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Thursday News, August 7

Chemical Sanitizing Systems Building May Become New Police Station

(Le Mars) -- The former Chemical Sanitizing Systems building, located on south Business Highway 75 may serve as a new police station for the city of Le Mars.  The city council approved purchasing the building for $300,000 during its Tuesday meeting. Mayor Dick Kirchoff says it may be a while before the building is converted to serve as a police headquarters.

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Kirchoff says the present building that houses the city's police department, located at 22 2nd Street Northeast is starting to be costly to maintain, and the police are needing additional space.

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The Le Mars mayor says Chemical Sanitizing Systems Building location was appealing to city officials.

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Kirchoff says the city council has not discussed what to do with the present police headquarters, but he anticipates it may be turned into a public parking lot to accomodate events at the Olson Cultural Events Center.

 

State Fair Opens Today

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - When the Iowa State Fair opens its doors today for its 11-day run, the ingredients that make it a must-see attraction will be there.
     There's the food, the music and the competition. There's also the livestock, the rides, and the beloved butter cow. 
     Some visitors say they're drawn to the fair by its unique food, many of which involve fried delicacies on a stick. 
    Others are there for the friendly competition. There are more than 7,500 competitions at the fair that judge everything from the best cornstalk to the top decorative quilt. There are also nearly 50 special event contests that judge titles like the best arm wrestler and the best hog caller.  State Fair manager Gary Slater says a number of improvements have been made on the fairgrounds in the past year which should help to boost attendance.

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Attendance first reached one-million in 2002 and it's passed the million mark ten more times since then. Slater says tickets to several grandstand acts have been selling well, especially to country music lovers. 

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 Slater says tickets are also selling very well for country artist Jake Owen and the 1970s-80s rockers Foreigner and Styx. Among the many building renovations, Slater says the fair has modernized the 4-H and F-F-A dormitory. He says the fair's participation from those ag-related groups continues growing every year.

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Slater advises fair goers to get there early and to make a plan, as the fairgrounds cover some 445 acres of land. The Iowa State Fair runs through August 17.

 

Iowa State University President To Announce VEISHEA Plans Today

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say the president of Iowa State University will announce his decision Thursday on the violence-marred Veishea festival.
     President Steven Leath will make his announcement during a news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
     A task force formed by Leath submitted recommendations to him on July 11. The group was created shortly after a late-night crowd disturbance in early April. One student was injured. The rest of the festival's events were canceled.
     ---

 

Board Of Regents Want Receipts From Consulting Firm

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents has a suggestion for its own cost-cutting consultant: start providing receipts to justify employee expenses.
     Regents said Wednesday they would start requiring Deloitte Consulting to submit receipts, like university employees do, to document claims for travel, lodging and food.
     The move came after The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reported that Deloitte submitted $220,000 in expense reimbursements without documentation, under its $3.3 million contract to find savings.
     Board President Bruce Rastetter says Deloitte's contract did not require its employees to submit receipts. But he says the regents didn't want the "relatively small expenses" being questioned to reflect poorly on the larger initiative, which could save millions.
     He says Deloitte has been receptive to providing receipts going forward, and the contract may be amended to require them.

 

Student Brings BB Gun To School

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An 11-year-old elementary student has been accused of bringing a BB gun to school and threatening to shoot four classmates.
     Des Moines police say the incident occurred Tuesday at River Woods Elementary School, which maintains a year-round calendar. No injuries were reported.
     The  11-year-old student is accused of firing the BB gun at a tree on school grounds.
     School employees told police the student arrived at the school with two former students, ages 14 and 16. Additional information about the incident was not released.
     ---

 

Des Moines Hopes To Host Mens NCAA Basketball Tournament

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines is pushing hard for a shot at hosting the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
     The Des Moines Area Sports Commission, Iowa State University and Global Spectrum, the company that operates Wells Fargo Arena, announced Wednesday that they're bidding to host NCAA tournament games in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
     Des Moines has long wanted to host the men's basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena, which opened downtown in 2005. But Iowa's capital city has had to settle for less prestigious events like the women's basketball and wrestling tournaments.
     Des Moines ranked first in attendance among women's basketball regional sites in 2012. The 2013 wrestling championships drew strong crowds as well.
     The city also hosted the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in 2008, 2011 and 2012 at Drake Stadium.



   

Wednesday Afternoon News, August 6

Lower Speed Limits Proposed For Business Highway 75

(Le Mars) -- During Tuesday's city council meeting, the council heard the first reading for a new proposed speed limit on Business Highway 75.  From Blue Bunny Drive to 4th Street southwest the speed limit is proposed to go from the current 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. Councilman Rex Knapp says the speed limit is being considered to be lowered, not for additional speeding tickets and revenue, but instead for safety considerations. Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga shares the number of accidents that have occurred on Business Highway 75.
 
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Dekkenga says nearly a third of the 74 accidents resulted in personal injuries.

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The Le Mars Police Chief says the efforts of the city council is to make the roadway safer.

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Dekkenga defends the actions of lowering the speed limit and brushes off the criticism

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Remsen Man Dies From Auto Accident

(Spencer) -- A 46 year old Remsen man has died as a result of an accident that happened Monday, on Highway 3 about a mile east of Merriden.  According to a traffic accident report by the Iowa Highway Patrol, Mark Offerman of Remsen apparently crossed the centerline while driving his Plymouth Neon and hit a semi truck and trailer loaded with hogs and being driven by 21 year old Joseph Meyer of Rock Valley, Iowa.  Offerman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. 

