Tuesday News, July 3
Grassley Holds Townhall Meeting At Akron
(Akron) -- Senator Chuck Grassley was met my fifty people at Akron during his townhall meeting Monday afternoon, all wanting answers to their questions relating to issues at Washington . Grassley addressed questions ranging from the Supreme Court's recent decision on the Affordable Health Care Act to the U-S energy policy, to the educational reform of No Child Left Behind, to the flat tax, and he was even asked about welfare programs. Grassley was also asked about the latest scandal in Washington, that being the so-called "Fast and Furious" scandal involving the Justice Department. Grassley started the investigation, but knowing he was on the minority side in the Senate, he also knew he would not be able to pursue the investigation so he consulted Congressman Issa of California, the chairman of the House government over-sight committee.
The Iowa Republican Senator says Congress should not have had to place Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress, but he says the actions of Holder and the Obama administration forced Congress to take the historical vote.
Grassley says he believes the Obama Administration has something to hide and that is the reason for them to stall in the investigation.
Blood Organizations Need Donors During Holidays
(Le Mars) -- Holidays always seem to be a time when blood is needed the most, and it is also a time when donors are least likely to donate blood. Life Serve Blood Center is asking for blood donors to do their part. Blood donations leading up to the busy 4th of July festivities will help keep our hospitals fully operational. Floyd Valley Hospital will hold a community blood drive on Thursday, July 5th. The blood drive will be at the Floyd Valley Hospital in the Lower Conference Room from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Right now the current critical blood needs are for B negative and O negative. If you would like more information you can call (800) 287-4903 or visit them online at www.lifeservebloodcenter.org.
Akron Fire Department Respond to Grass Fire
(Akron) -- The dry conditions were responsible for a grass ditch fire late last evening. The Akron Fire Department was called to respond at about 10:15 p.m. They were assisted by the Alcester, South Dakota fire department. The grass fire was able to be extinguished rather quickly. Fire officials were on the scene for a little more than a half an hour.
Dry Conditions Persist -- Crop Conditions Decline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Crops conditions in Iowa have declined as the state remains dry despite some much-needed rain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that 62 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition. A week ago, it was 68 percent. Fifty-nine percent of soybeans are in good shape, down from 63 percent a week ago.
The USDA says 73 percent of topsoil and subsoil levels are dry. South-central Iowa is the driest with 91 percent of topsoil running short or very short.
Storms brought rain to the middle of the state on Friday along with hail and strong winds. Rain fell on southeast Iowa late Saturday and Sunday.
The statewide average rainfall for the week was 0.25 inches. The normal is over an inch.
Iowa Has High Number of Boating Accidents
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With seven boating fatalities so far on Iowa lakes and rivers, the state is on pace for its deadliest summer boating season in recent years.
Seven fatalities are the most Iowa has seen since nine were reported for the entire boating season in 2007. The most dangerous boating months of July and August are still ahead.
Alcohol may be playing a role. Authorities say 22 people have been arrested for drunken boating in the state. In all of last year 54 were arrested.
The Des Moines Register reports that from 2006 to 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in 43 Iowa boating accidents, which included 13 deaths and 23 injuries. That's nearly half of the 27 fatalities during that span.
Nationally, about two-thirds of all boating crashes are alcohol-related.
Le Mars Chamber Wants "Little Ambassadors"
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a contest to select ten children who will serve as the 2012-2013 Le Mars Chamber Little Ambassadors. Children must be four to six years of age and live in town or rural Le Mars. Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce explains the role of the Little Ambassadors.
Between now and July 20th, the Chamber will be accepting nominations for Little Ambassadors. Contestants are asked to submit a 5" x 7" photo. Entries must include the names of the child and parents, address and phone number with the submission. Chamber officials ask that you not write on the photo, and photos will not be returned. A selection committee will choose five boys and five girls to serve as Le Mars Little Ambassadors. Reynolds says the group will take part in several Chamber sponsored activities including Ice Cream Days.
Reynolds says the Little Ambassadors will all appear on the cover of the updated Le Mars Visitor's Guide which will be distributed to welcome centers, and motels and hotels across the region. She says some businesses use the visitor's guide for other purposes.
New Penalties Are Being Enforced On Traffic Laws
(Le Mars) -- As of July 1st, several new laws have gone into effect. A couple of transportation related laws were already on the books, but now the fines and penalties have increased. Iowa State Patrol Trooper, Vince Kurtz says Iowa previously had a law forbidding motorists to pass a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and stop sign arm extended. But now, thanks to what has become known as Kadyn's Law those penalties are much stiffer.
Another revision with a previous law requires motorists to slow down and move over to the left when an emergency or maintenance vehicle is stopped along the shoulder of the road.
The Highway Patrol official says the "move over law" came about as the result of two episodes, the first having a tow truck being hit and the second involving the death of a volunteer fire fighter assisting an accident scene on Interstate 80. Kurtz says violation of either law will mean the suspension of driving priviledges. Kurtz says the legislature also passed a law that limits the amount of window tinting on the front and side windshields.