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Saturday News, August 9

Crop Yields Expected To Be Near Record Numbers

(Washington)-The nation’s corn and soybean farmers are on track to produce record crops this year as a mild summer has provided optimum growing conditions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has predicted a record soybean crop of 3.8 billion bushels.
The USDA said last month the corn crop will be just under last year’s record of 13.9 billion bushels, but many market analysts and farmers expect that to be revised upward Tuesday.
Technology is also aiding the large harvests with high-yield seeds and planting systems that use GPS.
The harvest forecast has driven corn and soybean prices significantly lower, but it isn’t expected to make much of a short-time difference in consumer food prices.

 

Sex Offender Caught In Oklahoma

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have apprehended a 42-year-old man who failed to return to an Iowa sex offender treatment program.
     The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Friday that U.S. marshals apprehended Cory West on Thursday night at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, motel.
     Police had been searching for West since Sunday after he didn't return from his job to the Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offender in Cherokee, Iowa.
     The Wapello County Court ordered West into the civil commitment program at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute in 2011. He became eligible for a transition release program last fall.
     The commitment program provides long-term inpatient treatment for violent sexual predators who have served their prison terms but are considered likely to commit future offenses.
     West will remain in custody in Oklahoma pending extradition to Iowa.

 

Judge Deciding If Confession Is To Be Allowed

 
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A judge is deciding whether jurors will hear the confession of an Iowa man accused of killing a Rockwell City police officer last year.
     Prosecutors and defense attorneys argued in court Friday about Corey Trott's confession to shooting 37-year-old Rockwell City Police Officer Jamie Buenting during a standoff at Trott's house last September.
     The Des Moines Register reports that Webster County District Judge Thomas Bice heard an hour of testimony from law enforcement officers involved in the case.
     Trott's attorneys say a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation improperly questioned Trott two hours after he told a state trooper that he did not want to talk. Prosecutors say the confession was properly obtained.
     Trial for the 33-year-old Trott is scheduled to begin on September 3rd.

 

King Speaks At State Fair


(Des Moines)-Iowa Congressman Steve King did not mention his Democratic challenger yesterday as he spoke at the Iowa State Fair. Instead, King used much of his time on Des Moines Register's "Soapbox" to criticize President Barack Obama.


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King also talked about his recent trip to the U.S. border with Mexico.


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He was joined on the trip by Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. King said their first stop was near Laredo, Texas and the Rio Grande River.


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A short time later, King said they spotted a pregnant woman in a raft, floating across the river to the U.S. border.


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There were some protesters who confronted King after his 19-minute long speech. King's opponent in the November election is Democrat Jim Mowrer of Boone. He is scheduled to appear on the "Soapbox" on Tuesday, August 12 at 10:30 a.m.

 

Judge Upholds Life Sentence

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A Scott County judge has ruled that a man given a life sentence for his role in the 1993 killing of a teenager will remain imprisoned.
     Scott County District Judge Joel Barrows on Friday upheld the life sentence given to 38-year-old Jason Means, who was convicted of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Michelle Jensen.
     The Iowa Supreme Court had ordered a resentencing in Means' case because he was convicted as a juvenile. The decision followed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2010 limiting life-without-parole sentences given to juveniles.
     The Quad-City Times reports that before upholding Means' sentence, the judge noted he already has the possibility for parole.
     Means was one of six people convicted in the shooting of Jensen.

   

Friday News, August 8

State Fair Features Many Plymouth County Exhibits

(Le Mars) -- The Iowa State Fair started yesterday in Des Moines and will continue through Sunday, August 17th.  Among the thousands of entries to be judged at the state fair will be several items representing Plymouth County. 

 

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Janelle Johnson, serves as the Program Coordinator with Plymouth County Extension Services.  Johnson says the number does not reflect the communication projects slated to participate at the Iowa State Fair.

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The Extension Official says Plymouth County has several first-time exhibitors at the state fair.

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In addition to the static displays, 32 4-H members from Plymouth County will be exhibiting either horses, livestock, poultry, and/or small animals at the Iowa State Fair.

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Ann Schoenrock serves as the co-program director and 4-H and Youth Director for Plymouth County Extension.  She says don't expect to see all of the Plymouth County animal entries for the eleven-day duration of the fair.

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Man Sentenced To Federal Prison After Bank Robbery

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for his role in robbing an Iowa bank last year.
     Michael Clayton, of Omaha, must also serve three years of supervised release after his prison sentence and must pay $12,500 in restitution to the Citizen's State Bank in Fort Dodge.
     A jury convicted Clayton on a bank robbery charge in February. 
     U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau says in a statement trial evidence indicated the 44-year-old Clayton called Fort Dodge police on Feb. 7, 2013, and threatened to shoot up an elementary school. The call, intended to divert police attention away from the bank, was two months after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut. 
     While police responded to the school, prosecutors say Clayton robbed the bank. 

 

Study Shows Significant Soil Erosion In Iowa


(Des Moines)-A new study shows significant soil erosion in Iowa this year. Craig Cox, with the Environmental Working Group, says soil erosion is a major problem for water quality, and it also hurts farm production while damaging the environment.


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The study found almost one-third of that lost soil came from just four counties: Adair, Cass, Clayton and Pottawattamie. The report surveyed 63-million acres of cropland and found about 35-million acres had a moderate-to-high need for more conservation measures. Cox, the E-W-G's senior vice president of ag and natural resources, says the study found evidence of farming conservation practices that have helped recently, but he says more needs to be done to reduce soil erosion.


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Cox says it's unfortunate that federal policymakers have cut back on funding for conservation and the Conservation Reserve Program has faded to only 25-million acres nationwide, including about one-and-a-half million acres in Iowa.

 

Veishea Is Canceled And Name Retired


(Ames)-Iowa State University president, Steven Leath, today (on Thursday) announced his decision on the future of a springtime tradition on the Ames campus.


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Veishea has been marred by violence several times in recent decades and the event was cut short this year after students and others flipped over cars, ripped out street signs, knocked over light poles, and threw rocks and beer cans at police in the Campustown area of Ames. Leath said he understands that many people will be upset a 92-year-old tradition has ended.


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One student was badly injured this year when they were hit by a falling light pole. That student has fully recovered. Previous violence associated with Veishea has included a young man being stabbed to death in a fight outside a fraternity house in 1997. Riots in 2004 led then-ISU President Greg Geoffroy (JOH-free) to suspend Veishea in 2005. Today's decision to end Veishea follows recommendations delivered to Leath from a task force that held several public meetings over a three month period. Leath said some traditions associated with Veishea will likely continue, but the content and timeframe of any old or new events has not been determined.


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Leath noted that he believes the money that ISU spends on Veishea could be "reinvested" to better serve students.


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According to Leath, nine ISU students have been suspended and police have filed 250 criminal charges in relation to the disturbances during this year's Veishea. Leath said he recognizes ending Veishea won't stop all of the problems associated with alcohol on campus.


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Leath said he and other ISU administrators will continue to work with Ames community leaders and police to address issues related to student conduct on and off campus.

   

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