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Friday news, August 24

Fareway Selected As Third "Cash Mob" Business

(Le Mars) -- (sot) "Fareway Shopping Center...Fareway grocery..."
That's what Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff told a group of 35 people standing outside the Le
Mars Chamber offices last evening awaiting word on which downtown food business would be
selected for the third "Cash Mob".  The group then either walked, or drove their vehicles to
the downtown supermarket store to pick up a few items.  Each participant was asked to spend
at least $20 at the designated food business.  Dr. Mark Stelzer, and his wife, Kathy
participated in the third cash mob and purchased some of Fareway's steaks.  Stelzer commented
that he and his wife were going to do some grilling last evening."  Others went to the
produce area and started selecting melons, fruits, and vegetables.  Still other participants
selected frozen foods and some went for the bakery items.  Fareway officials seemed pleased
that their store was selected for the third cash mob.  At one time, Fareway manager Dave
Shaver called for all available grocery employees to assist with the checking and bagging
duties, as every cash register was busy. Just prior to selecting the lucky business, mayor
Kirchoff discussed the value of shopping in Le Mars.
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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Brought Up By Plymouth County Attorney

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Iowa counties who claimed that banks failed to pay millions in recording fees when they transferred the ownership of mortgages to
create profitable but risky financial instruments.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett dismissed the lawsuit brought by Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond against companies that own a national registry tracking ownership interests for home loans.
The lawsuit claimed the registry allowed mortgage companies to transfer loans to other banks to be pooled into mortgage-backed securities to sell to investors. It claimed the system violated
Iowa law because they did not record each transfer of ownership, and pay required fees.
Bennett ruled that Iowa law does not contain such a recording requirement and dismissed the lawsuit, which was seeking class-action status on behalf of 99 counties.


King and Vilsack Debate The Debates

(Le Mars) -- It seems as though U-S Representative Steve King and his Democratic challenger
Christie Vilsack are having a debate about debates.  Recently, an organized debate scheduled
for September 22 which was to be held at Ames and sponsored in part by the Ames Tribune has
been called off due to the parties can't come to any agreement as to the debate format.  On
Monday of this week, King held a townhall meeting at Le Mars in which he was asked if there
would be any debates.  King's immediate answer was "I really don't know."  King told the
questioner that he believes there will be at least two debates, one at Des Moines, and the
other at Mason City.

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King says the two sides can't agree as to the types of debates, the locations, or the formats.

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The four-term Republican says he most definately wants to hold a debate with Vilsack, and he says he will do it anytime, and anywhere.

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To emphasize his point, the U-S Congressman was seen tapping his finger on the podium,
indicating his interest in debating Vilsack.  He says he has been criticized in the past for refusing to debate his opponents, which he says was a tactical move.

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Storm Lake To Pay For Boating Accident Resulting In A Death of Boy

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Storm Lake officials have approved its part of $1.1 million settlement to the family of a Nebraska boy who died in a boating accident in 2010.
The payment will settle a federal lawsuit filed after the death of 10-year-old David McFarlin, of
South Sioux City, Nebraska. He died when the boat he was riding in hit a submerged dredging pipe in Storm Lake. The outboard motor flipped into the boat and hit the boy.
The City Council this week approved an agreement in which the city, Buena Vista County and the Lake Improvement Commission would pay a combined $800,000. The driver of the boat will pay about
$100,000 and Brunswick Boats will pay $30,000.
David's mother, Jamie Laass, filed the lawsuit.


Sioux City Casino To Operate On Extension

(Des Moines) -- Iowa (AP) - State regulators say Sioux City's riverboat can keep operating without a contract extension between the operator of the casino and its nonprofit partner.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission backed off a threat to proceed with shutting down the boat if Penn National Gaming Company and the Missouri River Historical Development didn't agree on a
short-term deal by Thursday's board meeting in Riverside, Iowa.
The commission last month refused to accept a contract signed by the partners that would have run through March 2015. The commission instead approved an extension through March 2013, saying it fit plans to seek bids for a land-based casino.
Penn has gone to court to overturn the decisions that put the license up for bid and rejected the 2015 extension.


