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Friday News, August 30

Le Mars Without Frontier Phone Service

(Le Mars) -- For several hours on Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening, customers of Frontier Communications found they had no land line phone service.  Most communications were cut off, including 9-1-1 emergency calls.  People needed to use their cell phones in order to make phone calls.  Apparently, a major phone line had been cut in Southern Minnesota that interrupted service in a wide area.  Le Mars, Denison, and Fort Dodge all reported phone outages.

 

County To Clean Up Flood Debris On Big Sioux River

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County officials are still having to deal with debris left from the Memorial Day flooding.  County engineer Tom Rohe says several downed trees and logs are jammed under a bridge that connects Plymouth County to Union County, South Dakota located on the Big Sioux River. Rohe says its important the county remove the debris.

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The county engineer says Union County, South Dakota will assist with the project. Rohe
says the costs to clean up the debris would fall under the Federal Emergency Management
Administration or FEMA's declaration of financial assistance that has been granted to the county.  Rohe says county officials have met again with FEMA officials to offer another
update on the Memorial Day floods.

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Rohe says a bridge that was washed away from the Memorial Day floods is still being negotiated with FEMA officials.  Rohe would like to see a wider and longer replacement bridge.

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Mayor, City Council Members, And Hospital Trustees Up For Re-election

(Le Mars) -- Candidates wanting to seek the positions of mayor, city council member, or hospital trustee can now submit their nominations.  The deadline to file is Thursday, September 19th.  City clerk Bev Langle says Bill Young has already returned his nomination papers for re-election to the Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees.  There are two positions up for election for the hospital trustees.  As for the city positions, Mayor Dick Kirchoff is up for re-election, as are the council seats for Ward one presently held by John Leonard, Ward 3 which is currently represented by Ken Nelson, and an at-large
position now held by Rex Knapp.  Hospital Trustees serve a four year term.  Council members are also elected for four years, and the mayor position is for a two year term.

 

State Board of Medicine May Take Up Video Conferencing Abortion Issue

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Medicine could soon vote on new rules barring the practice of distributing abortion-inducing pills via a video-conferencing system.
The board is set to meet Friday. The abortion pill rules are on the agenda and could
come up for a vote. A public hearing was held on the issue Wednesday.
Activists opposed to abortion rights want 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's dangerous because patients don't see a doctor in
person and may not get follow-up care. But Planned Parenthood of the Heartland officials
say the system helps women in remote areas and that they have received no complaints.

 

Sagar Re-elected To Labor Federation Post

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Federation of Labor President Ken Sagar has been re-elected
to the post.
The union says in a news release Thursday that Sagar was unanimously re-elected last
week to a four-year term during an annual convention. He was first elected president in
2008 and began working for the Iowa Federation of Labor in 1997. Sagar is a member of the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
The Iowa Federation of Labor represents more than 46,000 members, including state
employees, construction workers and teachers.

 

Des Moines Man Sentenced For Postage Counterfeit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man has been sentenced to four months in prison for
making and using tens of thousands of dollars in counterfeit postage for business mailings.
David Chasse of North Liberty was also ordered to be on home confinement for six months following his prison term.
Chasse was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt in Des Moines, who
ordered him to pay nearly $60,000 in restitution.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says that Chasse obtained U.S. postage for his business, The Birthday Company, Inc.
Postal inspectors determined that some of the company's mailings were using
counterfeit metered postage stamps, and agents who served a search warrant at his home
found thousands of dollars of counterfeits.
Prosecutors say Chasse photocopied sheets of postage, and then used them for
mailings.


Grants Available For Water Quality Projects

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Local government agencies may now apply for state funds to help build projects designed to improve water quality.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities and counties may apply for money from the $3 million program.
Each project can request up to $300,000 in funding over three years.
Projects eligible for funding include those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, flood prevention, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff and industrial discharge.
At least $1.5 million of the fund must be used to support projects focused on implementing the Iowa Water Quality Initiative.
Applications are due on Oct. 15. Awards will be announced in November by the
Watershed Improvement Review Board.

 

Vilsack To Discuss Immigration Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Des Moines to
host a discussion about immigration reform.
The former two-term Iowa governor will host what the Agriculture Department describes
as a round-table discussion about the importance of immigration reform for Iowa's
agriculture and rural communities.
The event will be held Friday morning at Iowa State University's center in downtown Des Moines.
Vilsack's participation follows the White House's release of a report, which argues that immigration reform would help ease a shortage of agricultural workers.

 

Des Moines Warehouse Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Fire crews have spent hours pouring water onto a blaze in a warehouse near downtown Des Moines.
Thick black smoke rose from the warehouse and stretched above much of Des Moines' eastside. The building on Scott Avenue was less than a mile southeast of the state Capitol.
Firefighters were seen spraying the blaze as nearby residents watched.
The building is full of housing debris. There are no reports of injuries.
Capt. Steve Brown, a Des Moines Fire Department spokesman, says the fire could continue burning through the night. The same building caught fire in July.
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