Wednesday News, May 28
Mapleton Discharging Waste Water Into Maple River
MAPLETON, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa town has been discharging untreated sewage into the Maple River because of delays to repairs at its wastewater treatment plant.
The town of Mapleton began releasing the sewage Tuesday.
The city began routing wastewater to ponds on May 15 to allow crews to make repairs to a wall at the treatment plant. After heavy rains on Monday filled the ponds to capacity, workers began discharging the sewage to prevent damage to the ponds.
Workers should finish the plant repairs by Wednesday or Thursday.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recommends that people and pets stay away from the area for 24 hours after the repairs are completed.
Inwood Cattle Producer Fined By Iowa DNR
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa cattle producer has agreed to pay a court ordered $12,000 fine for improperly applying manure on fields that flowed into a tributary of a local creek in 2012.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Vernon Van Beek failed to report the discharges, which were discovered during a June 2012 routine inspection.
Van Beek owns Lone Tree Feedlot near Inwood. He raises about 990 head of cattle.
Van Beek agreed to the judgment to settle a lawsuit filed Thursday by Attorney General Tom Miller representing the DNR.
State records show the farm discharged in 2009, 2010, and three times in 2011.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the farm to obtain a Clean Water Act permit from the DNR after the 2010 spill. A permit was issued in 2012.
Clovis Confident Of Senate Run
(Le Mars) -- With less than a week to go before the primary elections, Plymouth County's own Sam Clovis feels confident about his chances of winning the Republican nomination for the U-S Senate seat. Clovis, a professor at Morningside College, and resident of Hinton says he is climbing in the polls.
Clovis is in the middle of a five-way race for the Republican nomination, and he believes most Iowans are just now starting to focus on the candidates and their messages.
Clovis says he has started television ads in each of the television markets to reach additional Iowans to help spread his message. But he also credits his appearances on various talk show radio programs as a way to connect with undecided Iowans. The former radio talk show host says western Iowa is where he is the strongest.
The candidate says he knows the media has focused more attention on both Mark Jacobs and Joni Ernst, which have raised the most money among the five candidates.
The college professor says he must be doing something right, because opponets on both sides have attacked him. He claims the democrats and Congressman Bruce Braley do not want Sam Clovis to be the nominee.
Clovis says with the remaining few days, he will continue to work hard and reach out to the people. Clovis will be in Le Mars on Monday evening for a political rally to be held at the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor.
Ernst Gets Endorsement From Chamber Of Commerce
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Ads for Republican Joni Ernst from the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce add to the sense of momentum for the state senator, who would be the party's first woman nominee for U.S. Senate, should she win on June 3.
The ads also mark an uncommon alliance between conservative groups and more traditional pro-business GOP interests. Ernst also is the first U.S. Senate candidate this year to receive the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Senate Conservatives Fund. The latter has endorsed GOP primary challengers and non-establishment Republicans in high-profile Senate primaries this year in Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska and elsewhere.
Ernst is the only woman in a five-candidate field, and has led in recent polls. Democratic U.S. House member Bruce Braley is unopposed for his party's nomination.
Farmers Catch Up On Corn And Soybean Plantings
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers, for the first time this season, are ahead of the five-year average for planting corn and soybean acres.
Warm temperatures and below normal precipitation allowed soybean planting and crop progress to rapidly advance during the week that ended May 25.
The USDA says statewide there were five days suitable for planting.
The report released Tuesday says 96 percent of the expected corn acres have been planted, 13 points ahead of last year and a percentage point better than the average.
Soybean planting progress doubled with 80 percent complete. That's 5 percentage points above average.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says after the extremely late planting last year farmers are excited to get the crop in the ground more timely this year.
Iowa State University Proposes New Soybean Research Center
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University is proposing a new research center designed to improve the productivity and profit of soybean farmers.
The plan released Tuesday would create the Iowa Soybean Research Center in the school's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The center would bring together educators and scientists from the public and private sectors to "advance the science and business of growing soybeans in Iowa." The goals would include advancing the understanding of soybean plant biology, increasing soybean production and making production more profitable and environmentally sustainable.
Iowa is the nation's leading producer of soybeans, and the crop is a vital protein source for the world. The proposed center would look at ways to diversify production and manage pests.
The Board of Regents will consider the plan next week in Ames.
Branstad To Sign Bill For Tax Credits For Rennovation Of Historical Buildings
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is signing a bill to revises a state law that provides tax credits for the renovation of historic properties.
The bill allows the use of nearly $9 million in unused credits set aside for smaller projects to be used on new projects in fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The state's fiscal year starts in July.
Branstad is signing the bill Tuesday at the Salisbury House in Des Moines, a 42-room house built in the 1920s undergoing restoration.
He says he sees significant interest in Iowa in preserving old buildings.
Branstad says the bill makes improvements that should reduce waiting lists and increase the efficiency of the program.
The annual limit for the tax credits is $45 million. Nearly $38 million in tax credits were redeemed this year.
Council Bluffs Man Pleads Guilty To Assaulting Adult Stepbrother
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Council Bluffs man has pleaded guilty to playing a role in his adult stepbrother's abuse as part of a deal with prosecutors.
23-year-old Ryan Smith pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of being an accessory to a crime. He was originally charged with kidnapping.
Prosecutors say Smith's mother 46-year-old Rebecca Beyer was convicted earlier this month of abusing her 20-year-old mentally disabled son. She's awaiting sentencing.
The man ran away from home in the spring of 2013. Prosecutors have said he was starved at times, chained with a dog leash and had scars from burns.
Smith was fined $625 and ordered to serve two years of probation. He also received a 180-day suspended jail sentence.
Man Dies After Truck Hits Airport Building Near Dallas Center
DALLAS CENTER, Iowa (AP) - A man has died after crashing his truck into an airport building in central Iowa's Dallas Center.
The crash at the Dallas Center Airport happened just before 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright says investigators believe the truck blew a tire before it veered off the roadway and crashed into the building.
The driver was found dead inside the truck. Authorities have not yet released the victim's name.
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