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Monday News, February 17

Akron and Le Mars Fire Departments Have A Busy Weekend

(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department had a busy weekend.  First responding to a grass fire located at 29974 County Road K-18 on Saturday afternoon at 2:20 p.m.  Fire officials were on the scene for nearly an hour.  The second call came in at 7:15 Saturday evening when a controlled burn at 18197 Fir Street got out of control.  Meanwhile, the Le Mars Fire Department responded to an auto accident that happened at about 11:00 p.m. Saturday evening.  That accident occurred at 3rd street and 12 Avenue Southwest.  The Le Mars Fire Department responded to a fire alarm early Sunday morning at about 5:05 a.m. The call was at 21 Park Village.  Fire officials were on the scene for a half an hour.


Soderberg Meets With Constituents During Legislative Forums

(Le Mars) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg met with constituents at Oyens, Brunsville and Westfield Saturday morning.  15 people attended the Oyens legislative forum and seven met with the state lawmaker in Brunsville, and five people visited with the state representative in Westfield.  Soderberg addressed several issues.  There was a question concerning the need for additional funding for livestock research, and many attending the Oyens meeting were wondering if the state could provide assistance for small communities that are losing its ambulance service.  However, one common theme involved education funding.  Early in the legislative session, the state senate passed a bill calling for a six percent increase in the supplemental state assistance.  Soderberg says the issue was addressed this past week in the House of Representatives.

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Soderberg says holding legislative forums and hearing the concerns of the people within his district serves as an important aspect for him as a state representative.

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Lawmakers Discuss Day Care

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Daycare oversight in Iowa is under review at the Capitol, as lawmakers in the state House ponder legislation that would expand reporting requirements for in-home child care providers.
     Under the legislation, all home-based daycares in Iowa would have to register with the state, with some exemptions for family members providing care. Currently, home-based daycares with five or less children do not have to register.
     The bill was approved by a House subcommittee last week, but lawmakers stressed they have more work to do to determine how the requirements would work and if this would require additional state spending.
     West Des Moines Representative Peter Cownie says he generally supports the effort because a core function of government is ensuring safety of the population.


Fenton Man Sentenced To Nearly 10 Years For Child Pornography

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 54-year-old registered Iowa sex offender has been given nearly 30 years in prison for child pornography and enticing a child into sexual activity.
     Timothy Koenck, of Fenton, was given 355 months earlier this month after pleading guilty to several charges in September. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Sioux City. 
     Koenck also was convicted in 2002 of enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography.
     Koenck must serve 10 years of supervised release after leaving custody.


Retired Nurses Asked To Return To Work

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa law that allows retired health care professionals to return to work part time has helped make sure there were enough nurses, but it's due to expire this summer.
     Some groups argue the law is no longer needed, but Iowa hospitals want the exception extended.
     The exception allows public health care workers to return to work just a month after retiring. And if they work to for a public hospital workers can collect benefits from the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System while earning a second benefit check.
     Officials with the state retirement system say this practice adds costs because retired workers earn more benefits than younger ones.
     Iowa Hospital Association spokesman Scott McIntyre says keeping this exception helps hospitals find needed workers.


Snowmobile Accident Injures Woman

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 38-year-old woman was injured while snowmobiling on a central Iowa lake.
     The Department of Natural Resources says Jill George was operating a snowmobile Saturday evening on North Twin Lake in Calhoun County when she hit a snow drift. She was thrown from the snowmobile and suffered a serious head injury.
     She was taken to a hospital in Fort Dodge and then flown to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.
     George is from the Webster County city of Clare.
     The DNR says 24-year-old Hilary Hansch of Fort Dodge was a passenger on the snowmobile. She wasn't injured.
     Neither woman was wearing a helmet. The DNR says the snowmobile was rated for one person.


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