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Friday News, October 18

Grassley Responds To Questions Regarding No Vote On Shutdown Measure

(Council Bluffs) -- Iowa Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley was one of 18 Senators to vote
against the measure late Wednesday night that ended the federal government shutdown and extended the government's borrowing authority.
During Grassley's weekly news conference, he told reporters, the Senate and Congress did not
actually resolve the major issue.

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Grassley says a conference committee has been established between both chambers' budget
committees to bring about a resolution before the next deadline of January 15th.  Grassley
says the budget conference committee has been assigned to look beyond the spending of 2014,
and to work out a reform deal involving the nation's entitlements, including social security, medicare, and medicaid.

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Grassley was asked if he believes Congress will be able to find a resolution before the January 15th deadline, or will the nation again be faced with the midnight crisis on January 14th?

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Grassley Says Too Much Work Needs To Be Done For Recess

(Council Bluffs) -- Speaking about Senator Grassley...the Iowa Republican told reporters he
is disappointed with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for calling for a week long recess. 
Grassley says there is too much work that needs to be done, including the farm bill.

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Grassley says the Senate is losing another week before getting these important bills to the President.  As for the farm bill, Grassley says there has been a conference committee organized to negotiate the differences.  He says the major obstacle is the amount of funding for nutritional assistance programs, like food stamps.

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Blair Speaks At World Food Prize

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The discussion about hunger and poverty in developing nations
turned largely from the controversies of global warming and genetically modified crops and
focused on governments and their role in solving social ills.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says all the money in the world cannot help
nations unless they have basic capacity in the government to provide electricity, roads and
policies that allow farmers to make their own decisions.
He says change is occurring with a new generation of leaders in Africa and elsewhere.
They want to learn and incorporate new ideas about how to better grow food.
Blair appeared with philanthropist Howard Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren
Buffett, at the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines to discuss ways to end poverty and
hunger.


Study Says Iowans Need Help With Affordable Healthcare Plan

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa study says Iowans most eligible to buy
subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act are going to need help signing up.
The UI Public Policy Center study released Thursday said those individuals reported
being uncomfortable selecting health insurance plans through online exchanges and the
majority thought they would need "some or a lot of help."
The study says that population is also more concerned about the costs of health care
and more likely to have delayed their care in the last year. That means even after they sign
up, they will be looking for help from health care providers on how to use it.
The study was conducted for the Iowa Department of Public Health and based on surveys
returned by 498 people.


Scientists To Release Report Regarding Climate Change And Agriculture

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several Iowa scientist are releasing a report on how they believe
climate change is affecting farmers.
A report "Iowa Climate Statement 2012: Climate Change Threatens Iowa Farms" will be
released Friday at Drake University.
Researchers and professors from Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, the
University of Northern Iowa, Drake, and Mount Mercy University will release the report.
The report looks at the extreme weather this year marked by the wettest spring on
record followed by the second-driest July through September ever.
The release of the report is part of the Iowa Climate Science Educators Forum, a
daylong meeting of science faculty, researchers and students from Iowa colleges and universities.

 

Police Chiefs Association Wants Recruits To Attend Cedar Rapids Academy

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Police chiefs are upset with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy
Council's decision to bar outside agencies from sending recruits to train at the Cedar Rapids police academy.
Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said Thursday that a recent council decision
barred seven recruits from Lisbon, Hiawatha and the Department of Corrections from attending
his department's academy, which started last month. Instead, those recruits have to go to
the ILEA academy in Johnston at a higher cost to become certified.
Jerman says the Cedar Rapids academy has been open to recruits from other agencies for
decades, which helps build relationships. He says he believes the ILEA council's August vote
was motivated by its funding concerns.
The Iowa Police Chiefs Association has voted to support legislation next year to
overturn the decision.

 

Supreme Court To Study Serious Crimes Committed By Teens

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court might not be done changing the criminal
justice system's approach to teenagers who commit serious crimes.
The court said Thursday that it would review three cases of inmates serving lengthy
prison terms for crimes they committed when they were seventeen. In each case, the offenders
argue their lengthy sentences amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
They include a man who was sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 17 years for
first-degree robbery; a man serving a life sentence for convictions of second-degree murder
and other charges in 1994; and a man sentenced to at least 7 years for second-degree
robbery.
The court in August opened the door to shorter sentences for three dozen killers who
were juveniles when they were sentenced to life in prison.


Commission To Study How Regents Allocate Funds To State Universities

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A task force appointed to review how funds are distributed to Iowa's three public universities is meeting for the first time.
The group, chaired by former Iowa regent David Miles, will meet Friday in Urbandale at
the Board of Regents office.
Then-Board President Craig Lang created the group in April, directing it to examine how
general university funding is divided among the University of Iowa, Iowa State University
and the University of Northern Iowa.
He said the five-member group should consider whether the different needs and distinct
missions are being addressed by the current model and to identify metrics to review
performance.
The group is expected to hear a presentation from consultant Art Hauptman about
different state funding models for higher education and ideas for reforms.

 



   

Thursday News, October 17

Floyd Valley Hospital Hosts "Raise A Glass" Fundraiser

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital will be hosting a new type of fundraiser this Saturday
called "Raise a Glass".  Chuck Jespersen, the hospital's foundation manager says it will be
a fun evening of beer and wine sampling.

