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Tuesday News, April 29

Fire Department Helps Bo Deans Employee Gets Arm Out Of Machine

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to Bo Deans Bakery early Monday evening to perform a rescue.  Apparently, a male employee of Bo Deans got his arm caught in a piece of machinery equipment. The call came in at about 6:47 p.m.  An hour had passed before fire and rescue officials were able to free the man from the equipment.  No word as to the condition of the employee.


Supervisors To Again Discuss Joint Urban Renewal Development

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will discuss the Joint Urban Renewal Development program during this morning's weekly meeting held at the Plymouth County Courthouse Board room.  The program has had the city of Le Mars work together with Plymouth County for development purposes, utilizing tax increment financing, or TIF.  County officials have indicated an interest is either amending the current program, or dissolving the joint development relationship.  Last week, Supervisor Don Kass explained the county would like to pay off the remaining debt of $2 million before taking on any new debt for development projects that have not yet been identified.

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Le Mars Community To End School Before Memorial Day Holiday

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community School District will conclude classes prior to the Memorial Day holiday.  That decision was made last evening when members of the Le Mars Community school board voted to end school rather than to have teachers and students return for one day of classes following the Memorial Day holiday.  In other action during last evening's school board meeting, the school board was informed by High School principal Mark Iverson that an expected 139 seniors will graduate on May 18th.


Softball Diamond Lights Left On For IlluminationTest

(Le Mars) -- You may notice the lights at the Le Mars Community School District's softball field are on today, and will be on through the night.  Dr. Todd Wendt, school superintendent, says there is no need to contact school officials.  The new lights have been recently installed at the softball diamond and requires the lights to be illuminated for a period of 24 hours, in order to test the lighting system, and to make certain the lights will work properly.


American Bank To Offer Shredding Service

(Le Mars) -- If you have confidential documents that need shredding, you may want to take them to the American Bank in Le Mars and Remsen on Friday, May 2nd.  American Bank is offering the shredding service to individuals only, no businesses.  Shredding operations will be held at the Le Mars bank branch between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and at the Remsen branch office between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.


Legislature A Week Past Scheduled Deadline For Adjournment

(Des Moines) -- One week has passed since the date the Iowa legislature had hoped they would have adjourned.  Early Tuesday morning, KLEM news spoke with State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars and asked the question, "will today be the last day of work for lawmakers?"

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Soderberg says the Senate and the House conferees have worked on provisions of the three remaining budget bills for the last two months.  He says before work can be completed at the state capitol building there are two items that first must be done.

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Efforts To Re-open Juvenile Home Failed In Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers will likely move forward with a health and human services budget bill without a provision meant to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home.
      Earlier this month, the Senate tacked an amendment onto the budget to reinstate programming at the facility in Toledo, which Gov. Terry Branstad closed in January. Lawmakers agreed to abandon the effort Monday, instead adding a provision to implement a tracking system for all juveniles offenders to better assess their placements.
     Sen. Jack Hatch, a Democrat who's running for governor, says it's difficult for him to give up on reopening the home, but he hopes the new provision leads to a more informed decision about the facility next year. 
     Lawmakers say they will sign off on the bill Tuesday and move it through floor debate from there.


School Bullying Bill May Not Pass The State Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The floor manager of school anti-bullying bill in the Iowa Senate says the bill is unlikely to make it through this legislative session.
     Democratic Sen. Rob Hogg says changes made in the Republican-led House on parental notification are unacceptable.
     He says the bill, a priority of Gov. Terry Branstad, if not dead, is on life support.
     Hogg says one of the primary changes made would remove the ability of school administrators to handle incidents of bullying off school grounds. Hogg says that's the leading issue students who speak to him say needs to be handled.


Veterans Bill Passes House

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill meant to support veterans already in Iowa and attract others to the state has won the final approval of the Iowa House.
     With a 94-to-2 vote, the House sent the measure to Gov. Terry Branstad, who has made veteran support a priority this session.
     The bill would exempt military pensions from state income tax, and surviving spouses are included in the exemption. It allows companies to give preference to veterans in hiring decisions and offers credit to veterans with occupational licensing. Higher education facilities would also be charged with determining a standard to offer veterans academic credit for military experiences.
     The House also passed a separate measure to expand a homestead tax credit already in place for disabled veterans.


Lawsuit Alleges "Black List" Is Illegal

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A proposed class-action lawsuit brought by former Iowa executive branch employees claims the state's so-called blacklist is illegal.
     Three employees allege in a lawsuit filed Monday in Polk County that they were put on the list without their knowledge and disqualified from future state employment when they were terminated.
     The lawsuit contends the Department of Administrative Services doesn't have authority to disqualify fired workers from all 42 executive branch agencies. It says the department's practice of not notifying people that they are on the list until they reapply for state jobs is a violation of their due process rights.
     The department argues that administrative rules give it the ability to disqualify applicants based on their previous firings.

Facebook To Add Second Data Center In Iowa

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) - Facebook is announcing plans to build a second giant data center in Altoona before the first center is completed.
     The  company announced Monday it would present site plans for the second phase of its $1 billion data center project to the Altoona Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday. If the panel approves, the plans will go to the City Council on May 5.
     The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company expects completion of the first 476,000-square-foot building this winter.
     The new building is expected to be about the same size as the first center. A third building also is planned in the future.
     The state has awarded $18 million in state tax credits for the project, and Altoona will forgo property taxes for 20 years.


Council Bluffs Man Charged With Arson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs police have charged a man in connection with a deliberately set fire that destroyed his mother's house.
     Police Sgt. Chad Meyers says officer arrested 29-year-old Daniel Kennedy, of Council Bluffs, on Saturday on a warrant for suspicion of second-degree arson in connection with the Jan. 28 fire. 
     The home, which was vacant, was owned by Kennedy's mother, Susan Graves Kennedy.
     Officers arrested Kennedy after responding to a report of a disturbance and finding him yelling at his mother. They checked his name for warrants and then made the arrest.
     The January fire destroyed the house. Crews demolished it a few days later.
     Daniel Kennedy was held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $12,000 bond.
     Online court records don't show an attorney for Kennedy.





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