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Monday News, January 12

"Lunch And Learn" Session Scheduled For Today

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce along with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County will again be hosting another "Lunch and Learn" session today.  The program will feature Le Mars City Administrator, Scott Langel. The seminar will be held at the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor beginning at 12:00 noon.  Reservations are needed and you can contact either the Chamber office at 546-8821 or the Extension office at 546-7835.

 

Le Mars Community School Board To Meet Tonight

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening.  The school board will discuss briefly the initial bargaining proposal from the Le Mars Education Association for the 2015-2016 master contract, which will be presented to the school board on January 19th.  The school board has scheduled January 26 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as the school board and administration retreat.  The school board will begin the process of evaluating the job performance of school superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt.  The school board will also discuss and is expected to take action on two students petitioning for open enrollment.

 

Auditions For "Boeing...Boeing" Play Scheduled For This Evening

(Le Mars) -- Auditions for the next Le Mars Community Theater will be held tonight and tomorrow evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Le Mars Postal Playhouse.  The play, "Boeing...Boeing" is a comedy that requires a cast of two men and four women.  The plot of the story involves a swinging bachelor pilot who ends up having three fiancee's who are airline stewardesses.  None of which know about the other two.  Due to scheduling conflicts, all three finally end up at the bachelor's apartment at the same time.  Larry Brangwin will direct the play.  Performance dates are scheduled for March.

 

Soderberg Wants To Use Good Principles For Appropriations 

(Le Mars) -- Iowa's General Assembly will convene for the new session on today. Republican State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars has again been appointed to chair the House Appropriations Committee.  Soderberg says he has a goal to present a balanced budget that will remain within the state's budget principles.

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Soderberg says establishing good budget principles five years ago, has helped the state's financial position today.

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Soderberg indicated he has not pre-filed or authored any bills for consideration.  However, he says he has a personal goal to restructure the personal income tax program. 

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Port Neal Fertilizer Plant Has Explosion And Fire 

(Sergeant Bluff) -- Over the weekend an explosion rocked the Nulex fertilizer facility located at the Port Neal Industrial Area, south of Sioux City.  The plant, although it suffered some damage from the explosion and fire from Saturday evening, is expected to start up production again within the next few days.  No one was injured during the blaze and there were no employees working when the fire broke out.  Officials are investigating to find a cause for the fire.  A dozen local fire departments responded to the fire, and it took more than three hours to bring the fire under control.

 

Authorities Still Investigating Death Of Sloan Man

 SLOAN, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they are continuing to investigate the death of a 29-year-old man found inside his Sloan home as suspicious. 
     The Woodbury County Sheriff's Department hasn't released a cause of death yet for Dustin Taylor Wilder, who was discovered Friday morning inside his residence. 
     The sheriff's department said more information will be released as it becomes available. 
     Authorities were dispatched to the home after they say they received a report about an unconscious male.

 

Wahlert Resigns From Unemployment Post

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The embattled head of the Iowa agency that oversees benefits for unemployed workers has retired from her job.
     Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert submitted a formal notice to Gov. Terry Branstad on Friday. Her retirement becomes effective Sunday.
     Wahlert was named to the post by Branstad in 2010. Last year, she was accused of mismanaging the department and creating a hostile work environment. A former chief judge said he was fired because he stood up to Wahlert.
     Wahlert later defended her work in front of lawmakers investigating the agency.
     Beth Townsend, executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, will be acting director of the agency. A press release from the governor's office says a timeline has not been set to name a permanent director.

