Monday News, July 1
Fourth Of July Festivities Being Planned
(Le Mars) -- Plans are under way for the July 4th festivities in Le Mars. For a while, there was some doubt as to whether Le Mars would be celebrating with a traditional Independence Day parade and other program events, since the organizer had passed away. However, a group entitled "Friends of the Fourth" have stepped up to insure Le Mars would have the traditional celebration parade. Judy Bowman is a member of the "Friends of the Fourth" and says this year's parade will start later and have a different route.
Children of all ages are encouraged to participate in the Independence Day parade, and to dress in a patriotic manner. There will be judging of the children entries.
Bowman says the festivities actually begin the previous evening with the band "The Jammers" performing at the Plymouth County Historical Museum's Old Central Gym.
What's a Fourth of July without food? Bowman says the traditional lunch will now be at the Museum, along with a watermelon feed.
Bowman says the Le Mars Arts Center will be open during the parade, and will feature craft projects for the children. The fourth of July festivities will conclude with the Municipal Band performing at Foster Park at 8:00 p.m. and then fireworks, set to music, will be held at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds at dusk.
Little Sioux River Drowning
(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista County authorities responded to a river rescue on Saturday afternoon following a report of a man who had gone over the dam on the Little Sioux River at Linn Grove. Witnesses reported seeing the victim go over the dam and had disappeared underneath the water about 25 yards down river from the dam. During a search of the river, the victim, identified as 61 year old Robert Wiese of Greenville was recovered nearly a half mile down river. Wiese was pronounced dead at the scene by the Buena Vista County Medical examiner. Wiese had been attempting to launch a small motor boat into the Little Sioux River. During the unloading process Wiese was outside of the boat removing it from the trailer, when the boat was caught in the river's current which took the boat and Wiese into the river. The river's current swept Wiese and the boat over the dam.
Rock Rapids Man Arrested For Using Sword
ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa man is facing several charges after authorities say he threatened another man with a sword.
Hiram Meadows was arrested at his home in Rock Rapids Sunday after a short standoff with authorities.
The Lyon County Sheriff's office says deputies went to Rock Rapids around 3 a.m. Sunday after the sword incident was reported.
After talking with the victim, deputies went to Meadows' home nearby. He surrendered around 5 a.m.
Meadows is charged with using a sword to threaten assault and being armed with the intent to commit a felony.
The victim was not hurt.
Grant Money Available For Removal Of Lead Paint
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A city program that helps remove lead from older buildings has received a $2.5 million federal grant.
The Neighborhood Services Department was awarded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Lead Hazard Control Grant.
The money is for owner-occupied and rental units. People can apply to get money for removing lead paint and other items.
Properties have to be built before 1978 and have a child under age 6 living there. Applicants also have to meet income rules.
Those interested in participating may call 712-279-6328 for more information.
Tractor Rollover Causes Fatality
ELDORADO, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 60-year-old Iowa man died this weekend when the tractor he was driving rolled into a ditch along a northeast Iowa highway.
The Fayette County Sheriff's office says the accident happened Saturday morning along Highway 150 south of Eldorado.
The sheriff's office said Sunday that Marvin Luke Kriener of Waucoma, Iowa, died in the crash.
Authorities say the Kriener lost control of the tractor before going into the ditch. Kriener was thrown from the tractor when it rolled.
Kriener was taken to Palmer Hospital where he died.
DNR Reports Swimmer's Itch At East Okoboji
SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Officials are warning residents about swimmer's itch after cases were reported on East Okoboji Lake in the Iowa Great Lakes Region.
The state Department of Natural Resources says people should avoid swimming in marshy areas and places containing aquatic plants.
Swimmer's itch is caused by a parasite, but officials say most cases do not require medical attention. They can be treated with anti-itch lotions and other creams used for most skin allergies or
Officials recommend that people limit the time they spend in water and towel off quickly afterward. That helps remove parasites from the skin's surface.
Welts and itching caused by parasites can last for several days to about a week.
Insurance Carriers Face Deadline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowans should soon know more about what they can expect to find on the new health exchange, though whether the state's two largest carriers will participate remains unclear.
Today is the deadline for insurance carriers to file to be included in the online marketplace for Iowa. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart says he expects to release the insurance providers' names tomorrow, though the details on the specific plan proposals will come later.
Representatives for Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare - which combined hold roughly 90 percent of the Iowa insurance market - declined to comment on their intentions.
Gerhart says he expect a few statewide providers to be available, but doesn't know if the big two will opt in.
New Laws Begin Today
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several new laws take effect Monday in Iowa after this year's productive legislative session.
Lawmakers approved a wide-ranging tax cut bill that will gradually reduce taxable assessments of commercial properties by 10 percent and provide property tax credits geared for smaller businesses. It will also offer some new tax credits.
Iowa school districts will see their funding increased over the next several years.
And anytime Medicaid dollars are used to pay for abortions in Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad will now have to personally approve the spending. The state's Medicaid program covers a small number of
abortions each year due to rape, incest, fetal deformity or to protect a mother's life.
The state will accept Medicaid expansion dollars offered under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Branstad Hasn't Announced, But Campaign Is Ready
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With a historically productive legislative session wrapped up and bills signed with suitable pomp, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is setting himself up to run for an unprecedented sixth term in 2014, even as he holds off announcing whether he'll actually seek re-election.
Although Branstad isn't indicating his plans, his powerful political operation is gearing up this summer with staffing and fundraising. And Branstad's team in the Iowa Capitol is starting work on policy proposals that could form part of the campaign platform.
Richard Schwarm, a longtime Branstad adviser and his former law partner, says: "It's his time table for when he announces, but I expect that it will be that he's running."
Branstad Chief of Staff Jeff Boeyink says if he opts to seek re-election, the campaign will be ready.