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Monday Afternoon, April 21

Saturday Auto Accident Results In Injuries

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police have released the details of that auto accident that happened at 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning at the intersection of Business Highway 75 and 12 Street Southwest.  Apparently, a car driven by 29 year old Bonnie Graser of Sioux City failed to stop for a red light and went through the intersection striking a car driven by 73 year old Keith Orban of Merrill.  Extensive damage occured to both vehicles, as well as airbags had deployed in both cars.  Keith Orban and his wife, Majorie, age 75, suffered injuries as a result of the collision and were transported to the Floyd Valley hospital by the Le Mars Ambulance. Graser sustained minor injuries.  Assisting at the scene was the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.    


Argosy Casino Says They Won't Give Up

(Sioux City) -- The operator of the Argosy Riverboat casino in Sioux City is weighing its options after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission set July 1st as the date for the boat to shut down. Mark Weindhardt is the attorney for Penn National Gaming, which operates the casino. Weinhardt says the employees are a key consideration.

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Penn National would normally have 30 days to appeal the decision to close down the riverboat, but Wienhardt says things may go beyond that timeline.

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The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission decided to shut down the riverboat casino and replace it with a land-based casino. Penn National lost out in a bid to build the land-based casino. Work is underway in the downtown area of Sioux City on the new HardRock casino, which is expected to open sometime this summer.


UNI To Cut Students' Work Hours

CEDAR FALS, Iowa (AP) - University of Northern Iowa officials are considering reducing the maximum number of hours students can work at jobs on campus.
     The university has proposed reducing the maximum hours students can work at on-campus job from 30 hours a week to 20 hours. Students couldn't work more than 320 hours each semester.
     The proposal, now posted on the university's website for public comment, is an effort to formalize UNI's policy and ensure academic activities take precedence over work. Officials say the move also would make more jobs available to students.
     But students like Katie Titus say they rely on the income from their jobs. Titus works 25 to 35 hours weekly at a campus dining center. She may have to quit if her hours are cut.


Waterloo City Council Wants Roadside Memorials To Be Limited

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Waterloo officials are considering limiting roadside memorials erected at the site of deadly car crashes.
     A majority of the City Council called last week for an ordinance that would set rules for the memorials, such as the allowable size and time they could remain.
     Council member David Jones argued "at some point you have to draw the line somewhere."
     However, some council members say the rules would be difficult to enforce. And Mayor Buck Clark says drawing up an ordinance would "open up a can of worms."
     Waterloo and most other cities already make it illegal to erect signs or displays in public right of ways, but officials usually allow memorials to crash victims.
     Council member Steve Schmitt says guidelines would ensure consistent enforcement.


USDA Announces New Program To Help With Small Ag-Related Startups

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is announcing a new program that will provide $150 million to help small agriculture-related startups in rural areas that need cash to expand.
     Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is in Cedar Rapids on Monday to announce the formation of the first Rural Business Investment Company, licensed by the USDA to establish a fund that will invest in businesses.
     The money is coming from eight Farm Credit banks in six states.
     New Orleans-based Advantage Capital Partners will choose the businesses to receive investment cash. The company, which has experience investing in small startups in rural areas, will manage the fund.
     Vilsack says it's the first step in USDA plans this summer to create a buzz about business activity in the nation's rural areas.


Des Moines Police Identify Killed Teen From Train Accident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police have identified a teenager who died while trying to climb aboard a slow-moving freight train.
     Police announced Monday that 18-year-old Phillip Tyshawn Simmons died in the early morning accident.
     Officers were called to a crossing on the city's east side at 1:18 a.m. and determined that a teen had been waiting with friends at a rail crossing. The teen tried to climb onto the train, possibly to cross to the other side.
     Police say he fell during this attempt. He was caught beneath the train and dragged along the tracks.
     The train operator was notified and stopped the cars while police investigated. Several rail crossings were blocked by the train through the early morning hours.





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