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Monday News, May 20

Storms Hit Central Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa didn't make it quite a year without a tornado touchdown as strong storms generated two confirmed tornado touchdowns in central Iowa. No injuries have been reported.
Iowa had gone 358 consecutive days without a confirmed tornado.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/YUfPsk ) an area west of Des Moines is hardest hit with six mobile homes in Earlham damaged. Downed power lines have left about 11,000 homes
and business without power across the state.
The National Weather Service confirms tornado touchdowns near Huxley and Earlham. Another was witnessed in a farm field by firefighters near Grundy Center.
Semitrailers blew over west of Earlham and on Interstate Highway 35 near Ankeny.
A farmer in Mitchell County has lost cattle when wind blew over a barn killing some of the animals inside.
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Spencer Company Is Saved From Buyout From Nebraska Company

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska company's purchase of a northwest Iowa manufacturer has saved 30 jobs.
Thurston Manufacturing Co. of Thurston, Neb., says it has purchased Simonsen Iron Works of Spencer, Iowa, and plans to reopen the plant Monday morning.
The plant closed last week and its 32 employees were laid off.
Thurston co-owner Nick Jenson says the acquisition allows his company to expand production and accept orders it otherwise would have to turn away.
The company makes fertilizer injection and tillage equipment.
He says the purchase was completed swiftly to allow Simonsen workers to get back to work. He says 30 of the 32 employees will resume plant operations at 6 a.m. Monday.
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Lawmakers Return To The State Capitol Building

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers will return to the Iowa Statehouse this week as they seek to resolve some of the session's biggest issues and adjourn.
The House will convene Monday and the Senate will get back to work Tuesday.
The agenda will include work on a plan to reduce commercial property taxes, education reforms and the state's budget. Lawmakers also will decide whether to push off action on competing low-income health care plans until a special session held later this year.
Legislators are working more than two weeks past the scheduled May 3 conclusion of the session. Because of that, they are no longer being paid for expenses.


Education Funding and Reform Bill Still In Waiting

(Des Moines) -- State representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars believes the state lawmakers will be able to come to terms on most of the issues.  Soderberg says one of the major issues before the legislature is the education funding and educational reform bill.  He says the bill should have been resolved months ago, but differences between the House led republicans and the Senate controlled Democrats left the bill in legislative limbo.

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Fired Senate Staffer Claims Sexual Harassment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A woman who used to work for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus says she was fired after reporting sexual harassment, but GOP officials deny that.
Kirsten Anderson told WHO-TV in an interview that aired Sunday that she was fired Friday several hours after complaining about harassment from lawmakers and staffers. She had been communications
director for the caucus.
Anderson says she provided documentation about the harassment to Republican leaders Friday and asked for their help in improving the environment.
Ed Failor Junior, who is an assistant to Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix, says Anderson was fired for failing to improve her performance.
Failor says Dix and other GOP leaders do not tolerate sexual harassment.

 

Governor Walker To Visit Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will visit Iowa this week to deliver a speech that may bolster speculation that he will run for president in 2016.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports Walker will speak to a Republican fundraiser in the Des Moines area on Thursday. The event will be hosted by the Republican Party of Polk County.
Walker says he's attending the event at the invitation of his friend, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. Walker says visiting a neighboring state isn't necessarily tied to presidential politics.
But Walker is a favorite of many conservatives because he fought to limit collective bargaining for public workers in his state and then survived a recall election.
Walker is also scheduled to speak at conservative events around the country.

 

Glenwood Care Facility Fined

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state-run care facility in Glenwood has been fined by federal inspectors more than any other facility in the state in the past 10 months.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/10PvOFJ ) the Glenwood Resource Center has been fined eight times and assessed penalties of more than $27,000 since last July.
Most of the fines are tied to shortcomings in staff training and a failure to notify inspectors of incidents at the home.
Superintendent Zvia McCormick says in a written statement that Glenwood staff is quick to make amends when issues needing attention surface. She says employees are well trained and residents safe.
McCormick says Glenwood is the largest facility of its type in Iowa and a greater number of violations isn't a surprise.
The facility has 260 residents, mostly adults.
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Jewell Man Listed As Missing

JEWELL, Iowa (AP) - Friends and family of a Jewell man missing since Wednesday are asking area farmers to keep an eye out for the man or a missing backhoe.
Kenneth Heckman was last seen Wednesday morning. Family members say he turned 46 on Thursday and failed to show up for a planned birthday party.
KCCI-TV reports (http://bit.ly/16Jw6VT ) Heckman is now listed on the Iowa Department of Public Safety's missing persons website.
Family members say authorities found Heckman's pickup truck in a farm field and his dog waiting nearby. They believe he may have left the truck on a backhoe.
Heckman's cell phone has been turned off.
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Iowa's Powerball Sales Total More Than $5 Million

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Lottery says Powerball sales in the state totaled $5.1 million for Saturday's drawing that produced a winner in Florida.
The lottery says in a news release that nearly $2.8 million in tickets were sold on Saturday alone. The busiest stretch was from about 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
The average Powerball ticket purchase Saturday was $5.81.
There were 77,640 tickets that won a prize in Iowa, including three that came within one number of the jackpot.
The winning numbers were: 10-13-14-22-52 and Powerball 11.
The single winner was sold at a supermarket in Zephyrhills, Florida.

