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Saturday News, March 23

City Council To Hold Special Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will hold a special council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 26 to be held at the City Council Chambers beginning at 12:00 noon.  The council members are expected to finalize  the waste water treatment agreement with Wells' Enterprises.  In that agreement, Wells' Enterprises will assume a portion of the cost of constructing and maintaining the new city waste water treatment facility.

 

Oyens Ambulance To Collect Pop Cans For Ambulance Maintenance

(Oyens) -- That nickel deposit pop can you have may help save your life. The Oyens Ambulance Service is collecting pop cans today, and Dan Cronin with the Oyens Ambulance Service explains why.
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Cronin says in addition to helping maintain the ambulance service, the collected money from the pop can deposits will also help finance new equipment.Pop cans and bottles can be dropped off at the Oyens Fire Station today between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.


Real Estate and Mobile Home Taxes Now Due

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Treasurer, Linda Dobson, reminds property owners that the second-half real estate and mobile home taxes are due now and can be paid in the office, online, or through the mail.  With the last day of March falling on the weekend, the last day to pay without penalty is extended through Monday, April 1.  The delinquent date then is Tuesday, April 2, 2013.   Mail must be postmarked on or before April 1 to avoid delinquent interest.   Send your payment before the last day, as mailing your payment on April 1 does not guarantee an April 1 postmark.   Delinquent interest of 1.5% per month rounded to the nearest dollar attaches to all unpaid taxes on April 2, 2013, and an additional 1.5% penalty on the first of each succeeding month thereafter.  There is a minimum $1.00 penalty on all taxes. The Plymouth County Treasurer’s office will be closed on Good Friday, March 29, along with the other county offices.  You will still be able to pay online that day or drop your payment in the mail.

 

Senate Campaign Predicted To Cost At Least $20 Million

(Le Mars) -- Running a successful state-wide political campaign can be costly, often forcing a candidate to raise hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars.  The nation's eyes will be on Iowa's open Senate race since long-time Democratic Senator Tom Harkin has announced he will not seek another re-election, and most people agree it could be an expensive campaign.  Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley has already said he intends to run, and Iowa Congressman Steve King seems to be the Republican front-runner candidate.  King has thought about the position, and he says it would be a costly campaign.
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King estimates it would require a bank account exceeding $20 million dollars. Still, he's confident his supporters would chip in the needed money.

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King says before he can officially declare his candidacy, he needs to piece together the political puzzle.

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The Republican 4th District Congressman wouldn't commit to a deadline for the decision, but he believes a decision can be made "without a high test primary."


Farmers Filing A Record Crop Insurance Claims

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers are filing a record $16 billion in crop insurance claims for 2012 because of widespread drought, and the staggering amount has critics calling for changes in the
federal crop insurance program.
Farmers buy crop insurance, but the federal government pays 62 percent of their premiums and picks up the tab for losses over a certain amount. One analyst estimates the federal tab for 2012 will
come to about $11 billion.
It's the second consecutive year of record crop insurance payments, with flooding and drought in 2011 followed by an even worse drought.
The Federal Crop Insurance Corp. puts the total losses so far at $15.91 billion, with some claims still pending. That's at least a 47 percent increase from the $10.8 billion in losses in 2011.


Budget Cuts Will Shut Down Dubuque Airport Control Tower

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will shut down an air traffic control tower at a Dubuque airport due to federal budget cuts.
The FAA released a final list Friday that shows Dubuque Regional Airport is slated to lose an air traffic control tower starting early next month. It's one of 149 air traffic control facilities
around the country that will close due to the federal spending cuts known as sequestration.
The towers scheduled to close are at smaller airports with lighter traffic, and all pilots are trained to land without help.
They can communicate among themselves on a common radio frequency.
The Dubuque airport provides flights to Chicago O'Hare through American Airlines.


   

Friday Afternoon News, March 22

Kluckholn Kindergarten Teacher Selected As "Teacher of the Year"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District has awarded Jayne Willer, a kindergarten teacher at Kluckholn Elementary as its teacher of the year. Willer has been teaching for 30 years.  She admits to being surprised by the honor.  She says her students are often frighten when they first start attending Kindergarten since it is their first time being away from their parents and being in a classroom setting, and Willer says she considers those factors as part of her education philosophy.
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She says she gets a thrill when former students come back as an adult to greet her.

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Denise Anthony, a member of the Le Mars Community School Foundation presented Willer with a certificate acknowledging the honor.  Willer received a $500 check as part of the award, and she will also receive an additional $500 which she can use for her classroom.  In the nomination submitted by Brandi Moss, it states: "Mrs Willer builds an atmosphere conducive to learning.  She always has a well-managed classroom.  She has her room set up in a way that is appealing to kindergarteners, with a reading corner, a "pretend-Play" area, and a large carpet in the front where much learning takes place as a group. She is continually evaluating her processes and making changes so all students can learn."  Our congratulations go to Jayne Willer for being selected the Le Mars Community Teacher of the Year.

 

Branstad Orders Flags To Fly At Half-Staff

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad is ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, to honor Army Staff Sgt. Steve Blass, 27, of Estherville, who died in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Monday, March 11.
Blass’ funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at the Estherville High School Gym.
Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.


State Revenue Expected to Rise Slightly

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A panel of budget experts says overall state revenue will come in slightly higher than expected for the current fiscal year.
The Revenue Estimating Conference met Friday to project state revenue numbers. The three-member panel includes the governor's top budget adviser, the financial adviser to the Legislature and an independent member, Mason City economist David Underwood.
The group predicts net state revenue will come in at about $6.6 billion for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That's a slightly higher projection than what they made in December and
represents about $326 million more than the revenue collected in the previous financial year.
The legislature is required to use the lower numbers from December when drafting the state budget.


Hamburg, Iowa Doesn't Get A Levee

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) - The small western Iowa town of Hamburg on the Missouri River has lost its bid to keep an earthen levee erected in 2011 to save the town from the river's floodwaters.
The city had needed to raise nearly $5 million to keep the top eight feet of the levee, which was raised to 19 feet from its original 11 feet. The money would have been used to bring the
raised part of the levee within federal regulations. Mayor Cathy Crain even created an Internet site that included a video of townspeople dancing to a revamped version of Credence Clearwater
Revival's "Proud Mary" in the hopes of gathering donations.
But Crain says the effort raised only $52,000.
The Hamburg City Council voted Friday to take down the extended levee.


 

 

   

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