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Thursday News, January 31

Change of Location For Legislative Forum

(Des Moines) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars has announced a change in location for the Legislative Forum scheduled for Saturday morning.  The forum was originally to be held at the Habitue Coffehouse and Creperie.  Now, that forum will instead take place at the Le Mars Public Library.  The time will remain the same at 10:00 a.m.  The public is invited to attend the legislative forum.

Le Mars Community School District To Host Educational Legislative Forum

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District will host a legislative forum focusing on educational issues.  The meeting will occur on Saturday morning at the Le Mars Community School Education Service Center and is open to school board and school administrative officials of Plymouth County.  State Representative Chuck Soderberg and State Senator Bill Anderson will be attending the educational legislative forum.


Sioux City Selected As A Blue Zone Community

(Sioux City) -- The second time around was a success for Sioux City.  After a year and a half of trying, the city has been chosen as one of six new Blue Zone demonstration sites.  In achieving healthy city status, Sioux City will receive program and funding assistance to develop a blueprint to help transition residents into behaviors that can lead to longer healthier lives.  Derek Carmona spearheaded the city effort and says strategy changed in the second application.

Mayor Bob Scott says new jobs will be created through the Blue Zone effort.


Those jobs will be for around three years and are funded by Blue Zone grant money and not local tax dollars.  Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has donated five million dollars towards the program each year since it started in 2011.  The Blue Zone project is the centerpiece of an initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state in America by 2016.


Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

(Le Mars) -- It's known as the silent killer and it can strike any home.  It's Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and during these cold winter months, it becomes even more dangerous.  Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless gas.  The Le Mars Fire Department has responded to a few calls recently that were carbon monoxide related, and Fire Chief Dave Schipper says it doesn't take much to greatly affect people.
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Schipper says the symptoms, especially at this time of year can be confused with influenza.
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When a home is sealed up tight to keep the cold weather outside is when carbon monoxide poisoning can occur.  Schipper says faulty fireplaces, chimneys, propane space heaters, gas ovens and stoves, gas water heaters, furnaces, and even propane Barb-B-Ques can be responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning.  But this time of year, Schipper says the most common occurrence is something most of us may consider.
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The Le Mars Fire official advises people to purchase Carbon Monoxide detectors. He says they can be placed nearly anywhere, but especially they should be near the sleeping quarters.


Jeep Falls Through Ice

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A 1999 Jeep Cherokee is being removed from a lake in northern Iowa.
The state Department of Natural Resources says David Hand of Mason City was driving the vehicle Wednesday afternoon on ice over Clear Lake. Hand was aiming to ice fish when the vehicle broke
through the ice and submerged into 10 feet of water. The 20-year-old Hand was uninjured.
A recovery firm from Spirit Lake will remove the vehicle.
The DNR says people need to remember about the inconsistency of ice. The agency says it doesn't recommend that vehicles travel across frozen bodies of water because several factors can affect
ice thickness.


Condition Of The Guard To Be Delivered To Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Major General Timothy Orr, head of the Iowa National Guard, is scheduled to address a joint session of the General Assembly.
The annual speech, known as the "Condition of the Guard" address, will update lawmakers Thursday on the work of the Iowa Army National Guard.
Some changes are in store for the military presence in Iowa this year. The F-16 jets that have been flown out of the Des Moines Air National Guard Base will be removed and plans to set up a drone
operation center are under way.
A spokesman for Orr says he's likely to discuss this transition in his remarks.


Legislator Wants To Legalize Marijuana For Medicine Purposes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some Democrats in the state Senate want to make marijuana available to critically ill Iowans.
Legislators on Wednesday introduced a bill that allows some use of medical marijuana in the state. Under the bill, a patient with a qualifying condition, such as cancer, could get a prescription for
medical marijuana. The law also allows for the creation of nonprofit dispensaries to provide marijuana to eligible patients.
Sen. Jack Hatch, one of the bill's sponsors, says the proposal would help those with chronic pain. He acknowledged the legislation has little chance of becoming law because of opposition by
Republican lawmakers, but he says the bill increases public awareness of the potential benefits of medical marijuana.
Marijuana is legal for medical use in 18 states and Washington, D.C.



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