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Thursday Afternoon News, October 10

Firefighters Serve Ice Cream

(Le Mars) -- Last evening, visitors to the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor were given a special treat.  Instead of the regular waiters and waitresses scooping up their favorite creamy flavor of ice cream, members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department were serving them.
The fire fighters were at the ice cream parlor between 5:00 and 8:30 p.m.
Dave Smetter is a spokesperson for Wells Enterprises and Blue Bunny Ice Cream and tells how
the event was organized.

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Children were given coloring books, and other handouts, including a red plastic fire fighter's helmet.  The children also had the opportunity to sit inside one of the fire trucks that was parked outside.  Fire officials showed off some of their equipment to the patrons. Smetter says Wells and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department have a special relationship.
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Blue Bunny officials estimate more than 300 people were served by the Le Mars Fire Department.


Three Teens Arrested For Theft Crimes In Iowa, Nebraska, And Missouri

SIDNEY, Iowa (AP) - Three teenagers suspected of crimes in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska have been captured in southwest Iowa.
Fremont County sheriff's deputies found the three inside the public library on Tuesday.
The three bolted but were soon captured after foot chases.
The three had been reported missing from a youth center in Manning.
Nebraska authorities had alerted the Fremont County deputies as Otoe County, Neb., deputies were chasing a pickup believed stolen in Plattsmouth, Neb. Fremont County deputies
soon were tipped that the pickup was seen in Sidney.
The three are suspected of vehicle theft in Manning, a police pursuit in Atchison County, Mo., thefts in Nemaha County, Neb., and vehicle theft and arson in Cass County, Neb.
Two of the teens are 16; the other is 13.

 

Fish Kills

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials are investigating two fish kills in north central Iowa.
The state Department of Natural Resources says it began looking into the fish kills Monday. They're located in Kossuth County on the east fork of the Des Moines River and Boone River in Hamilton County.
Officials are still looking for the source of pollution. In Kossuth County, the pollutant turned the east fork of the Des Moines River green, west of the town of Irvington. Staff reported low oxygen levels and a chemical odor.
In Hamilton County, the contaminant killed fish and other aquatic organisms along a stretch of the Boone River southwest of Woolstock.
Officials say it's not likely that manure caused the fish kills, since staff did not detect ammonia at either site.

 

Tax Revenue Expected To Increase

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A panel of state budget experts predicts a slight increase in tax revenue during the current fiscal year.
The Revenue Estimating Conference met Thursday to project state revenue numbers. The three-member panel includes the governor's top budget adviser, the financial adviser to the Legislature and an independent member, Mason City economist David Underwood.
The group predicts net state revenue - made up of taxes and other sources - will come in at about $6.7 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That represents a slight increase over the previous year, though a direct comparison is difficult because state lawmakers have changed some accounting practices.
The panel will meet again in December to set the revenue projection that Gov. Terry Branstad must use to craft his next budget.

 

Company Settles With Iowa Over Deceptive Sales

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Connecticut-based company will pay Iowa consumers more than $5 million to resolve allegations that it misled people into signing up for discount club memberships.
Attorney General Tom Miller announced the settlement Thursday with Affinion Group Inc. and its subsidiaries, Trilegiant Corporation and Webloyalty.com Inc.
Affinion and its subsidiaries run discount clubs and membership programs that offer services like credit monitoring, roadside assistance and discounted travel. The company is accused of duping consumers into paying for them through supposed "free trials."
The settlement states Affinion must provide clear information to consumers after enrollment about their membership, periodic reminders of their enrollment and notice of changes to cancellation practices.
The money is part of a $30 million settlement with 47 states and the District of Columbia.

 

Second Baby Boom

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A hospital in Dubuque experienced a baby boom in September, with the most births since the national baby boom was just beginning 67 years ago.
The Telegraph Herald reports (http://bit.ly/19p7sKb) UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital had 79 births in September. That's the most since there were 90 births in May 1946 as the nation experienced a baby boom following the end of World War II.
The hospital normally has 55 to 60 births a month.
No one has an explanation for the spike in births, but Becky Richardson, the hospital's birthing suites director, notes that last December there was a lot of talk about the Mayan calendar. Some believed it foretold the end of the world.
Or, as new mother Lisa Boffeli of Cascade speculated, "Maybe it was cold."
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UNI Professors Hopeful After Court's Decision

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Some professors who took incentive packages and resigned from the University of Northern Iowa are hopeful they could get their jobs back following a court decision that found the buyout offers should have been negotiated through their union.

Professor Anne Lair, who headed UNI's French department, tells the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1aq5fMD) she's waiting for the university to offer her position back after the Sept. 29 ruling that the buyouts should have been negotiated.

Attorney general's office spokesman Eric Tabor says the Iowa Board of Regents may appeal the decision to the Iowa Supreme Court. The regents have until Oct. 29 to decide whether to appeal.

Joe Gorton, the president of UNI's faculty union, says an appeal would be a waste of time and money.

UNI officials declined to comment.
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