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Wednesday News, July 24

Plymouth County Fair Begins Today

(Le Mars) -- The Best Five Days of Summer begins today.  Also known as the Plymouth County Fair.  Gates are already open.  Open class entries are being accepted this morning between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.  The rabbit entries should arrive between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.   4-H and FFA livestock need to be weighed and in place before 12:00 noon. The swine scanning will occur between 8:00 a.m. and noon.  At 9:00 a.m. the 4-H Exhibit Hall will open.  The Blair House opens its doors at 12:00 noon.  The 4-H Clothing Event takes place at the Century Hall beginning at 12 noon.  At 1:00 p.m. the 4-H and FFA Rabbit Show starts in the North Arena, followed by the Clover Buddies rabbit show.  The Covered Arena will serve as the location for the 4-H and FFA Livestock Judging Contest that will begin at 2:00 p.m.  Other
high lights for the start of the fair include: Commercial Exhibits and the Round Barn open at 2:00 p.m. The Midway will start its rides at 5:00 p.m.  The bucket calf show is at 6:00 p.m. and the Motorcross will start at the grandstand at 6:00 p.m. and the crowning of the Plymouth County Fair King and Queen will be held at the Pioneer Village Stage at 7:00 p.m.


Supervisors Approve New Harvesting Of Grass Policy

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved the new harvesting of grass from roadside ditches policy during Tuesday's regular meeting. The new adopted policy allows for haying to occur between July 15th and October 1st.  All adjourning landowners need to sign the haying permit. A permit is valid for one year.  Any grass that has been baled needs to be picked up within 48 hours.  The county assumes no liability for accidents,injuries, or equipment damage.

Crops Need Water But Cooler Temps Will Help Reduce Stress

(Le Mars) -- Northwest Iowa Crops are beginning the pollination stage with corn tasseling and soybeans starting to bloom, and no doubt a good substanial rain is needed and would be welcomed.  However, Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist Joel DeJong says the cooler temperatures that are predicted for this week will reduce the stress placed on the crops.

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DeJong says although a measurable substantial rain would be best, even the small pop-up showers do offer some benefit to the crops.  He says this year the humidity levels are higher, which also benefits the crop production.

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Sioux City Challenging Iowa DOT Over Speed Cameras

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City is taking the Iowa Department of Transportation to Court over the use of speed camera in construction zones on Interstate 29 within the city limits.  Assistant city attorney, Justin Vondrak says the city has obtained a temporary injunction to continue to use the cameras on I-29.  The DOT sent the city a letter on July 17th, demanding the city remove the camera from the construction zones of the interstate.  The city maintains it has the right by state law to position the camera anywhere on the interstate within the city limits.  A hearing date on the matter has not yet been set.


City Manager Of Sioux City Resigns To Accept Position In California

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City needs a new city manager.  Paul Ekert, submitted his resignation to  Sioux City mayor Bob Scott on Tuesday.  Eckert is leaving to take a similar position in Mount Shasta, California which is a city in the northern part of that state.   The city manager is currently being sued for sexual harassment and retaliation by city employee Brittany Scott, no relation to the mayor, Bob Scott.  Mayor Scott says Eckert's resignation is effective August 16th.

Woodbury County Supervisors Approve Sheriff's Reserves

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors has approved expanding the number of volunteer reserve sheriff's deputies to 25.
The total approved on Tuesday is five fewer than sought by Sheriff Dave Drew, but he'd said he could live with that figure.
Drew and board chairman Larry Clausen had been wrangling about the expansion. Clausen had criticized as wasteful a department policy that lets on-duty sheriff's deputies attend their children's
sporting events. Drew said the longtime policy lets deputies attend family events during their one-hour lunches and, as part of community policing, attend their kids' sporting events so long as
the deputies leave if called away.

King Makes Controversial Comments Regarding Immigrants

(Washington) -- Iowa 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King has found himself in some hot water following comments he made regarding people in the country illegally.
King last week told the conservative news website Newsmax that he didn't agree with the suggestion that many youths who aren't legal citizens are also high-achieving.
King told the website, "For every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
King says, originally, the comments were said to him when he visited the border and talked to non-documented immigrants.

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The comments come as the U.S. House is considering proposals to change the nation's immigration laws.
Florida Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia called King's comments offensive," saying they're "beneath the dignity of this body and this country."


Cyclospora Spreading To Six States

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 250 people in at least six states, including one case here in Plymouth County, have come down with a stomach bug that could be linked to foodborne illness.
The Centers for Disease Control says the cyclospora infection causing diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms has been reported in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia and Connecticut. The CDC
says 10 people have been hospitalized and most of the reported illnesses occurred from mid-June to early July.
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the cyclospora infections, which are most often found in tropical or subtropical countries and have been linked to imported fresh produce in the
The illness is usually spread when people ingest food or water contaminated with feces. The agency says it isn't yet clear whether the cases from all the states are linked.

Third Man Arrested For DOT Theft

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State officials have arrested a third man for his involvement in a theft and money-laundering operation that defrauded the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Division of Criminal Investigation Assistant Director Gerard Meyers says Tuesday that authorities have charged 30-year-old Jason Weigel, of Nevada, Iowa, with ongoing criminal conduct, fraudulent
practices and identity theft.
Weigel is currently in custody at Fort Dodge Correctional Facility where he is serving a prison sentence for drunk driving.
Weigel is the son of 56-year-old David Weigel, a former Department of Transportation employee who was arrested in April along with 59-year-old Grady Marx. The two were charged with theft,
conspiracy to commit theft, money laundering and criminal conduct.
Meyers says the trio stole more than $500,000 in state money.













