Saturday News, March 15
County Cadidates File Nomination Papers
(Le Mars) -- Several candidates have filed their nomination papers for the primary election scheduled for June 3rd. Jack Guenthner has announced he intends to retire from the board of supervisors, which creates an opening. So far, two candidates have submitted their papers for the position. John Meis and Harold Hadden, both republicans, are running for the District 1 supervisor position. Craig Anderson is seeking re-election for District 4 supervisor, and Don Kass is seeking re-election for the supervisor position representing district 3. Both are republicans. Shelly Sitzmann has filed her name as a republican candidate for the county treasurer position. Darin Raymond is seeking re-election for the county attorney as a republican.
City To Flush Water Lines
(Le Mars) -- The City of LeMars Water Department will start flushing water mains in the Northeast part of town Tuesday at 8:00 AM. This will take approximately 2 days. On Wednesday afternoon & Thursday, the 19th & 20th, the city water department will start the Northwest and finish on Friday the 21st if needed. The following week on Monday, March 24th at 11:00 AM the water department will start in the Southwest. Businesses and residences may experience discolored water and should refrain from washing clothes during flushing times in your area. If you need to do laundry you can monitor your cold hard water faucet or outside hose bib to check the incoming water for clarity. If you do experience discolored water limit your use on running hot water. If you have a hard water faucet or hose bib this would be the best place to check and flush water.
Anderson Upset Silver Alert Bill Fails In House
(Sioux City) -- A bill from Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson that would have created a statewide "Silver Alert" warning system for missing elderly people with dementia has been killed by the Iowa House. Anderson's bill passed the Senate 49-0 and was proposed because of a request by the family of Dale Robinson of Moville. Robinson suffers from dementia and has been missing since last August 3rd. The bill didn't survive this week's "funnel deadline" and the lack of action by House Republicans has angered Anderson.
Joel Robinson, the grandson of the missing man, says his family is also frustrated by the House failing to advance the bill.
Le Mars Republican State Representative, Chuck Soderberg says he was also disappointed the Silver Alert Bill did not go through the House of Representatives.
Soderberg is still hopeful the bill may be introduced through the leadership. He says he has spoken with both Speaker Kraig Paulson and Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, and according to Soderberg, both legislative leaders are interested in the premise of the bill, but want to refine it before acting upon the Silver Alert bill.
Soderberg says the advisory committee would consist of media and law enforcement officials. The Department of Transportation would use electronic message boards along Iowa roadways to post a "Silver Alert" to help locate an elderly person with dementia. The billboards are used for "Amber Alerts" when children are abucted. Anderson credits House members Ron Jorgensen and Matt Windschitl with trying to help get the bill to the floor. He says he will fight to get the bill passed again next year.
Funnel Deadline Takes Out Abortion Webcam Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Friday, marked the second self-imposed deadline for the state legislature regarding the passage of bills. Bills surviving a legislative deadline include those that would crack down on bullying in schools, allow fireworks to be sold in Iowa, and regulate the use of unmanned aerial drones.
Many other proposals will not be considered this year including a Democratic-backed bill to crack down on wage theft, a Republican effort to outlaw telemedicine abortion, and the Democrats' proposal to give schools 6 percent more funding for 2015. State Representative Chuck Soderberg says he was disappointed the "telemedicine abortion" bill did not get through the Senate.
Lawmakers impose deadlines twice a year to narrow the number of policy bills under consideration. The first so-called funnel deadline was in February and the second ends Friday.
Leaders from both parties say the focus now will be to find compromise on the bills that remain and continue work to complete the state budget.
Iowa Below Normal For Precipitation
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Even though it seems it's been a snowy winter, a new report says Iowa is below normal for precipitation this year.
An Iowa Department of Natural Resources update on the state's water resources says the state received an average of 2.2 inches instead of the normal 2.6 inches of precipitation between January 1st and March 12th.
The wettest area of the state is extreme southeast Iowa which has received 5 inches, and the driest areas are portions of the I-29 corridor in western Iowa when only about an inch has been measured.
Stream flows are normal except in the Iowa River watersheds, which are above normal.
The area of extreme drought in Iowa is now 7 percent of the state down from 20 percent at the beginning of the year.
Hatch Files Nomination Papers As Democratic Governor Candidate
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Senator Jack Hatch has made his campaign for governor official.
The Des Moines Democrat filed his nomination papers Friday before the 5 p.m. deadline.
Hatch's campaign says he obtained 10,655 signature on nomination petitions to put him on the June Democratic primary ballot. He needed at least 4,113 signatures to qualify for the ballot
Hatch says in a statement he looks forward to campaigning hard throughout the next eight months.
Republican Governor Terry Branstad filed his nomination papers last month with 10,745 signatures to seek his sixth non-consecutive term. He needed 3,654 signatures.
The number of signatures required to be on the ballot is based on the number of votes cast for the party's candidate for president in the 2012 general election.
Two Juveniles Charged With Arson On Playground Equipment
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two juveniles have been charged with starting the fire that damaged playground equipment at a Des Moines elementary school.
Police Sgt. Dan Blom says the juveniles were charged Friday with second-degree arson and turned over to their parents.
Des Moines fire officials said they responded shortly before 11 a.m. Friday to Park Avenue Elementary.
Firefighters found the playground equipment engulfed in flames and quickly put out the blaze. School was not in session, so no students were at the playground. No injuries were reported.
Des Moines fire inspector Ted Jefferson says it was brand new equipment that had only been played on a few times.
School officials estimated the damage at between $50,000 and $100,000, promising to replace the equipment.
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