Wednesday News, December 18
City Council Approves Pedestrian Bridge
(Le Mars) -- During the Le Mars City Council meeting held yesterday, a public hearing was held to discuss a proposed pedestrian bridge that would cross the Floyd River along Highway 3. People spoke both in favor and against the project. Those who favor the project, like Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga, who resides on the west edge of town, point to the fact it would be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists needing to cross the river and get into town, without having to share the road with vehicle traffic crossing the bridge. Dekkenga says the span of the bridge is over 560 feet long with ten feet between the lane of vehicle traffic and the railing of the bridge, and the speed limit is 50 miles per hour.
People against the project, like Robert Schroeder and Pat Warner believes it would be too costly for the city at an estimated cost of $205,000 and it would not be used.
The city council, voted to approve the pedestrian bridge and trail project on a 3-2 vote. $160,000 of the cost of the pedestrian bridge would be financed through the state transportation department.
ABC News Ask Judge To Dismiss Lawsuit
ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) - A lawyer for ABC is asking a judge to throw out a defamation suit over its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef.
Beef Products Inc. in South Dakota sued ABC and ABC News Inc. last year over the network's reports about the meat product.
The Dakota Dunes-based meat processor claims the network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing the product is unhealthy and unsafe. BPI is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.
Judge Cheryle Gering says she'll issue a written ruling later.
ABC attorney Kevin Baine says the network in each of its broadcasts stated that the Food and Drug Administration deemed the product safe to eat.
But BPI attorney Eric Connolly says said those statements were coupled with negative context.
Latham Won't Seek Re-election To Congress
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Rep. Tom Latham says he won't seek re-election in 2014.
The 10-term Iowa Republican will have spent 20 years in Congress and is Iowa's senior U.S. House member. His decision announced Tuesday creates an open seat that includes the Des Moines area, Iowa's most populous region.
The 65-year-old from Clive was heavily courted this year by Iowa Republicans and the national GOP to seek Iowa's open Senate seat in 2014, but he turned that down in February. Five-term Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin announced in January that he would retire.
Latham is a member of the Appropriations Committee and chairman of the transportation subcommittee. He's known for his friendship with House Speaker John Boehner and his love of golf.
Lower Corn Prices Give Cattle Producers Optimism
AMES, Iowa (AP) - A livestock specialist at Iowa State University says falling corn prices are generating some optimism that cattle farmers can again make money.
Historically high corn prices during the last several years drove up the cost of feed and many producers cut herd numbers as drought intensified.
Lee Schulz, a livestock specialist and assistant professor of economics, says producers have been in survival mode but are beginning to talk about expansion. There's interest in building new facilities and growing herds.
Feedlots made money on cattle sold in October, breaking a long streak of monthly losses.
He says it will take several years to build the herd with increased calf crops and increasing cattle supplies because of the time it takes for calves to mature.
Body Found After Search In Icy Lake
MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) - Search teams have found the body of a man whose ATV broke through the ice at Lake Ponderosa.
Divers found the body of 57-year-old David Hartke, of Grundy Center, on Tuesday after rolling over his vehicle underwater, which had been on its roof.
The discovery ends what had been four days of searching for Hartke, who fell through a weak spot in the ice while ice fishing with a friend.
Lake Ponderosa sits west of Montezuma in central Iowa.
University Of Iowa To Unveil New Website
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa says it will launch a new design for its home web page for the first time since 2008.
The university says the changes aim to improve a site that has been visited 11 times by 2.4 million people this year.
University official Lin Larson offered a preview of the changes in a university article posted online Tuesday. He says the redesign "isn't just a facelift, but a fresh start."
He says the new site should make menus simpler to navigate and work better on mobile devices.
Larson says the designers chose to make information for new users one central focus of the page, www.uiowa.edu.
Two Tickets Match Numbers From Record Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lottery officials say winning ticket tickets have been sold in California and Georgia for the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
The winning numbers were: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7.
Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery's executive director and the lead director of Mega Millions, said that $336 million in tickets were sold for Tuesday's drawing - they had projected $319 million.
California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said Tuesday night that one ticket was sold at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose, Calif.
Otto didn't know yet where in Georgia the ticket had been sold.
The jackpot resets to $15 million for the next drawing, which is on Friday night.
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