Monday Afternoon News, April 25
(Le Mars) -- More than 300 fourth grade students from each of the schools in Plymouth County are having a history lesson today as they participate on a field trip to the Plymouth County Historical Museum. Museum administrator Judy Bowman says this is the 16th year for the field tour. She says the visit usually falls along May Day, or the first day of May.
The students had the chance to learn many different aspects of Plymouth County history including how railroads helped establish the towns, and about agriculture during the turn of the century to the 1940's.
Students are also learning that at one time, Western Union College, the predecsor to Westmar College used to offer airplane pilot lessons, as well as there was a small airplane factory based in Le Mars. Not only are students having the opportunity to learn about Iowa history, and in particular the history of Plymouth County, but, they also have the chance to learn about their own family history as geneology is being shared with the students.
The visiting students learn about technology when radios and televisions and computers were first introduced. The students also have the opportunity to visit a log cabin, as well as a one-room school house.
Many of the volunteer leaders and the students have dressed in the pioneer attire that was common during the turn of the century. The girl students are dressed in the long dress wearing a bonnet, and the boys are wearing straw hats and bib overalls, or denim jeans along with a flannel shirt. Bowman says museum officials hope the student field tour peaks the students interest about history.
County Engineer Discusses Road Construction Projects Slated For This Spring/Summer
(Le Mars) -- This time of year, motorists start to see the orange cones and barrels along with road closure signs as road construction projects get started. Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe says the number of construction projects scheduled for this summer compares with what was completed from last year.
Rohe says many of the construction projects scheduled had submitted bids back in February and March.
The Plymouth County engineer expects to see the asphalt overlay project and the grading project to get started in June. He says local contractor crews will be busy this spring and summer installing new culvert boxes and bridges.
Rohe says he believes all of the construction projects will be completed by late August to early September. Last year the Iowa legislature passed an increase in the state's fuel tax. Rohe says that increase has helped push some construction projects ahead in the priority list, as well as able to fund additional construction projects.
Rohe says many people may not realize the cost and investment involved with paving a road, or installing a new bridge. He says those projects often run into the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sometimes, even millions of dollars.
Bicyclist Killed From Bing Hit By Pickup Truck
GLIDDEN, Iowa (AP) - A bicyclist has died after being struck by a pickup truck in western Iowa.
60-year-old Joleen Stork was mountain biking Friday on a county road just north of Glidden when a pickup truck drove up behind her and struck the bicycle.
An Iowa State Patrol report says Stork was thrown into a ditch and pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials say the driver of the vehicle did not see Stork on her bike.
Sgt. Nathan Ludwig says the accident is being investigated.
Water Trails Being Proposed For Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group of outdoor enthusiasts in Des Moines is creating a water trails plan to improve water recreation in the metro area.
The biggest obstacle to the group's efforts is a series of century-old, low-head dams that limit access to stretches of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers.
But state and local officials say those dams could soon be removed, which could open the rivers up to water recreation such as boating, fishing, tubing and whitewater kayaking.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has helped remove or restructure 15 low-head dams since 2008. Several other projects are scheduled this year.
A public meeting Tuesday will ask residents for their ideas to make the rivers more accessible.
Ron Paul Campaign Aids Scheduled For Trial
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three top campaign advisers to 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul are scheduled to go on trial Tuesday in Iowa on charges they conspired to cover up campaign payments to a former state senator by hiding them as a production company campaign expense.
Paul's 2012 campaign chairman Jesse Benton, campaign manager John Tate and deputy manager Dimitri Kesari are charged with conspiracy to cover up $73,000 in campaign payments to former Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson who dropped support for Michelle Bachmann and endorsed Paul six days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses.
Attorneys for the men say the case is similar to one involving a Hillary Clinton political action committee that the Federal Election Commission chose not to investigate further last year, indicating what the Paul staffers did is not considered unlawful.