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Saturday news, July 26

Tyson Foods To Close Cherokee Plant

(Cherokee) -- Tyson Foods Incorporated has announced it plans to shut down operations at its Cherokee plant.  In a news release, issued on Friday, company spokesman, Gary Michelson says "as part of ongoing efforts to improve the performance of its prepared foods business, Tyson Foods Incorporated plans to discontinue operations at three facilities.  The closings will enable the company to use more of the available production capacity at some of its other prepared foods plants."  Tyson Foods will close the Cherokee facility effective September 27th.  The decision to close will mean 450 people will lose their jobs.  Tyson officials say the decision to close the Cherokee plant was based upon the age of the plant, and that it has been struggling financially.  The Cherokee plant has been producing processed meats since 1965.  It currently makes deli meats, hams, Canadian bacon and hot dogs.


Hinton Fire Department Responds To Personal Injury Accident

(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire and Rescue Department responded to a personal injury accident that happen early Saturday morning.  The call came in at about 2:00 a.m. as an accident was reported at the intersection of Wren Road and Highway 75.  Little information is known at this time about the accident.  The Hinton Fire Department was on the scene for more than an hour and a half.


Hinton And Merrill Fire Department Called To Electrical Fire

(Merrill) -- Both the Hinton and Merrill Fire Departments were called to an electrical fire located in a barn at 32065 260th Street.  The alarm was sounded at about 3:10 p.m.  Fire officials were able cut the power to the building and extinguished the fire within a few minutes. 


Northey Visits Plymouth County Fair

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey made a stop in Le Mars today to visit the Plymouth County Fair.  Northey was given a tour of the fair and the famous round barn by members of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee and directors of the Plymouth County Fair.  Northey says he is impressed with the Plymouth County Fair.

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Northey says he has had the opportunity to visit many of Iowa's county fairs, but admits Plymouth is unique.

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The Agriculture Secretary says he applauds the efforts of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee and the Fairboard for educating the public about the importance of agriculture.

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Northey says fairs of the past have been about farm families, learning and growing through projects, but today, he says, they are about reaching out to non-farm families and teaching them about the history of agriculture, as well as the future of agriculture.


Today's Schedule For The Plymouth County Fair

(Le Mars) -- Today at the fair, the day begins with the Plymouth County Fair Tractor Ride followed by the judging of the 4-H and FFA swine show at 8:30 a.m. The Open Class Draft Horse and Mule Show will be held at the Horse arena.  At 9:00 a.m. will be the 4-H and FFA poultry show.  At 10:00 a.m. will the open class sheep show.  This afternoon will be the 4-H and FFA cat judging show.  As for the entertainment this evening, at the grandstand will the exciting demolition derby.  Pioneer Village will feature the musical group 7 Bridges, which is an Eagles tribute band.  Also on hand at the Pioneer Village Stage is the hypnotist Mr. Wunder. At 9:30 p.m. this evening country-western fans will want to catch the LoCash Cowboys.


Jimmie Johnson To Feature Le Mars Community School Logo On Helmet

(Le Mars) -- When Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson is racing this weekend at Indianapolis, he will be wearing a helmet that will feature the logo of the Le Mars Community School Foundation.  Its part of the Helmet For Hope Campaign in which Le Mars Community School Foundation was one of five educational agencies to receive $25,000 from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.  Wells Blue Bunny, along with the Jimmie Johnson Foundation are co-sponsors of the Helmet for Hope campaign. 


Supreme Court Tells Argosy Casino To Close July 30th 

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a Sioux City riverboat casino must close by Wednesday, rejecting a request that the operation be allowed to remain open while its owners pursue court action.
    A three-member panel of justices Friday denied a request by Penn National Gaming Co. to stay open while appealing a ruling by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Penn owns the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino.
     The court had previously granted a temporary stay to an order requiring the riverboat casino to close by July 22.
     In April, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ordered the casino to close because it doesn't meet license requirements.
     The riverboat casino's closure was part of a move to open the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.


Congressman King At Texas To Look At Immigration Situation

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Congressman Steve King is visiting Texas this weekend to learn more about a surge in unaccompanied children from other countries who are entering the U.S.
      King is on the trip with Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. Their stops include Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo, where they will meet with border patrol authorities and other officials.
     They will return Monday.
     More than 57,000 minors have arrived at the border since October. Most are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.


Branstad Calls EPA To Maintain Ethanol Levels

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is renewing a call to maintain the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply, after a report that the Environmental Protection Agency may scale back proposed cuts to renewable fuel production.
     Branstad issued his statement Friday. An EPA proposal for renewable fuel standards would reduce by almost 3 billion gallons the amounts of ethanol and other biofuels blended into gasoline in 2014 than the law requires.
     The governor's comments came after Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said a discussion with a White House official led him to believe the EPA will reduce the cuts. He still expects an overall drop in renewable fuel quotas.
     Iowa is the nation's leading producer of ethanol, a fuel additive primarily made from corn that produces lower carbon emissions than gasoline.


July Has Been Cooler Than Normal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Even though the beginning of the week seemed unusually hot even for an Iowa summer, the month of July as a whole has been unusually cool.
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources in its bi-weekly water summary update says this month will likely rank among the 10 coolest Julys on record.
     Temperatures were below normal for all but two days of the last two weeks.
     The hottest and most humid day of the year so far came on Monday with actual temperatures peaking at 98 degrees at Sidney. The coolest reading of the last two weeks was 44 on the morning of the July 16. 
     The report released Thursday says the statewide average rainfall for the last two weeks was less than half the normal of 2.05 inches.







