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Thursday Afternoon News, January 2

City Elected Officials Take Oath Of Office

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(Le Mars) -- With having completed the swearing of the oath of office, Dick Kirchoff officially is again, the mayor of the city of Le Mars.  City officials participated in the oath of office this morning, with Judge Robert Dull presiding over the ceremonies.  Iowa law requires newly elected officials to be sworn in for civic duties prior to noon on January 2nd.  In addition to Mayor Kirchoff, newly elected city council member, Clark Goodchild raised his hand and promised to uphold the laws as a duly elected city official.

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Due to scheduling conflicts, council members Rex Knapp and Ken Nelson were previously sworn into office as council members.  Floyd Valley Hospital trustees Craig Bauerly and Bill Young also were given the oath of office as newly elected hospital trustees.

 Henrich To Lead County Supervisors

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors selected Jim Henrich  of Akron and Don Kass of Remsen to serve as chairman and vice chairman of the board of supervisors.  Both supervisors have retained their positions from last year.  The supervisors appointed various vacancies to fill county boards.  The supervisors also discussed the Youth Emergency Services Center located at Cherokee.  The juvenile detention center is looking to restructure its payment program.  14 counties send troubled juveniles to the facility.

 

Study Shows Economy Doing Better

 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A monthly economic report suggests supply managers surveyed in nine Midwestern and Plains states are optimistic about the regional economy over the next six months.
     The confidence index for the Mid-America Business Conditions Index jumped to 66.5 last month from 57.2 in November. However, the overall index rose just 2 points, to 53.2 from 51.2 in November.
     Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says businesses tied to agriculture continue to report softer economic conditions.
     The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth, while a score below that suggests decline.
     The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

 

Hatch Gets Endorsement

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic candidate for governor Jack Hatch has been endorsed by a former lawmaker who was considering seeking the office. 
     Former legislator Bob Krause announced Thursday he would end his exploratory Democratic bid for governor. He says he will support Hatch, a Des Moines state senator, in the 2014 race.
     Krause says a competitive and expensive Democratic primary could make it harder for the victor to compete in the general election. Hatch says Krause's backing will help him build a winning coalition. 
     Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't announced his plans, but he is expected to run for re-election. 
     Krause says he will not leave the political arena. He plans to run as a Democrat in the 2016 race for U.S. Senate. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley has said he will seek another term.  

 

Lawsuit Filed To Stop Action Of Closing Juvenile Home

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The president of Iowa's largest union and several Democratic lawmakers are suing to try and halt the closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home.
     The suit was filed Thursday in Iowa District Court for Polk County. Danny Homan, president of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, filed the suit, along with state senators Jack Hatch and Steve Sodders and state representatives Mark Smith and Pat Murphy.
     According to the court filing, Homan filed the lawsuit as a private citizen, not as a union official.
     The lawsuit argues that Branstad lacks the authority to shut down the home in Toledo because the Legislature appropriated money for the facility. 
     A spokesman for Branstad declined comment, saying the governor's office had not seen the lawsuit.

 

Landlord Found Guilty Of Peeping On Female Tenants

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ruled an Iowa City landlord was looking for sexual gratification when he spied on female tenants through hidden peepholes.
     Judge Stephen Gerard ruled Tuesday that Elwyn Miller is guilty of six counts of invasion of privacy. Gerard made the ruling following a one-day bench trial last year.
     Miller was arrested in October 2012 after he was accused of peeping on a female tenant at one of his properties. An investigation led to the discovery of several peepholes and more allegations.
     Defense attorney Mark Brown argued that prosecutors failed to prove Miller viewed his tenants for arousal or sexual gratification. But Gerard wrote that Miller's placement of the peepholes was clearly for such purposes.
     The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports (http://bit.ly/JwHFqq ) Miller will be sentenced on Feb. 10.
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