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NOAA Weather Radio back on the air

Byron celebration includes plenty of wet fun

Broom making craft continues in Davenport

Deadline approaches for CRP enrollment


NOAA Weather Radio back on the air
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Station WNG-578 is back on the air and has returned to normal operations. The station broadcasts on a frequency of 162.525 MHz.
Station WNG-78 had been off the air for about six weeks because of cable and connector issues from the transmitter to the antenna. An antenna climbing crew fixed the problems and the station returned to service on Thursday. Since the repair, the signal has been strong and appears to be working normally.

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Byron celebration includes plenty of wet fun
While the adults were off participating in events like the car show and road rally during Saturday afternoon's Byron Bash, members of the Byron Volunteer Fire Department provided their version of a hydrant party for the youngsters. The youngsters impressed The Express Photographer with how well they played together and how little supervision they required. For more than an hour the firemen let the youngsters play with two charged fire hoses. Most of the time the youngsters enjoyed spraying one another and splashing in the water, but when they turned their hoses on the firemen manning the pumper truck, It was obvious who had the upper hand. The firemen responded with their deluge gun and on occasion closed the valves diverting water to the youngsters' hoses. A video of the youngsters playing in the water and a slide show are available on this newspaper's web page at They may be accessed via the video section.


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Broom making craft continues in Davenport
The Deshler Broom factory was, at one time, the largest in the world. More than 400 workers manufactured brooms there. Changing economic patterns and the influx of imports doomed the company and the last brooms were made 30 years ago.
But the tradition of broom making is not extinct. Thanks to Berdon Pedersen and his wife, Deena, the Davenport residents are keeping the broom making craft alive.
Berdon worked at the broom factory for 15 years before it closed. He purchased some of the equipment after the plant closure.
The Pedersens obtain the necessary broom making materials from a firm in North Carolina. They order the broom handles, painted and clear as well as the broom straw. Berdon uses both metal and string to secure the straw. He manufactures both long handled and short hand brooms. The couple attend area festivals and demonstrate at museums to showcase their craft. The Pedersens were headed to McCook, after the Oak event, to a private tractor day event and demonstrate their handicraft.
Deena is the product tester. Her personal broom is equipped with a seat and handle bars. No word if there is a two-seat model in the works.
The Pedersens are adamant about keeping the broom making craft alive so that future generations can appreciate what it took to fashion this not so simple cleaning instrument. In this day and age of Dirt Devil's and Swifter's, the simple broom is often overlooked. At one time, it was the mainstay of the Deshler economic engine. Now it is but a speck on the pages of history but there was a time when a majority of American homes had a Deshler broom in the broom closet.

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Deadline approaches for CRP enrollment
Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce reminded producers today that the deadline to sign up for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is tomorrow (Friday).
"Any agricultural producer that has eligible land should review the benefits of this program," said Fordyce. "It removes from production marginal, erodible land and, in doing so, improves water quality, increases wildlife habitat and provides more opportunities for recreational activities, including fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing."
For this year's signup, limited priority practices are available for continuous enrollment. They include grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others.
FSA will use updated soil rental rates to make annual rental payments, reflecting current values. It will not offer incentive payments as part of the new signup.
USDA will not open a general signup this year, however, a one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants with expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less.
CRP Grasslands Additionally, FSA established new ranking criteria for CRP grasslands. To guarantee all CRP grasslands offers are treated equally, applicants who previously applied (prior to the current sign up period) will be asked to reapply using the new ranking criteria.
In return for enrolling land in CRP, USDA, through FSA on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), provides participants that remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat with annual rental payments and cost-share assistance. Landowners enter into contracts that last between 10 and 15 years.
Signed into law by President Reagan in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. Thanks to voluntary participation by farmers, ranchers and private landowners, CRP has improved water quality, reduced soil erosion and increased habitat for endangered and threatened species.
The new changes to CRP do not impact the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a related program offered by CCC and state partners.
Producers wanting to apply for the CRP continuous signup or CRP grasslands should contact their USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit More information on CRP can be found at

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