its final report would impact a jury pool.  K-C-C-I/T-V reports Federal Judge Timothy Kelly made his decision based on the fact the September 19th trial will be finished before the mid-term elections and the release of the committee’s final report.



A University of Iowa law professor says there are practical guidelines in a bill to update how the Electoral College count for president is conducted.  Derek Muller advised the senators who developed the legislation.  It would make clear that the vice president’s role as Congress counts the votes of state electors is only ceremonial.  The bill also raises the objectionable threshold to one-fifth of the members of the House and Senate.  Muller says the bill offers more clarity, more precision, and more stability than exists presently.



Sioux City Fire Rescue has released additional details about an incident at a cell tower Monday afternoon.  A worker who was part of a crew conducting special maintenance on the tower became trapped 200 feet above the ground.  A pole had pinned his foot to the tower.  K-M-E-G/T-V reports emergency responders were called to the location just before 5:00 p-m.  Two co-workers were able to free the victim and lower him to a platform about 150 feet up.  Sioux City Fire Rescue then climbed the tower to the staging platform and safely lowered the patient to the ground – then he was transported to a local hospital for treatment.



As we survive the steamy, hot summer, some Iowans may find solace in pondering the cooler weather of the inevitable change in seasons, but the new edition of the Farmers’ Almanac predicts anything but a mild winter ahead. Editor Peter Geiger says the winter forecast map carries just five words floating over Iowa and the Midwest: “Hibernation Zone, Glacial, Snow-Filled.” Geiger says the publication is calling for an exceptionally snowy, extremely cold winter for 2022-23. While parts of Iowa have seen triple-digit heat indices multiple times this summer, Geiger says the winter before us will prove to be equally extreme with lows possibly reaching NEGATIVE 40 degrees in some parts of the northern U-S. The new edition of the almanac is due on store shelves August 15th.



Iowans who are attending this week’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego are hearing about the latest research into potential risk factors for the disease. Lauren Livingston, spokeswoman for the association’s Iowa chapter, says studies are showing that women with a history of hypertensive disorders were more likely to develop vascular dementia later in life as well as Alzheimer’s and that it can even occur “15 years-plus” after pregnancy. Another new study being released this week builds on the knowledge that racism can cause trauma in a person’s life, bringing an increase in stress levels which may cause negative biological changes, including cognitive decline. Recent studies have also shown how healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, can help to reduce cognitive decline in the future, while the opposite is also proving to be true in new research.



Last week’s statewide bicycle ride RAGBRAI was a chance for some small Iowa towns to raise money for community projects. The group Moms and Grandmas for Fonda used their stop along the route to fundraise for a new town basketball court. The northwest Iowa non-profit brought home around 600-dollars in pickle sandwich sales that’ll go toward their 30-thousand-dollar goal. Elsewhere, Nemaha raised nearly enough money to finish construction on its historical museum. As one of the stops on Monday’s route, the Buena Vista County town nearly sold out of the 400 pounds of marinated turkey tenders prepared for the event.