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Tuesday Afternoon News, January 8

Teachers Submit Their Requests To School Board

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Teacher Association has submitted its requests for the next school year to the Le Mars Community Board of Education.  The teachers are asking for an increase in base pay, as well as an increase for monthly insurance payments.  The teachers would like to see the base pay at $33,795 which would mean a salary increase of $1,850.  Insurance coverage would go up $100 per month to $1,045 per month per employee which will cover health, accident, and major medical insurance and dental insurance.  The teacher association would also like the school board to approve a ten-day bereavement leave.  Currently, teachers are allowed a five-day leave for family deaths.


City Council Hears Appeals For Community Development Block Grant

(Le Mars) -- Several business owners, chamber officials, and local preservationists appealed to the Le Mars city council asking them to approve an application for up to $250,000 for building facade improvements for a number of downtown buildings.  The Le Mars Mainstreet Organization is seeking a Community Development Block Grant that would help finance the project.  Mary Reynolds, Le Mars Mainstreet Coordinator, says the efforts are appealing to local building owners.
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If the city qualifies for the federal grant, 50 percent of the revitalization costs would be funded by the Community Development Block Grant, 25 percent would be funded through the city, and the remaining 25 percent would be financed by the property owner.  John Koley owns seven downtown buildings that would be included with the project.  He urged the city council to approve the application.
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Koley told the city council that the program would ultimately benefit the city of Le Mars. He cited Sioux city and Omaha as examples of successful historical preservation projects that has stimulated those economies.  The city council approved the application process.


City Council Listens To Water Tower Discussions

(Le Mars) -- In other action at the city council meeting, the council members heard a proposal from representatives from the McClure Engineering regarding the placement of another water tower and a pumping booster station as part of the city's expansion of the water services to better meet the industrial and residential future water needs.  The McClure representatives suggested to the council members to consider the location of 6th Avenue Southwest and 24th Street southwest.  City officials have held preliminary discussions with the property owner, but additional consultation must occur before any final decision is made.  The council did approve the report and made a motion to accept McClure Engineering's proposals. 


CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A small but smoky fire forced evacuation of a nursing home in the south-central Iowa city of Centerville.
The Daily Iowegian reports that firetrucks were sent to the Golden Age Care Center a little after 3:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Several dozen residents were evacuated as firefighters looked for the blaze. Authorities say a small fire was found above the ceiling in the administrative offices and was quickly extinguished.
No injuries have been reported.
Centerville Fire Chief Mike Bogle says an electrical problem is suspected as the fire cause.


SAN DIEGO (AP) - An Iowa man's sunset wedding ceremony aboard a hot air balloon got off to a bumpy start when a gust of wind forced the pilot to make a crash landing in the yard of a San Diego home.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque says one of the 14 people onboard suffered a minor back injury Monday.
Newlyweds Kerin and Jonathan Narcisse, a former candidate for Iowa governor, told KGTV the gust caught the balloon just after they exchanged their vows, causing it to sway over the Rancho
Penasquitos neighborhood.
The landing on a hillside fence behind the house was filmed by a member of the wedding party. Video showed the blue-and-yellow balloon draped over trees near the house afterward.
The couple continued to a reception.


WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A 64-year-old man has died after being injured when the small plane he was in crashed in eastern Iowa, killing the pilot.
The Overton Funeral Home in Traer (trehr) confirmed Tuesday that Max Morrison, of Traer, died Monday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
Morrison suffered burns and other injuries when the plane crashed while approaching an unimproved airstrip in Clutier.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the plane clipped power lines as it headed for the airstrip. An NTSB report says the pilot and plane owner, 69-year-old William Konicek (KOH'-nih-chehk), also of Traer, may not have known the lines were there. He'd landed at the airstrip before, but the report says the power lines recently had been erected.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The world's largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex is coming to Iowa.
Television station KCCI reports Sue the T. rex will be on display beginning Feb. 2 at the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines. The exhibit runs through May.
Officials at the center made the announcement Tuesday. They say the facility will be closed for several days in late January to prepare the exhibit, which explores how Sue was found in northwest
South Dakota in 1990.
Sue is owned by The Field Museum in Chicago, which purchased the 67 million-year-old fossil in 1997.

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