 

Flu Strikes Several Iowa Nursing Homes

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say at least 32 care centers in Iowa have had outbreaks of influenza recently, despite safeguards like vaccination and sanitation measures.
     Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the state's top infectious disease expert, says she's received daily reports of the disease affecting nursing homes, assisted living centers and other care facilities. She says the rate of infection is higher than it's been in the past. 
     At the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, every resident and employee was vaccinated. But the virus spread at the center in December. Several residents required hospitalization.
     Quinlisk says the flu contributes to hundreds of deaths of the elderly in Iowa during a typical year.
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Saturday News, January 10

Fire Department Responds To Two Alarms

(Le Mars) -- Shortly after 4:00 a.m. this morning, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a general fire alarm at 2375 Industrial Road, which is Bo-Dean's.  No additional details are known at this time.  On Friday afternoon, about 4:30 p.m. the Le Mars Fire Department was called to residence at the 300 block of 1st Avenue northeast.  Minor damage was reported when an electrical outlet had arched and shorted out.

 

State Republicans To Decide Fate Of Straw Poll Today

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Targeted as a costly sideshow that ought to be retired, Iowa's Republican straw poll appears set to survive for another go as summer's favorite political circus.
     Leaders of the Iowa Republican Party meet Saturday to decide the straw poll's fate.
     Despite the best efforts of high-profile Republicans to put it out to pasture, the event that draws thousands of Republican activists to the college town of Ames will likely end up with enough support to continue.
     First held in 1979, the straw poll has grown from a county GOP fundraiser to an all-out event on the campus of Iowa State University.
     Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann says he has a "hunch" that enough Iowa GOP members will vote to continue the event.

 

Ryan Selected To Head Public Safety Commission

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An attorney in the Iowa Department of Public Safety will serve as acting commissioner for the agency.
     Governor Terry Branstad announced Friday that Roxann Ryan will serve as acting commissioner. She will replace Commissioner Larry Noble who is retiring.
     Ryan joined the department in 2006 and serves as the in-house legal counsel. A spokesman for Branstad said there was no timeline for appointing a permanent commissioner.
     Noble announced last month that he would step down January 9th, about 16 months after he returned to lead the agency amid turmoil. He served as commissioner under Branstad from January 2011 until retiring in July 2012. Noble returned in September 2013 after a series of problems during the 11-month tenure of his replacement, Commissioner K. Brian London.

 

Off-Duty State Patrol Officer Cited For Speeding

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State Patrol official has been cited for speeding following an off-duty November incident in which a trooper initially let him go without a ticket.
     The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Friday that Captain Ken Clary was cited for driving 92 miles per hour in a 70-mile per hour zone along Interstate 80 near Newton.
     The stop became public after a reader contacted The Des Moines Register.
     The patrol acknowledged trooper Bryan Guill stopped Clary on November 24th while he was driving a van belonging to Special Olympics Iowa. No report was filed about the stop.
     Department spokesman Scott Bright said an internal affairs investigation into Clary concluded Friday. Bright said the investigation didn't focus on Guill because officers have discretion on when to write tickets.

 

Iowa Congressional Delegation Votes For Keystone XL Pipeline

(Washington) -- All four of Iowa's Congressmen voted for a bill on Friday to move ahead with construction of the Keystone X-L Pipeline that would bring oil to the U-S from Canada. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, issued a video message after the vote, acknowledging the president has threatened to veto the bill.

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King says if the oil doesn't come to the U-S for refinement, it will go to China. The bill passed the U-S House with 238 Republican votes and 28 Democrats.

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King says it also helps a U-S ally.

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Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack was one of the 28 Democrats to vote for the bill. 

 

$51 Million In Grants To Be Distributed To Iowa Cities

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state economic development board has approved $51 million in grants to 16 cities in Iowa to complete housing projects designed to replace facilities lost in 2008 flooding.
     The grants funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority Thursday. They fund 21 multi-family housing projects.
     Five projects in Cedar Rapids are funded in addition to projects in Cedar Falls, Davenport, Des Moines, Waterloo and West Des Moines.
     In smaller communities, grants of at least $3 million are approved for Burlington, Ottumwa, Hampton, Clinton, Ft. Madison and Windsor Heights.
     A project in Mount Pleasant received $2.7 million and projects in Marshalltown and Iowa Falls are getting just over $1 million. A Woodbine project received $442,000.

 


 



 

 

 

   

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