The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on August 31, 1975 · Page 9
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August 31, 1975

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 9

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 31, 1975
Page 9
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Page 9 article text (OCR)

10A / DBS MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER • Avf, 31,1978 PHOTO IV DAVffi PINCH A fading resource: Windbreak trees Despite frustrations, state troopers still attempt to enforce ipeed Unite. / 'Need help from magistrates' SPEED Continued from page One compliance will be better after summer is over," Larson said. Other States Lax Larson, and Dickinson said that the presence of many non- Iowa cars on 1-80 creates a problem because, as Dickinson said, "a lot of those cars have been driving through states where the enforcement not as tough as it is in Iowa." Dickinson said that in Iowa, the Patrol has enforced the speed limit as vigorously as possible and he cited higher speeding citation rates (through June 30 of this year, 95,240 vehicles were stopped for speeding compared with 90,925 for the same period in 1974) as his proof. But in Nebraska, for instance, the 1975 Legislature lowered the fine for speeding up to 65 miles per hour to just $10, which a Lincoln reporter says is "just a license for legalized speeding." In Iowa, the n>tohm»n fine for speeding is $20 plus court costs. The maximum .fine is $100. < Wisconsin Delay Larson said the tendency of many legislatures this year to turn bills renewing the lower speed limit into political playthings may have caused motorists to feel that the limit won't be enforced. In Wisconsin this year, the legislature failed to renew the 55 m.p.h. limit by.the required justice of the Iowa Supreme July 1 date, because of political infighting. For several days the state was without a speed limit until it was finally passed on the eve of the July 4 holiday. Even in Iowa, the speed limit bill was stalled until the end of the 1975 legislative session because of threats to tie it to a bill legalizing longer trucks. In all states, legislatures were forced to renew the speed limit under the threat of loss o! 100 per cent of federal funds for iighway construction. This prompted many legislative comments about federal blackmail or forced legislation. Seek Tough Fines Larson said he has tried to make sure that Iowa's judicial magistrates, who process cases of drivers caught moving more than 10 m.p.h. over the speed limit, levy tough fines. Twice be has called the magistrates together to remind them that they cannot levy fines lower than the minimums, and to convince them that "they are an important part of the law enforcement process." Although Larson refused to speak critically of the way magistrates handle cases, he said "the public should know that the patrol is only part of the process, and we need all the help we can get from the judicial system." C. EdwiiLMoore, who as chief Court is the nominal head of the magistrate system, said Larson has complained to him about soft fines levied against speeders. I know Chuck has a tough job, but I can't tell a judge, which is what a magistrate is, what kind of fine to levy," Moore said. More Fatalities The acknowledged rise in highway speeding has been accompanied by increases in both traffic volumes and road fatalities. As of Friday, 429 persons had been killed on Iowa roads since Jan. 1, compared with 412 during the same period last year. At the same time, counts compiled by the traffic inventory section of the Iowa De- partmentof Transportation (DOT), showed that in July of 1975, traffic was up 8.5 per cent on interstate July of 1974, highways from and :up 3.5 per cent on two lane primary roads during the same period. Robert Studer of the DOT said that before 1973 and the publicity about the energy crisis, traffic counts generally increased an average of aboul 3.5 per cent each year on all road systems. Willing to Pay "The public appears willing to pay the increased cost ol 2 Iowa cattle mutilations in 74 CATTLE Continued jrom Page One noise," thereby making detection harder, he said. But Whitesicle said the CBI does not accept speculation that helicopters are being used by the mutilators. "Our position is that although helicopters have been identified in the vicinity of the mutilations, no one — and I emphasize no one — has been able to place a helicopter on the ground. There is no evidence that a helicopter has been on the ground at the location of any of the carcasses." Fear Vigilante Tactics One reason Whiteside dis courages speculation about the helicopters is the CBI's acknowledged concern that farmers may adopt vigilante tactics. "One of our big fears is that we have a lot of helicopters flying around, we have military and business helicopters in use within the state, and we certainly wouldn't want to see one shot down." Lawmen thought they had a break in the case last week when a freshly killed carcass was discovered on the Triple- Sixes Ranch near Byers, Colo. Most of the