Friday Afternoon News, Aug. 10
Iowa Attorney General Fines Le Mars Company $20,000
(Des Moines) -- After completing an investigation, Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller held a news conference this morning regarding the gas pipline explosion incident that happened last April near Hinton. Miller is assessing the maximum fine upon Patrick and Cynthia DeRocher and DeRocher Construction for failing to provide a 48 hour notice of excavation. One week after the initial explosion, it was determined the DeRocher Construction Company again conducted excavations to install drainage tile within a quarter mile from the same pipelines, and again failed to provide 48 hour notice of the excavation. Attorney General Miller has fined the DeRochers a civil penalty of $20,000.
Miller called the episode "a serious case that warranted the maximum penalty." Miller says the incident "caused injuries, and it put themselves, emergency responders and the public at great risk". Miller continued to say, "all they had to do was make one free phone call that the law requires, and they didn't do it."
Marcus Fair Underway
(Marcus) -- The Marcus Community Fair is celebrating its 76th year and fair board member, Paul Wilkens says the Marcus Fair offfers a lot of entertainment for no admission charge.
The fair got started on Thursday evening and continues through Sunday. Wilkens previews today's schedule of events.
Saturday the Marcus Fair will feature the beef judging show, a 5K and one-mile Fun Run and
Walk, and an antique farm equipment show, as well as a car show. Wilkens says one of the highlights for Saturday is the parade.
Sunday's highlights at the fair include the Fire fighters water fights, a cooking school, vet camp, and an antique tractor pull.
New Akron Conservation Park iIs Officially Named
(Le Mars) -- And the winning name is....River Bend Wildlife Area. That was the most popular name selected by Plymouth County fair attendees as they voted with their coins and dollar bills for the naming priviledges of a new park and lake located near Akron. Plymouth County Conservation Board Members officially acknowledged the new name with an unaminous approval during their Thursday board meeting. The new lake and park will cover about 20 acres.
USDA Crop Report Shows Lowest Production In 17 Years
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The federal government says U.S. corn growers could end up with their lowest average yield in 17 years as the drought continues to take its toll.
The U.S. Agriculture Department is slashing its projected U.S. corn production to 10.8 billion bushels. That's down from its forecast last month of close to 13 billion bushels and 13 percent
lower than last year. That also would be the lowest production since 2006.
The USDA says it expects corn growers to average 123.4 bushels per acre, down 24 bushels from last year. That would be the lowest average yield since 1995.
Soybean production is now forecast at 2.69 billion bushels, a 12 percent decline from last year. Expected yields on average of 36.1 bushels per acre would be the lowest since 2003.
Christie Vilsack To Hold "Value of Hard Work Tour"
(Ames) -- Democratic 4th District Congressional candidate, Christie Vilsack has announced she will conduct a two-day "Value of Hard Work Tour" beginning Tuesday, August 14th. Vilsack says she will discuss her plans to create layers of economic opportunity in rural America and support middle class families across the district. Vilsack will make stops at Templeton, Holstein, Crystal Lake, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Fort Dodge and Storm Lake.
DCI Investigating Voter Fraud
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent has been assigned to a two-year term in Secretary of State Matt Schultz's office to look into cases of potential voter fraud.
County auditors told The Associated Press they were surprised when they were introduced to Special Agent Daniel Dawson during a meeting Wednesday in Cedar Rapids.
Auditors say Dawson told them that he was looking into 2,000 or more voters already.
Schultz's spokesman wouldn't confirm that number, noting many of them would turn out to be data errors. The Republican has vowed to prove that voter fraud exists in Iowa as he pushes for a voter identification law.
Schultz's aides have used data to look for people who voted in two states, noncitizens who voted illegally and deceased people who remain registered.