Friday News, July 25

Bank Robbery At Holstein Bank

(Holstein) -- Ida County officials are investigating an armed bank robbery that happened Thursday afternoon.  Authorities say the United Bank of Iowa in Holstein was robbed at gunpoint about 4:05 p.m.  An African-American male entered the bank displaying a firearm and demanded money from the tellers.  The suspect left on foot with an undisclosed amount of US currency.  Law enforcement officials say the male suspect is in his 20's  stands nearly six feet tall, and weighs approximately 180 pounds, and was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt.  The Ida County Sheriff's Office was assisted on the scene by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Sac County Sheriff's office and the Storm Lake Police Department.  The investigation is ongoing and anyone that has information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Ida County Sheriff's office.


Thursday Fair Attendance At 19,000

(Le Mars) -- Today is the third day of the "Best Five Days of Summer" of the Plymouth County Fair.  The showers from yesterday didn't seem to keep people from attending the fair.  Fair Officials say yesterday's attendance was at 19,000.  A year ago, Thursday's attendance was marked at 17,100.  You may recall it had rained on that Thursday as well, having to postpone the grandstand event.  The 4-H and FFA Dog Show will begin today at 8:30, as does the 4-H and FFA Breeding Beef and Market Beef Show.  As for tonight's entertainment, Impact Wrestling will make its debut at the Plymouth County Fair. That will happen in the covered arena, at Pioneer Village will be both the musical group Savanah Jack and the hypnotist Mr. Wunder, and the tractors will be billowing the smoke at the grandstand as the Tractor and mini-rod pull begins at 6:30.


Northey To Visit Plymouth County Fair

(Des Moines) -- The Plymouth County Fair will have a special visitor today.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced he will be visiting the fair between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  Northey says he wants to tour the fairgrounds and to observe the "a ROUND the farm in the BARN" agricultural education exhibit located within the famous round barn.  This will be Northey's second visit to the fair that promotes itself as being the "best five days of summer", but it is his first time since being elected Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.


Biofuels Mobile Education Center To Appear At Fair

(Le Mars) -- People attending the Plymouth County Fair on Sunday, July 27th, will have the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of ethanol as the Biofuels Mobile Education Center will make an appearance at the fair.  The unit will be next to the famous round barn, and will allow people to enter the trailer and observe how corn is processed into ethanol. 
Paul Jacobson, chairman of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture committee, says the ethanol trailer will showcase how the renewable fuel of corn-based ethanol is a clean burning fuel.  Jacobson says the biofuels mobile education center is an interactive display allowing people to learn more about ethanol, and it follows the goals of the "a ROUND the farm in the BARN" exhibit focussing on agricultural education.
The Biofuels Mobile Education Center is being sponsored by Plymouth Energy L.L.C. of Merrill, Iowa.


Conference To Address Livestock Odors

AMES, Iowa (AP) - The latest technology designed to reduce the odor from hog manure will be the focus of a conference next month at Iowa State University.
     The Biofilter Conference on Aug. 20 is aimed at producers and managers of animal feeding operations and others interested in learning about development of the latest equipment.
     ISU agricultural and biosystems engineering professor Steve Hoff says biofilters can be an effective means to reduce odor and other gas emissions from ventilated animal and manure storage facilities. He says the conference will outline costs, effectiveness, management and other details, and provide sources of science-based information on biofilters.
     A demonstration of biofilter operation with an Iowa State biofilter mobile unit is planned.


Sioux City Bicyclist Dies On RAGBRAI Ride

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.
     The Des Moines Register reports 74-year-old George "Frank" Brinkerhoff was found dead inside his tent Thursday morning at Parker's Woods Campground.
     Mason City police Sgt. Greg Scott ways Brinkerhoff was participating in the Register's Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa. Scott didn't know if Brinkerhoff was riding alone or with a group.
     Scott says Brinkerhoff appeared to die of natural causes, but a medical examiner who responded hasn't determined the cause of death.
     On Monday, 62-year-old Tom Teesdale, of West Branch, had a heart attack and died at a hospital in Emmetsburg.
     There have been 30 deaths during RAGBRAI's 42 years.


Branstad Wants Government To Notify State Of Illegal Immigrant Children Placed In Iowa

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad wants the federal government to notify state officials about any immigrant children placed in Iowa.
     A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this week that 122 children who entered the country illegally and alone were sent to Iowa in the first half of the year. Branstad learned of the placements from a news reporter.
     In a letter sent Thursday to President Barack Obama, Branstad asked that the state be alerted to future placements. He also said immigrant children are getting the wrong message due to "a lack of a secure border and sound immigration policy."
     More than 57,000 youths, mostly from Central America, have crossed into the U.S. illegally since October.


Jury Convicts Man Of Murdering His Wife After Third Trial

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A jury has convicted an Iowa man of killing his pregnant wife after the third trial in the case.
     Jurors agreed Thursday that Seth Techel was guilty of first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy. The 23-year-old who once hoped to become a police officer faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
     Prosecutors argued that Seth Techel killed 23-year-old Lisa Techel on May 26, 2012, in their trailer in Agency, Iowa. Lisa Techel, a county jail employee and reserve sheriff's deputy, was 17 weeks pregnant with their first child. Techel told police he was in the shower when an unknown intruder killed his wife.
     Jurors at two previous trials had been unable to agree on whether Techel was guilty.


Inmate Escapes Work Release Center

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Department of Corrections says an inmate has escaped from a Des Moines work release center.
     The agency says 26-year-old Abel Joshua Aguilar failed to return from his job to the Fort Des Moines Work Release Facility on Wednesday. He was transferred to the work release site in May.
     Aguilar was convicted of intimidation with a dangerous weapon, theft and assault on a correctional employee. He began his sentence in June 2006. The offenses were committed in Polk and Webster counties.
     Information about Aguilar should be reported to Des Moines police and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.







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