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Monday Afternoon News, March 4

Soderberg Schedules Legislative Forums For Saturday

(Des Moines) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars has announced he will hold several legislative forums on Saturday, March 9th.  Soderberg will begin the day at 9:00 a.m. with a forum to be held at the Hinton Community Center located at 205 W. Main Street.
Le Mars and the Habitue' Coffeehouse at 108 Central Avenue Northeast at 10:30 a.m. will be the second stop for Soderberg.  The third and final stop is scheduled to begin at 12:00 noon at the Akron Public Library located at 350 Reed Street.  The legislative panel will be discussing various issues concerning the Iowa Legislature.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meetings and address any issues that are of concern.  

New Women's Fashion Store Opens in Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- Women who want to wear fashions that normally are found in larger cities may want to check out Bad Habit Boutique.  Bad Habit Boutique is a new women's fashion store that opened last week, and store owner Sara Morrow says it could be a women's sanctuary.
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Morrow says she offers women's and juniors apparel, accessories, and shoes.  The new store owner says the merchandise features some name brands.
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The Bad Habit Boutique store owner says she first got started with fashion design back in high school.
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Bad Habit Boutique's hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00 to 5:30, Wednesday 10 to 8, and Saturday 9 to 3.


Principal Finance Takes Over Liongate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Principal Global Investors, a division of Des Moines-based Principal Financial Group is buying a majority stake in hedge fund manager Liongate Capital Management.
Liongate, founded in 2003, has about $2.1 billion in assets under management. The company is based in London and New York and has offices in Zurich, Malta, and Mumbai.
Principal is buying a 55 percent stake in Liongate. The company's current partners will retain 45 percent and will continue to manage it. Details of the transaction were not immediately
released. It is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
Principal Global Investors CEO Jim McCaughan says the acquisition strengthens Principal's alternative investment capabilities, an area where client demand is growing.
Liongate's client base includes pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds.

Branstad Introduces Healthy Iowa --An Alternate To IowaCare

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says his health care proposal for some low-income Iowans will not provide the same benefits as an expanded Medicaid, but called his approach more
fiscally responsible.
Branstad on Monday unveiled Healthy Iowa, a revamped version of IowaCare, a state and federally funded program which provides limited benefits to about 70,000 low-income adults. The new plan
would adjust eligibility rules and offer some additional coverage, including service in more locations.
Branstad wants to get federal approval to set up Healthy Iowa instead of pursing a Medicaid expansion permitted under President Obama's health care overhaul. He says his approach will better
shield Iowa from federal fiscal changes.
Democrats in the state Senate say the plan would provide people with fewer benefits at a higher cost to the state.


Medicinal Marijuana Dies In Iowa Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A proposal to legalize marijuana for medical use likely is dead for this session.
A Senate subcommittee approved the bill Monday, but the panel's chairman, Iowa City Sen. Joe Bolkcom, says the proposal likely won't go further because there isn't support for it in a full committee.
The bill would allow patients with a qualifying condition, such as cancer, to get a prescription for medical marijuana. Nonprofit dispensaries could provide marijuana to eligible patients.
Bill advocates with illnesses like multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder testified Monday that marijuana was a better alternative to synthetic prescription drugs.
Republican subcommittee member Sen. Joni Ernst opposed the bill, saying it would be difficult to ensure dispensaries wouldn't sell marijuana to people without a prescription.
A House subcommittee has rejected a similar bill.


OSHA Fines Omaha Beef Processor

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Federal safety regulators say they've proposed more than $61,000 in fines against an Omaha beef processor for several violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Nebraska Beef Ltd. with eight safety violations, including one the agency said was a repeat of a
OSHA says Nebraska Beef has been inspected 12 times since 1998, resulting in several citations.
The company can pay the proposed penalties and comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health
Review Commission.


