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Wednesday News, November 20

FAA Approves Water Tower

(Le Mars) -- The Federal Aviation Administration has delivered good news to the city of Le Mars.
In a letter written to city officials, the FAA confirms the fact the city can proceed on the construction of a new 140 foot tall water tower at the proposed site located on the southwest corner of town.  The FAA previously had concerns about the new water tower as it could pose a risk and interfere with air traffic patterns for the Le Mars airport.   The FAA ruling means pilots will need to approach Le Mars from the west.  He says other Iowa communities have similar provisions due to obstacles.   The Le Mars City Council approved the contracts for both a water tower and a water booster station.  Washburn says construction for both projects could start in the spring.

 

Supervisors Hear Report From County Conservation Board

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Conservation Board Executive Director Nick Beeck (Beck) delivered the Conservation Board's annual report to the county supervisors on Tuesday.  Beeck says a highlight for the year was the acquistion of a land parcel near Highway 12.  Beeck says the Conservation Board is making preparations for the popular sledding hill located at Hillview Park near Hinton.  He says the Conservation Board is probably the only county agency hoping for snow, and lots of it.  Beeck also gave an update to the supervisors regarding the new Riversbend Wildlife Area, a parcel of land near Akron that had been a gravel pit and is now being converted to be a county owned lake and park, after a land swap deal.   Beeck says the county is supposed to take ownership by the end of the year.  He says progress has been made on the new lake, but he isn't certain if the project will be completed by the scheduled deadline.

 

Clovis Wins Straw Poll

(Ida Grove) -- In a straw poll among the six Republican candidates seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, Plymouth County resident and former radio talk show host Sam Clovis, came out on top.  The straw poll was held in Ida Grove following a republican forum, in which each candidate was given the opportunity to speak and address issues.  Republicans from Ida, Sac and Cherokee counties participated in the informal straw poll.  A total of 97 votes were cast with Clovis winning with 57 votes compared to 15 for David Young, a former staff member of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.  Former state attorney Matt Whitaker gathered 13 votes, State Senator Joni Ernst received six votes, and former car dealer Scott Schaben earned three votes.  Attorney Paul Lunde did not participate in the event.

 

District 13 Voters Elect New State Senator

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Voters in a district south of Des Moines have elected Republican Julian Garrett in a special election to fill a state Senate seat.
      Garrett, who had been serving in the state House, received about 60 percent of the vote, beating former Democratic lawmaker Mark Davitt in the Tuesday election for Iowa Senate District 13.
     The Senate seat was vacated when former Sen. Kent Sorenson, a Republican from Milo, resigned after an independent investigator concluded he likely broke ethics rules in receiving money from presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's political action committee and presidential campaign.
     Garrett's victory means the state Senate will remain nearly evenly split, with Democrats controlling 26 seats and Republicans holding 24.
     The District 13 seat will go before voters again in 2014.

 

USDA Approves Grants For Local Food To Go To School Lunches 

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved grants to 71 organizations in 42 states working on getting locally grown farm products into school cafeterias
     In Iowa, Decorah-based Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative will get $95,600 to expand their program to more schools with a goal of increasing their local food purchase by 200 percent.
     In Nebraska, the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons will get $99,600. The organization plans to help 10 pilot schools set up farm-to-school programs and hold farm summits in eastern Nebraska to help build connections between farmers and schools.
     The projects across the U.S. will serve more than 13,000 schools and 2.8 million students.

 

McCaughey Septuplets Turn 16

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Do you remember The McCaughey septuplets?  Well, they  are 16 now and say they don't mind that they're taking a lower profile than years ago.
     The children, of Carlisle, became internationally famous when they became the world's first surviving septuplets in 1997. They were on the cover of national magazines and featured on network television shows.
     But as the seven children celebrate their 16th birthday Tuesday, the family says it's nice to live a more normal life.
     Nathan McCaughey says the attention was fun, "but in other ways I never liked it, all these cameras following you around everywhere."
     The parents, Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, say they enjoy being able to have conversations with their children now that they're older.
      And Bobbi notes, "It's fun to see the work pay off."
     ---

 

Judge Rules U of I Did Not Violate Public Records Law

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge says the University of Iowa did not violate the public records law when it allowed a doctor to delay release of a settlement deal showing he was allowed to resign after a personnel dispute.
     Judge Douglas Russell ruled Tuesday that the university acted in good faith in 2011 when it gave John Chaloupka time to seek an injunction to challenge the document's release, which had been requested by The Associated Press. The ruling means the university doesn't have to pay the AP's attorney's fees.
     It took two years and two court orders for the AP to obtain the document, which showed Chaloupka received his $380,000 salary for a year after he was removed as director of the university hospital's neurointerventional radiology division and transferred to a non-clinical job.

