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Friday Afternoon News, August 15

Farmers Wonder If Cool Temperatures May Mean Early Frost

(Le Mars) -- With the cooler temperatures that we have been experiencing, many farmers are wondering if that may mean an early frost is likely this year.  If frost were to come early, would our crops have reached maturity so yields won't be compromised?  Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for northwest Iowa details how much more time the corn crop needs in order to become fully mature.

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DeJong says if temperatures remain cooler than normal for a significant time period, that could further slow down the maturity development process. He says the closer to the maturity date before frost hits, the less likelihood for yield loss.

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The crops specialist says the corn crop is falling behind on growing degree days.

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Iowa Corn Maze To Look Like TV Personality Al Roker

ATKINS, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa farm has found a creative way to celebrate "Today" show weatherman Al Roker's 60th birthday.
     Bloomsbury Farm in Atkins has put together a 10-acre corn maze that shows Roker's face and reads, "Happy 60th Al."
     Farm owners Dave and Karen Petersen have chosen a different theme for their corn maze each year for more than a decade. They work with The Maize Company, which designs and cuts the corn.
     Karen Peterson says the couple chose Roker because "he seems like a great guy." They also appreciate his charity work.
     The corn maze took six hours to cut and includes two miles for the public to explore. It formally opens during the Labor Day weekend and runs through Halloween.


Assault Case Against County Assessor Dropped

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - An assault case against the city assessor for Mason City has been dropped.
     Online court records say the charge against 38-year-old Danielle "Dana" Naumann was dismissed on Wednesday after a request by Floyd County Attorney Normand Klemesrud. He'd been appointed as a special prosecutor because of a potential conflict of interest for the Cerro Gordo County attorney's office. 
     The dismissal motion by Klemesrud states there is insufficient evidence to justify prosecution and conviction. It also states Naumann has a valid self-defense claim.
     Naumann was arrested in July.


Digital Constitution

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A digital replica of the Iowa Constitution is now available online for public viewing.
     Secretary of State Matt Schultz said Friday that the document from 1857 had been scanned so that a replica could be provided online. Previously, people could only see the original beneath glass in the Secretary of State's office at the State Capitol. 
     The constitution - which features 40 pages of hand-written text - was digitized through a partnership between Schultz's office and the State Library of Iowa. The library bought a $23,000 scanner a year ago to use on fragile documents. 
     State officials said they hope the public will enjoy being able to look over the historic document. The digital version of the Iowa Constitution is on the State Library of Iowa's website.


Pole Hits SUV In Accident

 DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Dubuque authorities say a utility pole on the back of a truck grazed a 12-year-old when the pole penetrated the vehicle carrying her and a 16-year-old driver.
     Police say the accident occurred around 8:20 a.m. Thursday. The truck had halted at a stop light, and the 16-year-old driver told police that she didn't see the pole extending off the truck in time to stop sooner.
     Her 12-year-old passenger refused medical treatment. The driver wasn't injured.


Deere To Lay Off 600 Employees

  MOLINE, Ill. (AP) - Agricultural equipment maker Deere is announcing it will indefinitely lay off more than 600 employees at four of its factories in the Midwest as demand slumps.
     The affected sites are in the cities of East Moline and Moline in Illinois, as well as Ankeny, Iowa, and Coffeyville, Kansas.
     Deere & Co. said in a news release Friday that "to remain globally competitive, the company must align the size of its manufacturing workforce with market demands for products."
     Deere is the world's biggest farm equipment supplier.
     The company said it is also implementing seasonal and inventory adjustment shutdowns and temporary layoffs at the four affected factories as well as one in Ottumwa, Iowa.
     Earlier this week, the company announced that its third-quarter profit dropped 15 percent as sales weakened.


Dubuque Teachers To Monitor Students' Heart Rates

   DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Dubuque teachers will be able to monitor students' heart rates through a web-based program while they exercise at school.
     The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports the program gives Dubuque Community School District teachers an idea of physical activity levels by middle school and high school students while they exercise in class.
     Students will place a strap containing a heart sensor around their chests. The sensors will send data about the students' heart rates that will be projected onto a screen or wall in class while they're exercising.
     The online application that collects the data is called Polar GoFit. It also shows how close a student is to reaching his or her target heart rate.


Iowa City Building Listed On Historic Registry

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City preservation commission has given historic status to a building that once served as a boarding house for black college students.
     The designation by the Iowa City Historic Preservation Commission should prevent any future demolition or significant exterior changes to the Tate Arms building.
     The building was owned and operated by Elizabeth "Bettye" Tate. It was built in 1900 and served as a housing facility for black male students when residential housing at the University of Iowa was segregated. Tate died at age 93 in 1999.
     A real estate company owns the property. It plans to build multi-story, residential properties next to the building. 



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