 

Kuhn Retires From Army And Receives Distinguished Alumna Honor

(Le Mars) -- A former Gehlen student recently received a distinguished alumna award from her college after retiring from the U-S Army.   Colonel Kimberly Kuhn received the Distinguished Alumna award from the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University, located in the Twin Cities.  The prestigious honor was bestowed upon Colonel Kuhn a month before her announced retirement from the military service.  Colonel Kuhn began her 25 military career as a ROTC student.  Kuhn pursued a military career focusing on military police.  After being promoted to Colonel, she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the Criminal Investigation Command, and led a Secretary of the Army appointed Fraud Task Force. The Distinguished Alumna Award honors an alumna who has distinguished herself for her outstanding achievements in her chosen profession, as well as has made a lasting contribution in her field as a role model or leader.
Colonel Kuhn is the daughter of Vincent and Alana Kuhn of Le Mars.

 

Iowa State Fair Set To Begin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - When the Iowa State Fair opens its doors for its 11-day run, the ingredients that make it a must-see attraction will be there.
     There's the food, the music and the competition. There's also the livestock, the rides, and the beloved butter cow. 
     Some visitors say they're drawn to the fair by its unique food, many of which involve fried delicacies on a stick. 
     Others are there for the friendly competition. There are more than 7,500 competitions at the fair that judge everything from the best cornstalk to the top decorative quilt. There are also nearly 50 special event contests that judge titles like the best arm wrestler and the best hog caller.
     The Iowa State Fair will be open Thursday through Aug. 17.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Headed to the Iowa State Fair this year? Roughly 1 million visitors are expected during the popular fair's 11-day run. Here are some things to know to help you save money and enjoy the event.
 
     FIND DISCOUNTED TICKETS
 
     If you didn't grab advance tickets before the start of the fair, that's OK. There are other ways to save on that $11 adult ticket and $5 child ticket. If you visit the fair between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, adult tickets are $6 and child tickets are $3. There are other discounts for older fairgoers and people who bring in canned food. Keep track of the schedule for those designated days, among others. And don't forget: Children under 5 always enter the fair for free.
 
     BYPASS THE PARKING HASSLE
 
     There is some parking available at the fairgrounds for $10, and nearby homeowners tend to offer up their properties at a discounted price. But you'll get a better deal if you rely on Des Moines' bus service, also known as DART. It's free to park at three designated DART locations away from the fairgrounds, and round-trip fares are $2 for adults and $1 for seniors, children 6 to 10 and people with disabilities. Younger children ride free. Advance fair tickets get you a discount on the bus fare, too.
 
     DON'T FORGET THE FOOD
 
     You're finally inside, so it's time for food. There will be nearly 200 food stands and nearly 70 delicacies available on a stick. While you try to figure out how to expand your stomach to try them all, there's at least good news for your wallet. Some new foods on the menu this year are valued-priced, meaning they'll cost $3. Such items include the Brownie Blitz and the Caprese Salad On-a-Stick (if you want to feel less guilty).
 
     THE COMPETITION IS ON
 
     If you're looking to bypass the food, maybe it's time for some friendly competition. There are more than 7,500 competitions at the fair that judge everything from the best cookie decoration to the top doll house. But they involve early registration, so maybe you should try entering one of the nearly 50 special event contests that judge skills like the best hay bale toss and the best grown beard.
 
     BUTTER COW OR BUST
 
     There are certain attractions at the fair that are a must-see. Yes, we're talking about the butter cow, located at the fairground's agriculture building. There are variations of it at other fairs, but the Iowa State Fair butter cow and its many incarnations have been on display for more than a century. At any given time, there's an impressive line to get a glimpse of the cow and its companion sculpture. This year's piece will be a sculpture celebrating the 25th anniversary of the "Field of Dreams" movie. If you sculpt it, they will come.

 

Republicans Fundraisers

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The new chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says the organization has raised more than $315,000 since he took the helm just over a month ago.
     The party announced the fundraising numbers in a Wednesday news release. Chairman Jeff Kauffman, a former state lawmaker, was selected for the job in late June. At that time, he pledged to raise more than $300,000 during his first three months. The organization had limited funds in the bank when Kauffman took charge.
     Kauffman was made chairman after new members were elected to the state central committee with the support of Gov. Terry Branstad. 
     Branstad wants to unite the party and ensure the future of the state's leadoff presidential caucuses. The changes came after tension between veteran Republicans and evangelical and libertarian groups.

 

Regents Tell Universities To Renegotiate Service Contracts 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's three public universities are being directed to renegotiate new, master contracts for goods and services as part of a consultant-led effort to cut costs.
     The Iowa Board of Regents voted Wednesday to implement a plan requiring the schools to work together to negotiate "more favorable contracts" in areas such as office supplies, furniture, food, and shipping.
     If that effort is successful, the regents may call on the universities to renegotiate additional contracts in two additional waves over the next two years.
     In all, Deloitte Consulting says the plan could save between $16 million and $40 million if fully implemented.
     Regents acknowledged the new approach may make it more difficult for Iowa companies to win contracts. But they said it was their goal to hold down student costs.

 

 

 







   

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