 

 

   

Tuesday Afternoon News, November 19

FAA Approves Location For New Water Tower

(Le Mars) -- The Federal Aviation Administration has delivered good news to the city of Le Mars.  In a letter written to city officials, the FAA confirms the fact the city can proceed on the construction of a new 140 foot tall water tower at the proposed site located on the southwest corner of town.  The FAA previously had concerns about the new water tower as it could pose a risk and interfere with air traffic patterns for the Le Mars airport.  Because of the FAA ruling, pilots will need to approach Le Mars from the west.  Ankeny is another Iowa community have similar provisions due to obstacles.  The Le Mars City Council approved the contracts for both a water tower and a water booster station.  Construction for both projects could start in the spring.

 

Supervisors Set December 3rd For Public Hearing On 212th Street

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth county board of supervisors have established December 3rd at 10:00 a.m. as the time to hold a public hearing on whether to vacate 212th Street.  The road lies on the southern edge of Smith Company Manufacturing and NIPCO electrical cooperative.  The county is proposing to vacate the road.  County engineer Tom Rohe says the road was constructed in 1999 with the hopes of additional development to the west of the existing businesses.  However, he says the road, in its present location stands in the way for Smith Company to expand its facilities.  The road serves only as an access road, and does not connect with other county roads.  Rohe believes if there is to be additional economic development within the area, it would likely be to the south of the businesses.

 

Sioux City Man Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Of Man Found In South Dakota Ditch

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of a man whose body was found in South Dakota.
     Martin Castellanos entered a written plea Monday in Woodbury County District Court. No trial date has been set.
      The 20-year-old Castellanos is accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Adrian Rojas-Hernandez in October in Sioux City. 
     Hernandez's partially burned body was found later in a ditch alongside a gravel road across the state border in South Dakota. A manhunt followed and Castellanos was arrested a few days later.
      Another man, 22-year-old Ricardo Vital, of Sioux City, has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of accessory after the fact. Investigators say he drove a car used to move Hernandez's body, and helped clean up evidence.

 

Voters Head To Polls To Decide State Senate Seat 

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Voters are heading to the polls for a special election to decide who should represent Iowa Senate District 13. 
      Polls opened Tuesday in the contest for the district, which is located south of Des Moines. The race pits Republican Rep. Julian Garret against former Democratic lawmaker Mark Davitt.
     The Senate seat was vacated when former Sen. Kent Sorenson, a Republican from Milo, resigned after an independent investigator concluded he likely broke ethics rules in receiving money from presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's political action committee and presidential campaign. Sorenson has said his resignation wasn't an admission of wrongdoing.
      The outcome of the election will not impact the control of the Senate, where Democrats hold 26 of the 50 seats. The winner will have to run again in 2014.

 

Former Jail Guard Wants Lower Bond After Second Mistrial

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa jail guard accused of killing his pregnant wife wants his bond reduced after a judge declared a second mistrial in his case.
      Seth Techel's attorney filed a motion Monday to lower his bond from $750,000 to $75,000. Techel also wants to remove restrictions on his travel and who he can contact.
     A hearing set for Nov. 25 will involve discussion on the bond and other issues.
     Techel is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2012 shooting death of his wife, Lisa Techel. A Henry County jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict Friday in the case, and a judge declared a mistrial for a second time. 
     Prosecutors say they will bring Seth Techel to trial a third time.
     ---

 

New U Of I Music Building To Have Same Name

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa's new school of music building may have the same name as the one destroyed in the 2008 flood.
     University officials on Tuesday proposed naming the replacement facility the Voxman Music Building to honor the late Himie Voxman, who directed the school for decades.
     The university named the flood-damaged building after him in 1995. Its replacement will be located in downtown Iowa City and is expected to be finished in 2016.
     The Iowa Board of Regents will consider the naming request at its meeting Dec. 4. It's supported by the school's faculty and the dean of the college.
     Voxman was known worldwide as an expert on wind instruments and is credited with making Iowa's music school into a prominent program. He died in 2011 at age 99.

 

    

 

   

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