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Monday Afternoon News, September 15

Ambulance Service Files Quarterly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Ambulance Service recently submitted its quarterly report for June through August.  According to Ambulance Director, Bill Rosacker, the Le Mars Ambulance responded to 229 calls during the quarter, which was an increase of 18 calls, or 8.5 percent from the same period one year ago.  For the year, the Le Mars Ambulance had 949 calls compared to the 940 from a year ago.  Rosacker reports the local ambulance staff has 25 crewmembers, down two people from last quarter, due to employment opportunities, outside Le Mars.  The Ambulance service did not purchase any new equipment this past quarter, and it was able to come in under budget for the fiscal year. 

 

American Red Cross Searching For Heroes

(Le Mars) -- When we think of heroes, perhaps what first comes to mind is a fire fighter, a police officer, a health official, or even a military veteran. It may also be our next door neighbor, or a teacher, or a random person who has done extraordinary work or service.  What ever the case, the American Red Cross is teaming up with the Hy-Vee supermarkets and the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska to officially recognize those individuals that may be called a hero.  Tammy Lee serves as the executive director of the Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross.  She says nominations are now being accepted to honor the person who can be classified as a hero for the "Heroes Game" between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

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People will have the opportunity to view the Heroes trophy which will be on display at the Le Mars Hy-Vee this afternoon.

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The Red Cross official says northwest Iowa has been fortunate to have had two people recognized for their heroic service.

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Lee says the criteria for nominees for the Heroes Game is fairly broad.

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That Heroes Game trophy stands about two feet tall and is made with walnut wood.  It will be at the Le Mars Hy-Vee store beginning at 3:00 p.m. today and will remain on display until 7:00 p.m.  Nominations will be accepted until October 14th.  You can submit a nomination by going either to the Hy-Vee website or redcross.org/ia.

 

New Waste Water Treatment Plant To Hold Open House

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars residents and the general public is invited to attend an open house scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the new waste water treatment facility, located about two miles west of town at 17505 Key Avenue.  Le Mars mayor, Dick Kirchoff, says this is a one-time opportunity to see the new plant.

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Kirchoff offers some interesting statistics about the new waste water treatment facility.

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The Le Mars mayor says the new facility was needed to accommodate the expansion and growth of the city and its industries.  He explains the facility was financed in part by Wells Enterprises and Dean's Foods.

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Parking may become a concern during Thursday's open house, and the Le Mars mayor suggests people park at the Little League ball park, then be shuttled to the new waste water plant.

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Farm Bureau Wants Stiffer Penalties For Theft Of Livestock And Grain

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farm officials are seeking to enforce a mandatory minimum sentence for the felony theft of livestock and crops.
     Delegates of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation met last week to discuss proper punishment for people who steal cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans and other farm property. 
     Some states are seeing an increase of cattle thefts since the price of the animals have reached record highs. The problem could soon make its way to Iowa, experts say, since the state is expected to raise more cattle in light of low corn prices and a drought in Texas, the leading producer of cattle in the U.S.
     Iowa is the top corn-producing state with nearly 2.2 billion bushels last year, and is ranked sixth nationally for cattle.
     Corey Schultz is a region executive officer for the Livestock Marketing Association and works with livestock auctions in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
     "The rise in cattle numbers, the rise in prices, you could definitely see a rise in cattle thefts," Schultz said.
     Novice thieves usually don't steal livestock, according to Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
     "Anyone can kick down the door to a house and steal a flat screen TV," he said. "But to steal cattle - first you have to have the ability to transport those cattle. Then you have to have the knowledge to market the cattle. You can't run down to the local pawn store and get some money for them."
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Iowa's Birthrate Declines

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's economy is improving but the state's birth rate isn't keeping pace.
     Iowa Department of Public Health figures show the state's birth rate for 2013 is up less than 1 percent over 2012, The Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/1qZtvkj ). The 2013 numbers are still nearly 5 percent lower than the birth rate in 2007, before the economy slumped. There were 39,013 babies born in 2013, compared with 38,686 in 2012 and 40,835 in 2007. 
     Similar numbers are being reported elsewhere in the country, which experts say is typical during recessions. People apparently have fewer babies because they're less confident they can support growing families. 
      Birth rates tend to rebound eventually, but how long it will take is tough to pinpoint, said Gretchen Livingston of the Pew Research Center. The nation's fertility rate, the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, was at an all-time low in 2013, though it was a bit higher in Iowa.
     The decline in Iowa births includes a decrease in the number of babies born to teen mothers, which state public health officials say is a victory. 
     University of Iowa economics professor Alice Schoonbroodt suspects the birth rate will increase more soon, but she's less confident than she was a year or two ago. 
     "The longer we go with no change, the more we're led to believe it's something permanent," she said.
     Birth rates have been dropping overall for several decades. Iowa's birth rate in the late 1940s through the early 1960s was about twice what it is now. Livingston said that boom was a historical exception and afterward birth rates dropped back to regular patterns, then fell further.
     Family planning advocates said they believe careful use of birth control is the main reason for declining birth rates. Declining marriage rates may also be a factor. Two things the decline can't be attributed to are abortions (Iowa women had 30 percent fewer in 2012 than they did in 2007) and general aging of the population.
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Branstad Calls For Students To Learn About Financials As Part Of Education

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa students should be learning how to make informed financial choices as part of their education, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday, as he accepted a series of recommendations from a group charged with reviewing financial literacy teaching in the state.
     Iowa school districts are expected to teach certain financial lessons to K-12 students. The group was formed by the state Department of Education to assess the current offerings and provide recommendations for improvement. 
     Those recommendations include revising the current standards to provide more clarity to districts and establishing ways to measure if school districts are meeting the goals. 
     "Financial skills are essential. Which is why they are included in Iowa's academic standards," Branstad said. "We know our children need to be financially literate in order to have a bright and successful future."
     Department of Education Director Brad Buck said school districts will continue to have flexibility over how they meet these standards. The department has assigned a staff member to oversee the issue of financial literacy and will try to provide resources for teachers and administrators, he said.

