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Wednesday News, October 22

Hatch To Visit Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- The Democratic candidate seeking to replace Terry Branstad as Iowa's Governor will make an appearance in Le Mars.  State Senator Jack Hatch has announced he will hold a "meet and greet" session this afternoon at the Plymouth County Democratic headquarters located at 115 Plymouth Street Northwest in Le Mars. Hatch is a state senator from Des Moines.  Plymouth County Democratic Party Chairman, Clayton Hodgson says "we are excited to welcome Senator Hatch to our community, giving Plymouth County voters the opportunity to hear first hand his plans for the office of Governor.  The event will run from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m.


The Debate To Debate Continues


(Le Mars) -- Will they or won't they?  The debate to hold a 4th District Congressional debate between Republican incumbent Steve King and Democratic challenger Jim Mowrer continues.  A scheduled debate is to be held at Buena Vista University at Storm Lake for tomorrow evening.  However, Congressman Steve King has indicated he would not attend the debate as long as Jim Mowrer continued to run television advertising, attacking King for his Congressional record, which King says is simply false.  But according to an article that appears in today's Sioux City Journal, Congressman Steve King says he will be in Storm Lake to face his challenger.  Two weeks ago when Democrat Jim Mowrer spoke to KLEM news, he addressed the debate issue, saying there was two debates scheduled.

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Mowrer says he believes the reason Steve King doesn't like to hold debates is because he has nothing to show for his 12 years in Congress.

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Mowrer, who is from Boone, Iowa, says if elected, preserving Social Security would be among his top priorities.

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Le Mars City Council Agrees To Increase Bargaining Unit Salaries

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council decided to table the discussion relating to another access path leading into the North Greenview addition.  Councilman John Rexwinkle asked that City Administrator Scott Langel and Fire Chief Dave Schipper draw up a plan that would be feasible serving as an access road to the extended culdasac located near the golf course.  Previously, the Public Safety Committee had met to offer suggestions as to how the city could implement a second access road.  In other action during Tuesday's City Council meeting, the city council approved a five year tax rebate to Ron Kneip of Kneip Investments.  The council also approved a three-year contract with the City Employee Bargaining unit.  In that agreement, the city agrees to offer a 2.5 percent increase in pay effective July 1, 2015. Then, beginning on July 1st of 2016, all bargaining unit positions will receive a 2.75 percent increase.  The third year, beginning July 1st of 2017, all bargaining unit positions will receive a 3.5 percent increase.


Le Mars To Host Iowa Fire Chiefs Convention

(Le Mars) -- This weekend, Le Mars will host the Iowa Fire Chiefs Association annual meeting and convention.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the conference will host up to 80 different fire chiefs from across the state.  He says the purpose for the conference is to focus on lobbying and educational issues.

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Schipper talks about the different speakers scheduled to address the confernce.

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Retired Le Mars Fire Chief Wayne Schipper has served on the Iowa Fire Chiefs Association for more than 25 years.  During this convention, his work, committment, and dedication to the Iowa Fire chiefs Association will be recognized.

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Dave Schipper says this will be the third time Le Mars will host the annual convention.


Woodbury County Supervisor Sentenced To 30 Days In Jail

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Woodbury County supervisor accused of shooting a gun into the air near his wife has been given 30 days in jail.
     44-year-old David Tripp received the sentence Tuesday in district court for domestic abuse assault. He was ordered to report to jail by Friday.
     Tripp, a former jailer, was accused in December of firing a gun in the air in the driveway of his home. His wife was nearby but was not hurt.
     Tripp said Tuesday he had thought about aiming the gun at himself. His attorney says his client is seeing a psychiatrist after being diagnosed with depression. He is also seeing a counselor for alcohol abuse.
     Tripp was elected as a county supervisor in 2010. His term will end in January.


