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Monday news, August 25

Branstad Opposes An Increase Of Fuel Taxes

(Le Mars) -- Governor Branstad was in Le Mars on Friday afternoon making a campaign stop for both himself, and for State Senator Bill Anderson.  Branstad was questioned about a possible fuel tax to help finance the state's deteroriating infrastructure system.  Branstad is opposed to an increase in the fuel tax, but believes there are other ways to help with the state's roads and bridges.  He says he has been visiting with State Transportation Director Paul Trombino for ideas.

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Branstad says many low to middle income families are concerned about a fuel tax hike, indicating a rise in the fuel tax would make it more expensive for their daily commute to work.  Branstad's opponet, State Senator Jack Hatch would like to see a three cent increase each year for the next five years.  Branstad says that idea will not provide enough funding to repair the roads.

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Branstad Wants Broadband Internet To Reach All Of Iowa

(Le Mars) -- One of Governor Branstad's goals is to have fast-speed broadband internet services in all parts of the state.  The legislature was not able to agree on a bill during the last legislative session, and consequently, the bill failed. 

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Legislation seeking to expand Internet access in underserved parts of Iowa suffered a surprising defeat in the Republican-majority state House last session. The bill was designed to entice telecommunications companies to increase broadband service through income and property tax credits.
     Some lawmakers thought the bill offered too many tax breaks to telecommunications companies without enough specific requirements.

 

Old Time Country Music Festival Begins

(Le Mars) -- Today is the start of the National Old Time Country, Bluegrass, and Folk Music Festival which is being held at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds. The music festival will continue through the weekend and will offer ten stages.  More than 640 performers from around the world are expected for the week-long festival. Music festival spokesman Jack Hughes explains what will occur at the music festival.

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Sioux City Police Respond To Kidnapping Incident

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police responded to a report of kidnapping Saturday evening at the 2000 block of Summit Street.  Officers learned that Angel Gomez of Sioux City threatened his fiance with a gun and forced her into a car.  Gomez then struck another vehicle that was not involved while fleeing the area. Gomez drove to War Eagle park where he threatened another subject with the gun, and stole that person's vehicle.  The owner of the car that was stolen was not injured in this incident.  Gomez's finance was treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries as a result of being assaulted by him during the incident.  Angel Gomez, age 22, was arrested Sunday morning at his residence.  He was taken into custody and transported to the Woodbury County Jail with charges of Domestic Assault, False Imprisonment, Robbery, and other charges related to the incident.

 

Sunday Apartment Fire At Sioux City

(Sioux City) -- Fire caused major damage to an apartment building on Sioux City's westside Sunday morning. Firefighters found flames coming from the building in the 900 block of West 6th street near Hamilton Boulevard when they arrived around 4:30am.
Flames burned through the roof of the structure. No injuries were reported. . The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

Denison Manufacturing Company Making Cement Security Barriers

   DENISON, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa firm is prospering by creating concrete security barriers for government buildings and other projects. 
     Petersen Manufacturing's custom-made concrete planters and benches help keep office buildings and theme parks nationwide safe.
     The company began nearly 101 years ago when founder L.T. Petersen invented an automatic livestock watering appliance that was popular with farmers and feedlots. 
     During the farm crisis of the 1980s, the company developed more picnic tables, benches and planters. Those products helped make the company a preferred supplier of concrete security products after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
     Sales manager Paul Schumacher says the company has developed ways to make the concrete barriers more attractive. And in recent years, there has been renewed interest in the company's livestock waterers.
     ---

 

Man Dies At Red Rock Lake

 KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 63-year-old man has died while boating at Lake Red Rock in southern Iowa.
     The Marion County Sheriff's Office says emergency personnel were sent to Whitebreast Bay at the lake around 3 p.m. Sunday. They met other boaters who had stopped to help the man and his wife.
     The Sheriff's Office says Michael Nicholson likely had a heart attack that caused him to capsize the boat. His wife held onto his body until the other boaters arrived. Nicholson, of Bondurant, was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Escaped Inmate Back In Custody

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Webster County inmate is back in custody after escaping with another while doing laundry at the jail in Fort Dodge.
     43-year-old Jason Sullivan was arrested in Fort Dodge on Saturday evening. Sullivan and 32-year-old George Johnson escaped Thursday night. Johnson was injured during the escape and taken back into custody at a hospital.
     Documents say a 37-year-old Fort Dodge woman, Sarah Ritter, 37, is charged with felony aiding and abetting the escape and several aggravated misdemeanors for helping Johnson. Ritter is alleged to have been an accessory after the fact.
     Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.
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