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Thursday Afternoon News, July 31

Cool Weather Has Corn Crops Behind On Growing Degree Days

(Le Mars) -- Northwest Iowa has been fortunate to have milder temperatures during the last week, making the summer feel much more comfortable than most summers.  However, what affect are the cooler than normal temperatures having on our corn crop?  Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist, Joel DeJong says we are falling a bit behind with the growing degree days, but he says it may not be all bad.

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DeJong says crops have not been under stress this year, as a result of the milder temperatures.  He says as for as maturity development, most fields may be about three days behind.

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Although the month of June had an abundance of rainfall, not much has fallen in July.  Does the topsoil still have sufficient amounts of moisture to stimulate complete pollination and develop kernels?

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The Extension Crops Specialist says some of the lighter and sandier soils have begun showing some signs of low moisture levels, particularly in soybean fields.  However, in the good soils, adequate moisture levels are present, but another rain would be helpful.


Le Mars Police Plan For "National Night Out"

(Le Mars) -- On Tuesday, August 5th, neighborhoods throughout Le Mars are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 31st annual "National Night Out" crime and drug prevention event.  National Night Out which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the Le Mars Police Department, will involve over 16,124 communities from all 50 states, U-S territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world.  National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.  From 7 to 10 p.m. on August 5th, residents in neighborhoods throughout Le Mars and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.  Many neighborhoods throughout Le Mars will be hosting block parties, cookouts, anf visits from the police.  If you are interested in hosting a neighborhood block party, contact the Le Mars Police Department at 546-4113.


Northwestern College Rated 7th Best Iowa College By Forbes

(Orange City) -- Northwestern College is again ranked among the nation’s best colleges and universities by Northwestern is ranked as the seventh-best Iowa college and 332nd overall in the 2014 “America’s Top Colleges” ranking by Forbes.
Forbes, in partnership with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, included only 650 institutions in its rankings.  The rankings are based on five general categories: post-graduate success, which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore-year retention rates; student debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate; and academic success, which rewards schools whose students go on to earn doctoral degrees or win prestigious scholarships and fellowships.


Argosy Casino Shuts Down, Hard Rock Ready To Open

(Sioux City) -- With the departure of the Argosy, gaming will begin at the

new downtown casino, Hard Rock Casino, beginning tomorrow evening.  The

new Hard Rock Casino did have some mechcanical glitches yesterday as smoke

was seen inside the new casino.  Fire fighters were called to the new

casino and hotel at about 7:30 a.m. The light haze of smoke was from

residue on an air-handling unit that heated and smoked, according to Sioux

City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph.  There were no flames, and the building is

still scheduled to open on Friday.




Powell Broadcasting To Operate Studios From New Hard Rock Casino


(Sioux City) -- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City announced a partnership with Powell Broadcasting Company. Powell radio personalities will broadcast live from the casino floor from the all new, permanent state-state of-the-art in-house studio.


The studio features state- of- the-art equipment and internet technology that allows personalities to operate any of the Powell Broadcasting stations remotely from the casino venue. There are sliding glass windows and exterior speakers that will create a “surround sound” effect near the studio.  An additional attraction will be a three screen video extravaganza.  Three 55” monitors, one towering above the front exterior, and two positioned on the back interior wall, will provide a video experience about each station as it broadcasts from the casino.


The Powell stations will host musicians performing at the Hard Rock Casino Sioux City’s venues before and after concerts. Patrons can look forward to stopping by the booth to meet their favorite DJs or artists. Powell will alternate the varied formats of their stations to align with the diverse artists and entertainment attractions coming to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City.


Powell Broadcasting is part of the Powell Group, a dynamic organization made up of diverse companies with corporate offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Sioux City Radio Cluster includes KOOL 99.5, KSUX 105.7, 1360 KSCJ, Q102, Y Country 101.3, and KLEM.  The company also owns a cluster of four radio stations in Panama City, Florida.



Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Will Not Issue Any New Casino Licenses


JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The commission that oversees casino licenses in Iowa

says it will not consider new projects for the next few years it but

stopped short of imposing a formal moratorium.
     Commission Chairman Jeff Lamberti says he's not interested in new

proposals for the remaining three years of his term on the commission. The

other four commissioners agreed.
     He says he wants to see how casinos opening in Sioux City, Jefferson

and Davenport in the next few years operate before considering anything

     Commissioners could change their minds if significant market changes

occur or the Legislature revises gambling laws. 
     The commission approved a new casino for Jefferson in June, the

state's 19th state-regulated casino. Iowa also has three operated by

American Indian tribes.
     Recent studies indicate Iowa's casino market is saturated. 




State Park Opens After Being Closed Due To Flooding Damage


 MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa state park has reopened

after three years of work to repair and improve the park after devastating

flooding in 2011.
     The Wilson Island State Recreation Area near Missouri Valley will reopen

Monday morning.
     The state spent about $3 million to clean up and rebuild the park,

which was damaged during months of flooding by the Missouri River. 
     The work included eliminating many flood-prone sites, changing the

"first-to-flood" sites to nonelectric, and bringing electricity to other

sites. The park also has a new shower house, two new dump stations, two

new picnic shelters and a new park office.
     The reopening was delayed by a June 3 storm that slammed the park

with 4 inches of rain, high winds and baseball-sized hail.


Iowa Solar Farm To Begin Operations


 KALONA, Iowa (AP) - Officials will gather to mark the opening of Iowa's

largest solar farm. 
     Local, state and federal leaders were celebrating the operation

Thursday in a ceremony near Kalona. 
     The farm is expected to generate enough energy to power about 120 homes. It adds

about 2,900 solar panels to the region's growing base of sun-powered

     Eagle Point Solar of Dubuque built and owns the farm. But Farmers

Electric Cooperative will buy the power and take possession after a

     Another energy cooperative has said it's looking at options for a

$1.5 million array. It would be home to 1,200 solar panels near St.





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