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Monday News, August 13

Fire Officials Have Busy Weekend

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth county fire officials were busy over the weekend.  On Saturday morning at about 10:55 a.m. the Le Mars Fire Department responded to a smoke detector alarm at 1017 2nd Street Southeast.  Later, at about 1:30 p.m. the Le Mars Fire Department responded to a fire call at the county landfill.  The Remsen Fire Department and the Akron Fire Department responded to two separate accidents that happened on Sunday.  Remsen assisted at an accident that happened shortly after 10:00 a.m. at 160th Street and County Road L-12, and the Akron Fire Department responded to an accident that occurred at 6:42 p.m. Sunday evening at on Highway 12, just north of 314th Street.  It is believed a male subject suffered a broken leg during that accident.


Conservation Board Inspect Grasslands

(Le Mars) -- Last week during their monthly meeting, the Plymouth County Conservation Board took the time to inspect four of their grassland areas, located within the county.  Conservation Board Executive Director, Dennis Sohl says the purpose for the tour was to have the board be more familiar with the property either owned or managed by the Conservation Board.  In many instances, the grasslands contain native prairie grass, and has never been plowed during the history of the land.

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The O'Brien grassland, found in the southeast portion of Plymouth County, and Sohl says it is unique and that is the reason for colleges and universities wanting to study the grassland.

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Plymouth County Conservation owns or manages more than 2500 acres.  About 200 acres are virgin prairie grasslands.


Le Mars School Board To Discuss District Goals

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening.  The school board will discuss the district's goals as presented by the District Learning and Instructional Impact Team.  The school board will also act upon a resignation request by Paula Hodgson, as special education teacher at Kluckhohn, and they are expected to offer contracts to Carrie Campbell as a Middle School Academy Teacher, Missy McGee as a Flag Corps Sponsor, and Malori Price, as a special education teacher for Kluckhohn.  Superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt will discuss with the school board the proposed hiring procedures manual for board consideration.  Dr. Wendt will also present recommendations regarding the Educational Philosophy section of the Board Policy Manual for board review and consideration.


Possible Abduction Avoided

GRIMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two central Iowa boys ran from a man who they say told them to get into his truck so he could help them find their mother.
     The Polk County Sheriff's Office says the man approached the boys around 1:20 p.m. Sunday in Grimes. The boys are 3 and 11.
     The office says the boys refused and ran into the town library. The man drove away.
     No arrest has been reported.


One Month Has Passed On Missing Cousins

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Two Iowa girls have been missing for a month, but the FBI says leads make investigators believe the girls are still alive.
     Ten-year-old Lyric Cook and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, who has since turned 9, were reported missing July 13 from the Waterloo suburb of Evansdale. The bikes were found at a nearby lake about
four hours after their grandmother had last seen them.
     FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault (broh) would not discuss the leads nor say whether investigators believe the girls were kidnapped for ransom, abducted by a relative or abducted by a nonrelative.
     The likelihood of finding abducted children alive drops as time goes on, but Breault and others say it's important for relatives and investigators to not give up hope.


Toddler Found In Street

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A toddler found wandering a Waterloo street at night has been returned to his mother.
     Police tell the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that the boy, believed to be between 2 and 4 years old, was found on a street around 4 a.m. Saturday.
     Police Sergeant Brooke Carter says the boy did not tell officers his name or age before the Department of Human Services picked him up. But he did say his mother was sleeping at home.
     Carter says the mother realized the child was gone Saturday morning, called police and picked the boy up around 10:30 a.m.
     No charges have been filed, but police are still investigating.


Schools About To Start -- Drivers Reminded of Kadyn's Law

 CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - With a new school year starting, Iowa drivers are being reminded of a new school bus safety law.
     "Kadyn's Law" is named for Kadyn Halverson, a 7-year-old girl who was hit by a pickup and killed last year while walking to her bus. Aaron Gunderson, of Northwood, was sentenced in January to 15
years for her death.
     Cedar Rapids mother Mandy Norris tells The Gazette of Cedar Rapids that she and her two children live on a busy corner where the school bus stops, so she's thankful for the new law.
     The law increases penalties for failure to slow for a bus with flashing lights or stop when the stop arm is extended. Injuring or killing a child under those conditions carries more severe


Romney and Obama Campaign In Iowa

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Mitt Romney and his new running mate, Paul Ryan, are pitching themselves as "America's Comeback Team," Republican turnaround artists willing to take on tough decisions.
     President Barack Obama and his allies say adding the conservative Wisconsin congressman to the GOP ticket creates a sharp choice for voters on the future of the nation's tax system and safety-net programs, such as Medicare and Social Security.
     Romney's selection of Ryan as his vice presidential running mate this weekend jolted the presidential contest and set the contours for the fall campaign.
     Romney touts himself as a proponent of a friendlier business climate seeking to revitalize the economy and rein in federal spending.
     Obama casts himself as a defender of middle-class families and
federal spending on health care, retirement pensions and education.


State Political Races Important To Iowans

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Most television ads and media coverage has been about the presidential race, but some believe lower profile legislative elections could make the most significant
difference to Iowans.
     Republicans already control both the House and the governor's office, and with a pickup of two seats they could win a majority in the Iowa Senate. Republicans say their focus would be on improving
the state's economy and creating jobs, but Democrats and a political analyst say complete GOP control of state government could lead to passage of laws dealing with other issues, including
education and same-sex marriage.
     Drake University politics professor Dennis Goldford says Republicans are focused on legislative races. He calls control of the Iowa Senate "at least as important if not more important to
them than the presidential race."



