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Tuesday News, July 17

Plymouth County Under Burn Ban


(Le Mars) -- The hot and dry conditions is impacting the news.  To start... as of this morning, Plymouth County is now in a burn ban.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the burn ban is necessary since persistant dry conditions continue.  The burn ban forbids any open burning, including trees, trash, and etc.  However, backyard grilling and bar-b-ques are allowed.



State Fire Marshall Warns Iowans About Burning


(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Fire Marshall warns Iowans the heat wave experienced the past two weeks is creating a "tinder box" conditions throughout the state.  State Fire Marshall Ray Reynolds says one-third of the state is in a burn ban, and he anticipates additional counties to be added to the list within the next few days, unless Iowa receives a significant rainfall to change the present conditions.  Reynolds says he can't recall a time since the 1980's when the state saw this level of extreme dryness.  The state fire marshall says the state can ill-afford a major fire disaster that could have been prevented with a little help from the public.  Reynolds reminds Iowans to use common sense during this dry period.  Do not litter and throw lit cigarette from moving vehicles as grass fires ignite easily in dry conditions.  Avoid the use of sky laterns, bottle rockets, and other fireworks celebration items involving sparks or flames.  Burning of yard waste or piled tree debris is responsibile for causing a majority of wild land fires for Iowa fire departments.



Plymouth County Extension To Host Drought Meeting


(Le Mars) -- Iowa State University Extension in Plymouth County will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, July 19th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss drought related issues at the Plymouth County Extension office in the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center.  Topics will include: "Crop growth and development under drought conditions", "feeding drought damaged crops", "crop insurance considerations", and "disaster government programs".  The meeting is expected to last 90 minutes. Farmers can also bring five representative corn stock samples for a quick nitrate assessment conducted by Beth Doran prior to the start of the meeting.  For questions about the meeting, contact the Plymouth County Extension office at (712) 546-7835.  No pre-registration is required.  The meeting will be at 251 12 Street Southeast, Le Mars.



Iowa Crops Continue to Deteriorate


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The condition of Iowa's corn and soybeans continues to deteriorate as summer brings more hot weather and little rain.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that only 36 percent of the corn and 38 percent of the soybeans are in good to excellent shape in the widest drought in nearly 25 years.

A year ago, about 80 percent of Iowa's corn and soybeans were in good to excellent condition.

The USDA says most of Iowa's topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are running short or very short, despite widespread rain last week.

Over two inches of rain fell at Grundy Center, while Perry had 3 inches. The statewide average was .28 inches or a-fourth of the weekly normal. No soaking rains are in the immediate forecast.



Iowa D-N-R Reports Streams and Creeks Drying Up


(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is reporting several  incidents where streams, creeks, brooks, and ponds are drying up as a result of the extreme dry conditions.  The D-N-R is also reporting of several shallow wells that are low on water levels.  A dairy operation in northwest Iowa stated that all six of its shallow wells were being pumped and water levels were not keeping up.  It was advised that additional wells wee needed to meet their peak demand.



South Sioux City Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison


DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) - A South Sioux City man will spend up to 16 years in prison for killing his girlfriend, whose body was found stuffed in a window seat of their home.

54-year-old John Baker was sentenced on Monday to 11 to 16 years in prison for manslaughter and concealing the death of another person.  He pleaded guilty in May in Dakota County District Court.

Baker was charged in the death of 47-year-old Kelly Alspach in October 2011.

Baker was later arrested in North Dakota. He was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded no contest to the lesser charges.




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