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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. 



Friday News, August 16

Plymouth County Museum To Host Tour Of Loess Hills

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Musuem is planning a trip through the central region of the Loess Hills in late September.  Famed photographer Don Poggensee, who has captured hundreds of images of the Loess Hills, of which some are on display at the Plymouth County Historical Museum, will serve as the tour's host.  Tentative plans for the itinerary begin with a tour of three museums in Onawa: the Monona County Veterans Memorial Museum, the Monona County Historical Museum, and the Kiwanis Museum. The tour will continue to the Lewis and Clark State Park for a look at the new Visitor’s Center that opened last year.
Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch to the park.
The next stop will be Turin, the site of an archeological find in 1955 when archeologists uncovered the remains of four 5,000-year-old skeletons in the Loess Hills at Turin. The remains, which collectively became known as the Turin Man, are believed to be the oldest remains ever uncovered in Iowa.
The bus will continue to the Mapleton area for a visit to the Museum of American History and the Mission Central barn museum.
The trip will wrap up with an evening meal at Mapleton’s Beef N Brew. The tour is scheduled for Saturday, September 27th, but reservations are needed by Friday, September 5th.  The cost of the tour is $60 and that includes your evening meal.  For additional information, you can contact the Plymouth County Historical Museum.


Fire Department To Host Water Fights Sunday

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will be hosting a fire department water fight on Sunday afternoon at the Fareway parking lot, and City water superintendent, Gayle Sitzmann wants citizens to be aware there is a possibility for some discolored water, particularly in the northeast section of town.  Sitzmann notes that in past water fight competitions, the water quality was not bothered.  He says there is the potential risk of discolored water from opening a fire hydrant.  Sitzmann says if residents should notice any discolored water, it is best to use cold water, preferably from an outside hose bib until the water clears.  Sitzmann says if on Monday morning, if discolored water exists, residents should contact the city water department. 


Carol Schneider To Be Inducted Into 4-H Hall Of Fame

(Le Mars) -- The Iowa State Fair and the Iowa 4-H Organization will honor those people to be inducted to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon.  The ceremonies will take place at the 4-H Building, located on the State Fair Grounds.  One of this year's inductees to the 4-H Hall of Fame is quite familiar to Plymouth County as being a long-time employee of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  Plymouth County 4-H and Youth Director and Co-Coordinator Ann Schoenrock says former extension director Carol Schneider has been nominated.

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Prior to leaving the extension services, and pursuing a teaching career at Gehlen Catholic elementary, Schneider has been associated with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in one form or another, for 30 plus years.

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Schoenrock says it was Schneider who implemented so many programs that ultimately benefitted the Plymouth County 4-H program.  Schoenrock says the honor is a way for Plymouth County to say "thank you" to Carol Schneider.

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The 4-H Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3:30.


Brandstad And Hatch Spar During First Debate

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and Democratic challenger Jack Hatch sparred over who could best boost job creation, enhance education and improve quality of life during their first televised debate 
     Branstad and Hatch met Thursday at the Iowa State Fair. It was the first of three debates in the race. 
     Branstad is running for an unprecedented sixth nonconsecutive term. He touted his record of tax cuts and job creation and offered a new proposal, an expanded plan to improve broadband Internet access in rural Iowa.
     Hatch, a longtime state lawmaker, said he could do more to enhance incomes and improve education. He pledged to raise the minimum wage, cut taxes for middle class residents and raise the gas tax to pay for road repairs.


State Senator Bertrand To Appeal Lawsuit To Supreme Court

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - State Sen. Rick Bertrand says he'll appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court the dismissal of his lawsuit over a misleading campaign ad.
     The Republican said he will ask the U.S. high court to overturn the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling against him in May. Bertrand, who is seeking re-election this fall, says his appeal is part of his fight for truth in campaigning.
     In the lawsuit, Bertrand said Democrat Rick Mullin and the Iowa Democratic Party had libeled and slandered him in a TV ad run before the November 2010 election that Bertrand won. The ad said Bertrand's employer sold "a dangerous sleep drug to children."
     A jury in 2012 agreed with Bertrand that the ad falsely suggested he personally sold the drug.


Schultz Now A Candidate For County Attorney

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is a candidate for Madison County attorney in November.
     The county auditor's office confirmed that Schultz is on the ballot as the Republican candidate running against current County Attorney Julie Forsyth, a Democrat.
     Schultz decided not to run for a second term as secretary of state. Instead he launched a campaign for Iowa's 3rd District congressional seat but the Republican Party chose David Young from the field of six candidates in June.
     Schultz says he's had a lot of encouragement to run for county attorney. 
     Schultz's biography on the secretary's website says he's a graduate of the Law School at Creighton University and practiced law in Council Bluffs before being elected secretary of state in 2010.


University Of Iowa Announces Staff Changes

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa is announcing staff changes as administrators try to step up the school's support for businesses and entrepreneurs.
     The school said Thursday that its director of federal relations, Peter Matthes, will take on a new role working to "grow corporate and business partnerships."
     Separately, the university named administrator David Conrad as assistant vice president for economic development. He will lead efforts to commercialize research, transfer technology to the private sector and work with businesses.
     UI President Sally Mason says in a statement the realignment is an important step toward helping companies thrive and ensuring "faculty and student innovators have adequate support" to translate ideas into products and businesses.
     The Iowa Board of Regents has made clear that it expects the university to focus on economic development.


Two People Injured After Pickup Truck And Tractor Collision

PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two people have been injured in a collision between a pickup truck and a tractor. 
     Prairie City Asst. Fire Chief Tony Mosher says the tractor's driver and passenger were seriously injured in the highway accident Thursday. Authorities say the truck collided with the rear end of the tractor near Prairie City. 
     Mosher says the injuries didn't appear to be life-threatening. One person was taken to Des Moines by helicopter and the other was transported by ambulance. The truck driver was uninjured. 
     Authorities haven't release the names of the people involved.



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