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Thursday Afternoon News, April 18

Hard Rock Casino Wins Sioux City Bid

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City Entertainment will build a Hard Rock Casino in northwest Iowa's Sioux City.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission awarded the license Thursday at the end of a meeting held in Council Bluffs, choosing from four proposals for land-based casinos in Sioux City.
Last month, the commission toured proposed sites and met with developers.
Penn National Gaming Co. submitted two proposals for a casino, and Ho-Chunk Inc. and Sioux City Entertainment also each bid for the rights to build a casino, which would replace the Argosy Sioux
City riverboat casino.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a $118.5 million price tag and would be at the site of the historic Battery Building in downtown Sioux City.

Akron Woman Arrested For Drug Charges

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County deputies along with the Akron Police Department arrested a 27 year old Akron woman early Tuesday morning following a report of a domestic disturbance.  Arrested was Morgan Bernard for possession of a controlled substance, a serious misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  She was transported to the Plymouth County jail.


Le Mars Public Library Acknowledges Library Week - Host Author

(Le Mars) -- This week is National Library Week, with the theme "Communities Matter". Sue Kroesche serves as the librarian for the Le Mars Public Library, and explains the significance of library week.
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With the availability of the internet, and now the popularity of e-books, are people still using libraries?
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This afternoon, the Le Mars Public Library is hosting author Colleen Bradford Krantz, a former journalist.  Krantz has written a book entitled "Train To Nowhere" documenting the events surrounding eleven immigrants as they were discovered lying dead in a rail car at Denison, Iowa.

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That event will begin at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon at the Le Mars Public Library and it is open to the public.

Recent Moisture Helps Lessen Drought Concerns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Soaking rain across much of the nation's midsection has helped further alleviate drought in the crop growing states of Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Small portions
of Nebraska also saw improvement.
A weekly drought monitor, released Thursday by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, showed a few regions missed out from the wet weather, including Texas, where southern counties are in exceptional drought - the driest level possible level.
Eastern Nebraska and the western edge of the state improved. Most of Nebraska remains in extreme drought. Kansas saw little change, remaining in exceptional or extreme drought.
With snow in parts of Nebraska and heavy rain in much of the Midwest, some farmers are now hoping for a dry spell so they can get into fields.

Heavy Rains Causes Mudslide At University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa says a mudslide behind a residence hall has damaged several vehicles in its parking lot.
The university said Thursday that heavy rains caused the mudslide behind Mayflower Residence Hall late Wednesday night.
No one was injured, but the parking lot behind Mayflower became inundated with several feet of mud and debris. The university said the lot is closed to traffic and students are urged to avoid using
the back door entrance while crews work to clean up the area.
The rains also flooded parts of Dubuque Street in front of Mayflower, which means campus bus service has been diverted elsewhere. Mayflower residents are being asked to catch the bus on
the nearby Park Road Bridge.


Senate Democrats Offer Counter Proposal For Education Funding Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senate Democrats say they will accept an offer from House Republicans on general school funding, but they still want to implement the Democratic proposal for teacher pay and
Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says Thursday that Democrats made a counter offer because negotiations were not moving.
Lawmakers from the Democrat-majority Senate and Republican-controlled House have been debating school funding and how to implement Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's proposed
education overhaul.
House Republicans said they would accept Democrats' requests for bigger yearly increases in general funding for schools, if Senate Democrats agreed to House proposals making teacher salary increases and incentives optional for school districts.
But Quirmbach says the Senate is insisting on more money for salaries and incentives. Republicans said they needed time to review the offer.


Senate Passes Education Funding Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has approved $964 million in spending for the state's public universities and a number of other education programs.
The Senate passed their version of the higher education budget Thursday 26 to 22 along party lines. It's an amended version of the House's plan, which passed earlier.
Because the Senate's version spends far more than the $895 million bill approved by the House, the measure will end up in a joint committee.
In joint committees, members from both chambers and parties try to work out compromises.
The Senate-backed measure includes more money for student financial aid at state universities. It also includes some of the money for Gov. Terry Branstad's proposed K through 12 education


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