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Friday News, October 19

St. Joseph Church To Be Dedicated On Sunday

(Le Mars) -- The new St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars is scheduled to be formally dedicated on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.  Bishop Walker Nicless will be handed the keys to the building by Ryan Wiltgen of Wiltgen Construction, the General Contractor for the church, and Kevin Strehle from BCDM, the architects of the new church.  After the doors are formally opened for the first time, everyone present will proceed into the church together.  During the liturgy, the church will be blessed with holy water and anointed at twelve consecration points throughout the church, and then the altars in the church and in the chapel.  Following the liturgy, there will be a light reception.

Hinton Fire Department Battles Vacant House Fire

(Hinton) -- Hinton's Fire Department had to respond to a vacant house fire on Thursday.  The call came in at about 12:20 p.m. and fire crews were on the scene at 23019 Glacier Road for at least six hours.  Sioux City and Merrill Fire Departments offered assistance to that fire.

Museum To Host Haunted House

(Le Mars) -- There will be plenty of activities scheduled at the Plymouth County Historical Museum this weekend.  On Saturday evening, the spooks and goblins will be out in full force with the first ever "Night at the Museum".  "Candy at the Cabin" for those nine and under will open the evening, beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Children will receive candy until 7:00 p.m., or as long as the candy is available.  Wrapping up the "night at the Museum" will be a haunted house in the basement of the museum from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The public is welcome to tour the "night at the Museum Haunted House, but anyone younger than nine must be accompanied by an adult.  The events are free.


Summerside To Present Civil War Battle At Museum

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Museum will host Nathan Summerside of Le Mars as he presents the battle of Corinth, Mississippi during a Civil War program at the Museum.  The battle occurred in October of 1862.  Summerside's program is one of a series the Museum is hosting in honor of the Civil War's 150th anniversary.  Summerside will speak in the Museum's "Old Central" Gym where he will have a diorama of the battle that can be viewed from the bleacher seating.  Summerside notes that the battle is special because it features the most Iowa troops used in any one battle.


Auditor's Office To Be Open On Saturday, October 27th

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Auditor's office will be open next Saturday, October 27th from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for the purpose of registering to vote and voting an absentee ballot in the November 6th General Election.

PAC's Get Involved With Congressional Race

(Le Mars) -- A lot of attention has been focused on the upcoming Congressional race between Steve King and Christie Vilsack, including television ads that have been financed by Political Action Committees, or PACs.  Many times the television ads from PACs are confusing because voters believe the candidates are responsible for the message.  Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack says she is not in favor of the PAC ads.
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The Humane Society of the United States has devoted half of its political budget, nearly $500,000 directed towards ads attacking Steve King.  King tells KLEM news that the HSUS is trying to distort his record.

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King has been targeted, specifically over comments he had regarding dog fights, and for not voting in favor of legislation that would limit dog fighting.  King says there is no need for such legislation, since many states, including Iowa, already has such legislation. Vilsack offered her comments on the issue Wednesday evening when she visited Le Mars.

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King says he does like dogs.

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Winter May Be Warmer and Drier Than Normal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Parts of drought-stricken Iowa, Nebraska and much of the Midwest are expected to be warmer and drier than normal in early winter.
The National Weather Service forecast maps issued Thursday show higher-than-normal temperatures are expected over the next three months for the western third of Iowa and all of Nebraska. But lower-than-normal moisture is expected for the eastern third of
Nebraska and all of Iowa.
Mike Halpert, of the weather service's Climate Prediction Center, says the predictions "are the weather service's best guess, based on a variety of computer models. "
Iowa state climatologist Harry Hillaker says "the clock is ticking" on refilling Iowa's soil with moisture before the winter freeze.


Midwest Economic Conditions Improve

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An index of economic conditions in 10 Midwest and Western states jumped this month after three months of drought-induced doldrums.
The Rural Mainstreet survey of rural bankers rose to 56.6 for October from 48.3 in September. It was the first time since June that the index rose above growth neutral 50.
Survey organizers say any score above 50 on the 100-point scale suggests the economy will grow in the months ahead.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the effects of the drought are being more than offset by high incomes from high agriculture and energy prices.
The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.




