Archive for  September 20th 2018

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BAYARD, Iowa — A Bayard man says he’s tried to hand over Collin Richards to police before but believes there is a problem with justice in rural Iowa.  “The criminals are coming out here because it’s less likely to get caught and that’s what is scaring everybody out here,” said Joel Lacey, a Bayard resident who knew Richards.  Lacey was surprised to hear Richards was out of jail and said, “His report, his criminal background he just received a slap on the wrist, slap on the wrist for numerous things people I know have gone to jail for a really long time.  The system just needs to work a little harder.” 

 

In September of 2016, Joel Lacey was approached at his home in Bayard by Richards who asked if he wanted to purchase cigarettes.  Lacey was aware that a nearby gas station called Sparky’s One Stop was recently burglarized in town and took the items Richards sold him to authorities who began an investigation.  Authorities then arrested Collin Richards and two other individuals in the break-in and burglary. Lacey says he never thought a small theft years ago could lead to the violence Richards is accused of now but it is a situation he looks back on now and second guesses ever letting him into his home on several occasions.  “That just scares the (expletive) out of me.  It’s scary, it’s really scary because he came in a couple of times to help my landlord to do work on my property and to know that brings chills down my back because I have two kids I have a wife. What if I wasn’t home?,” said Lacey.

Richards received a suspended 2 year prison sentence in the 2016 burglary.   In October 2017, after numerous probation violations, his probation officers recommended Richards serve the two-year sentence but he served just over seven months and was released recently in June.

DES MOINES, Iowa- A conference at Drake University was held to look for ways to improve Iowa water quality through stewardship of the land. The SOIL Conference stands for Saving Our Iowa Land brought in farmers, conservation leaders, land owners, and government officials to brainstorm ideas.

“The first challenge we face around Iowa is our lakes are sick, we need to set goals to make them well,” said Jennifer Terry, of the Iowa Environmental Council. “A lot of you have talked about soil, soil and water are definitely hooked together in this state.”

Ray Gaesser is a farmer, and leader in the Iowa Soybean Association. He outlined some priorities.
“Conservation, water quality, soil health, profitability, and opportunities for the next generation,” said Gaesser.

Joe McGovern, President of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has been looking for ways to improve water quality incrementally.

“The land is 97 per cent privately owned, so I think conservation easements, on private land is the key,” said McGovern.

“The millions of acres focused solely on two grains are a significant the primary contributor to the over nitrification
of our surface waters,” said Bill Stowe of the Des Moines Water Works. Stowe talked about the effort to improve water with cover crops. “One hundred twenty-five million dollars of our state tax money, and got us nowhere, sprinkled money around and had a number of ribbon cuttings, involving electives, and a great splash of publicity, but absolutely no results.”

Stowe called for more accountability from agriculture through permits.