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Friday Afternoon News, August 30

Le Mars Without Phone Service (Updated)

(Le Mars) -- For a few hours on Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening, customers of Frontier Communications found they had no land line phone service.  Frontier spokesperson Dana Berkes explains what happened.

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People needed to use their cell phones in order to make phone calls.  Apparently, a earth
moving contractor had cut the line, and Berkes reminds people to call before you dig.

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Heat Wave Means Higher Electrical Usage

(Le Mars) -- This past week's heat wave has meant an additional power load placed on local electrical utility companies and cooperatives.  Abbey Bottenfield of MidAmerican Energy says the utility company made certain its customers would be provided the power they needed during the heat wave.

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Bottenfield says MidAmerican has set up programs that encourages its customers to conserve energy usage during peak load requirement times.

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Nelson Submits Nomination Papers

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City Councilman Ken Nelson has submitted his nomination papers seeking another term as city representative for Ward 3.  So far, Nelson is the only candidate to indicate an interest in running.  The deadline to submit nomination papers is Thursday, September 19th.


Sioux City Man Pleads Not Guilty To Arson Charges

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 36-year-old Sioux City man has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he set fire to his late grandmother's house in Sioux City.
Shawn Ferrara entered his plea on Thursday. His trial on a charge of second-degree
arson is scheduled to begin Oct. 15.
Police say witnesses reported seeing Ferrara run from the house after the fire started on Aug. 15. The homeowner had died in May, and police say Ferrara told investigators the house was being transferred to the state to cover his grandmother's medical expenses.
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Branstad Chief-Of-Staff Resigns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's chief of staff Jeff Boeyink is resigning.
Boeyink announced his plans Friday. In a press release, he says he will start a new
career in the private sector. His last day in the Branstad administration will be Sept. 6.
Boeyink served as Branstad's campaign manager for his 2010 run for governor. He then
joined the administration as chief of staff in January 2011. He is viewed as a smart
leader, with strong political skills. He was a key part of the budget negotiations this
year that led to a property tax cut and education policy reforms.
Branstad calls Boeyink a "valued part of our team" and says he would be missed.

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