Wednesday News, February 12
Le Mars Catholic Churches To Merge
(Le Mars) -- Members of the Le Mars Area Catholic Cluster have received a letter from their priests announcing the unification of St. James' and St. Joseph's parishes in Le Mars into one new parish as part of the Diocese of Sioux City Long Range Strategic Plan. The two parishes will have a new name, however, each parish will retain its name to specify location for various activities, and each will continue to provide worship services.
After September 1st, Father Kevin Richter will serve as the pastor for both locations. He says the unification of the two Le Mars parishes is attributed to demographics.
Father Richter says the financials is about the only area that the two parishes are not already sharing together.
Richter says some of the rural Catholic Churches around Le Mars may need to close when some of the priests retire or are reassigned.
Richter says the Diocese has been working on a strategic long range plan for some time. As for Father Eisle, he will remain in Le Mars, but will take on a role that relieves him from many administrative responsibilities.
The St. Joseph priest says once the unification takes effect in September, then he and Father Eisle may rotate from parish to parish so each priest can get to know the parishioners from the other church. Richter says the two governing boards and various committees will be meeting in the near future to determine the direction of the new parish.
Secretary Of Agriculture Northey To Visit Le Mars
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that he will be visiting Le Mars, Sioux Center and Inwood on Thursday, February 13.Northey will tour Blue Bunny in Le Mars, speak to the Western Iowa Farmers Alliance Ag Summit in Sioux Center and then tour Calico Skies Winery in Inwood.
Anderson And Soderberg To Hold Legislative Forums On Saturday
(Des Moines) -- State legislators Chuck Soderberg and Bill Anderson plan to visit some of Plymouth County's smaller communities on Saturday, February 15th. The republican lawmakers will hold legislative forums at Oyens in the Oyens City Hall at 9:00 a.m. They will then travel to Brunsville at the American Legion Hall at 10:15 a.m. and they will wind up their legislative forums at the Westfield Community Center in Westfield at 11:30 a.m. The legislators will be discussing various issues concerning the 2014 Iowa Legislative Session. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meetings and address any issues that are of concern.
ISU Extension To Offer "Healthy Meals In A Hurry" Seminar
(Le Mars) -- Are you too busy to cook, let alone cook healthy? Do you think you have to spend hours in the kitchen to cook fresh healthy foods? Learn ways to get healthy meals on the table in a hurry with ISU Extension and Outreach. The Healthy Meals in a Hurry program, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach – Plymouth County is Thursday, February 20, 6:30 – 8:30 pm in LeMars. The cost is $10. The program features a variety of ways families can make quick healthy meals possible. Participants will learn how to stock their pantry staples at home to make quick meals, how to menu plan for quick healthy meals and ways to modify recipes to reduce sodium and fat. Participants will learn strategies for ‘eat now’ meals that include the Healthy Meals in a Hurry publication which features recipes that can be prepared in advance and frozen for future meals.
Des Moines Airport Hires Private Company To Provide Fire Protection
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines airport board has hired a private company to provide fire protection.
The board voted unanimously on Tuesday for a two-year contract with Pro-Tec Fire Services, of Green Bay, Wis., starting at $921,000 a year.
Pro-Tec will replace the Iowa Air National Guard's fire department, which will disband later this year when the Air Guard stops flying jets from Des Moines.
Union members had asked airport officials to create an airport fire department and hire Air Guard firefighters. But airport officials decided to hire a contractor, saying they were not in the business of managing a fire department.
Regents Hire Consulting Firm to Save Money
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter says a consultant will consider whether to privatize non-essential university enterprises such as golf courses and power plants.
Rastetter told the University of Iowa Faculty Senate on Tuesday that Deloitte Consulting will also likely find ways to save money by pooling the universities' purchasing power and eliminating duplicative programs.
Earlier Tuesday, the regents hired Deloitte at an estimated cost of $2.5 million to conduct a wide-ranging review of operations at the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University. The goal is to find ways to cut costs, boost revenue and improve services.
Rastetter says he doesn't know whether the universities should sell their golf courses or power plants, but that "we ought to take a look at it."
Legislators Pass Bill To Discontinue Remote Abortion Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers in the Iowa House have voted in favor of a bill that bars remote distribution of abortion pills to pregnant women in Iowa.
In a 55-42 vote Tuesday, the Republican-majority House endorsed the bill. It now moves to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to advance.
The bill would prohibit the use of webcams or teleconferencing as a means of dispensing abortion-inducing drugs to patients in remote locations. Under the legislation, women seeking an abortion must be in the presence of a physician when receiving the pills.
Republican Rep. Kevin Koester, of Ankeny, says the telemedicine practice is not safe.
But Democratic Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, of Ames, argues that the bill is an attempt to restrict access to abortion in Iowa.
Lawmakers In The House To Ban E-Cigarettes From Minors
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers in the Iowa House are backing a bill that would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
The legislation won the support of the House in a 76-to-22 vote Tuesday. It will now move to the Iowa Senate, where a similar piece of legislation is also under consideration.
Currently there are no restrictions on selling e-cigarettes in Iowa to those under age 18.
E-cigarettes heat liquid and nicotine into a flavored, smokeless vapor. They are often used by smokers trying to quit, but e-cigarettes have grown increasingly popular among teenagers.
Industry groups have expressed support for the proposals. But public health advocates say that while they support barring sales to minors, they also want e-cigarettes to be classed as tobacco products, making them subject to additional restrictions and taxation.
Marshalltown Police Officer Uses Stun Gun On High School Student
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - A Marshalltown officer used a stun gun on a high school student who became disruptive in class.
The incident happened Monday at Marshalltown High School when a student began disrupting a classroom.
Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper says school resource officer Kraig Lageschulte and a juvenile liaison officer tried unsuccessfully to take the boy into custody.
The two officers struggled to control the student, and Lageschulte threatened to use a stun gun if the boy kept fighting.
The student didn't stop and was shocked. He was then taken to a juvenile detention facility and charged with disorderly conduct, interference with official acts and simple misdemeanor assault.
Woman Charged With Kidnapping Infant Has Long Criminal Record
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Court records and warrants show a woman charged with taking her days-old nephew from a Wisconsin home and leaving him outside an Iowa gas station has a lengthy criminal history that spans multiple states and two aliases.
But nothing in 31-year-old Kristen R. Smith's past indicates why she might have taken a child.
Police have refused to speculate on a possible motive, though court documents say she said in emails that she had given birth on Feb. 5.
Documents show Smith, of Denver, faces multiple fraud and document tampering charges in three states.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office in Tarrant County, Texas, says it used fingerprints and photographs to confirm that she was the same woman arrested under a different name in Colorado last year.
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