Thursday Afternoon News, October 18

Military Spooktacular

(Sioux City)--  Siouxland is doing its best to support military families, and Saturday's upcoming "Siouxland Military Family Spooktacular" is one way they are doing so.  Lori Risdal, Airman and Family Programs Manager for the 185th Air Refueling Wing, says the "Joining Community Forces Initiative" is working to bring the resources as close to home as possible and include residents of Nebraska and South Dakota.

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The Joining Community Forces Initiative helps families connect with each other, they provide services and activities and are working on organizing other events like summer day camps in the Sioux City area for military youth to attend.  Often these activities are only available by making the long drive to Des Moines, so the goal is to bring it all closer to home.

Saturday's event, The Spooktacular, is from 3-6pm at Camp Goodwill in Sioux City. The event is open to area families who have a service member currently serving in any branch of the Guard, Reserves or Active Duty.  Activities for adults and children include food, crafts, games, hayrack trail rides, tricks and treats and a family costume contest.  Families are asked to bring a bag of individually wrapped candies or snacks to share, otherwise the event is free.  150-200 people are expected to attend.
Risdal says a gathering like this is great for support and camaraderie.

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If you're interested in attending Saturday's Siouxland Military Family Spooktacular or would like to volunteer for this activity or others that are upcoming you can call Lori Risdal by Friday at (712) 233-0817.  Becoming a part of the Joining Community Forces Initiative itself is another way for community members and businesses to become involved.


Dordt College To Hold Inauguration Ceremonies

(Sioux Center) -- Dordt College in Sioux Center will hold an inauguration ceremony for President Erik Hoekstra on Friday.  Hoekstra, a Grand Rapids Michigan native, is the college's fourth president.  He previously served as Dordt's provost.  The inauguration will start at 11:00 a.m. at the B-J Hahn Auditorium on the Sioux Center campus.  The event will feature music, faculty and staff representatives and liturgy.  Hoekstra replaces Carl Zylstra, who stepped down at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.

Landlords Donate Money In Lieu Of Fines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - At least 27 Iowa landlords made donations to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in lieu of legal action for illegally discriminating against housing applicants.
The commission solicited and accepted at least $19,850 in "voluntary contributions" from 2006 through February 2011.
Ralph Rosenberg, the commission's director in 2006, says the practice was started to encourage rapid resolution of discrimination complaints. He says the attorney general's office agreed that soliciting donations in lieu of fines was acceptable under Iowa law. The office revisited the issue last year and
concluded it's not appropriate.
State court administrator David Boyd says the practice is frowned upon by the judicial branch because it gives the impression that justice is for sale.

Judge Gives More Time For Defendants To Respond To B-P-I Lawsuit

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota judge has given two men more time to respond to a $1 billion defamation lawsuit over a meat product that finely textured lean beef.
Judge Steven Jensen granted a 30-day extension for Carl Custer and Gerald Zirnstein to respond to the lawsuit brought by Beef Products Inc.
Custer, a former federal food scientist, and Zirnstein, the USDA microbiologist who named the product "pink slime," must now respond to the suit by Nov. 19.
BPI sued the two men as well as ABC News for $1.2 billion in damages for roughly 200 statements about the product that aired on ABC News.
BPI attorney Dan Webb says the reports led consumers to believe the beef is not meat, but an unhealthy slime unfit for human consumption.


Authorities Retracing Steps To Find Leads For Missing Cousins

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Officers have been retracing their steps as they continue investigating the disappearance of two young cousins in east Iowa.
Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson says investigators are still searching for any details that might have been overlooked since Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins went missing three months
ago in Evanston.
Lyric has turned 11 and Elizabeth has turned 9 since they were reported missing on July 13. Their bikes were found near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.
FBI officials have said they believe the girls were abducted.


Law Professor Testifies On Behalf Of Colleague

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa law professor who testified on behalf of a colleague suing the school says officials are retaliating against him by falsely suggesting he was under
investigation for sexual misconduct.
Professor Mark Osiel testified Tuesday at the trial of Teresa Wagner, a Republican who says she was repeatedly passed over for teaching jobs because of her conservative views.
Osiel testified Wagner helped edit his book manuscripts and that she had great skills.
During the testimony, a state lawyer claimed Osiel recently faced a misconduct investigation after someone complained about sexual grunting noises in his office.
Osiel says the noises were him doing exercises suggested by his doctors and "there is no investigation." He says the claim "shows how low the university will stoop in retaliating against its employees."





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