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Water Summary Update: First below normal precipitation month of 2023.

DES MOINES — After four months in a row of above normal precipitation, totals for March came in lower than normal. Precipitation for March was 1.49 inches, 0.5 inches below normal. As a result, streamflows have been impacted, and the western part of the state is now in "Drought Watch" as defined by Iowa's new Drought Plan.

Plan your spring wildflower walk with new bloom report

Experience the best of Iowa's spring season with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) new weekly woodland wildflower bloom report.

Iowa's woodlands come to life with patches of color in early spring as native wildflowers start to bloom. Looking for wildflowers can be a fun, unique spring activity for kids and is a great way to spend time outdoors as a family.

Two More Great Nights Announced on the Iowa State Fair Grandstand

DES MOINES -- With only a few more nights to announce, the Iowa State Fair has added The Black Keys and Jeff Dunham to the 2023 lineup.

2023 Iowa State Fair Way We Live Award Entries Now Open

DES MOINES -- The Iowa State Fair, Pioneer and media sponsors Iowa Farmer Today and WHO Radio, The Big Show, are seeking entries for the 2023 Way We Live Award. The Way We Live Award, in its 15th year of recognizing outstanding farm families, will be awarded to six Iowa families who exemplify hard working farm values and a love for the occupation of farming.

Keeping Your Private Well Water Safe

A new learning opportunity from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Webster County Environmental Health Officer

One year from now: the next rare Solar Eclipse hits the U.S.

Before 2017's solar eclipse, it was 38 years since the last one; the next after 2024 not for another 20 years!

By: Chris C. Nelson, Publisher/Owner

Holy Week: Our Lenten season concludes in a powerful way

Traditions help us focus on faith

By: Chris C. Nelson

Many of us celebrate this time of year. Spring is here, the weather is warmer, the days are longer and the sun seems to shine a little brighter. Winter is becoming a distant memory and we begin to focus on the new season that’s arrived.

Jaguar of the Week

Jubilee Cunigan is our Jag of the Week!

Jubilee is a creative and kind individual who gives everything she has to any role she plays, whether that be student, actor, writer, or participant. She is a quiet leader: the sort that provides more feedback and support than most people realize. Her positive attitude and compassionate nature are unmatched!

Southeast Valley Sends two to Speech All-State program.

By Jubilee Cunigan

Special to the Leader

On Monday, March 27, not one but two Southeast Valley students performed at the All-State Individual Events Program.

The Battle of the Books

By Courtney Sogard

Special to the Leader

Students from Southeast Valley Middle School attended a Battle of the Books competition in Dallas Center on March 25th, in which a pre-selected list of books from the Iowa Teen Award List were read by the students of each team and then interpreted and analyzed for competition purposes.

Easter Egg hunts in the area

By Karl Jones

Easter, and hopefully spring, are finally here. This weekend there are a variety of Easter Egg hunts occurring in the area. Several communities in the area are holding their annual Easter Egg hunts on April 8 this year.

Library Programs Bringing Culture to Rural Communities

By Courtney Sogard

Special to the Leader

The Dayton, Harcourt, and Lehigh Public Libraries are hosting some new programs at The Homeplace, located outside of Harcourt, in an attempt to provide more culture to the rural towns in which they serve.

Annual spring wildlife spotlight survey underway

Staff with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are currently conducting their annual nighttime spring spotlight surveys across the state, collecting information on Iowa's deer and furbearer populations.

EPA announces a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would strengthen the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule

On March 28, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would strengthen the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule, making annual drinking water quality reports with important public health information more accessible to residents and businesses across the country.

Jaguar of the Week

Grant Smith is our Jag of the week for March 27 to March 31.

Grant is a dependable student and is always willing to lend a helping hand. He puts 100% effort into anything that he is doing, whether academic or extracurricular.

Grant is respectful and a positive role model to everyone around him.

Dayton Public Library hosts Easter craft

By Courtney Sogard

The Dayton Public Library hosted their monthly "craft-ernoon" program, with this month's craft being led by Monica Sogard of Jewell. Those attending were able to create a bunny out of a wooden spindle just in time for Easter!

If you'd like to attend the next "craft-ernoon" event, please follow the library's Facebook page, "Dayton Reading" so you don't miss it.

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