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Tuesday Afternoon News, October 8

New Visitor's Center Dedicated

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Convention and Visitor's Bureau new offices were dedicated this
morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  The building, formerly the drive-through branch bank of First National Bank, now converted to appear as a train depot, was donated by Al and Delores Maser.  Mayor Dick Kirchoff says the Le Mars Convention and Visitor's Bureau has been in existence for only five years, but during that short time, it has made a significant
impression by promoting the city of Le Mars.

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The mayor then thanked the efforts and contributions of Al and Delores Maser.

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Al Maser says he and his wife Delores have become fond of Le Mars and are proud to refer to
the community as their home town, and they wanted to give something back to the community.

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Delores thanked the city leaders for allowing her "hands on" responsibilities with the
welcome center depot building.  She says what ever volunteer project she had been involved
with in the past, she always wanted people to have a "welcome" feeling.  Delores Maser told
the gathering at the ribbon cutting ceremony, she wanted Le Mars to have a "Mayberry" feel.

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About 40 people were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  Inside the building are
artifacts depicting the railroad industry, along with an antique De Soto automobile.


Tornado Victims Need To Clear Fields Before Harvest

MOVILLE, Iowa (AP) - If harvest time isn't busy enough, tornadoes that hit northwest Iowa last week have left some farmers with the extra task of removing debris from fields that could damage combines.
Farmers like Lane and Kathy Tabke must retrieve countless items.
The couple, who farm near Moville, say a Friday night tornado blew parts of three grain bins, a stove, fuel tank, auger and a livestock trailer into a nearby soybean field.
On Wednesday, up to 100 volunteers will walk through the field, picking up bits of wood and metal.
Although cleaning mature soybean fields is difficult, picking out boards, nails and other items from tightly packed cornfields will be even harder.
The severe weather also damaged some crops just as farmers planned to harvest.
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UNI Faculty Win Court Battle Against Regents

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The union representing professors at the University of Northern Iowa has won a court battle which forces the Iowa Board of Regents to negotiate faculty job buy-outs.
The case involves controversial decisions made in 2012 when the university as a cost-cutting measure closed the Malcolm Price Laboratory School. That meant cancelling academic programs and terminating professors. Some professors had to choose a buy-out or layoff without a separation package. They were confronted with that choice in a meeting that bypassed the union.
The union filed a complaint with the Iowa Public Employee Relations Board, which last May ruled the buyout offers must be negotiated with the union, United Faculty. The Board of Regents appealed.
Polk County Judge Scott Rosenberg in a Sept. 29 order agrees the buy-outs should be negotiated.

 

Northwest Iowa Woman Claims Million Dollar Powerball Prize

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 52-year-old northwest Iowa woman has claimed her $1 million Powerball prize.
Debbie Schilling went to the Iowa Lottery headquarters on Monday after working a few hours at her job in Rock Valley. She'd bought the ticket at a convenience store in Sheldon. The ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball number. It was one of five tickets nationwide to win $1 million in Saturday's drawing.
Schilling and her husband, Dave, plan to use the money to help their children and grandchildren and put a little money away for retirement.
Debbie Schilling says the money also will let her and her husband "breathe financially a little bit now."
No one won Saturday's $88 million jackpot, so the prize will increase to about $108 million for Wednesday's drawing.

 

Investigators Continue To Look For Clues On Lottery Jackpot Winner

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Investigators looking into a bogus claim for a $14.3 million Iowa Lottery jackpot in 2011 have received valuable information from a man in Canada who has been granted immunity from prosecution.
An Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent traveled to Canada to conduct an interview a month ago after reaching an agreement in which a person of interest was guaranteed he wouldn't face prosecution related to the jackpot claim.
Assistant DCI Director Gerard Meyers says investigators have been working since then to verify the information and locate and interview others who may be involved. The development has breathed new life into the investigation.
A New York lawyer came forward with the winning ticket hours before the one-year deadline, but later withdrew the claim rather than prove it'd been illegally possessed.


 

 




   

Tuesday News, October 8

Supervisors To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear from County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild today as she delivers her quarterly report.  The supervisors will also get a construction update from county engineer Tom Rohe.  Attorney Bob Brock is scheduled to visit with the county supervisors to request an extension on  Klingbeil Addition.  Also on the supervisor's agenda for today's meeting will be the appointment of Brad Harvey as the Westfield Township Clerk.  Harvey is replacing John Ziniel.

 

Postal Worker Has Accident

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A U.S. Postal Service worker has been hospitalized after he lost control of his mail delivery vehicle in Sioux City.
Sioux City police say the vehicle swerved off a street and crashed into a utility box on Monday afternoon.
Police say the worker had a medical condition while he was driving.

