Friday News, December 20
City Concerned About Floyd River Erosion Near Airport
(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars is concerned with the erosion of the river banks from the Floyd River, especially near the Le Mars airport. City administrator Scott Langel says the city council recently asked FEMA for help, but was turned down.
The city official says the city council decided to take its own action.
So, how will the city prevent the erosion? Langel offers this suggestion.
Iowa Supreme Court Issues A Stay On Judge's Ruling Involving Hard Rock Casino
(Sioux City) -- The Iowa Supreme Court has temporarily stayed the order by Polk County Judge Robert Hanson on December 10th against the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission as it relates to the Hard Rock Casino development in downtown Sioux City. The Supreme Court issued its stay Thursday against Judge Hanson's decision to block the IRGC's decision to award a gaming license to Sioux City Entertainment and MRHD back in April. Penn National Gaming, who asked Judge Hanson for the earlier stay, and Sioux City Entertainment have until December 24th to respond to Thursday ruling.
Dog Licenses Now Due
(Le Mars) -- City officials want to remind dog owners that it is time to renew their dog license. Tags are still $10 per dog and can be purchased at the Le Mars Veterinary Clinic, Town and Country Veterinary Clinic, and at city hall.
Plymouth County Historical Museum Offers Nativity Display
(Le Mars) -- More than 100 nativities, along with Christmas villages, trees, and lights, are on display in the historic Study Hall at the Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars.
The "Museum Manger," now in its fourth year, is in memory of the late Ron Burkard, a longtime Museum volunteer who with his wife, Delores, started the display of nativities. In addition to the display by the Burkards, many other Museum volunteers are remembered by memorial nativities.
The new addition this year consists of lighted churches, houses, schools, and other Christmas buildings.
Hours for the nativities are 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, or by appointment. The nativities will be up through Epiphany week, Sunday, Jan. 12. The Museum is located at 335 First Avenue Southwest, Le Mars.
GOP Senate Candidates Speak About Ethanol At Forum
JOHNSTON, IOWA – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) hosted a forum for Iowa’s leading Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination to run for U.S. Senate in 2014. The seat is currently held by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. The forum was held at Cherokee on Thursday. Not all the candidates attended the ethanol forum. Missing were State Senator Joni Ernst, Attorney Matt Whitaker, and former Grassley Senate aide David Young. The two candidates that did attend were radio talk show host and college professor Sam Clovis, and former Alliant Energy Senior Officer Mark Jacobs. Both candidates were asked, if elected, would they support maintaining the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) with no legislative changes? Clovis spoke first on the topic.
Jacobs says he also supports the RFS, and he talked about how ethanol production helps create jobs for Iowans.
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.
Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Union County, Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State officials say an emerald ash borer has been found in a residential tree in the southwestern Iowa city of Creston.
The announcement Thursday marked the fifth location where the beetle has been found in Iowa. It's the first time the insect has been spotted in western Iowa.
The other emerald ash borer infestations were in Allamakee County in 2010, followed by Des Moines County, Jefferson County and Cedar County in 2013.
To slow the spread of the insect, officials ask residents not to move firewood across county or state lines, which would limit the most common way ash borers cover large distances.
The small green wood boring beetle typically kills trees with two years, and an entire community's ash tree population can be wiped out within seven years.
Grand Jury Indicts Six Men For Stealing Trade Secrets
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal grand jury has indicted six men from China on charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets.
The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines, was unsealed on Thursday.
It alleges the men conspired to steal patented seed developed by DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto and ship it to China.
The indictment follows last week's announcement by U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt that the FBI had uncovered seed thefts.
Indicted is Mo Hailong, international business director of the Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group. He is in federal custody. Also indicted is Li Shaoming, CEO of Beijing Kings Nower Seed, three of his employees, and Wang Hongwei, who is believed to live in Canada.
Auditors Tell Secretary Of State Schultz To Be Prepared To Payback Grant
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State auditors say Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz should be prepared to repay federal funds he used to investigate voter fraud in the event the federal government says it wasn't a proper use.
Schultz has agreed to pay the Iowa Division of Criminal investigation up to $280,000 over two years to investigate voter fraud. He's using money from the Help America Vote Act, a federal program set up to improve elections.
Iowa Sen. Tom Courtney asked in October for an audit claiming Schultz is improperly using the money for investigations.
State auditors said in a report issued Thursday the federal law is unclear on the issue but Schultz should be prepared to repay if asked.
The understaffed federal Election Assistance Commission hasn't yet conducted a review of Schultz's spending.
Pregnant Woman Gives Birth At Convenience Store
GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) - A pregnant woman's quick stop at a central Iowa convenience store while on the way to the hospital didn't go as planned.
Amanda Teas, who works at Casey's General Store in Greenfield, says Abbie Hinrichs stopped in at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday to use the restroom.
Hinrichs told Teas she was in labor and was headed for the Creston hospital.
Teas checked on her about four minutes later and found the baby had arrived.
She says Hinrichs "was calm as could be."
Teas ran outside to tell Henrich's mother, husband and son, who were in a car. Medics soon arrived, taking Henrich and the baby to the Adair County Hospital.
The family says Addison Nicole Hinrichs weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. She and her mother are doing fine.
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