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Monday News, June 11th

Truck Accident At Wells North Plant Causes Power Outage

(Le Mars) -- A semi-truck pulling into the dock at the north Wells Plant caused a minor inconvenience for many downtown businesses on Saturday morning.  Apparently, the truck accidently struck a utility pole causing power to flicker and in some cases even go out momentarily. The incident happened just prior to 11:00 a.m. Little damage was suffered on the truck and trailer, but the utility pole moved about four inches, and sustained some damage.  The brief power outage caused the fire alarms to sound at the Wells north plant.  Fire officials were assisting Wells personnel to re-set the alarms so production could continue.

Fire at Farmers Co-op at Boyden

(Boyden) -- The Boyden Fire Department responded to an electrical fire at the Farmers Co-op at Boyden early Saturday morning.  Sometime during the early morning hours, a small fire began in the feed mill portion under a storage tank inside the feed mill.  The fire appears to be due to an electrical problem on the radiant heater and pump.  No injuries were reported, but the storage tank sustained approximately $2,500 in damages. 

Chamber to Hold "Cash Mobs"

(Le Mars) -- You've heard about "flash mobs" where a mass of people invade a public space to make a scene.  The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce is wanting to implement a "cash mob".  The idea is to encourage local people to spend at least $20 at a selected store to show support for that business.  At noon, on Thursday, June 21st, local residents are asked to gather outside the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber officials will select a name of a Chamber member business.  Then the group of people will converge upon the store, with each person purchasing items and spending at least $20. Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Main street program says it will be a great way to build the community, meet new people, and support the local economy.  Reynolds says the Chamber will conduct four "cash mobs" through out the summer.  The first "cash mob" will visit a downtown retail store, the other "cash mobs" will patronage a retail business located away from downtown, and a third "cash mob" will stop at a local restaurant.


School Board To Amend Budget and Hear Reports on New Books

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening and the first item of business is to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed amendment to the 2011-12 school budget and consider adoption of the budget amendment following the hearing.  The school board will hear reports from Kellie Bork, the high school Health teacher, and from Kris Mohning, Melissa Leraas, and Mark Vonnahme, all middle school teachers.  Each will be introducing new text books to the board.  Bork will present a new health text book, and the others will present a new middle school social studies text book.

Downtown Clean Up Scheduled for Today

(Le Mars) -- Don't forget about the Downtown Clean Up that is scheduled for this afternoon.  Community citizens are asked to bring brooms, garbage bags, and other cleaning equipment to the front door of the Chamber of Commerce office. Chamber officials are asking for volunteers and business owners to assist in the project.  The downtown clean up will be for two hours beginning at 3:00 p.m.


Anamosa State Penitentiary Under Lockdown

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) - The Anamosa State Penitentiary has been placed under tighter security since two inmate brawls.
     State prisons spokesman Fred Scaletta says the prison went into lockdown after Saturday's fights. He says no serious injuries were reported.
     Many of the 1,100 inmates at the eastern Iowa prison are serving long sentences for murder and other violent crimes.
     Investigators are looking into the cause of the incidents, and Scaletta says it's too early to say whether they were gang-related.
     Danny Homan is president of Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He says the fights show what can happen when the prisons are overcrowded and


Many Counties Can't Fund Mental Health Services

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Changes to Iowa's mental health system have left counties short of money and forced some to drop mentally disabled people from programs.
     County officials blame a new state law that shifts control over Medicaid-funded mental health services from counties to the state.  The change is part of larger reforms of Iowa's mental health care
system designed to make services more uniform, in part by taking control away each of Iowa's 99 counties.
     Cedar Rapids Representative Renee Schulte acknowledges programs could be cut. But she says counties struggling with funding now would have faced problems anyway. That's because some counties were spending Medicaid dollars in ways the federal government was going
to stop.
     Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer says he hopes cuts won't be as bad as counties fear.


Fund Raising Tactics Being Questioned At U of I Hospitals

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some tactics the University of Iowa Foundation uses to raise money for the university's hospitals are being questioned because patient information is being shared with
     Officials with the University of Iowa's hospitals and the foundation defended the way they raise money as ethical.
     But patient advocates said that the campaign that uses letters signed by doctors appears to be taking advantage about the way people feel about doctors who helped them.
     And the foundation hired three fundraising companies to help, and at least two of those firms failed to register with Iowa officials and report details of their campaigns.
     Hospital spokesman Tom Moore says the fundraising campaign is legal and ethical. And he says it is in line with what other hospitals are doing.


Salt Supplies in Good Order

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state of Iowa and many local governments have been topping off salt supplies for winter even before summer officially starts. With mild temperatures this past
winter, many cities have plenty of salt left over. The Iowa Transportation Department says the state is still buying salt under an old contracted price.



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