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Friday Afternoon News, March 6

Anderson And Soderberg Talk About Bills That Survived Funnel Deadline

(Des Moines) -- Today is the state legislature's self-imposed funnel deadline. If bills have not yet passed through the committee level, they are essentially dead.  Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson reviews the pending legislation that did make it through the funnel deadline.  He says the Senate will still be working on a broadband internet bill.

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Anderson says the bills he introduced did not survive the funnel deadline, as was the case with many of the Republican minority sponsored legislation.

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Earlier in the week, Senate Democrats held a news conference regarding the expansion of medical marijuana to include eight different chronic diseases.  Anderson says although the bill remains alive in the Senate, he doubts if the House Republicans will want to again address the medical marijuana issue during this session. 

Like the Senate, the House has also moved ahead legislation dealing with the broadband internet.  Le Mars State Representative Chuck Soderberg explains.

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Soderberg says this past week was a "fury of activity" in the House chambers, and as an example he says the House Judiciary committee passed 17 bills on Wednesday evening.  Soderberg tells of some of the legislation that did make it through the funnel deadline.

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One area of interest to school districts is the funding for education.  The House and the Senate are split as to how much money should be appropriated to the school districts.  Soderberg serves on the conference committee and says even though the two sides have been meeting, they remain miles apart in reaching a final decision.

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The Le Mars state representative explains the differences between the Senate spending level for education and what the House has passed.

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Pizza With A Purpose Benefit

(Le Mars) -- "Pizza With A Purpose" is a benefit scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the All Saints Parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars.  The benefit is for both Kylie Hayworth and Turner Manley.  Hayworth is suffering from a rare form of brain cancer and Manley suffers from several ailments including Addison's disease, and Ulcerative Colitis resulting in the removal of his entire colon.  Hayworth is currently on a trip to Italy {through the "Make A Wish" campaign}.  While visiting Rome, and the Vatican, she had the rare opportunity to meet with Pope Francis. 

 

Court Upholds Wage Discrimination Lawsuit

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three women who worked for Muscatine-based office furniture manufacturer Allsteel may proceed with a lawsuit claiming wage discrimination but any potential damages are limited to a two-year period due to an Iowa Supreme Court opinion.
     The court says Iowa's 2009 Equal Pay Act is not retroactive so Erin Dindinger, Lisa Loring and Elizabeth Freund cannot seek damages prior to 2009. Some claims in their lawsuit go as far back as 2000. 
     The opinion filed Friday also says workers may file wage discrimination cases under the older Iowa Civil Rights Act but that limits damages to 300 days.
     The women's lawsuit will proceed in federal court in Des Moines.
     A spokesman for Allsteel, a division of HNI Corp., says the claims are without merit and the company plans a vigorous defense.

 

Court Rules Chinese Tire Maker Can Be Sued For Iowa Explosion

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says a Chinese company that made a tire that exploded and caused permanent injuries to an Iowa teenager can be sued in the state.
     Justices ruled Friday that courts in Iowa have jurisdiction over Doublestar Dongfent Tyre Company because it shipped thousands of tires into the state.
     The ruling reinstates a civil lawsuit brought by Dylan Book, who was severely injured in 2009 when a tire exploded at his father's auto repair shop in Adel.
     Then 17, Book was trying to mount a tire on an older rim when he overinflated it, causing an explosion. He was left blinded in one eye and lost part of his jaw, most of his sense of taste and smell, and the partial use of his left arm and hand.

 

Mechanic Dies From Auto Shop Fire

 MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) - A Maquoketa (muh-KOH'-kih-tuh) man has died after being severely burned in a fire at his auto shop.
     Authorities say 75-year-old James "Jim" Bealer died Sunday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
     Maquoketa Police Chief Brad Koranda says officers responded to a caller on Feb. 26 who said a man's clothing had caught fire. Koranda says Bealer had been using a blowtorch at his shop.
     A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday in Maquoketa at Carson Celebration of Life Center.

 

Dating Site Scam

   BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - A southeast Iowa woman has been accused of scramming more than $17,000 from a South Carolina woman in a dating website ruse.
     46-year-old Doris Warth, of New London, is charged with felony theft. Jail records say she remained in custody on Friday. Her attorney didn't immediately return an Associated Press call seeking comments on her case.
     Court documents say Warth told investigators that she'd used a military-oriented dating website in the scheme. The South Carolina woman was led to believe she was engaged to a serviceman in Afghanistan. Warth posed as the wife of a soldier who was friends with the other make-believe serviceman.
     The documents say the woman sent the money to help her supposed fiance out of a legal jam.
 