Unemployment Rate Increased Slightly

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The unemployment rate in Iowa edged up slightly in September to 4.6 percent from 4.5 percent in August as the state's labor force grew but the number of workers filing for unemployment also increased.
     Iowa Workforce Development figures in the monthly report released Tuesday show the state's total workforce grew by 4,600 to 1.71 million in September and jobs were added in some sectors including construction. However leisure and hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing sectors cut workers. The result was 77,900 unemployed workers in September, an increase of 1,400 from August.
     Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development says global uncertainty is affecting new orders and manufacturing has lost jobs for four straight months but those losses are partially offset by near record employment in construction, health care and finance.


Michelle Obama Campaigns For Democrats In Iowa

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Michelle Obama is trying to give Democrats a boost in a key U.S. Senate race, urging college students in Iowa to vote early for Bruce Braley.
     The first lady told University of Iowa students that they must help Braley, who's in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst. 
     Braley had once been a favorite to win the seat held for 30 years by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. But now he's running even with Ernst, a first-term state senator.
     Obama urged hundreds of students to cast ballots Tuesday at a satellite voting location and spend the next two weeks volunteering for Braley. She told them, "for just three hours of your time, you will get six years of an outstanding senator who will carry on Tom Harkin's legacy."








Tuesday News, October 21

Plymouth County Supervisors To Hear Subdivision Proposal

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have a light agenda for today's meeting.  They will pick up where they left off from last week in discussing a proposed subdivision in Johnson township.  Craig Bauerly is scheduled to meet before the supervisors to discuss and seek approval for the Bull Run Creek Addition.  Other business before the county supervisors will be to approve a permit allowing Sioux Rural Water to bore under roadway for water service in Grant Township and Elgin Township.


City Council To Discuss North Greenview Access

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet at noon today at the City Hall Council Chambers. The city leaders will hear a report regarding the new Public Works Building from contractor Ryan Wiltgen.   The city council will also discuss and act upon north Greenview Estates Secondary Access, and tax relief.  Floyd Valley Hospital will submit its annual hospital audit report.


Sioux City Council To Decide Whether To Make One-Way Streets Into Two-Way

     SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials are continuing to examine whether to switch three downtown streets from one-way to two-way.
     The City Council planned Monday to discuss a report about plans for the change to Fifth, Sixth and Douglas streets.
     Public Works Director Jade Dundas says the change would improve traffic flow in the downtown area and help businesses.
     The report will be outlined to the council but no action is scheduled.


Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees To Discuss Annual Audit

(Le Mars) -- The Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees are scheduled to hold their monthly meeting this morning.  The hospital trustees will hear a report regarding the annual hospital audit as presented by Denman and Company.  In other business, the hospital trustees will be given an update regarding the north addition expansion project.


Floyd Valley Hospital Hires Garcia As Interpreter

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin announced that Nancy Anguiano Garcia has been hired to provide full-time interpretative services at both Family Medicine Clinics and Floyd Valley Hospital.  Nancy is also serving in a dual role with our business office working with insurance billing.  Nancy is here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Interpretive services at the clinic and hospital outside of the normal business hours can be made by appointment through the provider or hospital staff member. Donlin states, “Hiring Nancy was an important step for Floyd Valley Hospital’s goal to improve access to quality health care for all.”
 Nancy has nearly two years of office experience and translation in the medical field at the Crittenton Center and most recently Plains Area Mental Health.  She enjoys working with and helping people.  Nancy especially enjoys interpreting for patients so that they can better communicate important health information with their care givers.  She feels that by interpreting for others, she makes a real difference and makes the world just a little better.  Nancy is currently working on her Associate’s Degree in General Studies as she pursues her goal in Social Work.
 Nancy, her husband, Jesus Garcia and 2 children live in Le Mars. 


Fire Department Reminds Residents NOT To Burn Leaves

(Le Mars) --  With the fall season upon us, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind everyone that burning of yard waste and leaves in the city limit in Le Mars is not allowed.  There is no burning of leaves of other yard waste within the city limits.  The city does have a tree and leaf disposal site located west on Hwy 3 near the Gehlen Catholic baseball and softball complex that is free to the public and open on Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m.  to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.


