Iowa Remains Dry
(LeMars) -- Despite the wide spread rains of last week, Iowa is running short on moisture levels. The hot and dry summer have all but depleated most moisture from subsoils. Iowa climatologist Harry Hillaker says the southeastern region of Iowa is the driest, even though it started out the season as the area with the most moisture. He says even northwest Iowa has shown signs of dry conditions.
Hillaker says under normal conditions Iowa generally gets enough rain and snow during the fall and winter to replenish the subsoil moisture levels to accomodate spring planting needs.
The state climatologist says LeMars has received only half the amount of rainfall during the summer than for normal years.
Hillaker believes the hot, dry days of summer are behind us, and now the weather will showcase autumn weather with cooler temperatures, but he doesn't anticipate much rain in the near future.
(LeMars) -- School has been back in session for at least a week for many schools, others will begin tomorrow. Locally, LeMars Community superintendent, Todd Wendt says there is some excitement with students and faculty with the start of another school year. Wendt says this year the LeMars Community school district has made some improvements.
Wendt says this year new curriculm standards have been issued, both by the state and on the federal level.
(Undated) -- Today, of course is Labor Day. Often thought of as the end of summer. But you may have wondered how did Labor Day get its start? The origins of Labor Day go back as far as 1882 when on this day, September 5th, the Central Labor Union of New York first observed Labor Day. It was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May of 1882. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in 1887, and by 1894, 30 states were officially celebrating the holiday. Perhaps the greatest influence upon having a special day designated to acknowledge the labor and productivity of this nation was the Pullman strike that occured in June of 1894. Within days, 125,000 workers on 29 different railroads had agreed to quit work rather than handle Pullman rail cars. The reason for the strike was due to the Pullman Palace Car Company cut wages and demands for their train cars plummeted and the company's revenue had dropped. President Grover Cleveland had ordered the military and U.S. Marshalls to go in and put a stop to the strike. When it was over, the Pullman strike resulted in 13 deaths, 57 people wounded and more than $340,000 worth of property damage, or in today's dollar value, it would equal $8.8 million dollars. President Cleveland and Congress passed the national holiday in just six days following the end of the Pullman Strike. And that is how Labor Day got its start.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State investigators say cases of
municipal embezzlement are on the rise in Iowa.
The Iowa Auditor's Office conducted seven special investigations of finances
in cities with fewer than 700 residents between 1996 and 2005.
Since 2006, the number of investigations has grown to 32.
Auditor David Vaudt says that he believes that's only a portion
of the actual cases of embezzlement.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials acknowledge an
abundance of Homeland Security grants in the wake of 9/11 has led
to waste and lax oversight of how the money was spent.
An investigation shows Iowa has spent almost $250 million to purchase equipment to fight terrorism since 9/11. However, the assessment of 24 grant requests shows poor accountability of the items purchased.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette found money for a $92,000 video camera actually
bought bomb suits and $150,000 worth of body bags, chemical suits
and a radiation detector were never put into use. Other items are
missing or obsolete.
Iowa Homeland Security spokesman John Benson acknowledges poor
record keeping of the purchases and says the state needs to know
what equipment it has in case of a disaster.