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Tuesday Afternoon News, July 30

Supervisors Approve Tax Rebate For Van's Sanitation

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Supervisors approved a plan submitted by Scott Vandersluis of Van's Sanitation to allow the recycling business an opportunity to receive a tax break for a period of five years.  Van's Sanitation is looking to expand its facilities and its business.

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Vandersluis says the expansion will mean added jobs to his business and to the community.

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Vandersluis informed the county supervisors that the wages paid to the new employees will be in the $14 to $16 per hour range.  Van's Sanitation will receive a break in county taxes that will equal approximately $8,000 over the five year term.  Van's Sanitation will appear before the Le Mars City Council during its next council meeting to request a tax rebate over the five-year period.  The supervisors were split on the vote with Guenthner, Loutsch and Kass voting in favor of the measure and Anderson opposing it. Van's Sanitation serves the communities of Le Mars, Hinton, Akron, Westfield, Craig and Oyens.


Le Mars Residents May Have Discolored Water

(Le Mars) -- Due to a fire sprinkler line breaking, some residents and businesses located within the southwest portion of Le Mars may experience some discoloration to their water.  The Le Mars Water Department will be flushing some of the water lines in that area to resolve the problem.  At times, residents and businesses may also experience some low water pressure.

State Board Of Education Reviews Plan To Start School Later

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Starting classes before September would be more difficult under a proposal being considered by the State Board of Education.
The Iowa Department of Education proposed the new rule, which will be considered by the board Thursday.
State law now requires districts to start school no earlier than the calendar week that includes Sept. 1, but most districts seek waivers allowing them to begin earlier.
The new rule would require districts wanting to start up to seven days early to have local school boards hold public hearings and approve resolutions saying a later start date would negatively
affect education.
Districts that want to start earlier would need to document the negative impact and back up the claim with test scores, budget information and staffing data.


UNI Considering Lowering Tuition In Hopes To Attract More Students

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Faced with slumping enrollment, the University of Northern Iowa is considering discounting tuition for students from neighboring states.
UNI President William Ruud says a tuition discount program for entire states or regions could help lure more students to the Cedar Falls campus, which is projected to have an enrollment this fall of
11,800 students. That's the school's lowest total since 1989.
The Iowa Board of Regents would need to approve such a plan.
UNI experienced a drop in student enrollment after a major overhaul last year to close a $5 million budget gap. That included eliminating low-enrollment academic programs, cutting faculty staff
and shuttering the Malcolm Price Laboratory School, a popular teacher training hub.


Juveniles Accused Of Assaulting Staff At Detention Center

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Two teenagers at a juvenile detention center in Waterloo have been accused of assaulting staff while trying to escape.
The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office says the teens attacked staff at the Northeast Iowa Juvenile Detention Center on Monday. The 14-year-old and 16-year-old are accused of striking staff with chairs, punching them and biting them.
Officials say the teens had taken a set of keys from a staff member. They had opened a door but were subdued before leaving an outside door.
Staff members were injured but they were not hospitalized. The teens were taken to the Black Hawk County Jail. They face several assault charges.

Branstad's Lawyers Want Discrimination Law Suit Dismissed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawyers for Gov. Terry Branstad want a discrimination lawsuit against the governor dismissed in federal court.
Branstad's attorneys appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. They say the lawsuit filed by Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey this year is similar to a suit he
filed in state court last year.
Branstad's attorney George A. LaMarca says the case has been in the state court system for 18 months and this is "another bite at the apple."
But attorney Roxanne Conlin, who is representing Godfrey, says the systems are different.
Godfrey claims Branstad discriminated against him by cutting his salary after he declined to quit his job, and that he was singled out because he is gay. The state suit is currently on hold.


Gronstal Says He Will Not Run For Governor

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - State Sen. Mike Gronstal says he won't seek the Democratic nomination for governor and instead will focus on maintaining a Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate.
Gronstal made his announcement Monday night in Council Bluffs and then issued a news release repeating his decision Tuesday.
Gronstal, the majority leader who has represented Council Bluffs in the Legislature since 1983, acknowledged previously he was considering running for governor.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't announced whether he'll seek re-election, but he's been raising money and hiring campaign workers.
Gronstal says his decision was difficult because of what he called, "Governor Branstad's poor leadership and lack of results."
Cedar Rapids state Rep. Tyler Olson is seeking the Democratic nomination, and Democratic state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines, is considering a run.


Flags To Be Lowered To Honor Colonel Day

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all U.S. flags in Iowa flown at half-staff in honor of retired Col. George "Bud" Day, an Iowa native who died last week.
Branstad made the order for flags flown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.
The funeral for Day, who died Saturday at age 88, will be held Thursday in Shalimar, Fla. He will be buried in Barrancas National Cemetery at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Day was born in Sioux City and was one of the nation's most highly decorated servicemen, earning more than 70 medals during service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Among his honors was
the Medal of Honor for escaping his captors for 10 days after the aircraft he was piloting was shot down over North Vietnam.


Allegient Air Announces New Non-stop  Flights From Iowa To Florida

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Allegiant Air has announced plans to offer a nonstop flight between Cedar Rapids and the Punta Gorda and Ft. Meyers area in Florida.
The airline says the direct flights from the Eastern Iowa Airport will begin Dec. 18 with two non-stop flights per week.
Fares will be as low as $99.99 each way for ticket purchased by Aug. 6 for travel by Feb. 11, 2014.
The new service will become Allegiant's fifth nonstop service from Cedar Rapids. That includes trips to Las Vegas, Orlando, Mesa, Ariz., and the Tampa area.

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