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Wednesday News, January 22

Le Mars City Council Recites Pledge Of Allegiance To Start Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council started its Tuesday meeting in a different manner than usual.  Just after Mayor Dick Kirchoff called the council to order, the city council rose to their feet and turned to face the American flag and recited the "Pledge of Allegiance".  The idea to say the pledge was new council member Clark Goodchild's.  Goodchild requested the action after his first council meeting.  Mayor Kirchoff and the city council members thought it was a good idea, so at the beginning of every city council meeting, the city council will start the meeting by saying, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all."


Residents Of Juvenile Home To Testify In Hearing

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Former residents of the Iowa Juvenile Home will testify before lawmakers in the state Senate.
     A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday about the home, located in Toledo, which closed last week. An investigation by The Des Moines Register last year revealed major problems at the home, including widespread use of seclusion cells.
     Branstad announced in December that state officials would close the troubled facility by Jan. 16, relocate the children and lay off the staff of 93 employees. But Democratic lawmakers criticized the move, saying it could impact jobs and could mean kids are moved far from their families.
     The president of Iowa's largest union and several Democratic lawmakers filed a lawsuit earlier this month to halt the closure.


Inmate Dies At Truck Wash

SULLY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say an Iowa inmate has died and another inmate has been injured while working at a truck wash business.
     The Jasper County Sheriff's Office says it received a report Tuesday from Sully Truck Wash in Sully about three employees found passed out inside a tank trailer. One died and the other two are being treated at medical facilities.
     Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta says four inmates from a minimum security facility in Newton were working at the business at the time. He says one inmate has died and another inmate has been hospitalized. He says two inmates were not injured, but he did not provide additional details.
     The Jasper County Sheriff's Office says the cause of the incident is under investigation. They have not released names.


Ames Hopes To Get Convention Center
Iowa (AP) - Officials say a $19 million bond measure would give Ames a long-sought convention center.
     The bond referendum is scheduled for a March 4 vote and needs approval from 60 percent of the voters. 
     The $19 million would be combined with Iowa State money for a $32 million addition and renovation at the campus' Scheman Building.
     The 128,000-square-foot addition would be built where a parking lot sits now on the north side of Scheman. A 35,000-square-foot exhibit space would go on the upper level. The ground floor would include covered parking.
     The Iowa Board of Regents has yet to vote on the university's contribution.


Iowa Farm Bureau Looking For People To Go To China 

  WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Farm Bureau is seeking participants for a market study tour of China.
     The group says it's now accepting applications from its members for a trip that includes meeting with Chinese farmers, agriculture business leaders, government officials and Beijing citizens. It is tentatively scheduled for early July.
     Officials say China holds market demand potential for Iowa's corn, soybeans and pork. They say the tour will give Iowa farmers inside knowledge of China's internal agriculture issues, and will poise Iowa farmers to meet those demands.
     Applications will be selected based on group participation and other factors. They will be accepted through the end of February.


8000 Iowans Contributed To Wildlife Fund Through Tax Checkoff

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 8,000 Iowa taxpayers donated to a state wildlife conservation fund last year on their tax forms making it the third year in a row that contributions increased.
     Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Stephanie Shepherd says Iowans donated nearly $133,000 to the Fish and Wildlife Fund on income tax forms they filled out last spring for the 2012 tax year.
     The fund, popularly known as the Chickadee Check-off was created by the Legislature in the 1980s to improve wildlife habitat, fund research studies and support the reintroduction of threatened or endangered species.
     Shepherd says about half of one percent of Iowans donate and she's reminding taxpayers to look for the box on electronic tax forms in hopes of boosting donations by 10 percent this year.


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