 
 


   

Friday News, March 6

Le Mars Boys Basketball Team To Receive Commemorative Basketballs

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Boys Basketball Team will be given a special souvenier for qualifying for the Iowa Boys State Basketball Tournament.  Plymouth County Farm Bureau will present the Bulldog team with commemorative basketballs on Monday, March 9th.  The presentation will take place at the Le Mars Community High School Gymnasium at 1;30 p.m.  The Iowa Farm Bureau is the exclusive title sponsor of the Iowa High School Athletic Association and each team member and coach that qualifies for the state tournament is given a basketball. Mark Bohner, the regional manager for Iowa Farm Bureau representing six northwest Iowa counties, will make the presentation.

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Parents Arrested After 5 Month Old Fractures Skull

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 5-month-old boy is being treated for a fractured skull and his parents are facing charges in Sioux City.
     Court records say 25-year-old Kara Jackson and Aaron Tucker were arrested Wednesday and are charged with felony child endangerment. The records say Tucker will turn 24 on Saturday. Jackson's attorney didn't immediately return a call Friday to comment on the case. Court records don't list the name of Tucker's attorney.
     A criminal complaint says the tiny boy was taken to a Sioux City hospital on Feb. 26. The complaint says his parents accused each other of dropping the child on different occasions.
     The state has taken custody of the baby.

 

Fire Destroys Sioux City Home

(Sioux City) -- A home on Sioux City's northside has been destroyed by fire.  Lt. Joe Rodriques of the Sioux City Fire Department says fire units were sent to 1234 West 41st Street around 10:40 a.m.

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Rodriques says the home sustained severe damage from the fire and the investigation into what caused the blaze will take some time.

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The Hinton Fire Department and a tanker from the 185th Air National Guard Unit provided assistance in fighting the fire.  The home, which was listed as for sale, is owned by Terry and Rebecca Evans.

 

Legislative Bills Face Funnel Deadline

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With the bipartisan approval of a fuel tax increase out of the way, Governor Terry Branstad is hoping to win backing for two other legislative priorities - an anti-bullying bill and an effort to expand broadband internet access.
     Both bills were set to move forward as the Legislature approached a Friday procedural deadline, while some other more partisan legislation appeared dead Thursday.
     Branstad said he was pleased that his agenda is moving ahead in the Legislature.
     Under legislative rules, known as "funnel week," Friday is the deadline for most bills to receive committee-level approval in the state House or Senate. Some bills are not subject to this deadline, like budget bills, and legislative leaders could always revive a bill later in the session.

 

Legislators Still Debating Over School Start Date

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Debates over when the school year should begin are playing out in districts around the country, with lawmakers trying to balance concerns about local control, academic rigor and tourism revenue.
     Business owners express growing worries that earlier starts in August hurt tourism revenue during the critical summer months. Many educators say starting sooner helps them better prepare students for standardized tests, Advanced Placement courses and end-of-semester exams.
     The tension boils down to whether state or local leaders should be deciding. Lawmakers in several states, including Iowa, Arizona, Maryland and Texas, are currently considering measures on opposite sides of the debate.
     Iowa lawmakers are trying to find a compromise agreeable to educators and tourism officials. In Texas, which set a requirement in 2006, lawmakers are trying to give districts more flexibility.

 

Senate Approves Contact Information For Public Officials

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Senate committee has approved a bill that would require contact information for elected public officials in Iowa to be published online in a timely manner.
     A state government committee approved the bill unanimously Thursday. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
     The bill would require an entity to post contact information for an elected public official within 30 days of the official's swearing in to the position. A public official includes lawmakers, county board supervisors, city council members and board members of a school district.
     Some lobbyists speaking earlier Thursday expressed concern about whether private information would be required. Senator Jeff Danielson, a Cedar Falls Democrat and committee chairman, says the bill is aimed at ensuring the public can easily reach officials, not disclosing private information.

 

Mental Health Officials Get Layoff Notices

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Layoff notices are going out to employees at a state mental health institution in Mount Pleasant that is slated for closure.
     Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy McCoy says Thursday that notices had gone out to 36 workers. The layoffs will be effective April 6th. There currently are about 74 people working at the facility.
     Under Governor Terry Branstad's proposed budget, funding would be eliminated for mental health facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. Branstad says the hospitals are old and that people can seek mental health treatment from other providers, including two state mental health institutions in Cherokee and Independence.
     Democratic lawmakers say the Republican governor is ignoring the fact that the Legislature appropriated money for the institutions. A Branstad spokesman says the change will lead to better care.

 


 

 

 

   

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