carcasses discovered have deteriorated so much that the cause of death has been impossible to determine. The mutilated yearling heifer discovered last week had been dead only a few hours when it was found. The carcass was iced down on the open pasture and sent to Colorado State University's Diagnostic Laboratory for ex amination. Natural Death But there the matter became only more mysterious. After tests, the lab's director, Dr. Rue Jensen, reported that the animal died of "natural causes." The animal died of a malig- edema, Jensen said, a dis- ease primarily affecting cattle, sheep and horses, which enters he body through a puncture wound or a laceration. Only one other carcass was found in time to determine the cause of death. That animal died of brain disease. Jensen said it was "possible" for the malignant edema to have been injected into the animal "bu^ it would have had to have been done a day or so before the animal's death." That report left the CBI more perplexed than ever. "We don't know what is happening. One problem associated with a case like this is that once something is publicized, other persons may start to follow the pattern, for whatever reasons." Other States Most of the present mutilations are being reported in Colorado, with some reports also coming from Wyoming, Nebraska and, recently, Montana. Last year, a rash of mutilations was reported 4n Texas and Oklahoma, and before that incidents were reported in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Kansas. Two cases were reported in Mills County, Iowa, in the spring of 1974, involving whai was originally thought to be mutilation. After studying the animals however, Mills County law en forcement officials concluded that the mutilation was the work of coyotes. The cause o death of a 900-pound cow wa never determined. A 350-poum calf was shot to death; it was jiever learned by whom. Agent Optimistic In spite of the lack of prog ress in the case, CBI agen Whiteside says he is "alway optimistic that sooner or late we will get to the truth. "I hope people will treat thi as they would any other in vestigation. By that I mean, would hope that they woulc make any reasonable deduc tions based on fact and not o; theory." The case lends itself to &} forms of theorizing — from witchcraft cultists to creature from outer space. "There are probably as man theories as there are dea cattle," said Whiteside. "I thin it's a dangerous practice t speculate. The fact is, nobod has any idea what's happen ing." highways," Stu- riving on the er said. Both the traffic count and fa- ality figures are a reversal of trend that began in late 1973, when fuel shortages and the oluntary (later mandatory) 5 m.p.h. speed limit caused a emporary lowering of both raffic counts and fatalities. The imposition of the 55 m.p.h. limit by Congress and tate legislatures was unusual or two reasons. First, speed imits ordinarily are set by the owa DOT. Second, they are jased not on an arbitrary number, but on average speeds de- ermined by radar surveys. Original Limit Iowa DOT Director Victor Preisser noted that the original 5 m.p.h. speed limit in Iowa or interstate highways was By BRYCE NELSON ® IW Ui AMtle* Times CHICAGO, ILL. - The U.S. General Accounting Office, declaring that "an important resource is slowly disappear! n g" on the Great Plains, has called on Secretary of Agriculture Earl L. Butz to save the thousands of miles of windbreak trees planted to protect crops from the vast dust storms of the 1930s. "Unless actions are taken to encourage farmers to renovate and preserve existing windbreaks rather than remove them, an important resource which has taken many years to develop could be lost and adjacent croplands could erode and become less productive," the GAO said in a recent report. T h e f e d e r a 1 government helped farmers plant more than 222 million trees in the mid- 19308 to block the searing winds that devastated the region. The trees were authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and are sometimes called "FDR's trees." 200-MUe-Wlde Belt The mile-long windbreaks, usually planted in an east-west direction, extend in a 200-mile- wide belt reaching from the Dakotas to the Texas Panhandle. Besides protecting crops, they provide green diversity in a region that otherwise is largely treeless. Since the Roosevelt era, the program has been largely forgotten, especially by the federal creaslngly used by Great Plains farmers. A greater educational effort is needed to alert farmers to the many values of windbreak trees, the GAO said, adding that the trees are especially important in helping protect soil against wind erosion. It said 3.3 million acres of Great Plains land was damaged by wind erosion in a brief period from November, 1973, to May, 1974. The GAO said that the windbreaks are particularly.vital ln| times of drought or low rainfall! when other soil conservation || methods are less effective. Advantages Cited Unless action is GAO concluded, government, independent The GAO investigating jased on, radar speed surveys and that the superhighways were designed for speeds at hat level. "So when the speed limit was owered by 20 m.p.h., motorists were then forced to start doing something that was not natural," Preisser said. 