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Monday News, May 5

Farmers Could Be Losing $1 Billion Due To Soil Erosion

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Rain and wind is washing away enough of Iowa's fertile topsoil to potentially reduce crop yields by $1 billion, so researchers are working to develop a better way to measure erosion.
     Researchers think parts of Iowa could be losing up to 12 times more soil that government reports suggest.
     Iowa State University professor Rick Cruse is leading a team developing a new method to measure erosion's impact that could paint a grim picture.
     Some of the most severe erosion happens in western and southeastern parts of Iowa.
     State Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says erosion may be getting worse because conservation programs have been scaled back.


Controlled Burn On Old School Building Delayed

EXIRA, Iowa (AP) - Officials have postponed a controlled burn on a nearly century-old elementary school building in western Iowa.
     Fire officials canceled the Sunday morning fire in Exira because of strong winds in the area. It has been pushed back to June 1st.
     About 100 firefighters from a dozen or so departments in the region were expected to participate in the burn as part of training. The Exira Elk Horn-Kimballton Community School District says it will save up to $60,000 in demolition costs by doing the burn.
     The large brick building near the center of town was closed in 2011. It was originally scheduled to be burned down at the end of April, but poor weather conditions canceled it.
     Exira is a small community about 60 miles west of Des Moines.


Government Oversight Committee Ready To Hand Out Subpoenas 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With the legislative session adjourned, members of the Senate Government Oversight Committee are poised to renew an investigation into state employment issues aided by the authority to subpoena witnesses.
     The committee gained that authority through a resolution passed as the last Senate action of the 2014 session on Friday.
     The oversight committee wants to know who authorized payments for silence to former workers who signed settlement agreements. It's also investigating hiring and employment practices and bidding, purchasing, and contracting policies.
     Senate Government Oversight Chairwoman Janet Petersen says she hopes to have the first hearing this month.
     Petersen says the panel needs to question current and former officials and will see if they come willingly before issuing subpoenas.


Five Year Old Boy Dies After Being Struck By Car

 OSAGE, Iowa (AP) - A 5-year-old child has died after being struck by a car in the northern Iowa city of Osage.
     The Iowa State Patrol says the accident occurred around 11:45 a.m. Saturday at an intersection. The patrol says the boy was in the roadway when he was struck by a car driven by 73-year-old Isabelle Spitz, of Osage. 
     The boy was identified as Kuper Malmin, of St. Ansgar (ANZ'-gur). 
     The accident is being investigated.


Two Men Die From Rollover Accident

 WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) - Two men have died in a rollover crash in the central Iowa city of Winterset.
     The accident occurred Sunday afternoon. 
     Authorities say the two men were in a car that went out of control and rolled into a ditch, killing both of them. A third person in the car was taken to a hospital.
     The dead men have been identified as 20-year-old Logan Waltz and 21-year-old Taylor Aleman.






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