Wednesday, May 25, 2016
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South Sioux Slain Woman Identified

(South Sioux) -- South Sioux City Police have identified the slain woman who was murdered in her home on Friday, but they are still looking for the South Sioux City man accused of killing his live-in girl friend.  The victim has been identified as  47 year old Kelly Alspach.  Alspach, who resided at 300 East 23rd street, was first reported missing on Oct. 13 because she hadn't shown up for work for four days.   When the Police and Dakota County sheriff's deputies checked out the residence, they noticed several days worth of newspapers had piled up at the door.  The police entered the home and found the body of Alspach,inside an enclosed space under a window seat. She wouldn't have been able to breathe.   An autopsy revealed that Alspach died from  a blow to the head and positional asphyxia.  An arrest warrant was issued for the arrest of 53 year old John P. Baker for second degree murder. The court affidavit says Baker has medical problems, including depression.  The investigation is still ongoing.


(Des Moines) -- Due to cooler temperatures and some scattered showers, there has been some confusion as to whether or not the burn ban still exists.  Officials with the state fire marshall's office say the burn ban for 28 Iowa counties, including Plymouth County, and most of all northwest Iowa does indeed still remain in effect.  State Fire Marshall spokesman Ron Humphrey says dry vegetation is only part of the problem.  He says strong winds can add to an already dangerous situation.

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Many of the counties have had the bans in place for three weeks due to little or no rain.  Humphrey says much of Iowa could use a good soaking.

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Officials this month have responded to several fires in farm fields that were sparked my the combination of dry vegetation, overheated machinery, and strong winds.   

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the 2012 Farm Bill must stay focused on providing effective aid to farmers affected by natural disasters, while increasing research
funding and maintaining a commitment to conservation.  Vilsack says Congress also needs to focus on improving markets for U.S. products.
     He outlined his priorities for the Farm Bill during a speech Monday at the John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny.  He says research funding has been stagnant since the 1990s and without increasing funding, productivity could suffer at a time when global demand for food is rising.
     The current $284 billion bill, approved in 2008, expires in September 2012. About 75 percent of funding goes toward food nutrition programs but it also supports commodity crops, livestock,
research, energy and rural development.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is creating a new advisory board that will offer ideas for creating jobs, finding new markets for Iowa goods and improving the state's economy.
     Branstad announced the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board Monday, saying it would take a proactive approach to economic development.
     The board will have up to 15 members, including the governor or someone designated as his representative and three other state officials. The other members will be people from businesses or
others with experience in private-sector job creation and economic development.
     Apart from the officials, board members won't be paid. The appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.




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