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King Remains Uncommitted on Candidates

(Undated) -- The Iowa Caucus is one week away and the candidates are making a last push effort trying to court votes.  One person who has been courted by each of the candidates and still has not offered an endorsement is that of Iowa Congressman Steve King.  Earlier in the year, King had said he hoped that he would come out and show his support for a candidate, but he still hasn't made a decision.  The question now is will he offer his endorsement to a candidate with only one week remaining?
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Texas Congressman Ron Paul has scheduled a stop in LeMars for Friday at 1:00 p.m. at the LeMars Convention Center and Texas Governor Rick Perry will be in Sioux City nex Monday at 12:30 p.m. at the Stoney Creek Inn.

 

(Remsen) -- The Remsen Fire Department were called to fight a grass fire on Monday morning.  The fire was located along County Road C-16.  The Remsen Fire Department was able to control that fire within a few minutes.

 


(Orange City) -- Two people were arrested on Christmas Eve afternoon by the Sioux County Sheriff's office for drug violations following a traffic stop.  The incident occured on Highway 75, just south of Sioux Center.  Arrested were 21 year old Amber Wichers of Sioux Center.  She was wanted for a Plymouth County arrest warrant.  She was later charged with an OWI for the second offense, which is an aggravated misdemeanor and possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor.
Also arrested was 20 year old Randy Kirsch of South Sioux City Nebraska.  He was a passenger in the car and was arrested for furnishing a controlled substance into a detention facility, a class D felony, possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

 

(Orange City) -- On Christmas Day at about 11:00 a.m. the Sioux County Sheriff's office arrested 21 year old Erica Olivarez-Gomez of Sioux Center for introducing a controlled substance to a detention facility, a class D felony.  Olivarez-Gomez had been arrested earlier in the day by a Sioux Center Police Officer pursuant to an arrest warrant.  Upon further investigation by the sheriff's office, a controlled substance was found among Olivarez-Gomez' posessions.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The operator of the Argosy riverboat casino in Sioux City has backed out of a deal to keep a land-based version of the casino in Sioux City though January 2013.
     Officials with Missouri River Historical Development, the nonprofit group that holds the casino's license, announced the deal with Argosy owner Penn National Gaming Inc. fell through late
Friday. A spokesman for Penn National confirmed the development.
     The two sides had earlier announced they had reached a six-month extension of their agreement, which expires in July.
     It was believed the agreement was an effort to continue negotiations with Penn for a land-based casino.
     Penn National spokesman Eric Schippers says the company is hopeful they can still reach a long-term deal with Missouri River Historical Development.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he's opposed to enacting a user fee to help spruce up the state's parks and would rather rely on the Iowa State Parks Foundation to generate
donations for park maintenance.
     Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Roger Lande says Iowans have told him they would be willing to pay such a fee to improve state parks.
     Lande raised the possibility of reinstating a user fee during budget talks with Branstad.
     DNR funding has declined since 2008 and with it the number of seasonal workers hired to maintain parks.
     Public complaints resulted in more money for maintenance and the number of seasonal workers should nearly double from 80 in 2011 to 150 for the year that ends June 30.


(Des Moines) -- Its the time of year when some people get bogged down with the blues, or what may actually be seasonal affective disorder or SAD.  About five-percent of Iowans are hit with symptoms like low energy, no attention span and grouchiness during the winter.  Dr. Kelly Fairbanks, a clinical psychologist says the Christmas season is not responsible for your feeling like a Grinch.

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She explains that SAD is caused by the lack of sunlight during the winter months.

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Fairbanks says there are relatively easy things you can do to beat the winter blues.

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Fairbanks says those with severe symptoms may want to consider heading south or to another sunny destination that's not Iowa for a few days.

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Those who experience anxiety or depression are more likely to feel the effects of SAD.  Therapy using a special type of light is helpful for some people, as well as vitamin supplements.  Others may need counseling.

   

Merrill and Hinton Fire Departments Fight Garbage Fire

(LeMars) -- The Merrill and Hinton Fire Departments were called to a fire on Christmas Eve day.  The fire started as a garbage fire but quickly spread as a grass fire.  The Merrill Fire Department responded to the fire at about 1:00 Saturday afternoon.  Shortly after arriving at the fire located at 20168 250th Street, they had requested assistance from the Hinton Fire Department. The fire departments were on the scene for about an hour.


