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Newscast 9.20.23: Funeral services take place for slain Iowa policeman; Dickinson County possible changes could impact wind turbine project

wind turbine
wind turbine

Funeral services for Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram were held Wednesday, following his death last week after being shot while trying to arrest a man who was later captured in Minnesota.

Since that shooting, many from the town of 5,300, elsewhere in Iowa and even beyond have weighed in with support. Iowa Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens described the death of Cram as “heartbreaking, gut-wrenching pain and agony.”

The funeral was held at the Algona Community School, a large venue that gave community members a chance to say goodbye.

Algona Police Chief Bo Miller was among those who spoke about the life of Cram, a 33-year-old husband and father who had been an officer in Algona since 2015.

There was so much interest in the large funeral event that it was live-streamed. Cram was buried in a cemetery in the nearby town of Corwith.

Cram was shot the evening of September 13 as he tried to arrest Kyle Ricke on a warrant on a charge of harassment. Officials said Ricke then shot Cram, and Ricke fled, before being captured 100 miles away in Minnesota. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

Additionally, up in the Iowa Great Lakes region, the issue of whether wind turbines will be placed in Dickinson County remains a hot topic.

Aaron Janssen, who owns a home and business east of Milford, serves on a planning and zoning subcommittee looking into the issue. He spoke on the issue Tuesday, saying that since taller turbines are being proposed for the area, Dickinson County needs to modernize setbacks.

Janssen said the current setback of 1,200 feet, which is roughly two-and-a-half times the height of a turbine, is outdated.

He said wind turbine blades will throw snow some distance, plus they create shadows and noise, which Janssen contended will trouble some people if the turbines are located too close to homes.

The Dickinson County Concerned Citizens organization plans to hold a community meeting on Thursday evening in Okoboji to raise awareness about the issue.

Invenergy filed for a permit earlier this month to build up to 101 turbines. The Dickinson County Board of Adjustment plans a public hearing and possible vote on the permit application in October.

Additionally, a meeting concerning management of the Loess Hills State Forest near Mondamin, Iowa, will be held next week.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will hold a public open house at Monday, Sept. 25, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Brent S. Olson Memorial Visitor Center, in the town of Pisgah.

IDNR officials are inviting people to come discuss proposed restoration and management on the Preparation Canyon Unit of Loess Hills State Forest.

A significant portion of the Preparation Canyon Unit experienced a catastrophic wildfire in April 2023.

DNR representatives will share information about the extent of wildfire damages, along with plans on restoring and managing the area to maximize benefits to wildlife and the public. After that portion, people are invited to discuss the pending plans with the state park officials.

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