5-31 NEWS

A Cresco man accused of sending sexual Facebook messages to an 11-year-old girl is pleading not guilty. Court records say 21 year old James Edward Politowitz is charged with lascivious acts with a child and telephone dissemination of obscene material. Law enforcement says Politowitz communicated with the child in February using Facebook Messenger to send lewd pictures and solitic sex. Investigators say when Politowitz was asked if he knew how old the girl was, he reportedly replied he thought she was 12 or 13. His trial is now scheduled to begin on September 11.

The city of Decorah is enacting its sidewalk improvement plan. The plan is to install sidewalks in Bruening’s second addition and all along Linden Street. City manager Chad Bird says the city is trying to make up for its lack enforcement in the past.
Bird says all parts of the city will be asked to improve or add sidewalks over the next few fiscal years.

The Trump Administration has approved an aid package to help agriculture producers affected by the recent trade tariffs. Jessica Tekippe is with Winneshiek county Farm Bureau. She says while producers appreciate the assistance, they’d prefer other options.
President Trump announced the 16 billion dollar aid package last week.

Cash rental rates for Iowa farmland are down 1.4% compared to last year, but are still higher than in 2011, despite significant decreases in crop prices. According to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s “Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2019 Survey,” (FM 1851) published in the May Ag Decision Maker newsletter, the average cash rent per acre is $219, down from $222 per acre last year. Meanwhile, corn and soybean prices have dropped 50% and 45%, respectively, since mid-2013, according to Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State. The survey is based on 1,262 responses across the state for cash rent prices received to grow corn, soybeans, hay, oats and pasture.

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