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Thursday Afternoon News, May 23

Le Mars Pro Shop Selected For Chamber "Cash Mob"

(Le Mars) -- With $20 in hand ready to spend, 20 people gathered in front of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce today waiting to hear the announcement as to which downtown Le Mars business and chamber member would be selected.  Mayor Dick Kirchoff picked the winning business and made the announcement.

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Shortly after the announcement the gathering of people converged on The Le Mars Pro Shop.  This marks the sixth time the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has hosted a "cash mob" event.  Mary Reynolds of the Chamber says the event has proven to be fun, exciting, and successful, and a way to help stimulate the local economy by having people shop locally.

 

Petition Calls For Sioux City Mayor To Resign

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An online petition is calling for the mayor of Sioux City to resign over his role in replacing the Argosy riverboat casino with a Hard Rock-branded facility.

The petition at Change.org questions the impartiality of Mayor Bob Scott and other city officials during the selection of a land-based casino to replace the riverboat property.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission awarded a state gaming license last month to Sioux City Entertainment. Penn National Gaming Co. owns the Argosy and has criticized how Sioux City Entertainment was selected over other applicants.

A Penn spokeswoman says the company is not involved in the petition, which was launched this week by a South Dakota resident. It had more than 100 supporters as of Thursday.

 

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Legislature Adjourns 2013 General Session

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have adjourned the 2013 session after reaching deals to cut property taxes, revise education policy and provide health care for low-income residents.
The Senate concluded just before midnight Wednesday and the House finished voting Thursday morning. The legislation now moves to Gov. Terry Branstad.
Property taxes and education changes have been top priorities for Branstad. The property tax plan will cut commercial property taxes, as well as provide some income tax breaks. Under the education deal, schools will get an increase in basic funding and additional dollars will be provided to districts that boost minimum teacher pay and offer leadership perks.

Lawmakers also agreed to a compromise health care plan that will seek federal funding to provide health care coverage to an estimated 150,000 low-income residents.

Republican Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull says it was a long session, but he believes the agreement reached on property tax relief will spell good news for property owners.

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Feenstra says the legislature also made certain that towns and cities wouldn't see a big drop in their revenues as a result of the passage of the property tax relief bill.

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Feenstra says he would give the Iowa Senate a C+ grade for its legislative work.  He says he was most disappointed that a bill he had written and sponsored dealing with making personal income tax more simple did not pass.

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Severe Storm Causes Barn To Collapse - Killing Cattle

NORA SPRINGS, Iowa (AP) - A severe storm that brought high winds earlier this week is being blamed for a barn collapse at Nora Springs that killed five head of cattle.

Fierce winds Sunday afternoon picked up the brick barn holding cattle in northern Iowa and dropped it about 15 feet off its foundation. The barn, belonging to Robert and Carol Mack, collapsed, killing five cows and trapping others.

Neighbors pitched in to help, using heavy equipment to lift up the barn so cattle could get out.

The Macks' remaining 50 or so cattle are being temporarily housed in a neighbor's cattle shed.

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Ottumwa Murder Trial Pushed Back

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - The trial of an Ottumwa man charged in the stabbing death of another man has been pushed back again.

Brandon Seim's trial has been delayed until Sept. 30 at the request of his attorneys. It was scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Seim is accused of stabbing 34-year-old Andy Madren multiple times in November 2011. Madren later died at a local hospital.

Seim has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge. His trial was delayed in 2012 due to a request for a mental health examination. That motion was later withdrawn.

Seim remains in Wapello County Jail on $500,000 cash-only bond.

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Clinton City Officials Consider Building Nuisance Ordinance

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) - A city in eastern Iowa is considering an ordinance that would help track and stop nuisance buildings.

Officials in the city of Clinton want building owners to register their properties when they become vacant. Officials say it would ensure responsibility over a building's maintenance.

A list is being compiled of nuisance buildings that need to be torn down in the next fiscal year, though there is not enough money in the city's budget to bring them all down in one round.

The list will eventually be forwarded to city council members and a historic preservation commission so they can consider the ordinance. A city services committee met Wednesday to hear about recent demolition efforts, and agreed the measure would be good for the city.

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Musical Duo To Perform At Orange City

(Orange City) -- Joseph Barker brings his talent back to his home town of Orange City in the form of the band "Bella Ruse."

(Music)

Joseph and Kay Gillette make up the band, and their relationship is inspiration for many of the songs, especially on their new album.  The two met while attending college in Holland, Michigan and formed "Bella Ruse" in 2009.  Since then they have recorded singles, performed at festivals as large as Lilith Fair and South by Southwest, and are now celebrating the release of their second album with a tour that will be coming to Orange City on June 1st.

Kay says that life experiences from the last year, including their marriage to one another, has resulted in something bigger, louder and deeper than their freshman album.

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The songs are full of love, loss, joy and struggle.  The instrumentation is also different this time around with Joseph ditching his guitar for drums. Because Joseph is from the area, he will have family that will work with them at this show to make it extra special.

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Bella Ruse's performance begins at 7pm, Saturday June 1st in Orange City at Northwestern's Dewitt Teater.

