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Friday Afternoon News, Aug. 2

Le Mars Fire Department Responds To Three Calls Friday Morning

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department has had a busy morning, responding to three separate calls.  The first call was reported at about 10:10 a.m. when fire officials were called to 301 2nd Ave. Southwest.  Smoke was seen coming from the garage area of the residence.  Fortunately, the fire only was a barb-b-que smoker grill that was brought into the garage.  The second call was a commercial fire alarm at the Bo-Dean's Bakery Factory located at 2375 Industrial Road.  Fire officials believe that alarm was sounded because of a belt that had gotten hot.  The third call was reported at a residence at 1414 16th Avenue Southwest.  That call came in at about 11:38 a.m.  Once again, the alarm was presenting no danger as it was believed that dust within the air may have triggered the alarm.


Northwestern College Receives $1.16 Million In Donations

ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Northwestern College closed the books on the 2012–13 fiscal year with gifts totaling a record $1.16 million to the Northwestern Fund.
Almost $500,000 was contributed in June alone. The new Northwestern Fund total surpasses last year’s fundraising of annual gifts by $96,000.
Jay Wielenga, vice president for advancement, commended the college’s supporters: “Our
givers are meaningfully invested in our students and this community,” he said. “They gave a
record amount to the Northwestern Fund while also completing donations that built the learning commons and renovated student fitness facilities.”
Northwestern is also celebrating the culmination of the Imagine Campaign, which raised more
than $47 million for student scholarships, renovation of the Rowenhorst Student Center and
DeWitt Fitness Center, and construction of the Jack and Mary DeWitt Learning Commons.
The learning commons will be dedicated on Sept. 27 during the college’s Raider Days
homecoming celebration.

Sioux City Police Arrest Three Men Involved With Armed Burglary

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have arrested three men believed to be involved in an armed burglary of a residence located on the 2400 block of Ridge Avenue.  Several people were at the home during the burglary including the residents.  Several items were taken and one person was assaulted resulting in minor injuries.  The suspects were later located on Van Buren Street by tracking a cellphone that was stolen during the burglary.  The three men arrested are 17 year old Alejandro Espinoza of Sioux City, 18 year old Jose Gil of Sioux City, and 17 year old Brent Mannion of Sioux City.  All have been charged with burglary in the first degree, and Mannion was also charged with assault while participating in a felony.  The investigation is continuing.


Shoppers Take Advantage Of Tax-Free Weekend

(Le Mars) -- Shoppers will want to take advantage of the no-tax holiday today and Saturday.
For the past 14 years, The Iowa Department of Revenue gives a break to shoppers on the first Friday and Saturday of August by not charging a state sales tax on certain clothing and shoes.  Some of the criteria as directed by the Department of Revenue include: No sales tax, including local option sales tax, will be collected on sales of an article of clothing or footwear having a selling price less than $100.00.  The exemption does not apply in any way to the price of an item selling for $100.00 or more.
The exemption applies to each article priced under $100.00 regardless of how many items of the same are sold to the customer.  Clothing is defined as any article of wearing apparel and typical footwear intended to be worn on or about the human body.  It does not include jewelry, watches, sporting equipment, or any special clothing or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use and not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear.


State School Board Discuss Early Start

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The State Board of Education is declining to act on a proposal that would have made it more difficult for school districts to start classes in August.
The board voted 5 to 2 Thursday against holding a public hearing on the proposed rule.

Board member Diane Crookham-Johnson says the Legislature should decide the issue.               The matter arose because although state law now requires districts to start school no earlier than the calendar week that includes Sept. 1, most districts seek waivers allowing them to begin earlier. Gov. Terry Branstad has called the current policy too lax, saying starting school earlier hurts Iowa's tourism industry. The new rule would have required districts to meet more requirements before starting early.


Utility Scam

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - MidAmerican Energy Company is warning customers of a telephone scam that appears to be targeting its customers.
The Des Moines-based utility says in a news release Friday that in the past week dozens of its customers have reported receiving calls from someone claiming to be from MidAmerican who warns their account has a problem and that they will be disconnected without immediate payment.
The caller asks for a credit card or bank account information.
MidAmerican says people who receive such a call should hang up and call police, then report the incident to the utility.


Tall Corn Poses Danger On Rural Roads

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State transportation officials are warning motorists that as Iowa's corn crop grows taller, they need to be extra cautious at intersections and railroad crossings.
The Iowa Department of Transportation says the state had 33 crashes in 2012 that were blamed on obstructed views due to trees or crops.
Those crashes left one person dead and at least 40 people injured.
Although most people who have lived for any stretch in Iowa are accustomed to crops occasionally hindering views, state safety engineer Jeremey Vortherms says people still underestimate the danger.
At uncontrolled intersections, Vortherms says drivers should act as if a stop or yield sign were posted.

Bank Worker Pushes Stalled Vehicle Away From Railroad Tracks

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A 38-year-old Iowa bank worker is being hailed as a hero for pushing an elderly couple's stalled car from a railroad crossing seconds before a train whizzed by.
Chris Ihle (EYE-lee) told The Des Moines Register ( ) that he had just parked his motorcycle at work Wednesday when he noticed a Pontiac Bonneville that seemed stuck at the Ames crossing with a train bearing down.
Ihle says he screamed at the couple to move but they didn't, so he tried pushing the car forward but it wouldn't budge. He moved to the car's front, told the driver to make sure it was in neutral, dug in his cowboy boots and heaved.
Ihle pushed the car about 5 feet to safety seconds before the train screeched by. It missed the father of three by inches.

Democratic Senators Blast Congressman King and Republicans For Immigration Stand

AMES, Iowa (AP) - The Senate's second-ranking Democrat says House Republicans should support legal status for young people who were brought into the country illegally as minors.
Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois made a strategic visit to Iowa Friday to highlight House GOP resistance to a Senate-passed immigration bill. The Senate measure would heighten border security and provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants living here illegally.
Durbin joined Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin at a forum in a college town represented in Congress by Republican Rep. Steve King.
King fiercely opposes a path to citizenship for immigrants now here illegally. Republican leaders denounced King's most incendiary remarks. But some Democrats paint him as a symbol of GOP resistance.
Harkin said Iowans are compassionate and don't use hateful language to characterize people.



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