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Saturday News, November 17

Hemmingson Reflects On Historic Designation

(Le Mars) -- On Friday, it was learned that Le Mars downtown district had been selected by the National Historic Preservation Registry.  One woman who contributed hundreds of hours of research and volunteer time to make that designation possible is Iris Hemmingson.  Iris is the chairperson for the Le Mars Historical Preservation Commission, and she says the designation is a nice honor for the community.  She says in order for Le Mars to receive such recognition it took the work of many volunteers and a lot of research.
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Hemmingson says it was a challenge to document previous owners of buildings and to learn of their uses.  She says the city's streets and addresses were often incomplete.
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Hemmingson says the designation will benefit the city as well as the individual building owners.
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The Le Mars Historical Preservationist believes the designation will attract history buffs to Le Mars as well as increase the tourism trade.
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Hostess Closure Means Lost Jobs At Waterloo

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The decision by Hostess Brands Inc. to go out of business is being felt in Waterloo.
Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other snacks, announced Friday it would close in response to a nationwide strike.  It means the loss of about 18,500 jobs, including some in Waterloo.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier ( ) says the decision affects 59 workers at the Waterloo plant and distribution center and about 30 truck drivers. The Waterloo bakery produced Wonder, Home Pride and Nature Pride breads.
Hostess spokesman Erik Halvorson says production ceased Friday morning in Waterloo. Local retail outlets will remain open for seven to 10 days.
At the Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet in Waterloo, store manager Sherry Yearling said the remaining inventory of Twinkies was cleaned out within an hour.


Google Invests In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Google is investing another $200 million in its Council Bluffs data center operations as it invests $75 million in a wind farm in central Iowa.
Google announced the additional investment in the data center on Friday at a Statehouse news conference.
The Mountain View-California-based tech giant has an existing $600 million data center it announced in 2007. In April, Google said it would build a $300 million data center near the existing
campus. Friday's announcement would add $200 million to that new site.
Google said Thursday it was investing $75 million in the Rippey Wind Farm in Greene County as part of its effort to encourage development of cleaner energy sources.
Google's investment in Iowa now stands at $1.1 billion.


Branstad & Reynolds Applaud Decision To Uphold Ethanol Standards

(Des Moines) -- Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds applaud the Federal government's decision to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard and deny pending waiver requests.  Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production, accounting for 25 percent of total U-S ethanol production.  In addition, Iowa's biofuels industry has added $13.1 billion to our economy, generated $2.4 billion in household income and supported 49,000 jobs.

DuPont Pioneer Receives Economic Assistance

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa economic development officials have approved financial assistance to DuPont Pioneer for a $50 million expansion project.
The Iowa Economic Development Board on Friday agreed to provide the company up to $4.4 million in tax credits.
The project will move into Johnston some operations and 100 jobs now in Ankeny. Pioneer will also create 100 new jobs.
Pioneer, which is headquartered in Des Moines, is a subsidiary of chemical maker DuPont Company of Wilmington, Delaware.
The economic development board also approved tax credits for two other companies.
Grain Millers in Saint Ansgar received $550,000 in tax credits for a $24 million expansion. Sobatka Engineering in Diagonal, doing business as Excel Engineering, received nearly $86,000 in tax
credits for a $1.6 million renovation.



Friday Afternoon News, November 16

Jandreau Trial - Day 3

(Le Mars) -- Day three of the Matthew Jandreau trial heard testimony from the Defense side.  Jandreau's mother and step brother testified this morning. Jandreau's mother Carolyn Provost said in court this morning that she consumed alcoholic beverages during the time she was pregnant with Matthew Jandreau.  Mrs. Provost indicated that her son Matthew lived with her until he was of the age of three when she had moved out and Matthew then lived with his father and other relatives until he was of the age 19.  She mentioned the living conditions of which Matthew Jandreau was raised were "not an ideal environment."  Provost testified that there was considerable amount of drinking alcohol and intoxication found in the home where Jandreau was raised.  Provost testified that at age 13, Matthew was sent to a juvenile detention facility for bringing a pellet gun and pills to school.  Provost admitted she often would drink with her son, but said under oath that she has never witnessed him in a "black out" condition where he couldn't remember previous episodes.  When asked if she ever witnessed Matthew doing any "bizzare things" while intoxicated?  She responded by telling the defense attorney that once Matthew had gotten to the point of intoxication that he was on the floor and rolled himself up inside a carpet rug, and had the carpet coiled around him, then he started kicking.  Provost visited her son in jail on one occasion and said her son told her that he didn't remember any of the events from March 2nd, and the last thing he remembers was when he "woke up from being intoxicated" he appeared before the judge the following day.  Jandreau's step brother Raleigh Provost testified that there was a lot of drinking, violence, at the home where Jandreau lived. He said the relatives which was where Jandreau grew up often would abuse him and "grab him on the neck" and "throw him into a small bedroom and lock the door."  Jandreau lived in Wagner, South Dakota until he was of the age of 19, when he moved to Le Mars to again reside with his mother. Trial has recessed until 9:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Liquor Sales On The Increase

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State officials say they think changes in where hard liquor can be sold and new flavored drinks popular with women and young people are behind a jump in hard liquor sales.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports ( ) a 6.4 percent increase in sales of hard liquor in the fiscal year ending June 30.
Alcoholic Beverages Division officials say some of that increase is due to new flavors of liquor that appeal to young people and women.
A change in state law also factored into the increase. Convenience stores no longer must segregate liquor in separate areas or sell items at separate registers.
In the last fiscal year, Iowans age 21 and older drank an average of 35.6 gallons of beer, 2.23 gallons of spirits and 1.9 gallons of wine.


U of I President Apologizes For Athletic Official

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - University of Iowa President Sally Mason is apologizing for the school's failure to protect athletes and employees in its handling of a former athletics department official
accused of sexual harassment.
Mason said in a statement Friday that the university will make changes to avoid a repeat of what she called an "isolated breakdown" in the case of Peter Gray, who resigned last week after working as associate director of athletics student services since 2002.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen published an internal report that accused Gray of violating the school's sexual harassment policy through improper touching that included shoulder massages, hugging
and rubbing. The report says the behavior dated back to Gray's earlier employment at Iowa in the 1990s and continued despite complaints from colleagues, coaches and at least one athlete.


Insurance Company Doesn't Need To Pay For House Fire

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says an insurance company does not have to cover the property damage suffered by a widow whose husband burnt down their house to commit suicide.
The court ruled Friday that Michelle Postell of Dixon doesn't qualify for help under her longstanding fire insurance policy with American Family Insurance.
Postell's estranged husband poured gasoline and lit the house on fire in 2009 to kill himself while the couple was separated.
Michelle Postell had paid the premiums on the fire insurance policy for 20 years, and planned to move back into the home she co-owned after her husband moved out.
The court says her husband intentionally caused a loss under the policy, and so she cannot recover even though she had nothing to do with the fire.

Internal Report Uses Farm Bureau Language On Waste Regulation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The draft of a state report detailing how agencies should regulate pollution from farms and sewage treatment plants includes passages apparently taken from Iowa Farm Bureau Federation publications.
The Des Moines Register reported Friday that at least two passages in the draft report appeared to be largely lifted from farm bureau publications.
Those passages dealt with a preference for voluntary approaches to prevent runoff pollution and the amount of pollution found in wells.
Some Iowa Department of Natural Resources staffers have objected to parts of the report about agricultural runoff.
The draft report dated Oct. 8 hasn't been released, but the Register obtained a copy.
Gov. Terry Branstad, Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey and Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Karl Brooks couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday.




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