Tuesday News, July 23

Tuesday Fairgrounds Schedule

(Le Mars) -- Today at the fairgrounds, the judging of the 4-H static exhibits begins at 8:00 a.m. in the Century Hall.  Reduced gated passes will be sold to 4-H and FFA members between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  If you get hungry while on the fairgrounds, the 4-H foodstand will be open for lunch between 11:00 and 1:30 p.m.  Clover Kid judging will take place at the 4-H Exhibit building at 11:30 a.m. and the Open Class entries, including art show, horticulture, food and preservation, creative hobbies, antiques and collectables can be entered this evening between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Open Class Building.


4-Her's Enter Static Displays For Plymouth County Fair

(Le Mars) -- Yesterday, 4-H members were bringing their static exhibits to the fairgrounds including first year member Kennedy Schilmoeller of the Stanton Lucky Clovers 4-H club.  The 13 year old decided to make a wooden bench as one of his projects.  He says he used recycled wood from used pallets to create his bench, and his uncle gave him some inspiration.

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The 13 year old says it took over 20 hours to complete his pinewood bench, with the hardest part was the sanding.

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Schilmoeller showed pictures of himself step by step, creating his wood working project as he cut the wood, assembled the bench, sanding, and finally staining and finishing his bench.  The bench itself is a love-seat bench.  Schilmoeller also used a router to inscribe his favorite football teams, a paw print representing the Le Mars Bulldogs and the three diamond logo of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  In addition to his bench, Schilmoeller is exhibiting some photos.

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Supervisors Scheduled to Meet On Tuesday

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have a short agenda for today's meeting.  The county governing board is expected to approve a contract with Plains Area Mental Health Services for fiscal year 2013-2014.  County Engineer, Tom Rohe will offer an update on construction projects, and the supervisors will review the proposed harvesting of grass from roadside ditches policy.


Le Mars Man Injured In Motorcycle Accident

(Le Mars) --  A motorcycle accident that happened near the Bo-Dean's waffle factory at about 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning has left a Le Mars man injured.  According to a police report, there were four motorcycles riding in a group heading southbound on Lake Avenue southwest in the 2000 block.  The third motorcycle in the group was being driven by 20 year old Ryan Kuiken of Le Mars.  As the group approached a slight turn or bend in the roadway, Kuiken, without warning left the roadway.  He continued through the ditch until striking a tree.  Kuiken was thrown from his motorcycle, sustaining a head trauma.  He was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital.  The other three motorcyle drivers were not involved with the incident.


Police Identify The Body Found In The Missouri River

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Police have identified a body found in the Missouri River near Sioux City as a 28-year-old man.
Sioux City police says the body was that of Mario Medina, of Sioux City.
The body was found just south of Sioux City.
Lieutenant Mark Kirkpatrick says Monday that police are awaiting autopsy results before discussing the case.
This was the third body found in the Missouri River near Sioux City since mid-June.


Electrical Explosion Still Being Investigated

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - Officials are still investigating the cause of an explosion that injured five men performing electrical work at a manufacturing plant in northwest Iowa.
TimeWell Drainage officials were still hunting for answers at the Sibley plant on Monday.
The accident was reported shortly before noon on Saturday. It happened while workers were switching power lines to a new transformer, according to the Osceola County sheriff's office.
Authorities say the unidentified victims have varying degrees of burns. Two of the men work for TimeWell, which makes field drainage products, and the other three work for Current Electric.
All five were taken to a hospital in Sibley. One was released, two were airlifted to a Sioux Falls, S.D., hospital, and two were taken to a Minneapolis hospital.


Crop Conditions Go From Too Wet To Too Dry

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - After a very wet start to this planting season, Iowa crop conditions are quickly reversing from too wet to too dry.
The USDA says topsoil with adequate or surplus moisture declined 22 percentage points last week from the week before with 43 percent of the state's topsoil now adequate or in surplus.
Temperatures statewide averaged 4.8 degrees above normal and average precipitation was barely measurable while normal for the week is just over an inch.
Corn and soybeans remain behind schedule with just 35 percent of the corn crop tasseled, behind the five-year average of 70 percent. Overall, corn is about 10 days behind normal in development.
Thirty-six percent of the soybean crop is blooming, behind the normal 70 percent.


Vilsack Announces Conservation Reserve Program

AMES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the government will accept 1.7 million acres into the Conservation Reserve Program under the general sign-up for the current year.
Speaking in Ames at the Iowa Farm Bureau's 2013 Economic Summit Monday, Vilsack says USDA has more than 26.9 million acres enrolled nationally. That's down from a high of more than 36 million acres
in 2007. The decline is partially due to the increased value of corn and soybeans. It many instances it's more lucrative to rent out land for crops that to collect the CRP payment.
Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says the USDA received 28,000 offers from farmers willing to voluntarily set aside land for soil, water, and wildlife conservation.
The USDA pays landowners about $2 billion a year for the program.



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