Saturday News, Aug. 11

(Des Moines) -- Twin brothers from Hinton were honored Friday at the Iowa State Fair for their heroism involving an accident on Highway 75.   Cameron Pierce was presented the Lifesaving Award from Iowa Governor Terry Branstad during ceremonies held Friday.  The Pierce brothers were traveling on Highway 75 south of Hinton last November when they witnessed an accident between a semi truck and a payloader.
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The brothers also provided aid to the driver of the pay loader. The semi driver, a man from Texas, survived the fiery crash and Cameron said he received a note from the man's wife days later.
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Cameron said. His brother, Riley, was unable to attend the awards ceremony at the Iowa State Fair. The traffic accident last November may've been a sample of what's to come for Cameron. The 20-year-old hopes to be a firefighter. Cameron recently graduated from Western Iowa Tech Community College with a degree in Fire Science.


Iowa Man Farming in Zimbabwe

(Le Mars) -- Even though they farm their ground November through April, most of the principles are they same.  Iowa native Larry Kies is the technical advisor for the farm at Africa University in Zimbabwe Africa.  He spent time this week visiting United Methodist churches in Northwest Iowa, educating and talking with the people that support his ministry.  Kies has been living portions of his life in Africa since 1976, after he graduated with a biology degree from Iowa State, and has been employed at Africa University since 2002.  The student population is around 1,200, with 100 in the school of agriculture. On the schools farm they raise: corn, wheat, a little cotton, milks 14 cows, raises a few hogs and harvest 3,000 broaster chickens monthly. His farm operates at about the size of a small scale commercial farm in Zimbabwe.
When it comes to corn, Kies says Zimbabwe isn't behind the eight ball, but they haven't fully embraced the technology that's available either.

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Kies added that Pioneer is one company that has been allowed in Zimbabwe.
Farms tend to be smaller in Zimbabwe than here in Iowa.  A resource poor farm may be as small as 1 to 10 acres. Large commercial farms can be as big as 600 acres.  The owning of land is not a right that the people of Zimbabwe have.  Kies explains. 

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One of the current needs of Larry's ministry is a different tractor to replace 2 tractors with low horse power that don't work very well.  Half of the money of the $32,000 needed, has been raised for the equipment.  At the school, and throughout Zimbabwe, Kies says most of the farmers use 4 row equipment.

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In the time that Larry has lived in Zimbabwe, much has changed concerning the economy.  He tells about the most common denominations of money in 2008.

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Now, Zimbabwe deals in US dollars, and $1 will buy you a decent loaf of bread.

To learn more about Larry Kies work, visit: http://www.umcmission.org/Explore-Our-Work/Missionaries-in-Service/Missionary-Profiles/Kies-Larry


MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Department of Natural Resources says
the release of orange, iron-laden cooling water has killed an
unknown number of fish in Mason City.
     The agency reported Friday that the water came from a Golden
Grain plant, where investigators determined too much sulfuric acid
was added to a cooling system. That caused rust from a piping
system to taint the water, which was released to Cheslea Creek on
the south side of Mason City.
     The DNR couldn't count how many fish were killed because the
water remained so discolored. It appears the fish killed were
species of minnow.
     The plant has diverted about 600,000 gallons of iron-laden water
to a pond, where it will be stored and then processed.
     The DNR may later seek restitution for the dead fish.


ST. LOUIS (AP) - The federal government says U.S. corn growers
could end up with their lowest average yield in 17 years as the
drought continues to take its toll.
     The U.S. Agriculture Department is slashing its projected U.S.
corn production to 10.8 billion bushels. That's down from its
forecast last month of close to 13 billion bushels and 13 percent
lower than last year. That also would be the lowest production
since 2006.
     The USDA says it expects corn growers to average 123.4 bushels
per acre, down 24 bushels from last year. That would be the lowest
average yield since 1995.
     Soybean production is now forecast at 2.69 billion bushels, a 12
percent decline from last year. Expected yields on average of 36.1
bushels per acre would be the lowest since 2003.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - During a summer of drought, Iowa's corn crop likely will plunge
19 percent below last year's production.
     The crop is forecast at nearly 1.92 billion bushels, based on
Aug. 1 conditions.
     A USDA report released Friday says the yield is forecast at 141
bushels an acre, which would be the lowest figure since 1997.
     Soybean production is forecast at 406 million bushels, which
would be nearly 13 percent under last year's figure.
     Soybean yield is forecast at 43 bushels an acre, which would be
7.5 bushels under last year.


(Ames) -- Democratic 4th District Congressional candidate, Christie Vilsack has announced she will conduct a two-day "Value of Hard Work Tour" beginning Tuesday, August 14th.  Vilsack says she will discuss her plans to create layers of economic opportunity in rural America and support middle class families across the district. Vilsack will make stops at Templeton, Holstein, Crystal Lake, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Fort Dodge and Storm Lake.


 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Division of Criminal
Investigation agent has been assigned to a two-year term in
Secretary of State Matt Schultz's office to look into cases of
potential voter fraud.
     County auditors told The Associated Press they were surprised
when they were introduced to Special Agent Daniel Dawson during a
meeting Wednesday in Cedar Rapids.
     Auditors say Dawson told them that he was looking into 2,000 or
more voters already.
     Schultz's spokesman wouldn't confirm that number, noting many of
them would turn out to be data errors. The Republican has vowed to
prove that voter fraud exists in Iowa as he pushes for a voter
identification law.
     Schultz's aides have used data to look for people who voted in
two states, noncitizens who voted illegally and deceased people who
remain registered.




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