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Thursday Afternoon News, May 8

Harkin Aide To Visit Le Mars

DES MOINES – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced today that his aide, Sandi O’Brien, will visit Plymouth County on Monday, May 12, as part of a summer tour highlighting Harkin’s partnership with Iowa communities through the years.  The “In the Footsteps of History” tour will include all Iowa counties and feature local projects aimed at keeping Iowa communities healthy and safe, keeping communities thriving through targeted education, research, and economic development projects and promoting local agriculture and conservation, while mitigating disasters.   O’Brien will see the progress on an American Legion Club refurbishment project that was made possible by federal funding.  In 2011, Plymouth County was awarded a $30,000 Harkin Main Street Grant for a two-phase façade renovation of the American Legion building in LeMars.  The funding allowed for a new glass block window and improvements to the existing front door to meet code on the first floor, and the replacement of windows, repainting, and new signage on the second floor.  The project was completed in 2011. Harkin's aide is scheduled be at the American Legion hall at 2:45 p.m.


Promise Community Health Center Receives Grant

(Sioux Center) -- A community health center based in Sioux Center is the recipient of a $1,000 Ronald McDonald Charities grant.  Promise Community Health Center received the grant.  Executive Director Nancy Dykstra says the money will be used by Promise Outreach staff to inform families of affordable, available dental health services at Promise Community Health Center.


Republican Senate Candidates Receive Endorsements

(Sioux City) -- Two Republican Candidates for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat have received endorsements from well known military figures in the state.  Sam Clovis received a letter from Dorie Day, the wife of the late Colonel Bud Day of Sioux City, one of the most decorated soldiers in American history.

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Mrs. Day was unable to make the trip to Sioux City, but Clovis spokesman Colby DeWitt read her letter to supporters at the Sioux Gateway Airport.  Another candidate, State Senator Joni Ernst of Red Oak, was endorsed by Retired Lt. General Ron Dardis, the former commander of the Iowa National Guard and former member of the 185th Fighter Wing.


Des Moines To Host Climate Change Seminar

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines has been chosen as one of four locations in the United States to host a meeting of President Barack Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
     Mayor Frank Cownie will host the meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.
     Cownie was appointed by Obama to the task force in November.
     The group is responsible for overhauling federal grant programs and identifying funding sources to better address climate change-related disasters such as droughts, wildfires, floods and storms.  
     Members include eight governors, 14 mayors, two county officials and two tribal leaders. 
     The two-day event includes presentations from experts in climate, flooding, and emergency management. It also includes round-table discussions and workshops.


Congressional Candidate Says He Has Carried Gun Into State Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa congressional candidate says sometimes he's armed with a handgun into the Senate chamber while working there.
     State Sen. Brad Zaun is an Urbandale Republican, and he told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1s6I8yF ) during a meeting with its editorial board that he's concerned about Capitol security. Zaun says other Iowa House and Senate members have carried handguns into their chambers, but he didn't name them.
     Secretary of the Senate Michael Marshall told the Register that administrative code bars people from carrying dangerous weapons in Capitol complex buildings. Zaun said in response to Marshall's statement that he will stop taking a gun into the Capitol.
     Zaun is seeking the Republican nomination in the June 3 primary for the 3rd District congressional seat being left vacant by the retiring Tom Latham.

Council Bluffs Woman Arrested For Forgery

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 34-year-old Council Bluffs woman sought in Nebraska has been arrested after trying to write a bad check at a store.
     Amy Jo Hockabout was arrested Tuesday night at a Menards store. Police say Menards security called to report that Hockabout was trying to buy $170 worth of merchandise. Council Bluffs police Sgt. David Dawson says Hockabout had 30 counterfeit checks and nine fake driver's licenses with her.
     Hockabout faces Iowa charges for forgery and falsifying public documents. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.
     Nebraska court records say Hockabout is wanted in Omaha because she didn't show up for sentencing in a forgery case.


High School Students Gather For Building Competition 

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Students from nearly a dozen high schools have gathered in Mason City for an annual building competition.
     The 85 students interacted Wednesday at North Iowa Area Community College as their various homemade projects were judged by contractors and architects. They brought sheds, playhouses and other structures.
     Organizers say the competition is an opportunity for students to learn about the building trades industry. Some students say they enjoyed seeing how others went about building their projects.
     The competition, now in its 14th year at NIACC, is hosted by the college's building trades department and the Contractor's Advisory Association.


Des Moines Man Arrested For OWI On Lawnmower

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man has been accused of driving a lawn mower in the middle of a Des Moines street while intoxicated. 
      Police say 46-year-old Billy Eugene Williams was spotted driving a Cub Cadet lawn mower Wednesday afternoon.
     Williams told a police officer he drank several cans of beer prior to being on the lawn mower. Police say he told the officer he was driving his lawn mower to a gas station to buy more beer.
     Police say Williams appeared intoxicated, and had slurred speech and watery eyes. He failed a preliminary breath test.
     Williams has been charged with operating while intoxicated and failure to have a valid license or permit while operating a motor vehicle. Court records do not list an attorney.

Ambassador To Receive Iowa Award

     DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he has decided to present the Iowa Award to Kenneth Quinn, the president of the World Food Prize Foundation.
     The Iowa Award is the state's highest citizen honor. It was established in 1948. Past recipients include President Herbert Hoover, Vice President Henry Wallace, and the artist Grant Wood.
     Quinn, a former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia took the job heading the World Food Prize Foundation in 2000 after retiring from a 32-year career in the United States Foreign Service.
     He led the campaign to restore the former Des Moines Public Library and make it the new home for the World Food Prize.
     Quinn grew up in Dubuque.
     Branstad will present the award to Quinn on May 30 at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

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