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Tuesday Afternoon News, October 29

Le Mars Chamber To Sell Holiday Dollars On Saturday

(Le Mars) -- Christmas may be 57 days away, but the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce wants you to
begin thinking about the holidays starting with this coming weekend.  Chamber holiday
dollars will be sold to the public on Saturday, November 2nd from the Le Mars Convention
Center.  Mary Reynolds, Coordinator for Chamber events says shoppers who purchase Chamber
Holiday dollars will be given a 15 percent discount.

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Reynolds says area businesses and local banks have contributed the money in order to encourage shoppers to shop in Le Mars.

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Reynolds encourages people to arrive early on Saturday morning to take advantage of the discount offers.

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Reynolds reminds people to be sure to use the chamber holiday dollars before the Christmas deadline, or consider purchasing gift certificates.

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Teachers Report To School Board About New Teaching Methods

(Le Mars) -- Three members of the Le Mars Community School faculty appeared before the district's school board last evening to offer a Professional Learning Communities report.  
The teachers had attended a conference and are now implementing lessons learned on new
styles of educating Le Mars students.  Dawn MacGregor is an elementary teacher at Kluckhohn.
She says the purpose for using new teaching methods would be like an eye doctor needing to
use updated information and equipment to perform cataract surgery. 

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MacGregor says teachers are using four questions that they ask themselves when teaching students.

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MacGregor says all students can learn.  She says teachers must shift the focus from teaching
to learning.
Middle school science teacher Ryan Zittritsch and High school science teacher Tami Dunn also
reported to the school board as to how they were implementing the plan for their classes.

 

Harvest Slowly Making Progress

(Le Mars) -- Farmers are making progress with this year's harvest.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports 55 percent of Iowa's corn crop and 87 percent of the soybean crop have been harvested.
Monday's weekly report showed the corn crop was about 5 percentage points behind normal,
while The soybean harvest was about two days ahead of normal.  Joel DeJong, Iowa State
University extension crop specialist says the soybean harvest in Plymouth County is close to completion.

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DeJong says generally the corn harvest is doing well, but a few farmers have had to deal with lodging issues and dropped ears.

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The crop specialist says the recent rains are helping replenish the lost soil moisture levels from the last two years due to the drought conditions.


Sioux City Man Pleads Guilty Of Robbing College Student

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man has pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the robbery of a college student.
Gerry Patterson entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City. The 24-year-old faced several charges, including kidnapping and possession of a stolen firearm.
Court documents say Patterson and 19-year-old Trey Boykin picked up a Briar Cliff
University student in February who was buying marijuana from them. Patterson is accused of
pointing a handgun at the student and taking more than $300 from him.
The student was not hurt in the incident. Boykin faces several federal charges, including kidnapping and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. He has not entered a plea yet in the case. Court records do not list an attorney for Boykin.
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Judge Says Lawsuit Can Continue

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge says a legal action that claims the Branstad administration illegally shared a confidential report about the firing of a criminal investigator can proceed.
Judge Larry McLellan on Monday rejected the state's request to dismiss the petition filed by former Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund.
The petition challenges the decision to share a 500-page report related to Hedlund's firing with former Iowa Chief Justice Louis Lavorato. It seeks a $2,500 fine against the Department of Public Safety's records custodian and other remedies.
Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Lavorato to review Hedlund's firing and claims of retaliation. Hedlund was placed on leave in May, days after initiating a pursuit with a trooper who was speeding while transporting Branstad. Lavorato concluded that Branstad's office wasn't involved in Hedlund's discipline.

 

Tax Revenues Nine Percent Higher

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislative Services Agency says the state's tax receipts were more than 9 percent higher in September than a year ago.
Tax receipts totaled $648.9 million in September, a 9.7 percent increase from the previous year.
The agency says there were gains in individual income tax, corporate income tax and the sales/use tax.
Iowa's year-over-year annual growth is 7.3 percent.
Senior legislative analyst Jeff Robinson says Iowa's fuel tax revenue was down 1.9 percent over the past 12 months. Casino taxes dropped during that period by less than 1 percent.
In the 12 months ending Sept. 30, net revenue from all taxes deposited to the state totaled $7.595 billion.
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