Saturday, May 28, 2016
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Friday Afternoon News, May 30

Deep Creek Watersheld Project Of Plymouth County To Receive Grant For Water Quality

DES MOINES –Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced five watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $1.7 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years.  One of those water quality projects, the Deep Creek Water Quality Initiative Project is located in Plymouth County.  In addition to the state funds, the eight projects will provide an additional $2.2 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts as well as other in-kind contributions.

Secretary Northey says he is excited to get the five new water quality demonstration projects going so they can continue to the momentum we are seeing on improving water quality,” Northey says  “These projects serve help us learn what works and show farmers how water quality practices can work on their land and within their farming operation.”

The five projects are within the large priority watersheds prioritized by the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council (WRCC), which include the East and West Nishnabotna, Skunk, and Floyd river watersheds.  The Deep Creek water quality project is being coordinated by the Plymouth County Soil and Water Conservation District with partners that include:USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), ISU Extension and Outreach, Plymouth County Farm Bureau, Plymouth County Pheasants Forever, Plymouth County Pork Producers, Le Mars Agri-Center, Remsen Farmers Coop, Farmers Coop, Iowa Corn Growers, Iowa Soybean Association

Project details: Through partnerships with both public and private agricultural entities, the project intends to reach an expanded audience.  Like much of northwestern Iowa, this area contains a large amount of livestock production.  Practices demonstrated with this project will have a special emphasis on those that are most relevant to livestock producers.

The demonstration watersheds selected cover 345,449 acres.  The projects will implement and demonstrate the effectiveness and adaptability of a host of conservation practices including, but not limited to: cover crops, nutrient management, wetlands, terraces, bioreactors, buffer strips, no-till, strip-till, nitrogen inhibitors, extended rotations, conservation cover, drainage water management and manure management.  More than 30 partners from agriculture organizations, institutions of higher education, private industry, the local, state and federal government, and others, are working together on these projects with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) serving as the project leaders.


Sibley Man Pleads Not Guilty To Equipment Theft

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the theft of farm and construction equipment.
     Michael Block, of Sibley, entered his written plea Thursday in Osceola County District Court. He faces seven counts of first-degree theft, 10 counts of second-degree theft and one count each of third- and fourth-degree theft.
     Court records do not list an attorney for Block.
     Block is accused of stealing farm and construction equipment that was reported missing in four Iowa counties. The equipment is valued at more than $200,000.
     Block turned himself in to authorities in April, after Osceola County sheriff's deputies served warrants on his property and found items that had been reported stolen.


Former Lottery Employee Charged With Fraud

  FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa lottery worker has been charged with several felony fraud counts after investigators say she kept several scratch lottery tickets she was supposed to deliver to north Iowa stores.
     The Iowa Department of Public Safety says in a written release Friday that Toni Hammer, of Alta, has been charged in Webster County with seven felony counts of lottery fraud and one count of tampering with records, a misdemeanor.
     The department investigated after being asked to do so by the Iowa Lottery's security division, which said it had found discrepancies in records involving some lottery retail locations.
     Special Agent Steve VanOtterloo says an investigation showed Hammer illegally kept seven scratch tickets for herself, netting less than $150 in winnings.
     Hammer could not be reached for comment Friday morning.


Council Bluffs Rennovates Fountain

  COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Workers are reinstalling a historic fountain in downtown Council Bluffs after a renovation by an Alabama company.
     Workers began installing the 120-year-old Broadway Fountain on Thursday and hoped to finish soon. Crews must complete plumbing work before water begins flowing through the fountain.
     The City Council awarded a nearly $100,000 contract to Andersen Construction Co. to oversee the project. Alexander City, Alabama-based Robinson Iron reattached pieces of the fountain that had broken free, cast some new pieces and painted the fountain.
     Council Bluffs Parks Director Larry Foster says it looks largely the same as before the work, but "that is what restoration is supposed to be."
     The fountain was originally in Bayliss Park but was moved later to West Broadway and Pearl Street.


Romney In Iowa Campaigning For Ernst

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney is aiming to boost Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst's appeal to mainstream Republicans with a public endorsement in Cedar Rapids in the last days of the competitive primary.
     Ernst has built a lead in the five-way primary on catchy ads and a diverse background as an Iowa farmer, military veteran and rural Iowa state senator. The combination has helped draw endorsements from across the political spectrum, including outside groups that have been at odds in Republican primaries in Nebraska, Kentucky and Mississippi.
     But Ernst has the backing of mainstream Republicans such as Iowa Lieutenant Gov. Kim Reynolds, and the quiet backing of longtime Gov. Terry Branstad, as well as tea party favorites such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.




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