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Wednesday Afternoon News, June 5

FEMA Officials Visit Plymouth County

(Le Mars) -- Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, were in Le Mars on Tuesday afternoon visiting with county and local officials about the extent of flood damage that occurred in Plymouth County last week.  Plymouth County Emergency Management Director Gary Junge says the meeting was organized to offer a preliminary view of the dollar damage.

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Junge says Plymouth County will have to wait until FEMA officials assess the entire state's damages before knowing whether Plymouth County will qualify for any federal financial assistance.

South Dakota Company Wants To Buy Ash From Coal Generator Plant

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A South Dakota company plans to buy ash from two Sioux City power plants and sell it to concrete companies.
Rail to Road Transloading, of Sioux Falls, S.D., plans to open two storage silos near the MidAmerican Energy power plants. The fly ash is a byproduct of coal used to power the plants. The ash is used to
strengthen concrete.
MidAmerican has been burying the ash. Rail to Road Transloading President Clark Meyer told the Woodbury County Board on Tuesday that his company will store more than 20,000 tons of ash in the
winter and sell it to concrete companies during warmer months.


Monona County Officials Issue Amber Alert

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A mother described by authorities as a "noncustodial parent" has been arrested and her two young sons are safe hours after an Amber Alert was issued in western Iowa for
the boys.
The Monona County Sheriff's Office in Onawa said early Tuesday it was looking for a 4-year-old and 1-month-old. Authorities say 30-year-old Cari Eich abducted the boys and is suspected of being
under the influence of methamphetamine.
Iowa Department of Safety communications manager Jessica Lown said Tuesday evening that Eich and the children had been found safe across the border in Nebraska and that Eich is in custody.
Lown says officials believe Eich is a "noncustodial parent" of the children and that it did not appear she ever had custody rights.


Vilsack Says He Will Not Run For Governor

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Former Governor Tom Vilsack will not run again for Iowa's top job in 2014.
A spokesman for the U.S. agriculture secretary and two-term Democratic governor says Wednesday that Vilsack has decided against a run. Matt Paul says Vilsack considered the race but enjoys his
current role.
Vilsack took the job in January 2009. He was governor from 1999 through 2007. He announced in January that he accepted President Barack Obama's offer to stay on for the second term, which ends in January 2017.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has not announced plans to run for re-election, though he is widely expected to do so. On the Democratic side, state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines, is exploring
a run and state Rep. Tyler Olson, of Cedar Rapids, is also considering it.


Regents Select Rastetter As President

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents has selected agribusiness executive Bruce Rastetter as the next president of the board that governs Iowa's public universities.
The board voted 7-0 Wednesday to name Rastetter to replace Craig Lang, who left the board in April.
The Democratic-controlled state Senate had rejected Gov. Terry Branstad's appointment of Lang to a second term after a partisan clash over management of the universities.
Rastetter is a top Branstad donor and a Republican powerbroker who's been in the middle of controversies involving academic freedom, the board's transparency and his own business dealings. He
said he looks forward to "continuing to make a difference of the fine institutions we represent."
The board voted to elevate Regent Katie Mulholland to president pro tem, a position that Rastetter held previously.

Former Regent Files Second Lawsuit Against Iowa Public Radio

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa Board of Regents president has filed another lawsuit against the Iowa Public Radio board over a meeting that he says was illegally closed to the public.
Michael Gartner's second lawsuit names a slightly different group of board members who, the lawsuit says, met behind closed doors on Feb. 26, the day Iowa Public Radio officials voted to fire chief executive Mary Herrington.
Gartner first sued Iowa Public Radio and five board members on May 28. That lawsuit says a Dec. 13 meeting to discuss Herrington's performance was a violation of state public meeting rules. The
second lawsuit says the Feb. 26 meeting where Herrington was fired also was improperly constituted.
Board representatives didn't immediately respond to messages on Wednesday.


Free Fishing Weekend

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa residents can fish without a license this weekend.
The Department of Natural Resources says the free fishing weekend will run from Friday through Sunday.
The event typically is scheduled during a time when bluegills are usually close to shore and aggressive, making it likely novice anglers will have success.
The DNR encourages those catching their first fish to take a photo and send it to the DNR, which will commemorate the event by sending back a certificate suitable for framing and the submitted
photo. Information on the first fish program is available online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/MasterAnglerFirstFish.aspx .
All other regulations remain in place during the free fishing weekend.


Eastern Iowa Rivers Start To Recede

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Cities along major rivers in Iowa remain in a holding pattern as flooding reaches a high point and water begins to recede in the coming days.
At Iowa City the Iowa River is expected to reach just above 25 feet Wednesday and remain there through the middle of next week before falling. Talk in Iowa City is beginning to turn toward
cleanup after the river falls below moderate flood stage.
National Weather Service Meteorologist David Cousins says the Mississippi River is behaving as expected. He says peak levels will be reached within the next couple of days before the water begins
to fall this weekend.
The river should reach its crest at 20.3 feet in Burlington on Thursday then begin to fall. Flood stage is 15 feet.