(Music)

 



 

 



   

Thursday News, May 23

Chamber "Cash Mob" Scheduled For Today

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will once again be hosting a "cash mob" today. People are asked to gather in front of the Chamber offices at 12:15 p.m. located on Central Avenue, when the name of a retail business will be selected.  The gathering will then "mob" that retail business with the idea of each person to make a purchase of at least $20.  Mary Reynolds, of the Chamber offices says the "cash mob" idea is a way to help stimulate the local economy.

 

Le Mars Has A Successful Recycling Program

(Le Mars) -- As noted by Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff, Le Mars' recycling efforts have proven to be very successful over the past eight years of existance.  City Assistant Administrator Bill Cole tells of how much the community has recycled over the years.

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Cole says other communities are turning to Le Mars and trying to duplicate our efforts.


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The city official says recycling has helped the city get cash back, but he believes the community has embraced the recycling effort because it is the right thing to do.


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Cole says there are three more occasions approaching when city residents can dispose of additional waste.  May 31st will be the Recycltronics Day. A day when the city will collect old electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and discarded cell phones.  June 4th the city will collect old appliances and old tires from the city's residents.  Cole says that may include abandoned refrigerators, microwaves, stoves and washers and dryers.  Spring clean up is scheduled for the week of June 10th to the 15th when the city will waive the fee for disposal at the landfill, up to 1000 pounds of waste.

 

Police Chase Ends In Roll Over Accident

(Le Mars) -- A police chase that started in Sioux County late Tuesday evening ended in a roll-over accident in Plymouth County.  According to a report, Sioux County authorities were pursuing a vehicle being driven by 31 year old Adam Smith of Hawarden.  The chase covered more than 30 minutes.  Smith entered Plymouth County heading south on Kestrel Avenue and braked rapidly in an effort to make a left hand turn on 150th Street.  The Sioux Center Police vehicle with flashing lights and siren on, and driven by Darren Wielenga, was only about two car lengths behind the Smith vehicle when the patrol car collided with the Smith vehicle, causing Smith to lose control of his vehicle and rolling down a steep embankment and into the ditch, rolling one and three-fourths times.  Both drivers were
uninjured, and Smith was taken into custody by the Sioux Center Police.  Smith was charged with eluding officers, possession of a controlled substance, failure to obey a traffic controlled device, no insurance, excessive speed, driving while license suspended and reckless driving.

 

Tractor Rollover Claims The Life Of Albert City Man

(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista authorities are investigating a tractor roll-over accident that claimed the life of 78 year old Richard Fondroy of  Albert City.  The accident happened on Tuesday at about 7:44 p.m. about five miles west of Albert City.  Deputies say Fondroy was pinned beneath the tractor.  Machinery was brought in to lift the tractor from the victim.

 

Senate Adjourns General Session

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate adjourned the 2013 legislative session late Wednesday night, but the House is set to return Thursday for more votes.
Lawmakers seemed to be moving to conclusion Wednesday after reaching deals to cut property taxes, revise education policy and provide health care for low-income residents.
But while the Senate voted to approve all those plans, action didn't move as quickly in the House. One issue arose over the Health and Human Services budget, with some Republican members
opposing providing Medicaid funding for abortions.
House lawmakers were scheduled to return Thursday with hopes of concluding the session.

 

Senate Approves Property Tax Relief Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has approved a compromise plan to cut commercial property taxes in the state.
The plan was approved in a 43-6 vote Wednesday. It now moves to the state House for approval.
The property tax plan will gradually reduce taxable assessments of commercial properties by 10 percent and provide property tax credits geared for smaller businesses.
The deal also limits the amount that residential property assessments can grow. It includes small income tax credits and increases the state earned income tax credit for low-income
workers.
Reducing commercial property taxes has been a longtime priority for Governor Terry Branstad.

 

Lawmakers Approve Education Policy Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state legislature has approved an education policy deal that would provide additional school funding.
Lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved the plan Wednesday. Republican Representative Ron Jorgensen of Sioux City says the compromise plan would provide more basic school funding for the next academic year, as well as offer dollars to districts that adopt a program to raise minimum teacher pay and offer leadership incentives.
Under the plan, Jorgensen says a task force would review teacher evaluations and some restrictions on homeschooling would be lifted.
The bill will next move to the governor for approval. Both legislative chambers are in session Wednesday, with hopes of soon concluding the 2013 session.

 

Glass Leaves Education Director Position For Superintendent Job

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As the state Legislature was nearing approval of significant changes to Iowa's public school system, the Iowa Department of Education director accepted a job as
superintendent of a Colorado school district.
Eagle County School District in Colorado announced Wednesday that Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass accepted the job. He starts July 1st.
Glass was among three finalists for the Colorado job. The current superintendent is leaving to head a school district in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Glass started as director of the Iowa department in late 2010. He previously worked for Eagle County schools and the Colorado Department of Education.
He will earn $175,000. That's $28,000 more than his current pay.
In his Iowa position, Glass took the lead in backing education reforms that were approved by lawmakers Wednesday.

 




 

 

   

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