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Wednesday News, August 28

Grassley Visits Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley has been visiting several Iowa communities during the August Congressional Recess and this morning, Grassley will stop here at the "Ice Cream Capital"  The Republican Senator will hold a town hall meeting at the Floyd Valley Hospital Conference Room beginning at 8:00 a.m. Grassley will speak for an hour.  Following his Le Mars visit, Grassley will make a visit at Link Manufacturing in Sioux Center. Later in the day, Grassley will visit Rock Rapids, Sibley, and Spirit Lake.

Conservation Board Wonders When Pond Will Be Finished

(Le Mars) -- Members of the Plymouth County Conservation Board are wondering when a project to build a public pond will be completed?  The issue was discussed during Tuesday's meeting of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  A land swap agreement was made more than nine years ago between Plymouth County  and the Higman Sand and Gravel Company of Akron, Iowa.  In that agreement, Plymouth County would give Higman the rights to mine rock, gravel, and sand on county-owned land in exchange for a former gravel pit that would be converted to be a public recreational pond.  Bob Schlesser, chairman of the Plymouth County Conservation Board says the public is getting frustrated that the pond project has not yet been completed.  Schlesser says there were initial delays that involved obtaining proper permits and flooding issues, but now it is nine years later on a five-year project.  The Supervisors have instructed Plymouth County attorney Darin Raymond to visit with representatives of the Higman Company to find a suitable option for the county.


Car Hits Home

SMITHLAND, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man has been hospitalized after the vehicle he was driving crashed into a house in western Iowa.
The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says the 40-year-old man from Maquoketa crashed the
car into a house in Smithland early Tuesday morning. Residents of the home were not hurt.
Maj. Greg Stallman says the car hit a utility pole and an embankment before going into the
air. It hit the house above a first-floor window and just below a second-story window.
The driver, whose name has not been released, was flown to a nearby hospital. His
condition was not available.

Sioux City and Church Settle Agreement On Water Damage

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City and Sunnybrook Community Church have settled with the
owners of five homes for damage caused by a water line break two years ago.
The Sioux City City Council on Monday approved the agreement. The city will pay nearly
$60,000 and the church will pay the rest of the nearly $181,500 settlement.
Assistant City Attorney Justin Vondrak says the city already has paid more than $62,000
for cleanup and repairs at the homes.
The basements of the five homes in the 2900 block of South Lyons Street and the 5600 block
of Lyons Court were flooded by sewage and water on July 16, 2011, when a water line broke
at the church, which sits just south of the homes.

State Medical Board To Review Practice Of Video Consultations For Abortions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Board of Medicine is set to hear testimony on whether the
state should bar the practice of distributing abortion-inducing pills via a video-conferencing system.
A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Activists are seeking to halt a long-distance video system used by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. It lets doctors deliver pills to patients in clinics around Iowa after a video consultation.
Opponents of the practice say it is dangerous because patients don't personally see a
doctor and may not get follow-up care. But Planned Parenthood of the Heartland President
Jill June says the system helps women in remote areas and that they have received no
The earliest the board could adopt new rules barring the practice would be Friday.

Environmental Groups Sue To Stop GMO Plants From Being Planted Near Wildlife Refuge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to force the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop planting genetically modified crops in wildlife refuges in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri.
The federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday in California by the Center for Food Safety, Public
Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the Sierra Club, and Beyond Pesticides.
It alleges the Fish and Wildlife Service unlawfully entered into farming contracts on five
refuges in the four states without an environmental analysis required by federal law.
The lawsuit also seeks to have the service end blanket pesticide use in the national
wildlife refuges until environmental impact studies are done.
A similar lawsuit halted the practice of planting GMOs in refuges in several states the northeast and in the southeast.



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