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Friday News, June 15th

Ice Cream Days Continues

(Le Mars) -- Its day three for the Le Mars Ice Cream Days, and according to Brad Pick, the vice president of the Chamber of Commerce there are plenty of activities scheduled starting with a little basketball.


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Following basketball, you will want to visit the Good Samaritan Center for the smile contest.
 

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The ice cream days committee chair says there will be lots of thrills later this evening.
 
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Iowa DOT Unveils Four-Lane Plan For Highway 20

(Correctionville) -- The Iowa Department of Transportation showed off its plans to the public last evening for the expansion and improvement of Highway 20 for the eleven mile stretch of road for eastern Woodbury County.  The plan is to make Highway 20 a four-lane road.  Dakin Schultz of the Iowa D-O-T says work will begin in 2014.

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The Iowa D-O-T says they will continue to go through the town of Correctionville, rather than to by-pass the community.

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Many people believe the proposed four-lane highway 20 will bring additional economic development to northwest Iowa.  Shirley Phillips of Sac City serves as the chair person for the Highway 20 Association.

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But not everyone is in favor of a four-lane Highway 20. Robert Braninger has about a half a mile of land that will be affected.  He says a four-lane road is not needed.

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Braninger says he would rather sell his land at half the price to a person interested in farming the ground as opposed to asking double the money and selling the land to the state for a highway.

 

Branstad Names New Insurance Commissioner

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has name an executive with a West Des Moines financial group as Iowa's new insurance commissioner.
     Thirty-seven-year-old Nick Gerhart of Des Moines will replace Susan Voss, who is retiring. He will begin his new job this fall and will assume all responsibilities when Voss retires at the end
of the year.
     Gerhart is currently vice president of compliance and regulatory affairs at Sammons Financial Group. He previously was an executive at American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company.
     The insurance commissioner oversees companies and individuals in the sale of insurance in Iowa, including the rates they charge.
     The 56-year-old Voss has been with the Iowa Insurance Division since 1993 and commissioner since 2005.

Trial Set Regarding Van Maur Store

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A trial has been scheduled for the lawsuit filed to keep Coralville from luring a Von Maur store to the city's Iowa River Landing development.
     The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 16 next year, more than 15 months from now.
     The lawsuit says the transaction conveying land, a building and other incentives to Von Maur through San Diego-based OliverMcMillan, the city's private developer, was structured illegally and constituted an illegal gift under Iowa law.
     The city's counterclaim alleges conspiracy and interference with a contract. It argues the lawsuit caused unspecified contracts between unspecified parties not to be performed, or made the
performance of the contracts "more burdensome or expensive."
     ---

 

Officials Worry About Possible Drought

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Drought Monitor map shows some southern Iowa counties are experiencing moderate drought.
     A swath of north-central Iowa already was in that state. The map shows that counties on only the western edge of Iowa have normal moisture conditions.
     Des Moines commodity broker Tomm Pfitzenmaier says rain is especially needed in the next couple of weeks because nearly half of the state's corn crop is expected to be pollinating by
Independence Day.
     The drought map is a project shared by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Weather Service.
     The map shows the Nebraska Panhandle in moderate drought and that only the northeast side of Nebraska has normal moisture. The map data were acquired before thunderstorms moved through much of the state overnight Thursday.

 

Girl Scout Theft

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 34-year-old Des Moines woman has been accused of stealing from a Girl Scout troop she had been leading.
     Jeri Bruce is charged with third-degree theft and unauthorized use of credit cards. Both are misdemeanors.
     The troop leader who took over after Bruce left the organization told police that she found more than $2,000 in suspicious purchases and that more than $8,000 was missing from the troop's bank
account. The account was shared by four troops who had raised the money from cookie sales and dues.
     Online court records say Bruce's next court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
     A public phone listing for Bruce could not be found. Online court records don't list the name of Bruce's attorney.
     ---

 

University of Iowa and Anheuser-Busch Make Agreement

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa athletic department has approved a four-year marketing agreement with beer giant Anheuser-Busch.
     Critics say the deal conflicts with the university's campaign for responsible consumption of alcohol.
     The deal will let logos for Anheuser-Busch beer products and Iowa's Tigerhawk to share space. But whenever they do, the item they sit upon also most carry a message: "Responsibility
Matters."
     History professor Jeffrey Cox  says he thinks it's hypocritical for the university to spend money to curb drinking but also accept money from beer makers.
     University President Sally Mason says proceeds from the beer deal will fund the university's program to reduce binge drinking.
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