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Monday Afternoon News, January 28

State Education Director Glass Comments On Branstad's Education Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A top education aide to Gov. Terry Branstad says a major cost in the governor's education plan is providing bonuses to experienced teachers who take on more
responsibilities.
Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass said Monday that it will cost the state $46 million to give stipends to senior teachers who take on tasks like mentoring.
Branstad's education reform plan also raises minimum teacher salaries from $28,000 to $35,000. The Education Department estimates that would likely cost about $5.5 million.
Another $96 million would go to districts to be used for teacher expenses related to the proposal. The money would be allocated on a per-student basis, meaning the most funding would go to the Des
Moines Independent School District, the largest in the state.

 

Iowa Officials Rescinding Tax Forms

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State officials are resending tax forms to 15,000 Iowa Medicaid providers due to an error.
Officials with the Iowa Department of Administrative Services mailed 1099 tax forms last week with the wrong tax identification numbers. A letter mailed Friday says officials will send corrected versions to 15,000 Medicaid providers affected by the error.
An agency spokesman says the error happened during data sorting in the print-to-mail process. The newspaper reports officials weren't available Monday to discuss the cost of fixing the error.
Two separate forms will be mailed to providers. The first form zeros out monetary values and the second form is the corrected version.
A 1099 is a tax form for an independent contractor that shows how much they made from a business.
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Lt. Governor Reynolds Says She May Consider Running For Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds isn't ruling out a possible Senate run in the wake of Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's retirement.
At a regular Monday news conference at the Capitol with Reynolds and Gov. Terry Branstad, Reynolds said she was going to keep her options open. She also said that her focus was on her work with Branstad in Iowa.
Harkin announced Saturday that he will not run for a sixth term in 2014. That decision creates a rare open Senate seat in the state.
Iowa is one of just four states to never elect a woman to Congress.

 

 

   

Monday News, January 28

Father Richter Honored As "Citizen of the Year"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner Saturday evening and presented the honors of "Citizen of the Year" and the "Business of the Year".  Outgoing chamber president, Sandy Norby read the nomination for the "Citizen of the Year".
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Father Kevin Richter of the St. Joseph Catholic Church was selected as the 2012 Chamber's Citizen of the Year.  Richter was given the honor for his work with both the transition from the old church to the newly constructed church building, and for the unification of Spalding Catholic and Gehlen Catholic High Schools. Richter admitted to being surprised by the honor, and said it was the people that made the transition from the old church to the new building possible.
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Richter also spoke about the unification of Spalding Catholic High School and Gehlen Catholic School.
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Earlier in the evening, a video skit portraying chamber officials attending a local book club after reading the popular, but controversial book "50 shades of Grey" featured the "church lady" character from Saturday Night Live.  At the conclusion of his acceptance speech, Richter was able to inject his humor about the skit.
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ICON Ag and Turf Selected As Business of the Year

(Le Mars) -- Local John Deere Dealership, ICON Ag and Turf was honored Saturday evening for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce "Business of the Year".  Incoming Chamber president, Brad Pick read the nomination for the "Business of the Year".

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General Manager and Senior Partner Adam Timmerman accepted the honor on behalf of ICON Ag and Turf.
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The former NFL player, now farm equipment dealer, believes the enthusiasm displayed in and around the Le Mars community will mean for better economic development.

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Icy Road Conditions Continue On Iowa Highways

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Road conditions remain slippery across northern Iowa after freezing rain fell across much of the state.
The Iowa Department of Transportation said conditions were starting to improve after the storm system left the state Sunday afternoon, but roads may be slippery through overnight hours.
A section of northbound Interstate 35 between Des Moines and Mason City was closed for several hours Sunday because a semitrailer truck blocked the roadway.
Butler County was one of the hardest-hit areas after receiving over half an inch of precipitation that froze quickly after hitting the ground.
Areas of dense fog, mist and frost may form overnight, and precipitation may refreeze on roadways.
The latest information about road conditions is available online at www.511ia.org or by calling 511 in Iowa.


Harkin Won't Seek Re-election - Braley Say He May Try

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014.  The longtime Senator says it is now someone else's turn.  Many Democrats are expected to run for the Senate seat, including Congressman Bruce Braley.  Rep. Bruce Braley says he is considering
running for Tom Harkin's U.S. Senate seat in 2014.
Harkin announced Saturday that he won't run for a sixth term in the Senate, which the Democrat was elected to in 1984.
Braley says he has heard from Iowans all over the state since Harkin's announcement. Braley says he's overwhelmed with the encouragement to run.
Braley is a 55-year-old Waterloo attorney who was first elected to represent northeast Iowa in 2006.
Braley says he will carefully consider running for the Senate.  He says the state deserves a senator who will continue standing up for Iowans who don't have a voice just as Harkin did.

 

Iowa Still Has A Political Glass Ceiling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - When Iowa lawmakers started their legislative session this month, 35 women were among those reporting to the Capitol.
That matches the state's record for women in the 150-member General Assembly.
But despite increasing their numbers in in Des Moines over the years, women in Iowa continue to struggle with a political glass ceiling. The state has never elected a women governor and is one of
just four states to never send a woman to Congress.
Insiders cite many likely reasons for why Iowa politics remains a boys club. Among them are the lack of term limits in the governor's office and the low turnover of the state's congressional seats. Women's groups are working to recruit more candidates to run for office.

 

 

   

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