Monday News, July 2nd
Grassley To Hold Townhall Meeting At Akron
(Washington) -- Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley will be visiting several communities in northwest Iowa and holding townhall meetings. This afternoon Grassley is scheduled to be at the Akron Fire Department beginning at 3:45 p.m. He will visit with the public about issues of interests. The public is welcome to attend.
County Closes Road for Repairs
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Road Department wants to remind the public that starting today and continuing until July 20th, the one-mile stretch of road on 180th Street from Quartz Avenue to County road L-12 will be closed. The county road department is replacing a wooden bridge with a culvert pipe.
Plenty of Earth Construction Projects Found in Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- If you look around the town of Le Mars, you will no doubt see a lot of earth moving construction take place. There is of course the Highway 3 widening project, the Dogwood Properties paving project and also some dirt moving is taking place on the far southern side of Le Mars. City administrator Scott Langel says in many of the current construction projects the city is receiving additional financial assistance through state grants. He offers an update on each of the projects beginning with the construction taking place at the area just west of the community high school, now known as Dogwood Properties.
Langel says the area which used to be a cornfield will now be converted to a light industrial area.
Another area of town having earth construction is the 13 acres along 18th Street Southwest and 6th Avenue West. Langel says it will be the future home of the city's public works including the street department and the parks department. Although at this time there have not been any bids accepted, or even an approved design for the building. Langel says the city needed the dirt for other projects within the city.
Langel explains the four projects around town that have received the dirt from the 18th Street location.
As for the Iowa Highway 3 project, Langel says that construction site is running ahead of schedule and involves funding from the federal and state governments, as well as local funding.
Body Found in Crawford County Identified as Pennslyvania Man
DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified the body found near railroad tracks in western Iowa last month as a Pennsylvania man.
But investigators are still waiting on more test results to help determine the cause of 44-year-old Jonathan Elwell's death.
Crawford County Sheriff Jim Steinkuehler says the Shillington, Pennsylvania man's body was found by two railroad workers near Highway 30 between Vail and Westside on June 19th.
Elwell's rented vehicle had been found in Crawford County on April 20th with his bicycle in the trunk.
Officials say foul play is not suspected in Elwell's death, but family members have said they don't know why he was in Iowa.
Study Shows Midwest Economy Slowing Down
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A nine-state Midwest and Plains economic survey index fell for the second straight month in June.
A survey report released Monday for the Mid-America Business Conditions Index says it dropped to 57.2 last month, compared with 57.6 in May. The index was 60 in April.
In the survey any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below 50 suggests decline.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the businesses that were surveyed are still benefiting from healthy farm income and exports, but the activity is slowing. Global economic problems
are pushing export orders into negative territory.
A quarter of the managers surveyed say the biggest hurdle in the next year is implementation of health care reform.
The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Des Moines Airport Seeing More Travelers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines airport is serving passengers at a record pace that could top 2 million this year.
Industry officials attribute the passenger growth to an improved Iowa economy and existing air carriers adding capacity.
Business is expected to improve even more when low-cost provider Southwest Airlines begins operations in Des Moines on Sept. 30.
More than 820,500 travelers passed through the Des Moines airport from January through May, up nearly 10 percent from last year. That puts the airport in a position to surpass 2004, its best
year, when it served 1.99 million passengers.
Passenger growth in Des Moines counters the national trend. The Federal Aviation Administration says the number of flights nationally has dipped slightly.
A Passenger's Joke Regarding Flight Crew Delays Plane
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa airline passenger's joke about whether a U.S. Airways flight crew had been out partying kept the plane from leaving Des Moines for several hours.
The Saturday morning flight to Charlotte, North Carolina had already been delayed two hours to 9 a.m. before the incident.
Airline spokeswoman Tina Swail says the original delay happened because the crew's previous flight arrived late the night before.
When passengers boarded the plane, one of them asked the crew whether they had been out partying too much the night before.
That joke forced the flight to be delayed until 1 p.m. because the airline decided to administer drug tests to the crew, and all the passengers were removed from the plane during testing.
Swail says the airline takes any accusation like this very seriously.