Thursday, July 31, 2014
   
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WITCC Levy Passes

 The levy is a ten-year committment that helps finance property maintenance for the community college.  The measure passed with a 70.4 % approval.  The unofficial vote tally had 7,419 people saying yes to the levy, while 3,118 were against the measure.

(LeMars) -- Voters say yes to the Instructional Support Levy. With a narrow margin of 109 votes, LeMars school district voters approved the 5% over 5 years levy. The vote was 961 in favor and 852 opposed to the levy. Election officials say the election had a good voter turnout with more than one thousand people going to the polls. The contested At-Large race and the Instructional Support Levy were the reasons given for the higher voter turnout. LeMars Community School District Superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt says he's pleased to see the LeMars voters approve the measure. He says it will make the school district's finances stretch farther.

 

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Incumbants, Dr. Mark Stelzer and Patrick Murphy were both able to retain their seats on the LeMars Community District School Board. Stelzer received the most votes of the four candidates seeking the At-Large position. Stelzer garnered 1004 votes, Murphy received 903 votes, Mark Frentress received 697 votes and Merlin Wagner got 648 votes. The other candidates, Mark Hemmingson representing District 3 and Fred Zenk of District 5 were unopposed in their election race. Hemmingson received 1282 votes and Zenk had 1306.

Stelzer says he was pleased with the voter turnout, and pleased to see Pat Murphy win re-election. As for the Instructional Support Levy, Stelzer says it was a long time coming.

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Pat Murphy believes the passing of the Instructional Support Levy will act as a financial buffer for the district.

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(Akron) -- The other election night story comes from Akron where two write-in campaigns were active.  Roger Oetken was able to win the At-large seat. Oetken received 145 votes to Shane Coyle's 95.  Another contested race was with District 4 where Jim Black won a seat at the Akron-Westfield school board by defeating Mike Colt. Black received 146 votes to Colt's 118.

(Hinton) -- In Hinton, there were four candidates vying for the three At-Large positions. Winning the race were Randy Riediger with 124 votes, Brett Stanley with 100 votes and Lynette Blanchard with 97 votes. The fourth candidate in that race, Ed Vondrak, a write-in, received 51 votes.

(LeMars) -- Downtown LeMars is hosting an informational meeting this evening at the LeMars Public Library to determine if the downtown region may qualify for a Historical Preservation designation. There are a number of criteria to be eligible, but the first step is the buildings need to be at least 50 years old.   Kerry Davis is an architectural historian and consults with communities to offer insight as to how and why communities would have an interest in being named as a historical preservation community.

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The preservationist says there are several qualities about LeMars downtown that are impressive.

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The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. at the LeMars Public Library.

(LeMars) -- This week LeMars residents have the opportunity to dispose of some their waste products without having to pay the disposal fees. Scott Langel, city administrator, says this week is an excellent opportunity for residents to properly dispose of those items that normally can't be thrown away.

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Langel says most everything can be disposed during this week of amnesty.

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The program is limited to LeMars residents and there is a weight limit of 1000 pounds, plus, residents will need to find their own means of disposal as there will not be any curbside pick up service.

(LeMars) -- Gehlen Catholic School will be welcoming Bishop Nicklass of the Sioux City Diocese to an evening of fun and fundraising on Wednesday evening. It's all part of the kickoff for the "In Grace and Gratitude" five-year fundraising campaign. Originally, they were hoping for a picnic, but with the cooler weather, the event has now been moved indoors to the cafeteria and the gymnasium. Lisa Niebuhr says Bishop Nicklass will present the Excellence in Education award to Steve Shay. Niebuhr says Gehlen Catholic relies upon the contributions from friends and alumni to help with the retention of faculty.

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Niebuhr reminds Gehlen alumni of the quality education they received, and now it is time to assure current and future generations of Gehlen students are able to receive the same quality education.

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Niebuhr says the "In Grace and Gratitude" campaign hopes to raise over one million dollars during the next five years.

 

(LeMars) -- There's more to Girl Scouts than just selling cookies. That's the message officials with Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa want young women to know. LeMars' Olson Cultural Events Center will serve as the site for a "Block Party" where girls and young women between Kindergarten and Seniors in high school can have fun and learn more about Girl Scouts, and register as a member. Christina Luther serves as the Girl Services Manager for the Girl Scouts. She says girl scouts helps girls develop confidence and character that will benefit them their whole lives.

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Luther says girls don't necessarily need to join a troop, but rather they can enjoy girl scouts and the many programs offered on their own.

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The Block Party is scheduled for Thursday and begins at 6:00 p.m. and continues until 8:00 p.m.  It will feature music and dancing from a DJ, refreshments, and even an inflatable jumpy house. The event itself is free, but girls are asked to pay the $12 membership fee. Luther says there are financial assistance programs available.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has asked the federal government to declare 27 additional Iowa counties across the state as agriculture disaster areas following several summer storms. The Iowa Republican sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack seeking the designation.  Grassley says farmers across the state have faced "about every kind of challenge that summer weather can bring."  If granted, farmers in the counties and in the counties adjacent to them would be eligible for FSA emergency loans, the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program.  Both Woodbury and Monona counties are among the 27 seeking financial disaster assistance.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's administration is ooking at a plan to shift the Iowa Department of Transportation's motor-vehicle enforcement duties to the Department of Public Safety to improve road safety in a more efficient and cost-effect manner.  Officials are exploring the idea of moving up to 106 DOT officers to public safety. The DOT officers enforce weight requirements, equipment safety and other laws. Public Safety includes the Iowa State Patrol.  Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says Public Safety Commissioner Larry Noble and DOT Director Paul Trombino III have talked about dea. Albrecht says Branstad is aware of the discussions, but hasn't approved any specific plans to move forward on any changes, which would require the Legislature's consent and approval.

SCOTCH GROVE, Iowa (AP) - A slice of eastern Iowa history is being sold this week as items and buildings owned by the Balster family of Scotch Grove are put on the auction block.  Balster Implement & Parts Company closed in July after 137 years.  Tens of thousands of items will be sold beginning Thursday.  The Balsters offered just about everything from groceries to farm implements. Items being sold include vintage signs from the 1920s, sickles and shovels from the 1940s still in their original packaging and unopened cans of oil for Model T's, among other things. The auction company owner describes the sale as "a time capsule of America."  The family says the Jones County business closed because they didn't have anyone to run it anymore.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police in Council Bluffs say they have found a link to the mysterious appearance of a Hot Dog Man statue.  Police Sgt. Chad Meyers says a man called police Wednesday morning claiming the statue belongs to his son.  Meyers says police still have to talk to the son before deciding what to do with the statue.  Police took the Hot Dog Man statue into custody Sept. 2 after a concerned citizen reported a man in a hot dog costume near a bus stop where children congregate.  When officers arrived, they discovered it was only a statue.  Meyers says the statue is only a "found property" case and no investigation is under way, but he acknowledged "it's not something you see very often, if at all."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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