Thursday News, August 6
Pickle Ball Being Introduced To Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- A new sport is being introduced to Le Mars. It is a combination of tennis, bad mitten, and ping pong, and it is called Pickle Ball. A couple of weeks ago, the city council approved the action to paint additional lines on some of the city tennis courts to accommodate those wanting to start the game in Le Mars. Greg Mitchell heads up a group of enthusiasts calling for Pickle Ball to be played in Le Mars. He talks about the new game that is catching on in popularity.
Le Mars Man Arrested For Providing False Identification
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alexander Rodriguez, age 21 of Le Mars, IA for providing false identification information, a simple misdemeanor, and no valid driver’s license, a simple misdemeanor. The arrest happened on Saturday evening at about 10:52 p.m. The defendant was stopped at 3rd St and 4th Ave SW in Le Mars for operating without registration. The defendant provided a false name. The defendant’s license was found to be suspended in Illinois and not valid in Iowa. Rodriguez was jailed at the Plymouth County Jail and bond was set at $300.
Truck Accident Results In Peas Being Spilled On Highway
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Officials closed a portion of Interstate 29 in western Iowa after about 50,000 pounds of split peas were spilled from a semitrailer.
The spill occurred just after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when a southbound semitrailer went out of control and rolled over on the north side of Council Bluffs.
The lanes were closed for almost two hours as workers cleared away the vegetables.
The 56-year-old truck driver, Bradley Zirott, of Sparta, Wisconsin, was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.
Shots Fired At Crop Dusting Plane
WHITTEMORE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the shooting of a crop-dusting plane in northern Iowa.
The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office says the plane owned by Steier AG Aviation was hit in a wing flap while spraying a field in Fairfield Township on Friday morning. The pilot landed safely at Steier's landing strip in Whittemore. The pilot's name hasn't been released.
The Sheriff's Office says rural Whittemore property belonging to a suspect in the shooting has been searched and items have been seized. No arrest has been reported.
USDA Reports Iowa Cropland Values Are Declining
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa cropland value dropped the sharpest in the United States in the past year, falling 6.3 percent as low grain prices weakened the value in the nation's leading corn producing state.
Cropland value fell to $8,200 an acre after climbing to $8,750 last year. Iowa cropland values shot up more than 56 percent from 2011 to 2014.
Cropland values declined in 10 states while the others remained static or grew.
Texas saw the biggest jump at 9.5 percent to $1,840 an acre.
Nationally, cropland grew an average of 0.7 percent.
New Jersey has the most valuable cropland at $13,500 an acre after a 3.8 percent increase. California is second at $10,690 and Arizona third at $8,320 an acre. Iowa is fourth.
ACT Lays Off Workers
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The nonprofit group that administers the ACT college readiness test is letting go 80 workers, mostly from its headquarters in Iowa City.
ACT announced job cuts Wednesday that will reduce its workforce to about 1,320, or by about six percent.
The organization said the cuts were made to improve efficiency and position itself for future growth. They were made across several departments.
Those affected are receiving severance packages and free outplacement services. Company leaders said they "sincerely regret the impact of these actions on valued departing team members" and their families.
Incoming CEO Marten Roorda said ACT must be "cost-effective, agile and innovative" as the markets for assessment tests change rapidly.
Regents Offer Raises To University Presidents
AMES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents is approving pay raises for two university presidents.
The board gave Iowa State University President Steven Leath a 5 percent increase Wednesday, bumping his base salary to $525,000.
The board also approved a five-year deferred compensation plan for Leath that will pay him $125,000 annually through 2020.
Regents approved a smaller raise of 2.5 percent for University of Northern Iowa President William Ruud, pushing his base salary to more than $357,000. Ruud will also receive a two-year deferred compensation plan worth $150,000.
Later in the meeting, the board gave initial consideration to a plan to raise tuition by $100 on resident undergraduate students in the spring semester. No regent raised an objection, and a final vote is scheduled for next month.
Aides To Ron Paul Indicted
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged three people who worked for Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign with conspiring to buy the support of a former Iowa state senator.
Among those changed is Jesse Benton, who now heads up a super PAC supporting the 2016 presidential candidacy of Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
An indictment unsealed Wednesday charges Benton, John Tate and Dimitrios Kesari with conspiracy and several other related crimes.
The indictment says they negotiated with former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to switch his support to Ron Paul in exchange for money. Sorenson had previously backed Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.
The indictment says the arrangement was concealed from Ron Paul himself and that Benton initiated the deal.