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.
King also talked about his recent trip to the U.S. border with Mexico.
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.
A short time later, King said they spotted a pregnant woman in a raft, floating across the river to the U.S. border.
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.