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Wednesday Afternoon News, January 22

Plymouth County Extension To Host Crop Advantage Seminar

(Le Mars) -- 2013 proved to be an interesting year for farmers. Now, farmers are asking "what is expected for 2014 crop year?" Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County will host a crop advantage meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, January 28th.  Joel DeJong, ISU crops specialist says farmers were fortunate to get a great harvest following the late planting.  The crop specialist says the mild temperatures along with the timely rains in July and August helped secure a nice harvest.  De Jong says the crop advantage meeting will reflect back on the past crop year, as well as looking ahead.  De Jong says the focus of the meeting will be on weeds that are resistent to today's popular herbicides.

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De Jong says agronomists and crop protection companies are taking a step back to old school in the fight against weeds.

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The Iowa State University crops specialist says farmers will benefit from the other issues that will be discussed at the conference.

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That crop advantage seminar is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 28th at the Le Mars Convention Center.  DeJong says farmers will have the opportunity to be certified as a private pesticide applicator during the meeting.  Registration is $35 through Thursday, and $45 after Thursday.


OSHA Seeking Cause For Omaha Industrial Accident

 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Federal safety investigators are looking at structural problems and a dust explosion as possible causes of an industrial building collapse in Omaha that killed two workers and injured 17 others.
     Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesman Scott Allen says investigators are working with structural engineers and combustible dust experts as part of their investigation into Monday's collapse of the International Nutrition building in southwest Omaha. The plant makes nutritional products that are added to livestock and poultry feed.
     Allen said Wednesday that it likely will be weeks before investigators identify a cause of the collapse.
     He says OSHA investigators were able to enter the heavily-damage building Tuesday and gather some evidence and photos but declined to say what that evidence included.


State Senate Looking At Giving Military Pensions Tax Exemptions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Senate panel is giving preliminary backing to a bill that would exempt military pensions from the state income tax. 
     A Senate subcommittee approved the legislation during a brief hearing Wednesday. It is expected to soon receive committee-level approval and move to the full Senate for a vote. 
     Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says he is pleased to support legislation that helps veterans and may bring more military retirees to the state. 
     The military pension exemption is a top priority for Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who has made support for veterans a key part of his budget plan this year. 
     According to the Branstad administration, the pension exemption would cost the state a projected $10 million in lost annual revenue.


Ex Boy Friend Charged With Assault After Throwing Mixture Into Girl's Face

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines man faces an assault charge after his ex-girlfriend claimed he threw a mixture of eggnog, hot sauce and a lubricant product on her face.
     Des Moines police say 25-year-old Michael Lee Gatewood-Brown was arrested Tuesday in connection with the Jan. 14 incident. He has been charged with assault causing serious injury. Court records do not list an attorney.
     The ex-girlfriend said she met Gatewood-Brown at a public place to retrieve personal items. He is accused of grabbing a jug from his vehicle and throwing its contents on the woman's face. The mixture included a WD-40 product.
     The woman said the liquid got into her eyes and mouth, and she experienced temporary blindness and nausea.
      Gatewood-Brown remains in the Polk County Jail.


Iowa Supreme Court Hears Solar Energy Case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is hearing a case that could shape the future of how solar power is sold in the state and region.
     The case involves electric companies and Eagle Point Solar, a Dubuque solar energy company. Attorneys and advocates for both sides will argue in front of the high court Wednesday.
     Eagle Point Solar wants to install its solar systems on businesses or city buildings and then sell the electricity produced back to the entity.
     Attorneys for the electric companies say the arrangement violates state law, which gives the electric companies exclusive rights to those customers.
     The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Supreme Court will determine if Eagle Point Solar should be classified under state law as a public utility like the electric companies.










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