(Orange City) -- Two people were arrested on Christmas Eve afternoon by the Sioux County Sheriff's office for drug violations following a traffic stop.  The incident occured on Highway 75, just south of Sioux Center.  Arrested were 21 year old Amber Wichers of Sioux Center.  She was wanted for a Plymouth County arrest warrant.  She was later charged with an OWI for the second offense, which is an aggravated misdemeanor and possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor.
Also arrested was 20 year old Randy Kirsch of South Sioux City Nebraska.  He was a passenger in the car and was arrested for furnishing a controlled substance into a detention facility, a class D felony, possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

(Orange City) -- On Christmas Day at about 11:00 a.m. the Sioux County Sheriff's office arrested 21 year old Erica Olivarez-Gomez of Sioux Center for introducing a controlled substance to a detention facility, a class D felony.  Olivarez-Gomez had been arrested earlier in the day by a Sioux Center Police Officer pursuant to an arrest warrant.  Upon further investigation by the sheriff's office, a controlled substance was found among Olivarez-Gomez' posessions.
(LeMars) -- Just as a reminder, many businesses are observing today as part of the Christmas holiday, so that means no mail, no trading of stocks and commodities, the banks will be closed, and locally, the LeMars City Hall, LeMars Chamber of Commerce, the LeMars Public Library will all be closed today.

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Public Health has received reports of eight medium to large outbreaks of probable norovirus in at least five counties.
     Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The illness usually begins 24 to 48 hours after exposure and lasts one to two days.
     The IDPH says three groups of people became ill after eating at a restaurant where several food handlers had also been sick.  Outbreaks were also associated with events like holiday parties and holiday potlucks.
     Medical director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says if a person has had any stomach illness, he or she should not prepare food of any kind for others until 48 hours have passed since his or her recovery.


 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The director of the Iowa Department of Education says he's willing to be patient with his plan to overhaul the state's public school system.
     Governor Terry Branstad chose 40-year-old Jason Glass largely because of his background in education reform, and since coming to Iowa he has been leading the push for dramatic changes to the state's public schools.
     Glass proposed a 15-page package of proposals that would shake up the school system.
     Although Branstad has temporarily shelved a proposed tiered system of teacher pay, Glass noted that other aspects of his reform plan will move forward. That includes efforts to improve teacher education and recruitment efforts and refine teacher and student evaluation programs.


 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some people, advocacy groups and Iowa school districts have been seeking innovative ways to battle bullying of students.
     A website being launched this month, http://ReportBullyingIowa.com, will take reports from students and parents and forward the reports to school districts.
     The website is run by the Eychaner Foundation, a Des Moines nonprofit group that says it wants to promote tolerance and nondiscrimination.
     Iowa law requires school districts to report bullying cases to the Iowa Department of Education. But last year, more than half of Iowa school districts didn't report any bullying.
     Foundation executive director Michael Bowser says there are many reasons for why reports aren't being made, but he says the website could make it easier to report bullying.
     ---


 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Several cities in Nebraska and Iowa made Farmers Insurance's lists of the safer and most secure places to live in the country.
     The insurer ranked cities of different sizes based on crime rates, natural disaster risks, environmental hazards, car accidents, unemployment, housing depreciation and other factors.
     In the category for cities with at least 500,000 residents, the Omaha-Council Bluffs, Iowa, metro area ranked eighth, and Des Moines, Iowa, ranked 19th.
     Among cities with between 150,000 and 500,000 residents, Lincoln ranked eighth.
     Among smaller cities with fewer than 150,000 people, Iowa City, Iowa, ranked 19th and Sioux City, Iowa, came in 20th.

    


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The number of pedestrians hit by a car
is on the rise in Iowa.
     The Iowa Department of Transportation says there have been 23 pedestrian deaths statewide since January.  That's up from 19 deaths in 2010.
     Department spokeswoman Dena Gray-Fisher says pedestrians and drivers need to be more aware, no matter how they're using the roads.
    

   

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