Auditor's Office Open On Saturday, October 25

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Auditor’s Office will be open Saturday, October 25th from 8 am until 5 pm for the purpose of registering to vote and voting an absentee ballot in the November 4th General Election.
Please enter through the north lower level entrance of the Courthouse at 215 4th Ave. SE, Le Mars if you plan to vote on Saturday, October 25th.  Plymouth County Auditor, Stacy Feldman says this year has seen more people vote early and cast an absentee ballot than with previous mid-term elections.  Feldman says in 2010, there were slightly more than 2,300 absentee or early votes.  Already, for this year, more than 3200 people have returned absentee ballots.  Feldman says during the presidential election of 2012, there were more absentee ballots cast.  If you have questions, you can contact the Plymouth County Auditor’s Office at 712-546-6100. Stacey Feldman is the Auditor and Commissioner of Elections and Cheri Nitzschke is the Election Deputy.


More People Cast Early Votes Nationwide

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 2.3 million voters have already cast ballots for the November midterm elections, and both Republicans and Democrats are claiming the early voting numbers work to their advantage.
     Florida continues to dominate early returns, with more than 891,000 votes cast by late last week. A contentious governor's race tops the ballot in that state.
     Registered Republicans have cast almost half of the early votes. Republicans say their lead proves momentum for Gov. Rick Scott, who trails Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in many polls.
     In Iowa, where a Senate race will help determine which party controls the chamber in January, Democrats hold a narrow lead out of almost 200,000 ballots cast.
     But Republicans say they're making a more concerted early voting effort than in past elections.


Branstad Wants To Improve Quality Of Life For Iowans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he wants to make sure Iowa has great parks and cultural offerings for residents.
     The incumbent Republican governor, who is running for a sixth non-consecutive term, released a plan Monday he says would better organize the state's recreation and cultural resources. He calls it a quality of life effort.
     Under the plan, the state would create an oversight board to coordinate the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Economic Development Authority, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation.  That board would oversee quality of life efforts, as well as come up with a long-term plan for new investments.
     Branstad would also set up a new fund to pay for such projects, using existing state dollars and private money.


Branstad Holds A Cash Advantage Over Hatch

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Gov. Terry Branstad continues to hold a massive cash advantage over Democratic challenger Jack Hatch going into the final days of the race.
     Campaign finance reports filed with the state Monday show that Branstad raised $1.3 million between July 15 and Oct. 14 and had $1.3 million left in cash. Hatch raised nearly $880,000 and had about $280,000 on hand. Hatch and his wife have loaned $140,000 to his campaign.
     Hatch stopped airing television advertising in late September. Spokesman John Hedgecoth said the campaign would run ads again before Election Day, but did not offer details on when.
     Branstad, 67, has held a sizable lead throughout the race, with far more money and support than the 64-year-old Hatch.


Court Tells Syngenta They Have Case Against Bunge

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal appeals court has given agricultural chemical maker Syngenta Seeds hope that it may be able to proceed with a lawsuit against grain storage and transportation company Bunge North America for refusing to accept one of Syngenta's genetically modified corn varieties.
     Syngenta sued Bunge in 2011 claiming Bunge illegally refused to buy Syngenta's Viptera corn from farmers that year. Viptera is genetically modified to control pests.
     China was importing large amounts of grain from Bunge but has strict rules against GMO grain. Bunge declined to buy Viptera, which Syntenta says damaged its business and reputation.
     In 2012 federal Judge Mark Bennett dismissed Syngenta's lawsuit but on Monday the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled one of Syngenta's claims in the case could have merit and should be reconsidered.


Three Companies Receive Agricultural Grants 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three Iowa companies have received U.S. Department of Agriculture grants for research projects officials hope will lead to new technologies that advance agriculture.
     Small Business Innovation Grants were awarded to Harrisvaccines in Ames, which has recently developed a new vaccine for a pig virus; Agren Inc. in Carroll, a consultant that helps farmers deal with environmental issues; and Diamond V Mills in Cedar Rapids, which develops animal food.
     Each company receives more than $99,000.
     The USDA says the grant program was created to stimulate technological innovations in the private sector and to strengthen the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses.
     More than $18 million in grants were announced Monday by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.









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