 



 

 

   

Saturday News, May 18

Le Mars School Board Calls For Special Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st.  That special meeting will start at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Service Center and the school board will consider approving the recommendations from the Meet and Confer team regarding support staff and administrative contracts for 2013-2014 school year.  It is expected the school board will approve the recommendations.

 

"Fido Photo" Contest Announced For "Woof-stock"

(Le Mars) -- If you like dogs and photography, the "Fido Photo" contest will be for you at this year's fifth annual "Woof-stock" sponsored by the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  The deadline for submitting a photo of your dog or someone else's dog is 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 31.  All photos must be 5x7 inches or larger and mounted on card stock or construction paper so that the photos may be displayed at "Woof-stock".  The photographer's name, age, address, and phone number must be on the back of each entry.  Prizes will be given in four age groups. 5 to 10 years of age, 11-15, 16-21, and adult.  Photos must be delivered to the Museum located at 335 First Avenue Southwest, Le Mars, during open hours.  If you have questions, you may call the museum at (712) 539-0223.

Onawa Woman Found Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter of Son's Death

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa woman has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 15-month-old son.
District Judge Jeffrey Neary said in a ruling Friday that the actions of 25-year-old Ashley Cameron of Onawa did not rise to the level of murder. She also was convicted of child endangerment
causing the death of a child.
Cameron faced a first-degree murder charge in the death of Markis Dahms. She testified that she held Markis under a running faucet after he had vomited. She later found him face down in the
water.
Neary says in the 19-page ruling that Cameron was negligent but never intended to cause Markis' death. Her attorney suggested that the boy may have had a seizure.

 

Jamal Dean Pleads Not Guilty Of Shooting Police Officer

(Sioux City) -- The man accused of shooting a Sioux City Police Officer has pleaded not guilty during a preliminary hearing.  21-year old Jamal Dean pleaded not guilty to the felony charges of attempted murder, assault causing serious injury, assault on a peace officer, willful injury and going armed with intent.  If found guilty on all charges, Dean faces up to 85 years in prison.  Dean smiled at family members as he was led into the courtroom.  Dean is accused of shooting Office Kevin McCormick in the head on April 29th.  McCormick is expected to make a full recovery, and has already returned to patrol duty.  Dean was captured in Texas on May 4 after a manhunt.  Dean is also accused of robbery and
burglary charges in another case.  Police accuse him and his brother, Levon Dean of robbing
a man at gunpoint on April 24th.

 

Pipe Bomb Victim Wants Perpetrator To Get Well

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman who lost her hearing when a pipe bomb in her mailbox exploded 11 years ago says she hopes the suspect can someday be released and live happily.
Delores Werling of Tipton says she has no "ill feelings" for Luke Helder, even though she still has problems hearing and with a tooth knocked out in the blast.
Helder has been committed for treatment since 2004 after being declared mentally unfit to stand trial. Investigators say he placed 18 bombs in mailboxes in five states in May 2002 and six detonated,
injuring Werling and five others. A judge says he'll order a new competency hearing for Helder this year.
Werling says she's not particularly interested in seeing Helder stand trial and just wants him to get well.


Legislators Hope To Wrap Up General Session

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislators are trying to wrap up the 2013 legislative session, but their work will continue next week.
The state House and Senate ended work for the week Friday afternoon, with plans to return early next week. Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha says he hopes to "wrap it up
quickly" when they come back.
On Thursday, legislators struck a tentative deal to cut commercial property taxes and make other tax reductions. But the legislation did not come up for a vote Friday. Democratic Senator Matt McCoy of Des Moines says some Senate Democrats want the weekend to talk with local officials about the impact.
Lawmakers still have to find an agreement on education policy and decide how to handle health care for low-income Iowans.

 

Lawmakers Pass Infrastructure Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have approved about $77 million in infrastructure spending that will help maintain state buildings and public land.
The state House and Senate both easily approved the budget plan Friday afternoon. The bill will next move to Governor Terry Branstad for his signature.
The funding will go to projects that include upkeep of state buildings, as well as restoring lakes and enhancing trail networks.
The infrastructure money is allocated from two sources, with most of it coming from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. That fund is financed through gambling revenues and other sources.

 

Pig Virus Detected In Iowa Hog Herd

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One case of a virus that sickens pigs has been found in Iowa and while the illness can spread through a herd it is not typically fatal.
The illness, porcine epidemic diarrhea, is not a threat to food safety and it doesn't spread to other animals or people.
The virus was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in an Iowa pig on May 16th.
Iowa Department of Agriculture spokesman Dustin Vande Hoef says tests are being done on two other animals at a different location to see if it's the same infection.
The virus causes diarrhea and vomiting in the animals but they typically recover.
The illness, which exists in many parts of the world, does not carry interstate trade restrictions.

 



   

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