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Wednesday News, March 6

Le Mars To Test Warning Siren Today

(Le Mars) -- Don't be alarmed when you hear a weather warning siren this morning.  A mobile unit equipped with a weather warning siren is in town to help city officials determine where precisely a new siren should be placed.  City officials will be sounding the alarm on the north side of town.  Le Mars Fire Chief, David Schipper explains.
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City Council Turns Down Chicken Request

(Le Mars) -- By an unanimous vote, the Le Mars City council decided to turn thumbs down on the request by Jeremy White to allow him to raise chickens within the city limits.  Le Mars mayor Dick Kirchoff explained to white that it was against city code ordinance to allow livestock to be raised within the city borders.  Kirchoff informed White that he had received numerous comments both in favor and against the request.
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Councilman John Rexwinkle said he also had many comments directed his way with regards to the chicken issue.

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Army Corps of Engineers To Be Sued Over Missouri River Flooding

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Some landowners inundated by Missouri River flooding in 2011 are preparing to sue the federal government.
St. Joseph attorney Ed Murphy says he plans to file a case soon in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He says plaintiffs could come from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and possibly South Dakota.
Murphy noted that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in December that the federal government is not automatically exempt from paying for damage caused by temporary flooding from its dams.
In the summer of 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released massive amounts of water from upstream reservoirs that had been filled with melting snow and heavy rains. The onslaught lasted for
more than 100 days, causing extensive damage downstream.
The corps said it couldn't comment on pending litigation.


UNI To Make Major Announcement For Teachers

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - University of Northern Iowa officials are expected to make a major announcement about the future of the school's well-known teacher education program.
UNI President Ben Allen is scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon at the student union. The university isn't releasing details, but says the news will -- quote -- "have a significant impact on students pursuing education careers and on faculty teaching and research."
Gov. Terry Branstad and other guests are expected to join Allen at the announcement.
UNI says it graduates more than 500 teachers every year, and claims more than 17,000 alumni educators around the world. But its program has been challenged in recent years by funding cuts. Allen
last year closed the Price Lab, a public school run by UNI's College of Education.

 

Police Help Family Escape From Fire

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - Police who broke into a central Iowa home helped a woman and her children escape a fire.
Aliesha Kirby says that she and her kids were sleeping early Monday morning and didn't hear officers break into their home in Newton.
A neighbor called 911 after seeing flames shoot through the roof of Kirby's house.
One of Kirby's children, Brock, says "the first thing I saw was the police pulling me out of bed."
The Kirbys stood outside for hours and watched their house burn.
Firefighters say the blaze fire started in the attic. The cause is being investigated.
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Reserve Deputy Accidentally Shoots Herself

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Polk County authorities say a reserve deputy's gun fired as she was preparing to turn it over to a firearms instructor for inspection.
Reserve Deputy Donna Britt's left hand was injured when the gun fired inside the department's headquarters on Monday night.  Department spokeswoman Jana Rooker says it's unclear whether the
bullet struck Britt's hand or the injury resulted from the gun recoil. Britt was treated at a hospital and released.
Reserve deputies carry county-issued firearms but don't make arrests. They must pass a firearms safety course as part of a reserve deputy academy.
Rooker says the accident is still being evaluated.
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Tuesday Afternoon News, March 5

City Council Turns Down Chicken Request

(Le Mars) -- By an unanimous vote, the Le Mars City council decided to turn thumbs down on the request by Jeremy White to allow him to raise chickens within the city limits.  Le Mars mayor Dick Kirchoffexplained to white that it was against city code ordinance to allow livestock to be raised within the city borders.  Kirchoff informed White that he had received numerous comments both in favor and against the request.
Listen to

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Councilman John Rexwinkle said he also had many comments directed his way with regards to the chicken issue.

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County Supervisors Award Cedar Valley With Construction Contract

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved their fiscal year 2013-2014 budget this morning.  The county projects revenue to be slightly higher than $27,745,000 and expenses are projected to be more than $27,852,000.  The Supervisors approved a bid submitted by Cedar Valley, Incorporated for the construction projects involving a paving overlay on County roads C-38 and K-42, near Merrill, as well as 5th Street in Merrill.   Both  roads service the Plymouth County Energy, the ethanol facility, and Plymouth County Oil Company, a corn oil processor.  Cedar Valley's bid for all three projects was $3,186,932.45  County Engineer Tom Rohe explains the proposed construction projects.
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Rohe says the total overlay is about four and three-quarters miles, along with nearly two thousand feet of reconstruction within the town of Merrill.  The supervisors also announced a letting date of April 2nd for two other proposed construction projects that are situated in the northwest corner of the county.

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House and Senate Differ On Education Reform Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Not long after Republicans in the state House scaled back Gov. Terry Branstad's education plan, Democrats in the Senate have beefed it up again.
The Senate education legislation was introduced Monday. It boosts minimum teacher pay back to the $35,000 proposed by Branstad and mandates participation in a leadership program that would
provide additional compensation to teachers who take on more responsibilities. Sponsor Sen. Herman Quirmbach says there will be several options for how districts set up those programs.
Last month, the House approved an education plan that set minimum salaries at $32,000 and gave districts the ability to opt-out of providing salary increases or setting up the teacher
leadership program.
A spokesman for Branstad says Tuesday the governor would review the Senate plan.


Egyptian Tax Evasion Should Not Alter Fertilizer Plant Deal

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - State officials say allegations of tax evasion against an Egyptian company and its CEO shouldn't affect plans to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority said Tuesday it is aware that Egypt's prosecutor has ordered that Orascom Construction Industries CEO Nassef Sawiris and his father be barred from
traveling.
Egypt's state news agency says the move came after the country's finance minister requested a criminal case be expedited against them for allegedly evading $2 billion in taxes on the 2007 sale of
a subsidiary. The company says it's confident it didn't violate any laws.
Nassef Sawiris appeared with Gov. Terry Branstad last fall to break ground on the fertilizer plant, which has been awarded more than $200 million in state and local incentives.


Alons Introduces Anti-Gay Marriage Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republicans are again proposing a change in the Iowa Constitution to ban gay marriage.
Rep. Dwayne Alons of Hull introduced a joint resolution Tuesday signed by 34 other House Republicans. Senate Republicans filed an identical bill last week.
The measure would begin the process of amending the state constitution to permit marriage only between a man and a woman.
The resolution would need to be passed by lawmakers, then approved by the Legislature elected in 2014 before going before voters.
Passage of the measure is unlikely because of Senate opposition.
Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa since a unanimous 2009 state Supreme Court ruling, which found a law limiting marriage to between men and women violated Iowa's constitution.
Republicans have sought such a measure every year since the ruling.

 

Army Corps of Engineers Being Sued For Missouri River Flooding

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Some landowners inundated by Missouri River flooding in 2011 are preparing to sue the federal government.
St. Joseph attorney Ed Murphy says he plans to file a case soon in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He says plaintiffs could come from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and possibly South Dakota.
Murphy noted that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in December that the federal government is not automatically exempt from paying for damage caused by temporary flooding from its dams.
In the summer of 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released massive amounts of water from upstream reservoirs that had been filled with melting snow and heavy rains. The onslaught lasted for
more than 100 days, causing extensive damage downstream.
The corps said it couldn't comment on pending litigation.

 

 

   

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