 

Remsen-Union School Seeking Volunteers For Advisory Committee

(Remsen) --  Remsen-Union Community School District Superintendent Ken Howard is looking for
interested parents and community members to serve on the 2013-2014 School Improvement
Advisory Committee (SIAC).  The School Improvement Advisory Committee may meet up to two
times a year, and is charged with annually making recommendations to the board with regard
to progress achieved with annual improvement goals for the state indicators that address
reading, mathematics, and science, and progress achieved with other locally determined
indicators that address the core content areas.
Within the SIAC, each district in Iowa, to the extent possible, is required to have
committee membership that is a balanced representation with regard to race, gender, national
origin, and disability.  Membership includes students, parents, teachers, administrators,
and representatives from the local community.


Merrill Fire Department Respond To Truck Fire

(Merrill) -- The Merrill Fire Department responded to a call at 5:37 p.m. yesterday afternoon in which a truck was on fire.  Fire officials went to the intersection of county road C-38 and K-42.  The fire was brought under control within a few minutes.  Fire officials were on the scene for only about a half an hour.

 

Le Mars Fire Department Educates Students On Fire Safety

(Le Mars) -- This week is Fire Prevention Week, and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will spend a lot of time educating students about the dangers of fires.  Fire officials will either visit each school, or host students at the fire station.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the focus this year is on kitchen fires and he shares some startling statistics.

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Schipper says this is a good time to check smoke detectors, and he says fire prevention education efforts have already begun. He knows the message has been getting through to the students from the comments he hears.
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The Le Mars Fire Department was recently honored with an award, in part, because of its fire
prevention efforts.  The Le Mars Fire Chief says the prevention education program was
started long before he became chief, and he credits the fire department and community for
having a low number of fires.

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Close to 500 people attended the pancake breakfast held on Sunday at the Le Mars fire station.  It is an annual event to help kick off the awareness of fire prevention week.

 

State Climatologist Comments On October Tornadoes

(Le Mars) -- Nine tornadoes were spotted in Northeast Nebraska and Northwest Iowa on Friday
evening.  One of which touched down in Plymouth County about ten miles west of Le Mars.  But
how common is it to have tornadoes in October?  State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says Iowa
has had tornadoes in October, but it doesn't happen that often.

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The state climatologist says despite the tornadoes that did damage on Friday, this year has been a low year for the number of tornadoes in Iowa.

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Committee Sets Rules To Stop Video-conferencing For Abortions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A committee that provides legislative oversight on state agency rule making has allowed a new rule to move forward that will end the use of a
video-conferencing system used by Planned Parenthood to distribute abortion-inducing pills.
Democrats on the Administrative Rules Review Committee proposed delaying the rule but Republicans had enough votes to defeat the motion. That allows the Iowa Board of Medicine
rule approved last month to go into effect Nov. 6.
The rule ends the use of a rare telemedicine system, which allows doctors to distribute abortion-inducing pills to patients remotely. Opponents say it's unsafe, but supporters say the argument is political.
Monday's rules committee meeting was the last opportunity to stop the rule administratively.
Planned Parenthood is suing to stop the rule in court.

 

Report Shows Juvenile Home Understaffed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report says the Iowa Juvenile Home is understaffed, underfunded and has offered inadequate education to its residents.
The  Iowa Department of Education has ordered that "compensatory education" be provided for youths who have turned 18, have been discharged from the home over the past 26 months and have yet to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma.
The Education Department report issued Monday says the Department of Human Services, which runs the home, must find those former residents and report their names to the Department of Education within the next five weeks.
The Department of Education investigated the Toledo facility's educational services for the 38 youths who live there and receive treatment for behavioral disorders.
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Iowa Settles Lawsuit With Movie Production Company

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has settled a portion of a lawsuit by a Rhode Island man who
says the state cost him millions of dollars when it ended its film tax credit program in 2009.
The state has agreed to pay $225,000 to financiers of the movie "2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams." The settlement partially resolves the lawsuit filed for Anthony Gudas, of Providence, R.I. He says his
company invested in four film projects based on state contracts, but the tax credits were never paid.
The lawsuit over the three other film projects continues.
The film tax credit program was halted after a state audit uncovered $26 million in
credits that were improperly issued by the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Seven
people eventually were convicted.
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License Plates To Honor Police Officers Who Have Died In The Line Of Duty

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have begun issuing specialty license plates that commemorate law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
The state Department of Transportation says the plates have a "Fallen Peace Officer" emblem. Drivers can buy a numbered license plate for $35 or a personalized plate for $60.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety receives $35 from each new plate and $10 from each renewal. It distributes the funds in the form of grants to nonprofit organizations that assist families and co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

 

Lawyers Debate Larry Hedlund Dismissal Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Lawyers for the state and fired Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund are sparring over whether his wrongful termination lawsuit can proceed in court.
The Iowa Attorney General's Office has filed a motion asking a judge to put Hedlund's lawsuit on hold. Its lawyers say that Hedlund's termination technically isn't final because he will still get paid until the Employment Appeals Board rules on whether there is cause to support it.
The AG's office says Hedlund should go through that administrative process first, and it's premature to seek remedies in court. It also says the Public Employment Relations Board should hear his separate claim of whistleblower retaliation.
Hedlund's attorney has filed a motion asking a judge to declare those administrative appeals unnecessary, and allow the lawsuit to continue.


   

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