'The public really sets the speed limits, because of the use of radar surveys," Preisser explained. "We change limits be- ow 55 m.p.h. all the time on irimary sections near cities or ihose with special problems. "But those changes are based on the surveys, not on an arbi- rary conclusion like the 55 m.p.h. limit was." Larson and Dickinson . said :hat despite their problems, ;hey are not crying for more troopers for the patrol's 410- man force. "We can't put a trooper out on every mile of the highway," Larson said. "There has to be voluntary compliance. The public will not pay the cost of blanket enforcement." So state offcials in the immediate future will have to limit themselves to public exhortations to motorists to behave themselves. Preisser tried that last week. The DQT's 4,800 employes received a Muhammad Ali-like saying in the envelopes along with their paychecks that read: "Never more than fifty-four." • an arm of Congress — found that "no federal or state program exists which is specifically designed to discourage windbreak removals or to assist farmers on a wide scale to renovate old field windbreaks." GAO supervisory auditor Larry Goldsmith, who managed the study, said the GAO became interested in investigating the situation after reading an article in the Los Angeles Times in 1973 describing the increasing rate of destruction of the windbreaks. "We ought to do something now to save these trees before it's too late," 'Goldsmith said. "These field windbreak trees are being taken out, but replacements are not being planted." The GAO conducted its investigation in Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. The GAO said that farmers' main reason for removing the windbreaks was to free land for crop production and to make room for the "center pivot' (sprinkler) irrigation system in- might survive LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (AP) — Doctors said Saturday they are hopeful that a 16-year»ld Mexican girl is strong enough to become one of history's few survivors of rabies. The unidentified girl's body functions were being maintained by medication and machines as sfte remained critically ill Saturday, eight days after she lapsed into a coma. Only two other persons are reported to have survived after the disease's paralyzing symptoms set in. The girl reportedly contracted the disease after she was bitten by her pet dog in Puebla, Mexico, eight months ago. Since then, officials said, her family had immigrated to Los Angeles. Biktrs at Advinturilind The annual convention of the Iowa Bakers Association will be held Sept. 6 and 7 at Advefs tureland Inn in Des Moines, officials said. The convention will include a discussion of ways to promote the bicentennial in the baking industry. I MIDWEST BUILDERS, INC. "»"." Wl IUILD IN IOWA, III., HIM., MO. GARAGES taken, the "It appears 1 ntllfSTlMATiS that farmers will continue to I remove windbreaks" and that this "can only make the erosion problem-jn the_J3reat Plains more serious." In addition to! reducing soil erosion, the GAO said, the field windbreaks had the following advantages: • Short-term and long-term economic benefits to farmers, including greater crop yields. » Protecting crops and seeds from wind, windburn, wilting and blown sand. • Making sprinkler systems more efficient by reducing evaporation. • Beautification, providing fence posts, and improving living conditions for humans and livestock. • Environmental benefits, such as production of oxygen, cleaning air and stabilizing the water cycle. The agency quoted one estimate that such environmental benefits are worth $1 per tree each year. The windbreaks also serve as refuges for wild animals. The GAO quoted an Oklahoma wildlife official as saying, "There's no doubt that the belts have been instrumental in bringing deer and turkey back in many sections of western Oklahoma, often into areas where they didn't even exist before." ' • The GAO urged Butz to have appropriate agencies: • Survey windbreak removals and the renovation needed to preserve the trees. • Begin an educational program aimed at emphasizing to farmers the value of the windbreaks and teaching them how to preserve and renovate them.. • Encourage a cost-sharing program between the federal government and farmers, to renovate the windbreaks. 2-Car GARAGE NO GIMMICKS WE CAN & WILL BUILD AT THIS PRICE (SEE SPECIFICATIONS BELOW) Completely erected! Includes: Concrete Door, insulation, pro-primed siding, 16 foot sectional door, 2x6 rafters, (price based on level ground) ADDITIONS •BATHROOMS KITCHINS •BASEMENTS • REMODELING • PANELING EZ Financing Available OPINSUNDAY10.5 6 GARAGES ON DISPLAY AT... 727 S,E, 14th (S,E, 14th and Maury) 283-2418 CALL COLLECT BJI BJj WRITE TODAY-FREE ESTIM*TES^ MIDWEST BUILDERS, INC. MAILING ADDRESS—P.O. BOX 1814 DCS MOJNES,fOWA 50306 t Gentlemeni Pleat* lupply m. with more information pM the improvement checked. 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