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Friday Afternoon News, May 9

Ride Your Bicycle During National Bike Week

(Le Mars) -- Whether it is a way to save on gasoline expenses, or a means to get additional excercise, or just for the relaxation and enjoyment, more and more people are riding bicycles.  Mark Strub of Bike Central located in Le Mars says he has noticed a significant increase in bicycle sales over the last several years.  He says bycycling is a popular form of low impact excerise. Next week, May 12th - 16th is National Bicycle Week with Tuesday designated as "Ride your Bicycle to Work" day.

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Strub says events like RAGBRAI, the Register's Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa, have helped stimulate interest in riding bicycles.

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Strub says a group of nearly 40 to 60 people participate every Tuesday evening on a local bike ride.

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The bicycle sales representative says the seasons help determine the types of bikes that are the most popular and being purchased.

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Remsen-Union To Hold Community Wide Meeting To Discuss School Situations

(Remsen) -- School districts are constantly facing declining enrollment and increasing costs, and the Remsen-Union school district is no different.  On Tuesday, May 20th, the Remsen-Union school will hold a community wide meeting to discuss the school's realities.  Ken Howard serves as the superintendent of the Remsen-Union schools.

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Howard says the meeting is to ask stakeholders a sense of direction for the school district.  He says currently R-U is sharing several programs with Marcus-Merriden-Cleghorn, Remsen St. Mary's, and even with Le Mars Community, and the scheduled meeting will look at what other programs, if any, should be considered to be shared?

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The Remsen-Union superintendent lists some of the ways the school is sharing programs with neighboring schools.

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He says when it comes to activities, Remsen-Union is already sharing wrestling, cross-country running, softball and baseball with Marcus-Merriden-Cleghorn, and next year middle school sports activities will be shared.

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Howard says enrollment at Remsen-Union has held steady for the past couple of years, but the long-term trend shows a decline.

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On average, The school official says, it costs the district about ten thousand dollars to educate each student.  The community meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Remsen-Union auditorium.

 

Des Moines Water Works CEO Critical Of Iowa Livestock Operations

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is facing criticism for proposing new livestock farm enforcement rules environmental groups and others say are not tough enough to clean up the state's rivers and lakes.
     One of the critics is Bill Stowe, CEO of Des Moines Water Works. 
     He says the Environmental Protection Commission, which oversees the DNR, should require the agency to better monitor application of livestock manure and fertilizer to ensure too much is not being applied.
     Stowe says the lack of clear standards for manure and fertilizer application is leading to contaminated water. He says it's increasingly difficult clean enough to remain in compliance with federal clean water guidelines.
     Stowe spoke Friday in Des Moines at one of six hearings the DNR is holding on proposed new rules.

 

Drake Student Can't Sue Over Service Dogs

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Drake University by a former student who trains service dogs for veterans.
     Nicole Shumate, a 2009 Drake Law School graduate, sued in August 2011 claiming the university barred her from taking a dog to classes. A district court judge dismissed the case in 2012, saying a person training a service dog may not sue for damages in the same way as someone with a disability who uses a service dog.  
     The Iowa Court of Appeals in November reversed that decision. 
     The Supreme Court on Friday ruled Iowa does not allow service dog trainers to sue, but a law that permits dog trainers to take the animals into public places does allow violators to be fined and sentenced to jail time.

 

Judge To Rule On 8th Grade Driver

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa judge is expected to weigh in on a dispute between a father and school district about whether the man's eighth-grade son should be able to drive to school. 
     Robert Stephenson has requested that a judge file an injunction against the Saydel Community School District, which stopped his son and three other eighth-graders from driving themselves to and from Woodside Middle School in Des Moines. Stephenson and district attorneys will meet Friday in Polk County District Court.
     Iowa law says a student must be 14 1/2 years old to get a school permit that allows driving to and from school and school activities.
     Stephenson says his 14-year-old son is mature enough to drive. District officials say allowing eighth-graders to drive creates safety concerns.
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