Friday News, February 1
Authorities Arrest Two People For Methamphetamine
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office performed a traffic stop late Monday evening on a vehicle in the parking lot of Mike's Saloon in southern Plymouth County. During that stop, the driver, Aaron Moon, age 31 was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. A passenger in that car, Cody Smith, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were booked into the Plymouth County jail.
Iowa Under A Wind Chill Advisory
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say cold temperatures and bitter wind chills are hitting most of Iowa.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for most of Iowa from Thursday into Friday morning. An arctic high pressure will create wind chill values between 25 and 35 degrees
below zero in some parts.
The coldest area will be in northern Iowa, though southern Iowa will experience wind chill values between 15 to 25 degrees below zero.
In Des Moines, the temperature is expected to hit 7 degrees below zero Thursday night. Officials say it's been almost two years since the temperature will be this low.
Officials say temperatures will ease by Saturday and into early next week.
Medical Officials Warn To Watch For Frost Bite
(Le Mars) -- When temperatures start dropping to single digits, and combined with the strong winds, its not long before we start talking about wind chill index, and then, as medical personnel suggests, we need to be concerned about frost bite.
Jody Hoffman, Supervisor of Nursing at Floyd Valley Hospital says frost bite can occur before we even realize any symptoms.
Hoffman says symptoms can vary depending upon the severity of the frost bite.
The Floyd Valley Nurse says it is at that point when you should seek medical attention. In treating frost bite, Hoffman says to move the person to a warm area and keep the extremities elevated.
Teacher Evaluations Not Always Useful
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state review says most Iowa teacher evaluations don't help administrators identify their top performers.
The report released Thursday says that of the nearly 17,600 teachers evaluated during the 2011-12 school year, 98 percent received a positive rating.
Jay Pennington wrote the report for the Iowa Education Department, and he says 58 percent of the Iowa school districts reported using a system in which teachers either met or didn't meet
Pennington says that evaluation system isn't providing "that spread that says who are your good, who are your great, teachers."
Gov. Terry Branstad's education reform package under consideration in the Legislature would include a three-tier performance scale and would factor in student performance.
Republican Lawmakers Work On Education Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican lawmakers are working on a measure to change the rules governing when the Legislature determines Iowa school funding.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen told reporters Thursday that he is working on a bill that would end the requirement that lawmakers establish school funding levels 18 months before the start of a
school year. Last spring, legislators ended their session without following the law and setting funding levels for the 2013 to 2014 school year.
Paulsen says the change was needed because the current policy limits options for future legislators.
Democratic lawmakers say the Legislature should keep the current system. They say they have sought to follow the 18-month rule since it was put in place in 1995.
Iowa Using Coasters To Promote Colon Cancer Awareness
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa is promoting a colon cancer awareness campaign with the help of bars and restaurants across the state.
The state Department of Public Health is reminding residents to get screened for colorectal cancer via drink coasters distributed to 26 bars, taverns and restaurants in 19 counties. They were
distributed between December and the end of January.
The message on the coasters also carries a trivia question about celebrities who have had colon cancer.
The agency says it created the coasters to promote awareness to Iowa residents in rural and urban areas.
The campaign will run again in March during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Iowa To Receive Money For Foreclosure Settlement
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has been awarded $1.1 million as part of a national settlement involving improper foreclosure conduct by a mortgage processing company.
Attorney General Tom Miller announced Thursday that Iowa is one of dozens of states that will receive some of the $121 million settlement from Lender Processing Services and its subsidiaries.
Miller filed a consumer fraud petition in Polk County District Court alleging improper conduct.
The states argued that the Florida company "robo-signed" foreclosure documents. The practice describes banks that automatically sign off on foreclosures without properly reviewing documents.
The company will be required to reform its business practices under the settlement.
Pella Electric Cooperative To Receive FEMA Grant
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An electric cooperative in Pella has been awarded a $5.6 million grant to improve its power lines.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the funds will be used to replace and strengthen more than 120 miles of lines to better withstand storms. The Pella Cooperative Electric Association
lines are in Jasper, Mahaska, Marion, Polk and Poweshiek counties.
Sen. Tom Harkin announced the grant Thursday. He was the chief sponsor of legislation that expanded FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Program which is funding the grant.
The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.