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Monday News, April 28

Hinton Motorcycle Accident Severly Injures Driver

(Hinton) -- Emergency rescue units were called to Hinton for a motorcycle accident that happened at about 4:25 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 75 and Orbit Drive.  A 2011 Harley Davidson motorcycle was being operated north bound on Highway 75.  For unknown reasons the motorcycle entered the median, rolled several times, coming to rest with the driver separated from the motorcycle.  The driver and sole occupant was taken to Mercy Medical with what appeared to be life threatening injuries.  The cause of the accident is still under investigation.  The name of the driver has not been released pending notification of family members.  The driver was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Hinton Police, and Hinton Fire and Ambulance.  No other information is available at this time.


Jack And LaVon Holton Given Peter Gehlen Award

(Le Mars) -- A couple with a long history with Gehlen Catholic School was presented the Peter Gehlen award during the Gehlen Catholic Fundraising Ball held Saturday evening at the Le Mars Convention Center.  Jack and LaVon Holton may not have graduated from Gehlen Catholic, but their devotion and love for the catholic school cannot be measured.  The Holtons have been major donors to the Gehlen Ball for the past eleven years, and have donated several items over the years for the auction.  The Holtons adopted a school classroom some years back and have purchased additional supplies for "their" classroom for the 2013-2014 school year.  The Holtons have been major donors to the 2012-2016 capital campaign.  The Holtons even traveled to attend the Spalding gala, and promise to attend more in the future.  They are members of the Peter Gehlen Society, by remembering the school and endowment fund in their will.  Jack and LaVon Holton have identified and encouraged others to give to the school in their will, and they have assisted in recruiting family members and friends to Gehlen School.  The Holtons have contributed various memorials to the school and endowment fund over the years. This year's Gehlen Catholic Ball was able to raise $231,679.  Lisa Niebuhr says the amount of money raised this year was $455 more than last year.


School Board To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening.  The school board is likely to discuss the upcoming Le Mars Community School Foundation Banquet scheduled for Wednesday at the Le Mars Convention Center.  The school board will hear a report from 6th grade students along with Middle School principal Steve Shanks discuss changes in schedules and programming planned for the next school year.  The school board will also discuss Senior Awards Night and Commencement.  High School principal Mark Iverson will report to the board the anticipated number of seniors that are expected to graduate.  The school board will also consider approving the use of the fall parent/teacher conferences as a day of school as allowed by the Iowa Code in order to avoid returning to school for one day following Memorial Day.


Severe Storms And Tornadoes Rip Through Southern Iowa

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are tallying up the damage and injuries caused by powerful storms that struck the state.  Strongthunderstorms caused damage across Iowa Sunday, and at least two tornadoes were spotted in eastern Iowa.
     The National Weather Service said the storms caused wind damage in a number of Iowa towns as gusts neared 90 mph and hail up to 1-inch in diameter fell. One person was hurt when a barn was blown over near Martinsburg.
     One tornado was spotted northeast of Mount Vernon, Iowa, Sunday afternoon. The other tornado was spotted in a field north of Floris.
     At least one farm near Wapello sustained damage to the roof and porch.
     South of Udell, several farm buildings were damaged or destroyed as the storms moved through. Several trees about one-foot in diameter were snapped off.
     The roof of the Oskaloosa Family Medical Center in Mahaska was damaged.   Radar data suggested that a tornado struck the southern Iowa city of Ottumwa. City officials say that several homes were damaged and some residents were injured near Liberty Elementary School on the southwest side of Ottumwa. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Craff says it's unclear how many people were hurt.
     A storm was blamed for a person's death in the Keokuk County town of Kinross, but a county dispatcher said Monday morning that she couldn't provide any information.


Small Towns Seeing Postal Office Hours Slashed

LAWTON, Iowa (AP) - Small towns in Iowa and Nebraska are getting used to reduced hours at their local post offices.
     Many residents are happy they still have a post office even if they have less access to it.
     The U.S. Postal Service has reduced hours at more than 7,000 post offices nationwide and consolidated 143 mail processing centers to reduce costs.
     In Lawton, Iowa, the post office now closes at 2 p.m. on weekdays and is only open for an hour Saturday. Heath Mallory with Western Iowa Telephone says it's harder to get mailings out before closing.
     Bronson, Iowa, Mayor Dave Amick says he's glad the town kept its post office even if it's harder for people who work full time to get there.


Legislature Hopes To End Session By Tuesday

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature is poised to finish work for the year by Tuesday, a week after their daily expense payments ended and jobs ended for some staffers.
     Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal and Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen say most of what remains is final paperwork and moving remaining budget bills.  Le Mars State Representative Chuck Soderberg  who chairs the House appropriations committee, says there are still some budget issues that stand in the way of adjournment.

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Soderberg remained in Des Moines over the weekend in order to hopefully find a suitable compromise on the remaining budget bills so lawmakers can adjourn either Monday or Tuesday.
     The Legislature began the year with a modest list of policy priorities from Gov. Terry Branstad, which included expansion of high-speed Internet, new school anti-bullying policies, initiatives to encourage veterans to move to Iowa, and an apprenticeship program.  Soderberg says the Governor will not get everything he had wanted, and explains the legislature's actions regarding the Governor's priority issues.

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     The broadband bill unexpectedly fell to defeat in the House on Friday but the other issues remain alive with a chance of getting to the governor in some form.


Mainstream Republicans Again Take Control Of Party

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Mainstream Republicans have regained control of most of the leadership positions within the Iowa GOP.
     Moderate and evangelical conservative Republicans took control of the party's central committee in this weekend's elections.
     That means the influence of libertarian followers of now retired Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be reduced two years after they took control of the state party.
     Central committee member David Chung of Cedar Rapids, who was re-elected, says he hopes the change helps build trust and cooperation within the party. Chung says he didn't like the way the party was run over the past two years.
     Party activists say they hope the state GOP will now be able to focus more on principles most Republicans can agree on.


Palin Endorses Ernst For U-S Senate

   WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin says U.S. Senate hopeful Joni Ernst would bring Iowa's values to Washington, D.C., and is unlike any lawmaker the city has seen.
     Palin was one of many women in politics to attend the "Heels On, Gloves Off!" rally Sunday to support Ernst, a Republican state senator.  Others who attended the rally included Nebraska U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, former Nebraska Governor Kay Orr and Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.
      The event was put on by ShePAC, a political action committee that supports conservative women candidates.
     If elected, Ernst would be the first woman to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate.
     Palin and Orr also appeared Saturday at a rally for Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse in North Platte. Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee joined them.




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