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Jespersen says the proceeds from the evening's activities will go toward cancer services provided by Floyd Valley Hospital.

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Jespersen says a portion of the evening will feature local cancer survivors sharing their stories.  He says the evening will be both fun and meaningful.
Jespersen says tickets are selling for $35 a piece, and he urges people to contact the hospital foundation office by the end of Wednesday to secure a spot for Saturday's
festivities. The "Raise a Glass" sampling will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the upper level of the
Le Mars Convention Center.
The hospital foundation manager says the "Raise a Glass" event is replacing the traditional hospital gala.

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Mid-Sioux Opportunity Accepts Applications For Heating Assistance

(Remsen) -- As the temperature begins to drop when we transition into autumn and later into
winter, Mid-Sioux Opportunity is offering low income families assistance with heating costs.
Residents living in Ida, Cherokee, Sioux, Lyon and Plymouth counties can submit an
application to Mid-Sioux Opportunity.  The program is open to renters and homeowners. 
Applicants need to show a recent heating and electric bill, proof of income and other
paperwork.  Applications will be accepted through April 30th.  Additional information can be
obtained by calling the toll free number (800) 859-2025.

 

Model Railroad Show Coming To Museum On Saturday

(Le Mars) -- People who enjoy model railroads will want to visit the Plymouth County Historical Museum on Saturday.  A model railroad train show sponsored by the Prairie Lakes Division of the NMRA will be featured at the old gymnasium.  John Scheider fills us in on what the show will feature.

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Schneider says the model railroad show will also feature two clinics.

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Schneider says he got interested in model railroads after having grown up near a railroad.

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The Plymouth County farmer says model railroads appeal to many people for a wide range of
different reasons.

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Schneider says the model railroad show will feature at least a couple of displays of a
working model railroad.

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Grassley Votes Against Measure To Open Government

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley was among 18 senators who voted
against a measure that reopened the federal government and avoided a financial default.
Grassley, a Republican, says he voted Wednesday night against the measure worked out by
Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell because it did nothing to
address the nation's debt.
In a statement, Grassley says President Barack Obama "refuses to lead for fiscal
responsibility, both short and long term, even with a government shutdown."
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, voted in favor of the measure.
The measure was approved 81 to 18 and now moves to the House.

 

World Food Prize Winners Support Bio-technology While Others Protest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The winners of this year's World Food Prize continue to press their
case that biotechnology research and innovation is necessary to keep food production in step
with a growing world population.
Biotechnology researchers Robert Fraley, Marc Van Montagu, and Mary-Dell Chilton, share
the $250,000 food prize award which they'll receive in a ceremony at the Iowa Capitol on
Thursday.
Fraley says biotechnology combined with information technology is helping farmers
globally improve crop production.
While the laureates spoke, environmental and citizen activist organizations that oppose
genetically modified seeds were offering opposing viewpoints by holding their own press
conference.
Cherie Mortice, a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, says the prize "is
the grand promenade of corporate control over food production that undermines the
independent family farms..."


Suspicious Item Turns Out To Be Sock

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have determined a suspicious item that prompted the closure of
some areas at Iowa State University was actually a sock containing a piece of Styrofoam.
The Iowa State University Police Department closed an area near a dining facility and
library Wednesday morning after someone spotted the sock, which was deemed suspicious.
People were allowed to return after the item was determined to be non-explosive.
Authorities posted a picture of the item on its Twitter and Facebook pages in an effort
to identify the item. The State Fire Marshall's Office was also called in.
A student told police the item had been used the previous night by the Tir Asleen Medieval Combat Society, which practices combat sports using foam-padded versions of medieval and dark ages weapons.

 

Record Number Of Students Attending Universities

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Due to a surge in enrollment at Iowa State University, a record
number of students are attending Iowa's public universities this fall.
An Iowa Board of Regents report released this week shows that 76,465 students are
enrolled at ISU, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.
The number is the seventh straight annual increase at the three schools and amounts to
9,000 more than were enrolled just 15 years ago.
This year's increase was driven by an enrollment count of 33,241 at ISU, more than
2,000 additional students and a 7 percent increase compared to last year. The University of
Iowa's enrollment of 31,065 was a decline of 433 students, while UNI's 12,159 enrollment was
a decrease of 114.

 

Wartburg Receives Million Dollar Gift

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - An Arizona couple has given $1 million to Wartburg College in Waverly
to create an endowed professorship in engineering science.
Gary and Donna Hoover, of Scottsdale, Ariz., gave the money to Wartburg, a northeast Iowa college with about 1,700 students.
The Gary and Donna Hoover Distinguished Professorship in Engineering Science will be held by Daniel Black, a professor of physical and engineering sciences.
The Hoovers became involved in Wartburg through Gary Hoover's uncle, Waverly businessman Marv Walston. The couple has previously contributed to Wartburg, and Gary Hoover is a member of Wartburg's Board of Regents.
Hoover is a retired engineer and co-founder of Tenaska, which develops, owns and operates non-utility power plants. He's an Iowa State University graduate.
The Hoovers previously lived in Ames.
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