Ethics Commission Dismisses Complaint Against Rastetter

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State ethics regulators have dismissed an ethics complaint filed against Iowa Board of Regents member Bruce Rastetter, saying there weren't sufficient legal issue to
The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, meeting in Des Moines on Thursday, voted unanimously to dismiss the complaint.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a government watchdog group, filed the complaint against Rastetter, a prominent Republican businessman, on June 19th.
The complaint alleges Rastetter misrepresented himself on financial disclosure forms by failing to list investments and income he gets from executive positions at corporations he
Rastetter on Monday filed an amended financial disclosure statement.
Iowa CCI also claims he tried to use his influence as a regent to financially benefit one of his companies that is developing farmland in Africa.



Thursday News August 23

Train Collides With Semi Truck and Trailer

(Le Mars) -- A semi truck and trailer collided with a north bound Union Pacific Train Wednesday afternoon at Le Mars.  The accident happened at 18th Street Southwest and Highway 75. There were no injuries involved with the collision as the back of the trailer came into contact with the train.  The truck, owned by Westside Transport of Cedar Rapids and driven by 28 year old Randy Brown Jr. of Euclid, Ohio, was hauling bales of cardboard waste.  The train consisted of grain cars.  The truck was attempting to cross the railroad tracks, when it appears to have yielded to north bound traffic on Highway 75, leaving the trailer exposed, and remaining on the tracks when the train hit it, spilling the contents of the truck into a ditch.  The Le Mars Police Department and Union Pacific rail officials are investigating the accident.


Field and Hay Bale Fires Create Problems For Area Fire Departments

(Le Mars) -- Field fires and haybale fires continue to be a problem for area fire departments.  Hinton Fire Department was called to a fire located near the intersection of County Road C-60 and K-22, about three miles west of Hinton.  Several haybales had caught fire.  Hinton had to ask for mutual aid from Merrill, Le Mars, Lawton, and even Sioux City. Fire officials were on the scene for more than four hours.  The Kingsley Fire Department responded to a field fire at 43637 County Road C-60.  Officials were at that fire for about an hour.  As a result of the many fires, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had to cancel their planned disaster drill that was supposed to have happen at Dean Foods.

With School Starting, Iowa State Patrol Reminds Motorists of "Kadyn's Law"

(Le Mars) -- Today is the first day of school for Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic. Many other schools have already started their session.  The Iowa State Patrol wants to remind people there is no better time to think about the safety of our children.  The Iowa State Patrol will hold a media news conference this morning in Sioux City to emphasize the importance of the Kadyn's law.  Trooper Vince Kurtz says previously Iowa had laws against passing a stopped school bus, but now the penalties and fines are stiffer if you violate the law.

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Kurtz says if there is an injury or death involved, the fines now can be up to $1800 plus jail time, as well as the loss of driving privileges for six months.

Third "Cash Mob" Scheduled for Tonight

(Le Mars) -- Tonight will be the third "Cash Mob" sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce.  This time around a food business located within the downtown district will be selected.  Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff will select the name in front of the Chamber office at 5:15 p.m. this evening.  The five eligible businesses include the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor, Fareway, Hugo's, Pizza Ranch, and the Habitue Coffee House.


Sioux City Man Found at Lake Okoboji

OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say the body of a Sioux City man has been found in West Lake Okoboji (OH'-kih-BOH'-jee) in northwest Iowa.
Dickinson County sheriff's divers found the body of 39-year-old Juan Gonzales Wednesday morning.
Gonzales was reported missing on Sunday after he jumped off a boat into the water and never resurfaced.
The dive team found the body in an area south of where Gonzales went in.


Sioux City Councilman Wants Pit Bull Ban To Continue

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A city councilman says a pit bull rescue group hasn't changed his mind about Sioux City's ban on the dog breed.
Councilman John Fitch met with Sioux Empire Pit Bull Rescue members on Wednesday, and they pressed for his support in lifting the city ban. The ban was adopted in 2008. Pit bulls and pit bull
mixes already in the city were allowed to remain.
The group says a blanket ban on the breed is unfair and that prosecuting and punishing the owners of problem animals would be more appropriate.
Fitch says the council isn't likely to revisit the issue.
The group plans to bring up the ban at the next Coffee with Council community meeting, which is scheduled for Sept. 13.


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