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Monday Afternoon News, March 3

Sioux City Fire Fighters Battle Apartment Fire

(Sioux City) -- Firefighters remain on the scene of a fire at the Glen Oaks Apartment at Sioux City.  City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph says the fire was reported just before 6:45 a.m. Monday morning.

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Aesoph says the fire gained ground as firefighters struggled to find a working water supply at the complex.    

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All residents were safely evacuated.  The fire spread to several other apartments, but a firewall in the building kept the fire from reaching 12 apartments.     Aesoph says one firefighter was injured.    

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Firefighters were using a city bus at times to warm themselves as they dealt with double digit temperatures below zero in fighting the fire.    

 

Red Cross Steps In To Assist Apartment Dwellers From Fire 

(Sioux City) --  The Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the displaced victims of the Glen Oaks Apartment fire.  Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Bob Bartling says the Red Cross volunteers will meet with each resident.

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Brandon Harvey's family are among the displaced residents.  He heard the building alarm go off and got his wife and children to safety.      

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Harvey's wife and children escaped while still in their pajamas.  They didn't have time to save much else.

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Harvey says his family is staying with friends for now.  Opportunities Unlimited has provided their facility to use as a staging area for residents to meet with the Red Cross to obtain assistance.     

 

Pheasants Forever Raise $35,000 Through Banquet And Auction

(Le Mars) -- Despite the bad weather on Saturday, the Plymouth County Pheasants Forever 29th annual banquet was a big success, according to chapter president, Chris Anderson.  More than 400 people attended the event, which was slightly lower than previous years.  Anderson says the auction of guns, vacation destinations, paintings, jewelry, metal sculptures, taxidermy, and other items sold brought more than $26,000.  When you combine the auction with the various raffles, the local pheasants forever chapter earned more than $35,000.  The money will be used to purchase land and to maintain existing land for pheasant habitat, youth programs, and educational programs.

 

Local Artist To Paint Patriotic Mural At Merrill

  MERRILL, Iowa (AP) - An artist in  Merrill says she's trying to display her love of family and country in four patriotic murals she's painting for the local American Legion.
      Karol Holton is painting four murals for the Legion's meeting room in Merrill, a Plymouth County community of 750 people just south of Le Mars.
      Holton says that after Legion members asked her to paint the mural, she thought about what she wanted the paintings to reflect.
      She settled on "The Four Seasons of Patriotism." The work will feature a full sunset scene of soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima, a winter scene from Arlington National Cemetery, a spring image of Memorial Day and a Fourth of July theme for summer.
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Ihrke Appointed To State Optometry Board

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has named a Le Mars eye doctor to the state's Board of Optometry.  Dr. Scott Ihrke was re-appointed by the Governor.  Ihrke will serve a three year term.  The Optometry Board is responsible for assuring Iowans are given the best optometry care, and for discipline action on those optometrists who have their license suspended or revoked.

 

Le Mars Community School District Selected For Teacher Mentor Program

(Des Moines) -- The Le Mars Community school district is one of 39 Iowa school districts selected by Governor Terry Branstad to receive leadership roles to improve instruction and raise student achievement as part of the state's landmark 2013 education reform package. Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds made the announcement Monday morning during a news conference.  The program offers new teacher leadership systems and will allow teachers to work in greater collaboration with colleagues and learn from each other instead of operating largely in isolation in their classrooms. Teacher leadership systems will be phased in over three years, with the goal of all districts participating by 2016-17, although whether to do so is a local decision.

Based on the recommendations of the 19-member Commission on Teacher Leadership and Compensation, Education Director Brad Buck selected 39 school districts out of 146 applicants from across the state. The districts - serving a mix of urban, suburban and rural communities - enroll about one-third of Iowa students. Two of the districts will share teacher leadership systems.

Teacher leadership systems promise to help students learn more by better meeting their individual needs. They also will attract and retain more effective teachers by enhancing career opportunities and paying stipends for taking on extra responsibilities. With higher expectations for students, it’s no longer realistic for one principal to provide all the instructional leadership in a school. Teacher and principal leadership teams can support the more complex work required to prepare students for a knowledge-based economy.  Le Mars Community School district will receive about $309 per student next school year to implement their teacher leadership systems.  The annual cost statewide is nearly $50 million in fiscal year 2015, growing to about $150 million annually in the third year.

Districts were selected based on the strength of their application as well as geographic and size diversity.

 

UNI Administrators Place Research Policy On Hold

 CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Administrators at the University of Northern Iowa have agreed to put a policy on hold that requires faculty to teach an extra course if they don't complete enough research each semester.
      UNI President Bill Ruud recently agreed to put a moratorium on the so-called "active scholar requirement" as the issue is discussed with the faculty union.
     Some faculty and students say the policy is punitive and limits academic freedom on campus. The Northern Iowa Student Government unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday against the requirement.
      Provost Gloria Gibson says the requirement was an effort to make sure faculty are treated equally in terms of workload.
     The policy was detailed in a June 2011 memo to college deans. It has been revised since then.
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