Wednesday News, October 2
Le Mars Resident Claims City's Earth Work De-valued Home
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council heard from a resident today claiming the city's actions have reduced the value of his home, and he is seeking compensation. Terrance Frericks owns property located at 301 4th Street Southwest. Frericks says the home is now being occupied by his daughter and grandchildren. However, Frericks says the home is full of mold and mildew as a result of water that has been backed up due to earth construction from the city. Frericks is asking the city to pay him for the property since, according to him it has lost its value. The city will investigate and discuss the situation further and will take it up at the next council meeting.
Fall Clean Up Data Released
(Le Mars) -- During the recent Le Mars Fall Clean Up Week, more than 108,550 pounds of waste products were disposed at the Plymouth County Landfill facilities. Bill Cole, Assistant City Administrator, says the amount equalling to slightly more than 54 tons was about 15,000 pounds less than the spring clean up days. The Fall Clean up is a time when the city offers amnesty on disposal fees. 190 residents participated in the fall clean up, which is 74 fewer people than the spring clean up days. A year ago, 234 people disposed more than 109,200 pounds of waste products. Fall Clean Up allowed people to dispose white goods appliances, construction and demolition, furniture, and fencing. Weekly garbage and trash were not allowed to be included in the special waste disposal.
Fire Department Issues Monthly Report
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued both its monthly and quarterly reports. During the month of September, the fire department responded to a total of 35 calls, of which 8 were fires, 7 rescue calls, 5 officer investigations, and 15 requests for services. During September, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was awarded a 2012 Life Safety Achievement Award. The fire department wishes to remind Le Mars residents and businesses that October 6th through October 12th is National Fire Prevention Week. The annual pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, October 6th at Fire Station #1 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Members of the Le Mars Fire Department will also be serving ice cream at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor on Wednesday, October 9th between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The Fire Department
will have a fire truck parked outside of the ice cream parlor during the time they are serving ice cream.
Road Crews Close 120th Street For Bridge Repair
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department is closing 120th Street between
County road K-18 and Evergreen Avenue. That closure begins today and it is expected to remain closed until mid-November. Crews are replacing a bridge.
Cushing Man Killed By Steer
CUSHING, Iowa (AP) - The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says a steer killed a western Iowa man who was trying to move the animal.
52-year-old Larry Johnson, of Cushing, died Monday night after he was injured while trying to load a 900-pound steer onto a trailer.
Woodbury County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tony Wingert says the animal injured Johnson while both were inside the trailer.
An ambulance crew rushed Johnson to a helicopter landing zone, but he died before the copter arrived.
Wingert says Johnson's daughter and another person were helping Johnson load the steer.
The animal was being moved because it was aggressive and had damaged a pen.
Grassley Comments On Government Shutdown
(Washington) -- Congress still has not yet resolved their differences with the federal budget as we begin day two of the federal government shutdown. A main sticking point is the funding for the new Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise more commonly referred to as "Obamacare." Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, in his weekly conference call with reporters in Iowa Tuesday morning, says he's upset the partisan bickering has led to this point.
Grassley, a Republican, says his offices have been ordered to trim back to only "accepted" employees who are essential to the operations. Beginning this afternoon and for the duration of the shutdown, he anticipates having only about 15-percent of his staff on duty.
The Republican-controlled House passed a budget that would fund the federal government only if so-called Obamacare was defunded, a plan the Democrat-run Senate rejected. Given the impasse, Grassley was asked how long the shutdown may last.
The last time the federal government experienced a shutdown was under the Clinton Administration -- twice during late 1995 and early 1996. Those shutdowns lasted six days and 21 days, the longest in history. There have been 17 federal government shutdowns since 1977.
Congressman King Votes Against Republican Leadership Position
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican Party's two Kings in Congress both voted against GOP leaders' latest effort to prevent President Barack Obama's health care overhaul from becoming entrenched, but for opposite reasons.
New York congressman Peter King says it was a mistake to link curbing "Obamacare" with averting a government shutdown.
Iowa congressman Steve King characterizes Boehner's measure to delay making millions of people buy health insurance for a year as a retreat from defunding the new health care law entirely.
The two Kings are among 21 House members - a dozen Republicans and nine Democrats- who have bolted from the party leaders' stand on the House's last vote for averting a government shutdown. The House passed the bill but the Senate rejected it.
Government Shutdown Affects Nutrional Needs Programs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The partial shutdown of the federal government has halted the checks for a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children.
The program known as WIC is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Based on need, it provides monthly checks for families to supplement their food budgets and offers nutrition education to pregnant women and families with children to encourage healthy eating choices.
The program's administrator in Iowa, Jill Lange, says the state serves about 66,000 participants a month. If the shutdown lasts the entire month that many people would not get their monthly food checks. If it's shorter in duration participants could get a check as soon as federal spending is again authorized.
The program received notice Tuesday that no checks can be issued until further notice.
Veteran's Home Administrator Resigns
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of the Iowa Veterans Home has resigned.
Gov. Terry Branstad said in a news release Tuesday that he's accepted Commandant David Worley's resignation. It's effective Wednesday.
Worley said in a resignation letter that he wanted to seek other opportunities.
Gen. Jodi Tymeson, the home's chief operating officer, will serve as the new commandant.
Worley has been commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home since 2010. Former staffers criticized his leadership during a state Senate hearing in May. Employees said top managers of the home treated staff poorly and were not providing good care to veterans.
Worley defended his work at the time and invited lawmakers to come visit the home.
Iowa Public Radio Settles Lawsuits
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Public Radio has settled two lawsuits filed by a former Iowa Board of Regents president.
Part of the settlement, Iowa Public Radio will run public service announcements about the state's
public information board.
Michael Gartner first sued Iowa Public Radio and five board members on May 28. That lawsuit says a Dec. 13 meeting to discuss chief executive Mary Herrington's performance was a violation of state public meeting rules. The second lawsuit says the Feb. 26 meeting at which Herrington was fired also was improperly constituted.
Under the agreement, Iowa Public Radio agreed to pay nearly $36,000 for Gartner's attorney fees.
Iowa State To Offer New Finance Graduate Program
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University is offering a new finance graduate program at its business college.
The College of Business is launching the full-time master of finance graduate program for the spring 2014 semester.
The program is being marketed as the first of its kind in Iowa. The Board of Regents approved its creation at an August meeting.
The 40-credit master's degree will teach core finance topics such as financial analysis and valuation. The program will also offer courses in the school's departments of economics and statistics.
Officials say the program prepares students for careers in areas like corporate finance, financial analysis and risk management.
ISU Agricultural Job Fair - Largest Ever
AMES, Iowa (AP) - The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University says its job fair this year will be the largest ever.
More than 230 companies and organizations will participate in Ag Career Day on Oct. 15 at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. The event is open to the public.
The next day companies conduct interviews on the ISU campus in Ames.
Director agriculture career services Mike Gaul says more than 80 interview schedules have been established and there will be nearly 700 individual interviews conducted.
The job fair provides an opportunity for students to meet with recruiters on internships and full-time positions available with agribusinesses, commodity groups and governmental agencies.
Many students from campuses across the country attend.