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Wednesday News, July 30

Chamber of Commerce To Host Variety Show Dinner Theater

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street program will be holding a dinner theater fundraiser “The Ted Sullivan Show”.
The dinner theater, directed by Danna Schuster, will be held on Thursday, September 11th at the Le Mars Convention Center—upper level. Social hour 6pm to 7pm Dinner, catered by Timmy’s, will be served at 7pm with the play to follow. Cost is $35.00 per person. A cash bar will be available. Dress is casual — jeans acceptable.
The variety show is a take-off on The Ed Sullivan show. “The committee for the fundraiser thought it was time to try something different than another mystery where someone gets killed.” stated Main Street Manager Mary Reynolds. “What we’re doing this year is a variety show composed of seven musical groups. The attendees will vote for the group they like best. People will be laughing all night long.”  Chairing the event are Danna Schuster, Becky Klohs, Lu Langel, Kathy Sitzmann and Mary Reynolds. Committee members: Angie Erdmann, Delana Ihrke, Allie Freking, Christy Collins and Marilyn Wendt.


Last Day Of Gambling For Argosy Casino

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Argosy riverboat casino is preparing to take its last bets Wednesday, having told the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that it will close by 5 p.m. as ordered. 
     Last week the Iowa Supreme Court rejected a request that the operation be allowed to remain open while its owners pursued court action. The casino parent, Penn National Gaming Co., wanted to remain open while appealing a ruling by the gaming commission. In April the commission ordered the casino to close because it doesn't meet license requirements.
     Penn National lost its bid last year to operate a land-based casino in Sioux City. A Hard Rock casino and hotel by another developer is scheduled to open Friday night.


Branstad Asks President Obama To Declare 22 Counties As Disaster Areas

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is seeking federal aid to help 22 Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather.
     Branstad said in a news release Tuesday that he signed a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a presidential disaster declaration.
     Funding from the public assistance program would help rebuild damaged infrastructure including roads, bridges and culverts. The severe weather between June 26 and July 7 produced damaging winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, hail and thunderstorms.
     The counties under the request are Audubon, Black Hawk, Butler, Cedar, Des Moines, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Mahaska, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Tama and Washington.


Propane Prices May Again Increase This Winter

(Le Mars) -- You may not be thinking about winter, especially when we are in the middle of summer, but Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is suggesting for people who use propane, to lock in prices today.  Northey, doesn't believe we will see the spike in prices as we had last year, but he does think supplies could be tight, and prices will rise.

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The Agriculture Secretary says inventories are also low.

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Northey has some suggestions for propane users.

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Congressional Candidate David Young Defends Work With Grassley

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Democrats trying to pick up a Republican-held congressional seat in Iowa are seizing on disclosure records about the GOP candidate that they say gives heft to their charge that he's a Washington insider.
     The records show that Republican nominee David Young raised more than $500,000 in donations for Sen. Chuck Grassley's 2010 re-election campaign, even while Young served as Grassley's full-time chief-of-staff. Young reported being paid $51,000 by Grassley's campaign, receiving a 10 percent commission on the money he raised.
     Young is running against former state Sen. Staci Appel for the seat representing Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, which stretches from Des Moines to southwestern Iowa. The seat is being vacated by 10-term Rep. Tom Latham, a popular Republican. 
 Young says he's proud of the work he did for Grassley.


Hot Air Balloon Accident At Indianola

  INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - A hot air balloon brushed a power line and caused an outage at the National Balloon Classic near Indianola.
     An event official, Bill Clemons, says the balloon was on the ground Tuesday night when it touched the wire and then draped over the wire. No injuries have been reported.
     The event website says the 2014 National Balloon Classic features almost 100 hot air balloons from across the country. The event is scheduled to end Saturday. 
     Indianola is 18 miles south of Des Moines.


State Recreation Area To Re-open

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A state recreation area near Council Bluffs is scheduled to reopen soon.
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will open its gates Monday. Workers are currently adding fire rings and picnic tables.
      The park was originally scheduled to reopen more than a month ago. It was delayed by storms and flooding in June that caused damage to the area.
     The park has been under cleanup and restoration for several years. Its campground has been closed since it was flooded in 2011.


Cedar Rapids To Start Business Accelerator Program

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Cedar Rapids is joining the expanding pool of U.S. cities that want to kick-start fledgling businesses. 
     The Iowa Startup Accelerator begins Monday and is the first of its kind for the state. 
     The accelerator is a three-month program that brings startups from across the world to Iowa to grow and learn from tenured businesspeople. Each startup will receive a $20,000 investment from the accelerator in return for 6 percent of the company. 
     Ten businesses will comprise the inaugural class for the accelerator. They will relocate to Iowa from Aug. 4 to Nov. 6.












