Monday Afternoon News, January 6
City Water Lines Freeze and Break During Cold Spell
(Le Mars) -- The extreme and dangerously cold temperatures and windchills have closed many area schools, businesses, and organizational meetings. However, the Le Mars City Water Works personnel have been fortunate not to have had many water main breaks as a result of the extreme frigid cold temperatures. Gayle Sitzmann, superintendent for the city water works, says so far, only one main had burst as a result of the cold weather.
Sitzmann says his office has received several calls from homeowners who have reported frozen pipes.
Iowa Highway Patrol Offers Motorists Assistance During Cold Weather
(Le Mars) -- Many times when we think about the duties of the Iowa Highway Patrol, we think only about the law enforcement responsibilities. But as Trooper Vince Kurtz says, days like today with the extreme cold temperatures, they shift into a focus of motorist assistance.
The Iowa Highway trooper reminds motorists, if your car should break down and you are stranded, its important you stay with your vehicle.
Kurtz says motorists should remember to take along a survival kit, even if you are traveling a short distance.
Infrared Space Heaters Popular Item During Cold Weather
(Hinton) -- With today's extreme cold conditions, most businesses may see a slow down today, since many people choose to remain indoors. However, for a Hinton business that sells infrared heaters, today has been busy. Ben Crawford of TNT Sales and Service says he has had several phone calls and walk-ins by people who are interested in buying the industrial space heaters.
Branstad Unviels Online Payment Program For Some Taxes And Fees
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is expanding the use of an online payment service for some taxes and fees the state collects.
Branstad announced Monday that Des Moines-based Dwolla will be offered as a way to pay some taxes and fees charged to trucking companies. Dwolla is already a payment option for business that pay cigarette taxes.
Dwolla lets users transfer money or pay for things through their smartphones or online for a flat fee of 25 cents per transaction. It is free for transactions under $10. Dwolla advertises itself as a cheaper alternative to credit card fees and other online payment methods.
Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino says about 7,000 entities pay these trucking charges. Currently the paperwork can be done online, but not the payments.
Department Of Public Safety Reorganizes Personnel
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The first female director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is reassigned after one year on the job.
Chari Paulson will oversee administrative support and technology services for the Department of Public Safety under a reorganization ordered by Commissioner Larry Noble.
Under the change, department veteran Jim Saunders has been promoted to oversee all DPS investigative divisions: DCI, Narcotics Enforcement, the state fire marshal and intelligence.
Narcotics Enforcement Director Steve DeJoode will also leave that position.
The reorganization mimics a cost-saving plan that Noble put in place in 2012 before stepping down as commissioner. His successor, K. Brian London, undid the changes after his hiring.
Gov. Terry Branstad brought Noble back in August after accepting London's resignation following a brief, scandal-plagued tenure.
London had promoted Paulson to DCI director.
Branstad Reports Having More Than $4 Million For Campaign
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he has more than $4 million in his campaign account.
Branstad's campaign announced the 2013 fundraising numbers Monday. According to a press release, Branstad raised more than $3.4 million in 2013 and ended the year with $4.1 million in cash.
Branstad hasn't officially announced his plans but is expected to run for an unprecedented sixth term this year. The release notes that Branstad's cash-on-hand number sets a record for a gubernatorial candidate at the end of a reporting period.
The leading Democrat in the race, state Sen. Jack Hatch, has not yet announced his fundraising numbers for 2013. Hatch said last month that he was putting $200,000 of his own money into his campaign.
Campaign finance reports are due later this month for state candidates.
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