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Tuesday News, February 4

Supervisors To Hear EMS Report

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear reports from the Emergency Medical Services as Bill Rosacker and Terry Stecker will appear before the Supervisors.  It is expected they will discuss the new development regarding the town of Oyens no longer able to provide community ambulance service.  The supervisors will hear a report from County engineer Tom Rohe.  In other action expected from the Supervisors, they will appoint a new Veterans Affairs Board member to replace Don Kolker.  The Supervisors are also expected to review and approve the semi-annual settlement of funds.


City Council Has Busy Agenda For Tuesday's Meeting

(Le Mars) --  Le Mars City Coucil will convene today at noon at the City Hall Council Chambers.  On the city council agenda they will review the fiscal year end 2013 comprehensive annual financial report.  The city council will discuss a sales agreement involving city owned real estate.  Bids for the Highway 3 west trail with the pedestrian bridge will be discussed.  The city council will also discuss the surface transportation program applications. The city will also review the city attorney's contract.


Soderberg And Anderson To Hold Forums In Pierson And Remsen

(Des Moines) -- State legislators Chuck Soderberg and Bill Anderson will appear in Pierson and Remsen Friday morning.  The two lawmakers will be at the Pierson Community Center between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and at the Mid-Sioux Opportunity Center at 10:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.  The legislators will discuss issues of concern from local community constituents, and they will review the bills introduced in the state legislature.


Lawmakers Hear From Local Dentists

(Le Mars)  -- This past Saturday the two state legislators held a legislative forum in Le Mars.  Four area dentists were on hand to inquire about the status of the Dental Patient Protection Act.  The State Senate passed the bill during the 2013 legislative session, but it did not go to the House of Representatives. However, State Representative Chuck Soderberg says he believes the bill may be introduced this week in the House subcommittee.  The group of dentists say they want the dental industry to be treated much like the medical industry.  They are asking the state legislature to pass SF 402, which would allow patients to authorize their insurance company to work directly with a dentist to provide payment for covered services.  The other issue the dentists are seeking is an external review.

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Heavy Snow Expected To Fall In Southern Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Forecasters are predicting several inches of snow to fall across southern Iowa, creating hazardous driving conditions.
     The National Weather Service says a winter storm warning will be in effect between 9 a.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday. Areas affected range from Corning in southwest Iowa to Ottumwa nearly 120 miles east.
     The snow will be light Tuesday morning then turn into heavy accumulation by afternoon and evening. It's expected to taper off by Wednesday morning.
     Meteorologist Roger Vachalek says officials predict between 5 and 8 inches of snow, especially in areas closest to the Missouri state line.  Blowing and drifting snow will create hazardous road conditions, especially for people driving home at the end of the work day. Visibility at times may be reduced to half a mile or less.


Branstad Aide Says State Still Needs A Plan For Juvenile Home

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A top aide to Gov. Terry Branstad says the state still needs a plan for how to best treat the state's most troubled girls in the wake of closing the Iowa Juvenile Home. 
     Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer told members of the Senate Human Resources Committee Monday that the state should provide at least 20 beds for delinquent girls. A spokeswoman said he planned to put out a more detailed proposal soon.  
     Branstad closed the facility in Toledo on Jan. 15 following allegations that teens were improperly treated and denied a proper education. The home housed some of Iowa's most troubled girls. 
     Democratic lawmakers announced a plan last week to file legislation in an effort to reopen the home, which would include an overhaul of the facility's programming. 


GOP Selects Carroll As Party Co-chairman

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Republican officials have chosen former state Rep. Danny Carroll of Grinnell as the party's co-chairman.
     The Iowa State Central Committee elected Carroll on Saturday. He'll replace David Fischer, who stepped down last month to run for the Iowa Senate.
     Carroll served four terms in the Iowa House until he lost in 2006. He's been part of The Family Leader, a conservative advocacy group.
     Fischer, of Altoona, was elected co-chairman in 2012 after serving as co-chairman of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul's 2012 presidential caucus campaign.
     Carroll backed Bob Vander Plaats for governor in 2010, opposing Terry Branstad, who went on to win the Republican primary and general election.
     Under Chairman A.J. Spiker and Fischer, the party has at times been publicly at odds with Branstad, who is seeking re-election.


Lawmakers Contemplate Bills For Broadband Incentives

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate are deliberating legislation that provides incentives for improving broadband internet technology access in the state.
     The bill was reviewed Monday by a Senate subcommittee. Legislators are planning on more subcommittee hearings before moving the bill forward.
     Under the proposal in the Senate, companies that invest in broadband infrastructure could receive breaks on property and income taxes. In addition, the bill would establish a loan fund for businesses making broadband investments. The overall cost of this legislation is not yet known.
     Gov. Terry Branstad has made broadband expansion a key focus for this legislative session. But his legislative plan only includes a property tax exemption.
     Legislators in the Iowa House are also holding subcommittee hearings on a broadband proposal.


Low Income Families To Get Assistance For Utility Bills

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A legislative panel approved extra money for low-income families struggling to pay their utility bills.
     The subcommittee voted two-to-one Monday to supplement federal funds, with the two Democrats in favor and the one Republican opposed. The bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
     The legislation comes amid a propane shortage and resulting price spike, which has left many Iowans unable to pay heating bills.
     The bill would appropriate $2 million to Iowa's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which gives grants to low-income people to assist with energy costs. The federal government funds the program, but states can supplement the effort.
     Democratic Sen. Liz Mathis, the subcommittee chairwoman, says the additional money will address emergency situations across the state.
     Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says extra funding could be premature.







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