Tuesday Afternoon News, July 29

Storm Lake Nursing Care Home Fined

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A Storm Lake nursing home has been fined more than $31,000 after an incident in which a woman fell on her head while being transferred onto a bed and later died from the injury.
      North Lake Manor was cited in June by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals for failing to protect residents from harm and failing to provide adequate care.
     Reports said 87-year-old Darlene Carbaugh died a day after she fell from the mechanical lift used to transfer her to bed on May 17. 
     The home is owned by two companies controlled by Sioux City accountant Joseph P. DeWitt. 
     He did not immediately return a message. His attorney also did not immediately respond to a message.


Lottery Sales Have Declined

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Lottery sales have fallen 7.4 percent over the past year, a drop lottery officials attribute to a rough winter that altered customers' buying habits and fewer extremely high jackpots that drive up sales.
     Overall lottery sales dipped to $314 million in fiscal year 2014, which ended in June from $339.3 million the year before.
     Scratch tickets, the biggest income generator, fell 6.7 percent to nearly $189 million. Powerball sales fell nearly 25 percent to $61 million. The Mega Millions lottery game sales climbed nearly 64 percent to $21.8 million.
     Lottery officials say Powerball sales dropped because jackpots rose above $300 million three times during the year. It had climbed above that threshold four times the year before including the game's largest jackpot of $590.5 million reached in May 2013.


Crop Conditions Maturing Ahead Of Schedule

(Des Moines) -- The latest corn and soybean condition report shows both crops with the majority rated as good to excellent condition. The state's corn crop is listed as 78 percent good to excellent, while the soybean crop is rated as 74 percent in good to excellent condition.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the moderate temperature has reduced stress for the crops and the livestock.
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Northey says the state does have adequate amounts of soil moisture, and he says normally at this time of year, farmers are seeing dry conditions.

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 85 percent of the state's corn crop was at or beyond the silking stage, just over two weeks ahead of the previous year and almost a week ahead of the five-year average.  14 percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage, seven points ahead of normal.  Soybean progress advanced to 82 percent blooming or beyond, ten days ahead of last year, and just ahead of average.  41 percent of the state's soybean crop was setting pods, well ahead of last year's 12 percent.


Prohibitionist Preacher Marker Now At Sioux City Museum

  SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A memorial marker honoring a prohibitionist preacher shot to death in 1886 has a permanent home at a Sioux City museum, and volunteers are raising money for a new one.
     The marker for George Haddock is currently on display at the Sioux City Public Museum. The piece was excavated during construction of the new Hard Rock casino in the downtown area.
     The circular, metal artifact was set in 1936. It includes the date Haddock died.
     Cornerstone World Outreach, a Sioux City church, has raised $20,000 to help pay for a new memorial marker. The monument has not been constructed and it's unclear where it would be placed.


Council Bluffs Bar Featured On Reality Show Still Trying To Get Liquour License

  COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The owner of a Council Bluffs bar that appeared on a reality television show has argued against the City Council's decision to deny its liquor license.
     Matt Overmyer of the O Face Bar appeared before an administrative judge Monday as part of the appeal process to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.
     Overmyer's business was recently featured on a Spike TV show about reinventing struggling bars. The City Council cited actions seen on the March episode in denying the bar's liquor license renewal in May. Those actions include multiple fights and the use of profanity.
     The bar can continue serving alcohol while the appeal is being processed.


Homeless Shelter Installs Greenhouse

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A homeless shelter in downtown Des Moines has installed a greenhouse that will enable the organization to grow vegetables year-round. 
     Residents at Central Iowa Shelter & Services will be able to learn about harvesting and selling the produce grown at the greenhouse. The hope is that they will be able to use those skills to help find work. 
     The construction of the dome-shaped greenhouse was finished over the weekend. It has been named Mulberry Farms and Food. 
     Inside of the greenhouse is a 3,000-gallon water pool which shelter officials say lettuce will likely grow in. 
     The shelter's executive director says he hopes vegetables can be planted by the end of the summer.


Man Arrested For Selling Machine Gun

 DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa gun store owner has been given 14 months in prison for selling a machine gun.
     Larry Brauer was sentenced on Monday. He owns Lone Wolf Outdoor Supplies in Calamus.
     The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says a customer of Brauer's worked with the bureau on a sting operation and bought a machine gun from Brauer for $750 in October 2013.
     The bureau says Brauer's federal firearms license doesn't allow him to sell machine guns regulated under the National Firearms Act.


Company Agrees To Settlement Into Improper Lending To Military Personnel

  ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York and 12 other states have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement to shut down the company and expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for 17,800 U.S. military personnel.
     New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says deceptive practices by Rome Finance Co. based in California and Georgia included failing to accurately disclose charges and interest rates and helping retailers inflate prices, with repayments taken from soldiers' paychecks.
     Authorities say military personnel will keep financed merchandise like computers and gaming systems with debt forgiven, including $2.2 million for more than 550 New York residents.
     Rome Finance did business recently as Colfax Capital Corp. and Culver Capital LLC.
     Other states are Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.


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