Monday News, January 20
Fisch Honored At Remsen Chamber Banquet
(Remsen) -- The Remsen Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and banquet Saturday evening. Both the "Citizen of the Year" and the "Business of the Year" were announced. This year, Joel Fisch of Fisch Funeral Home and Monuments was presented the honor of "Citizen of the Year". He admits to being somewhat surprised by the honor.
Chris Schultz of Remsen nominated Joel Fisch as the "Citizen of the Year". Fisch is active within the Remsen community, and he says he gets involved as a way to pay back the community.
Fisch says he has his family to thank for allowing him the opportunity to be involved with the community events.
The "Business of the Year" was presented to the Iowa State Bank with origins as the Farmers Savings Bank, which is celebrating 100 years of existence. Tom Bacan accepted the plaque. He then shared with the audience a brief history of the bank.
Bacan continued to describe the value of land 100 years ago.
Bacan told the gathering that one employee had worked at the bank for 48 of the 100 years.
Legislature To Begin Second Week Of Work
(Des Moines) -- The Iowa legislature has completed its first week back to work, and although the week was devoted to mostly ceremonial events, such as the "State of the State" address delivered by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, and the "State of the Judiciary" by Chief Justice Mark Cady. The state lawmakers were able to pass two resolutions. State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars explains.
Soderberg says Governor Terry Branstad has already delivered his budget request and proposal, which Soderberg says the legislature greatly appreciates. The state representative says this year's budget will go to fund those programs approved last year.
State Caucuses Scheduled For Tuesday
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - While there has been little fanfare, the 2014 Iowa political calendar effectively begins Tuesday night at the precinct caucuses for both parties.
These organizing meetings - which kick off a series of party events, culminating with the state conventions in June - tend to mostly attract loyalists in non-presidential election years. But party leaders are urging Iowa residents to participate, insisting that coming out on a chilly January night really does matter.
Democratic Party Executive Director Troy Price says the people who participate this year "help us carry out the presidential caucus in 2016."
The caucuses begin a process of building a volunteer base that sets the tone for the elections in 2014 and starts organizing in advance of the 2016 presidential election in the early-voting state of Iowa.
Iowa National Guard Unit Deployed To Afghanistan
POCAHONTAS, Iowa (AP) - Forty soldiers in a National Guard unit based in Pocahontas are getting ready to head to Afghanistan.
Family members said goodbye to the members of the Army's 415th Military Police Detachment in Pocahontas on Saturday.
Sgt. Steven Oberg says he's excited about the deployment, but his sister Caroline Oberg says she's worried about her brother's safety.
This will be the unit's third deployment to Afghanistan in the past five years. The soldiers fly out of Des Moines Sunday for 10 weeks of training before returning to Afghanistan.
Iowa Casino Sends Board Of Directors To Las Vegas
ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) - An Altoona casino that distributes profits to central Iowa charities won't say how much it spent sending about 40 board members, employees and spouses to a Las Vegas conference.
The spending by Prairie Meadows raises questions in the mind of Polk County Supervisor Bob Brownell, who wonders where the casino profits would go "if it weren't spent on trips like that."
The September event was the Global Gaming Expo, where equipment is sometimes purchased for a discount, and officials learn about new technology.
Casino attorney Tom Flynn says he believes a provision in state law exempts the board from providing the trip records because the facility does not currently owe debt to taxpayers.
Casino Executives Earn More Than $650,000 In Salary
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The CEOs of two nonprofit casinos in Iowa both make more than $650,000 a year because their boards believe competitive pay is needed to keep the executives in Dubuque and Altoona.
Prairie Meadows CEO Gary Palmer made $652,747 in 2012 and Mystique Casino CEO Jesus Aviles received $708,899 that year.
The 2012 figures are the most-recent available, and both totals include six-figure bonuses both men received.
Casino supporters say these executives help raise millions of dollars in profits that go to Iowa nonprofit groups.
But critics say the amount of money these CEOs receive just reduces the amount that goes to nonprofits.
Soybean Association To Offer College Scholarships
ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa high school seniors with plans to pursue agricultural studies in college have a chance at some scholarship money.
The Iowa Soybean Association is offering 10 scholarships worth $1,500 each.
A student in each of the state's nine crop districts will be awarded a scholarship. Officials will then select one student from that winning group for an additional $1,500 prize.
Applications, which include an essay and recommendation letters, are due March 1. The winners will be announced April 15.
The association says scholarship recipients work in agriculture careers that range from sales to research.
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