Iowa City Man Fights With Deputies

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City man is accused of fighting several deputies and attempting to escape them multiple times.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen ( ) reports 38-year-old Christopher Lenz was a patient Friday at Mercy Hospital. A criminal complaint says medical staff was evaluating
Lenz when he lunged at a deputy and tried to remove the deputy's handgun from its holster.
The deputy used a Taser to stop Lenz. He was arrested and put in a cell, where police say he continued to try to get away. Police say Lenz rushed past the door of his cell and pushed a deputy
against the wall. He also attempted to punch another deputy.
Lenz faces charges that include assault and disarming a peace officer of a dangerous weapon.




Monday News, March 4

185th Refueling Wing Returns Home

(Sioux City) -- Members of the 185th Air Refueling Wing, based at Sioux City returned home on Sunday.  Nearly 160 airmen and airwomen were recognized for their sacrifices during a welcome home ceremony held at the airwing's hanger.  Over this past year, the 185th were deployed to 12 different parts of the world including Afghanistan,Saudi Arabia, Guam, and Antarctica.


Proposed Casinos Go Through Background Check

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - State casino regulators are scheduled this week to hear reports on the background checks done on applicants for a casino license in Sioux City.
The Sioux City Journal reported Sunday that the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is scheduled to hear the results at a closed meeting on Wednesday.
The commission expects to issue a state gaming license to a casino operator on April 18th.
Extensive background checks are done by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Top officials with the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the proposed Warrior Casino and Hotel were
checked. So were board members of two nonprofit groups, Siouxland Strong Incorporated, which backs the Warrior project, and Greater Siouxland Improvement Association, which is partnering with Penn
National Gaming Co. on a Hollywood-themed casino.


Northern Iowa To Get Snow

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - Snow has started to fall in northern Iowa, but meteorologists say heavier snow is on the way.
The National Weather Service said an inch and a half of snow had already fallen on Charles City by 5:30 a.m. Monday. The service says the snow band is expected to leave up to 3 inches in some
parts of northern or northeast Iowa.
The heavier snow is expected to arrive Monday night, totaling up to 6 inches by sunrise Tuesday and as much as 8 more inches by Tuesday evening before the storm exits to the east. Blowing snow
and drifting are expected Tuesday afternoon.
The weather service says travel will become dangerous and all but impossible in some locations.

February Precipitation and Temperatures About Normal

(Des Moines) -- February ended on a snowy note across sections of Iowa, and that helped make the month overall a little wetter than normal. State climatologist Harry Hillaker keeps track of the precipitation.
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Temperature readings didn't show anything that stood out.
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Hillaker says he doesn't have all the numbers in yet, but things will be very close to normal. Hillaker says the snow late in February turned around what had been a lack of the white stuff for most of this winter. One storm dumped a statewide average of just over five inches of snow, while another left an average of four inches across the state.


Branstad Pushes IowaCare

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is expected to soon reveal his plans for revamping the IowaCare health program for low-income adults, sticking to an approach he holds is better for
the state than the Medicaid expansion that Democrats are promoting.
IowaCare was designed to provide limited health benefits to low-income adults who don't qualify for Medicaid. But the program, which now has about 70,000 enrollees, offers very limited services.
If Branstad agreed to expand Medicaid, the federal government would pay the full cost of the expansion for the first three years, then 10 percent of the cost would gradually be shifted to the
But Branstad says he's not convinced the federal government will keep its promise to pay most costs.

Disabled Residential Care Facilities Not Being Inspected

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State records show 39 percent of Iowa's 178 residential care facilities for the disabled have not had a full state inspection in at least 2 1/2 years even though a state law
requires regular inspections.
A Des Moines Sunday Register analysis of state records shows some care facilities have gone almost four years without an inspection.
The newspaper reports on Sunday delayed inspections are due to a law passed in 2011 that suspended a previous policy requiring inspections every 30 months. The move enacted under former Gov. Chet Culver was intended to save money.
Last year, the Legislature and Governor Terry Branstad reinstated inspections, but inspectors haven't caught up.
Inspections are completed at 109 facilities, leaving 69 - or 39 percent - uninspected for at least 30 months.









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