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Tuesday News, December 24

County Offices Closed Christmas Eve And Christmas Day

(Le Mars) --  There will be no Plymouth County Board of Supervisor meeting today.  In fact all the County offices in the Plymouth County Courthouse and Annex, including the Emergency Management Agency dept.,  the Secondary Road dept. , the Conservation dept., and the Mental Health dept will be closed on today and tomorrow December 24th and 25th and Wednesday, January 1st in observance of the Christmas holiday and New Year's.  The state department of the Clerk of Court at the courthouse will be closed at noon on December 24th and all day December 25th and January 1 st.  Le Mars city hall will close at 3:00 p.m. today and will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for Christmas.


Driver's Licenses To Be Extended

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Next year Iowans will be getting driver's licenses that will expire in five, six, seven or even eight years.
     The Legislature authorized the longer licenses, and officials say it will take Iowa five years to transition from the current five-year driver's licenses to eight-year licenses.
     The state's Motor Vehicle Division director, Mark Lowe, says the state system "will randomly assign customers five-, six-, seven-, and eight-year licenses designed to equally spread renewal volumes over an eight-year period." 
     The fee won't change from the $4 a year for a noncommercial license, $8 a year for a commercial license and $2 a year for a motorcycle endorsement.


Sac County Sheriff's Office Identifies Auto Accident Victims

EARLY, Iowa (AP) - The Sac County Sheriff's Office says two men who died in a minivan crash were on their way to work at a construction site.
      The sheriff's office on Monday identified the men as 43-year-old Ignacio Zuleta-Soto, the driver, and 30-year old Jeronimo Piox-Zuleta, a passenger.
     Another passenger in the minivan, 23-year old Gabino Piox-Zuleta, was treated at a Sioux City hospital and released.
     The crash happened just before 5 a.m. Friday on U.S. Highway 20 west of Early when the driver of a minivan lost control and the vehicle entered the median and rolled.
     The sheriff's office says the men, who were from Guatemala, lived in Eagle Grove. They were working as insulators at a construction site.
     The two men who died each were married and had children in Guatemala.


Propane Shortage Leads To Higher Rates

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several upper Midwestern states are dealing with higher propane prices because of supply problems in recent weeks. 
     Farmers used more propane than usual to dry the late harvest of grain that came out of the fields too wet. Rural households not served by natural gas lines dipped into propane supplies early due to colder than normal temperatures. And the Cochin pipeline that carries propane to the Midwest from Canada closed for several weeks, stalling supply to the region.
     The supply problem has driven prices 14 percent higher since mid-November in Iowa, where customers pay $1.88 a gallon. That's 34 percent higher than last year. Propane's up 15 percent in Illinois in the last month, 13 percent in Wisconsin and Minnesota and 12 percent in Nebraska.


Emmetsburg Celluosic Ethanol Plant Ready To Begin Production

 EMMETSBURG, Iowa (AP) - An ethanol plant that will make the fuel from corn cobs, leaves, and husks is on track to start production early next year.
     The plant located in Emmetsburg is a joint venture of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based POET and Royal DSM, and a biotech company based in the Netherlands. It is designed to make 20 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.
     POET-DSM Board President James Moe says testing of each part of the process is required because it's new technology. That will soon begin.
     Hiring has begun with postings including jobs for a lab technician, material handlers, and an accountant.
     Farmers in a 40-mile radius harvested 100,000 tons of corn plant material this fall to operate the refinery through next fall. 
     Farmers are already signing contracts for 2014 harvest.


Iowa State Researcher Submitted False Research

 AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University says an assistant professor has resigned after admitting he faked research to make it appear an AIDS vaccine under development was working better than expected.
     An Iowa State spokesman confirmed Monday that Dong-Pyou Han resigned in October after admitting he'd added human blood components to rabbit blood to make it appear a vaccine was spurring animals to build defenses against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The human blood was from people whose bodies had produced antibodies to HIV.
     University spokesman John McCarroll says after people raised concerns about the ISU experiments, research samples were tested and found to have been "spiked." Han then resigned. He couldn't be reach for comment.
     The falsified results prompted more funding for the vaccine effort.


Grassley Says He Will Visit Each Of The 99 Iowa Counties 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As he's done every year for more than three decades, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley plans to hold at least one meeting in each of Iowa's 99 counties in 2014.
     He's not waiting long to get started.
     He'll hold his first events Jan. 3 with stops in the northeast Iowa cities of Nashua and Charles City.
     Grassley has met with residents of all the state's counties every year since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980.
     In a news release, he says "representative government is a two-way street" that is strengthened by discussions between officials and the people they represent.







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