Leach To Work At University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Highly-regarded former Iowa congressman Jim Leach is joining the University of Iowa faculty.
University President Sally Mason said Wednesday that the university beat out Harvard and Princeton to land Leach, who stepped down last month as President Obama's chairman of the
National Endowment for the Humanities.
Mason said Leach will become a visiting professor of law. She said he will work with the school's center on human rights, give special campus lectures on foreign policy and other issues, and
teach courses on American government and the legislative process.
Leach, a Davenport native, represented Iowa in congress for 30 years until he was defeated for re-election in 2006 in an anti-Republican wave. He had chaired the House committees on
banking and international relations.
Mason says Leach's term will last three years.




Wednesday News, June 5

Supervisors Hear About Flood Damaged Roads and Bridges

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors were briefed yesterday by County Engineer Tom Rohe regarding the extent of damage from flooding to Plymouth county secondary roads and bridges. 
Rohe informed the supervisors that four bridges were needing additional repairs as a result of the flooding from last week.

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Of the four bridges that were closed, Rohe says only one is in need of major repairs.

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Supervisor Jim Henrich asked if the bridge itself was still in good shape?

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The county engineer told the supervisors he anticipates at least two weeks worth of work to get the bridge back in condition. Rohe informed the supervisors that perhaps as many as 30 locations flooding waters had ran over the top of the road, and needs repairs.  He says perhaps as many as 100 locations will need to have debris cleared.  Rohe says once all the repairs will be made to the bridges and roads, his crews will then tackle the clean up duties of clearing the ditches of the debris left behind from the floods.

Sheldon Printing Company Catches Fire

SHELDON, Iowa (AP) - The co-owner of a northwest Iowa printing business says the company's building was severely damaged in an early-morning fire.
White Wolf Web co-owner Myrna Wagner says the printing facility in Sheldon and equipment were damaged in the fire that broke out at about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.
The family-owned company publishes the N'West Iowa Review and other publications.
Wagner says other printers are helping White Wolf Web meet its publication deadlines.
Wagner says no one was in the building when the fire broke out. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.


Sioux City Police Look For Robbery Suspects

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are looking for two men that robbed the Abbartoes El Arcoiris grocery store located at 2201 Court Street.  The robbery took place on Monday evening at about 9:00 p.m.  The two suspects are being described as African-American males who were armed with a handgun.  The suspects entered the store and demanded cash from the clerk and then fled on foot.  The men are described as being in their early 20's. One suspect is 5'7" to 5'9" and of thinner build. The other, being a bit shorter, between 5'5" and 5'7" with a heavier build.  Both were wearing hooded sweatshirts and bandanas.  The suspects fled the area on foot with an undetermined amount of cash.  The two employees in the business at the time were not harmed during the incident.


Albert City Man Arrested For Narcotics

(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista County authorities executed a narcotics search warrant at the Robert Taylor Jr. residence located in Albert City.  The search warrant was the result of an on going narcotics sales investigation.  Numerous items of narcotics and drug paraphernalia were located in the residence along with a 14 year old male from Albert City.  Taylor, age 18, was arrested and the 14 year old juvenile male was detained during the search warrant and investigation.  Robert Taylor Jr. was arrested and transported to the Buena Vista County jail and has been charged with using a person under the age of 18 in drug trade, a class C felony, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, a class D felony, gathering where controlled substances are unlawfully used, a serious misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  He is being held on a $16,300 bond.  The 14 year old male was released to a parent and charges are pending on the juvenile.  The investigation is continuing and further charges are expected.


Orange City Man Sentenced For Drugs

(Orange City) -- An Orange City man has been sentenced to a residential treatment facility for delivery of oxycodone and possession of marijuana.  Andrew Hemmelman, age 18, pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Monday in Sioux County District Court for the crimes of delivery of oxycodone, a class C felony, and possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor.  The case arose on March 28th when authorities witnessed Hemmelman delivered five oxycodone pills and a small amount of marijuana to an undercover informant monitored by officers with the Orange City Police Department and the Sioux County Sheriff's Department.  The drug transaction occurred at Windmill Park in downtown Orange City and the defendant was arrested minutes later.


ACLU Says More African-Americans Than Whites Are Arrested For Marijuana Charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union says the racial disparity between blacks and whites arrested for marijuana possession Iowa is the worst in the nation.
The  ACLU report issued Tuesday cited FBI data collected from 2001 through 2010. The data say black people in Iowa are arrested about eight times as often as white people, even though both smoke pot at about the same rate.
The report recommends legalizing marijuana as the best way to end racially biased enforcement.
The ACLU says that in 2010, Iowa black people were arrested at a rate 8.34 times higher than whites for marijuana possession. That was a rate of 1,454 blacks arrested per 100,000 of the black
general population, compared with 174 whites arrested per 100,000.

Regents To Name New President

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Members of the Iowa Board of Regents will name a new president to lead their board, which governs Iowa's three public universities.
The regents meet Wednesday at the University of Iowa.
The agenda includes picking a president to replace Craig Lang, who left the board when his term expired in April. The Democratic-controlled Senate blocked Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's appointment of Lang to a second six-year term.
Board member Bruce Rastetter has served as interim president since Lang's departure. A top donor to Branstad and a powerful Republican agribusiness executive, he would appear to be in line for the top job. He's been praised for improving relations with the Legislature.
But Rastetter's also been in the middle of controversies involving academic freedom, board transparency and his own business dealings.






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