Dog pack disturbing the peace in Saginaw

SAGINAW — Saginaw County sheriff’s officials, animal control officers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service searched by horseback and air this week and have set traps as part of an effort to capture a pack of dogs that is running wild in the area.

The pack, which has been seen in a southwest Saginaw neighborhood, on Saturday attacked a 65-pound dog that died from its injuries, The Saginaw News reported. The pack is believed to include seven to 12 dogs, the sheriff’s department said.

As a plane buzzed through the air above the search party, deputies in cowboy hats, with spurs attached to cowboy boots, took up vantage points. The group is known as the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Posse and offers more versatility than a motorized ground search.


Nearly $60,000 raised for bridge memorial

CHARLES CITY — A Charles City group raising funds to memorialize a suspension bridge destroyed by flooding in 2008 is close to its goal.

The fundraising committee for the Building With the Bridge project says it has raised most of a $60,000 goal to erect a sculpture near the former bridge.

The sculpture’s design, which has involved public input, will use materials from the bridge wreckage. It will stand more than 20 feet tall and will feature three sides showcasing the bridge’s history.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reported that the sculpture is expected to be in place by the end of the summer of 2015.


19th-century building a total loss after fire

WATERVILLE — Officials say a historic building in downtown Waterville will have to be torn down after a fire swept through it, leaving it a total loss.

Waterville Fire Chief Chris Meskan said his department got a call about a fire at the Rogers building at 6:15 a.m. Thursday. Crews arrived to find it fully engulfed in smoke and flames.

The Faribault Daily News reported that the building houses four apartments, and two businesses. No one was injured. Mayor Steve Mihalik said the Red Cross is assisting families who have been displaced.


Seal pups basking
on Nome beaches

NOME — An early disappearance of sea ice after a warm winter off Nome and other western Alaska communities has prompted an uptick in seal pups coming ashore.

More than 20 pups have been spotted on Nome beaches this year, KNOM-radio reported. Other molting pups have been seen at Wales, Teller and Shaktoolik.

Most of the sightings have been ringed or spotted seals, said Gay Sheffield, marine advisory program agent in Nome for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Seal pups are born covered with lanugo, a white woolly coat. They leave the water to get into sun as fur grows in. With less sea ice, some choose to come ashore.


Hog-breeding project brings out opponents

KINGDOM CITY — Opponents of a proposed hog breeding operation in central Missouri are circulating petitions against it.

Eichelberger Farms, of Wayland, Iowa, plans to buy 20 acres from the Horstmeier family, operators of Pork Masters Inc., a feeding facility just south of Interstate 70. The current operation has about 2,000 hogs, while the proposed project is for about 7,600 breeding sows and 2,700 other female swine being raised for breeding.

Jeff Jones, a cattle breeder who lives next to the proposed operation, said the petition is intended to show the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that the opponents have broad support and want to have input into the process for issuing permits.


Section of I-74 named after Ray LaHood

PEORIA — Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood now has a stretch of highway named after him in his hometown of Peoria.

The section of Interstate 74 running through the city’s downtown was the focus of a $500 million multi-year upgrade that LaHood was a driving force behind.

North Dakota

Breeding-duck outlook positive, says G&F

BISMARCK — The population of breeding ducks is soaring.

The state Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey released Monday indicated a population of about 4.9 million birds, up 23 percent from last year and 110 percent above the long-term average.

Duck numbers during the last two decades have been the highest since survey records began in 1948, Game and Fish Department migratory bird biologist Mike Szymanski said. He credited a lot of land enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program, which pays landowners to idle land to prevent erosion and create wildlife habitat.

Wire reports