 

Branstad Asks That Deposition Be Done Following Election

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Citing his busy schedule, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that it was appropriate to delay his deposition in a high-profile civil lawsuit until after the November election.
     After his attorney objected to September and October dates, Branstad has been scheduled to be questioned Nov. 26 in the lawsuit filed by former Workers' Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey. Branstad's attorneys confirmed his plans to The Associated Press last week.
     Branstad said he is busy serving as governor and running for re-election. He is seeking a sixth term against Democrat Jack Hatch in the election Nov. 4.
     "I'm very interested and willing to have the deposition, but we'll have it after the election," Branstad said.
     Asked if voters should get more information before the election, Branstad said: "This lawsuit was filed years ago and the plaintiff has delayed and delayed and delayed it. We have totally cooperated in every aspect and I think asking me to have a deposition before the election when my schedule is already extremely busy is not appropriate"
     Godfrey filed suit in 2012 against Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and four aides over what he claims were illegal tactics to try to force his resignation. Godfrey left his state job last month after being appointed chairman and chief judge of the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board in Washington.
     Godfrey's attorney, Roxanne Conlin, initially called the Nov. 26 date unacceptable for Branstad's deposition and sought an Oct. 24 date, but the two sides reached agreement last week.
 

 

   

Monday News, September 15

Le Mars Fire Department Respond To Smoke At Apartment

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to an apartment complex Sunday afternoon for what was thought to be the smell of smoke.  Fire officials responded to 1111 2nd Avenue southeast, Apartment number 35 at about 12:37 p.m.  When fire officials arrived, a smoke detector had been activated.  However, fire officials say there was no fire.  Apparently, the occupant of the apartment had started his furnace, and there was some dust build up on the burner which caused the smell of smoke. 

 

Manure Spill At Maurice Dairy Farm 

  MAURICE, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Natural Resources Department is investigating a fish kill caused by manure spilled into a northwest Iowa creek.
     The spill appears to have occurred after a wrong switch was pulled Saturday evening at the Brian Roorda Dairy east of Maurice, the department said in a news release. The switch turned on a pump that moves manure from one lagoon to another, causing the second lagoon to overflow. The overflow ran down a waterway into Orange City Slough Creek.
     The spill was reported to the department on Sunday morning, and the dairy operators built an earthen dam to contain the manure.
     The manure had affected about five miles of the creek by early Sunday evening, the department said.

 

Hillary Clinton Visits Iowa During Harkin's Steak Fry

(Indianola) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given the broadesst hint yet that she is a likely 2016 candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

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Clinton spoke Sunday afternoon at Senator Tom Harkin's 37th and final "Steak Fry" fundraiser. She hadn't set foot in the state since the night in 2008 when she finished third in Iowa's Caucuses. News of her visit sparked a firestorm of speculation about her intentions for 2016, and Clinton sent them soaring soon after she started speaking Sunday.

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Although she never defined what "it" meant, her comment was interpreted by the crowd as a declaration and they roared in response. Harkin, in his introduction of Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, reworked the "comeback kid" title Bill Clinton earned during his 1992 campaign, calling Bill AND Hillary the "comeback couple."

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Clinton mentioned "that young senator from Illinois" who wound up beating her here in 2008.

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And, after talking about the anxiously-awaited arrival of her first grandchild, Clinton joked about all the attention her appearance at Harkin's event had generated.

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Bill Clinton was the final speaker at the event, but he focused instead on the 2014 election. Both Clintons paid tribute to retiring Senator Harkin, praising his "progressive" voice and record over the past 40 years in congress. Harkin delivered a speech that was a sort of retorspective of his political career, his voice sometimes cracking with emotion as he started with his first unsuccessful campaign for congress back in 1974 and his decision in 2013 not to seek reelection.

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But, Harkin -- who is 74 years old -- said there "comes a time to gracefully bow out" and let new leaders step forward and that's why he decided not to seek reelection this year.

 

U-S Marshal Cleared Of Shooting Fugitive

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A deputy U.S. Marshal who shot an Iowa fugitive in his arm during an arrest earlier this year has been cleared by an investigation.
     Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilbur concluded that the May 29th shooting was an accident.
     A task force of officers from several departments arrested Daniel Hannan Junior that day. But Wilbur said the 39-year-old had a history of methamphetamine use and had made statements about not wanting to be arrested alive, so officers were treating it as a high-risk case.
     While officers gathered outside the Council Bluffs home during the standoff, Deputy Marshal Scott Cannon fired through the front door and struck Hannan in the right arm after the door slammed. His injuries were not life threatening.
     Wilbur's decision means Cannon won't face Iowa criminal charges, but he could still face discipline from the Marshals Service because he gave several different explanations for the shooting after the incident.

 

A Year Passes Since The Disappearance Of Hampton Man

 HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - A $20,000 reward has been renewed for information that helps authorities find a northern Iowa man who has been missing for the past year.
     Ethan Kazmerzak, of Hampton, was last seen at a party in rural Franklin County on Sept. 15, 2013. His car hasn't been found either, police said.
     At a news conference Monday morning at the Windsor Theatre in Hampton, his parents are expected to discuss his disappearance.
     People with information about Kazmerzak's location are asked to call North Iowa Crime Stoppers at 1-800-383-0088 or the Hampton Police Department at 641-456-2529.

 

 

 

 

 

   

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