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Thursday News, April 4

Supervisors and City Officials To Meet

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet with city officials from the county's municipalities this evening during a meeting scheduled for the Courthouse annex.  That meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. It is expected the county and city officials will discuss issues of mutual interests and concern.

Northwest REC Looks To The Future

(Le Mars) -- For 75 years, Rural Electric Cooperatives have provided rural residents with power, and last evening, the members of the Northwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative gathered in Le Mars to celebrate and to hold its annual meeting.  Lyle Korver serves as the C-E-O of the local cooperative utility company.  Northwest Iowa R-E-C serves Plymouth, Sioux, O'Brien, and Ida counties.  Korver says the local utility cooperative has more than 3500 miles of electrical line that provides power to 9500 services and serves more than 7000 cooperative members. Korver says the local cooperative has been able to grow through the years, especially after the consolidation of 15 years ago.  He says through the use of government grants three years ago through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, the local utility cooperative has been able to finance needed improvements.

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The utility official says the local cooperative has utilized several forms of technology in order to remain competitive.

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Korver says along with technical advancements, the Rural Electrical Cooperative has a drive to be more efficient.

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Members were treated to a banquet and an evening of entertainment provided by The Brown Family.

Storm Lake Woman Charged With Theft

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A Storm Lake woman has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 in insurance proceeds from family friends.
45-year-old Tum Soulin was arrested Tuesday in Storm Lake and faces felony charges of ongoing criminal conduct and theft. Iowa online court records list her name as Soulin Tum, who also is known as
Khamphavongsa Tum.
Assistant Storm Lake Police Chief Todd Erskine says Tum Soulin took the money as she supposedly was investing it for family friends.
A Buena Vista County jailer said Tum Soulin remained in custody on Wednesday. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.


House Judiciary Committee Chair Stops Window Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A House Judiciary Committee chairman has blocked legislation that would put tougher safety restrictions on windows in new buildings to prevent children from falling out.
The Senate had approved the bill, which was passed by a House subcommittee Monday, but Republican Rep. Chip Baltimore of Boone announced Wednesday he wouldn't let the full Judiciary Committee take up the proposal.
The bill would have modified safety requirements so windows installed in new or renovated multifamily dwellings, hotels and motels had to adopt window fall prevention devices meeting industry
In a statement Wednesday, Baltimore says he hadn't seen sufficient data proving the bill would be the way to prevent such
The bill stemmed from a 2011 incident in which 4-year-old Hannah
Geneser (GIN'-uh-sur) died after falling out a third-story window.

Iowa State Fair Wanting "Blue Ribbon Ideas" for Blue Ribbon Concrete Statues

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Organizers of the Iowa State Fair are encouraging people to submit designs that can be used for concrete ribbons on display throughout the fair grounds.
The contest celebrates the fair's blue ribbon winners. The painted concrete ribbons will be 3  1/2 feet tall.
Participants can be individuals, clubs and companies. Entries must be submitted by May 15, and must include a description and detailed drawing of the paint design. Selected applicants will be
contacted by June.
A panel of judges will award prizes on originality, creativeness and overall look. There will be a novice and professional division, for individuals working in graphic design or an artistry-related field.
Winners will receive other goodies including a state fair plaque and admission tickets.
The Iowa State Fair will be held Aug. 8-18.

Refugees In the Midwest Conference

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A three-day conference at the University of Iowa will shine a spotlight on refugees living in the Midwest.
The "Refugees in the Heartland" conference begins Thursday evening in Iowa City with a keynote speech by Kenneth Quinn, the former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia who now leads the World Food
Prize Foundation.
Panel discussions on Friday and Saturday will examine the experiences of groups such as Somalis who have settled in the Twin Cities and Bosnians and ethnic Burmese who are now living in Iowa.
Speakers will also address issues such as immigration reform.
The university says the conference is designed to educate the public and generate discussions about refugee and resettlement policy and practices. Refugee leaders and service providers are
among those expected to be in attendance.

Lobbyist Faces Prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A sex offender faces up to two years in prison following accusations that he didn't report a legislative lobbying job to Iowa authorities.
24-year-old Michael Byars has been pushing legislation that would let sex offenders have lifetime parole sentences lifted under certain circumstances.
Byars was convicted in 2008 of lascivious acts with a child because he'd had what he described as a consensual relationship with a 13-year-old when he was 18. His parole curbs his interaction
with children, including his son.
Byars tried to register as a lobbyist but was told he didn't need to because he wasn't advocating for another person or any group. But a police affidavit says Byars "obtained employment" as
a lobbyist but didn't report that to authorities as required.

Fire Departments To Receive Grants In Order To Purchase Trucks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four Iowa fire departments are getting federal grants to help them buy fire trucks and to improve and update their operations.
The Monona Fire Department gets more than $53,000 and Independence nearly $50,000. The Nashua Fire Department will receive just over $15,000 and the Grant Lee Township Fire
Department near Alden will receive $3,325.
Sen. Tom Harkin says in announcing the grants Tuesday that the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is designed to increase the effectiveness of fire operations and to support firefighter
Harkin co-sponsored the legislation that authorized the grants.







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