Friday News, May 2
Farmers Concerned About Cold Temperatures With Planted Seed
(Le Mars) -- Farmers have been thankful for the rains of the last few days, but along with the rains have been some colder than normal temperatures, and farmers who have planted corn are wondering if the seed can withstand the colder soil temps. Iowa State University Extension crops specialist Joel DeJong believes most of the planted corn will survive.
As for the reserve soil moisture levels, DeJong says northwest Iowa could use additional rains.
The ISU crops specialist believes all of the frost has finally thawed within this area.
Civil War Memorial To Be Re-dedicated On Saturday
(Le Mars) -- A re-dedication ceremony honoring those soldiers that fought in the Civil War will take place Saturday morning. The members of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War will rededicate the Le Mars Civil War monument, located in Memorial Cemetery beginning at 11:00 a.m. Wayne Schipper of the Wasmer post #241 says the local American Legion post is assisting with the re-dedication ceremonies.
Schipper says many people think only of the southern Dixie states, or Gettysburg, Pennslyvania when they hear about the Civil War, but he says many Iowans fought in the Civil War.
Schipper says of the thousands of Iowa Civil War veterans, many were from Plymouth County.
Schipper reminds people the re-dedication ceremonies will take place at the city Memorial cemetary at the Civil War memorial featuring an Union soldier. Schipper offers a glimpse of Saturday morning's program.
Gehlen To Partipate In "Then Feed Just One" Program
(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic School will be busy today packing meals for the hungry as several students, teachers, staff, and community people participate in the "Then Feed Just One" program. The meals, which consists of a mixture of rice, soy textured protein, vitamins and minerals, will be shipped to Honduras. Each meal, when added with water, can feed up to nine people. The "Then Feed Just One" program will begin at 8:30 a.m. Organizer's say this year's goal is to create 200,000 meals.
Elementary Students To Discontinue Paper Recycling Program
(Le Mars) -- For the past 20 years, during the first Saturday of each month, the Le Mars Community elementary students have collected discarded newspapers, and other paper products, as a community-wide recycling program. Steve Wick, a 5th grade teacher at Kluckholn says this Saturday, May3rd, will be the last time the elementary students will sponsor the program. He tells of how the students got involved with the project 20 years ago.
Wick credits the students' recycling program with helping educate the city of Le Mars of the importance of recycling newspapers and other products.
Wick says the amount of papers collected each month may fluxuate, but on average he estimates they collect nearly eight tons.
Although the elementary students will no longer be collecting the paper products after this Saturday, the program will continue each first Saturday of the month at the O'Toole Park with the Boy Scouts now sponsoring the paper collection program.
Sioux City Submits Documents To IDOT To Keep Traffic Cameras
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City has submitted data to Iowa transportation officials in support of traffic cameras on state roads.
Police Chief Doug Young says in a report submitted Wednesday to the state Department of Transportation that the cameras should remain in use because they increase driving safety.
The report provides statistics on five red-light cameras on two state roads. Another six traffic cameras on city streets are not subject to new state regulations that require data to justify their use.
Municipalities were required to submit data to state officials by Thursday. The agency will now determine if the city can keep some or all of its cameras.
Sioux City officials have challenged the regulations through a petition. State transportation officials later criticized the move.
Township Clerk Pleads Not Guilty To Misspending $60,000
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former township clerk in western Iowa has pleaded not guilty to misspending $60,000 over several years.
64-year-old Peggy Powell of Hornick entered a written plea Wednesday in Woodbury County District Court. She is charged with two counts of first-degree theft.
Powell is accused of mishandling money while she was clerk of Grange Township between 2006 and 2013. A state audit released in March showed improper disbursements from the township's bank account. There was more than $35,000 in ATM withdrawals and fees, some of which came from casinos in Iowa and one in Nebraska.
The report also said Powell misappropriated money to a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, where she was treasurer.
Powell's trial is scheduled to start on July 22nd.
U Of I Officials Release Documents Showing Sexual Harrassment
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa promised years of employment and benefits to a post-doctoral student who claimed she was physically and sexually assaulted by her supervising professor.
Settlement agreements released Thursday show the woman told university officials in 2008 that she'd been assaulted by assistant pathology professor Toshiki Itoh.
A jury in 2010 found Itoh guilty of assault causing bodily injury, but deadlocked on whether he was guilty of third-degree sexual abuse. He later entered an Alford Plea to that charge.
Itoh's case is well-known because he collected $200,000 while on paid leave, which outraged state lawmakers. But the university's settlements with his former assistant hadn't been known.
In a 2011 agreement, the university guaranteed her employment and benefits through 2015. A subsequent agreement last year paid her $42,000 to resign.
29,000 Iowans Have Signed Up For Federal Health Care Plan
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new federal report says more than 29,000 Iowans signed up for health insurance in the six months since the federal marketplace was launched.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Thursday that 29,163 Iowans enrolled between October 1st and March 31st. An estimated 57,184 people in Iowa were deemed eligible to enroll.
Nationally, more than 8 million people signed up by the end of the first national enrollment period. That includes 5.4 million who signed up through the federal marketplace. Another 2.6 million enrolled through state marketplaces.
Iowa is among 36 states relying on the federal website to enroll residents in the health marketplace, which is part of the federal health care law.
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