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Monday Afternoon News, August 5

Le Mars Has Short Power Outage

(Le Mars) -- Last evening at about 9:00 p.m. many people in Le Mars may have noticed their power had gone off momentarily.  MidAmerican Energy spokesman, Tim Grabinski explains what happened.
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Grabinski says power was restored to the nearly 700 customers within minutes.

 

Local Option Sales Tax Vote Scheduled For Tuesday

(Le Mars) -- Voters in Plymouth County will have the opportunity to go to the polls on Tuesday and cast their vote on the Local Options Sales Tax issue.  Originally, the local options sales tax was voted upon by Plymouth County voters in 2002 to help finance the Plymouth County Law Enforcement Center.  However,each Plymouth County community has been able to benefit from the funds generated from the one percent tax.  The current local options sales tax is set to expire at the end of 2016. One entity that would like to see the local options sales tax pass is the Floyd Valley Hospital.  Mike Donlin is the administrator for the hospital.  He says future funding to assist the hospital's expansion north addition project may depend upon the local option sales tax.  Donlin recently approached the Le Mars City Council seeking financial assistance since the hospital is a municipal owned hospital. He says the city helped finance the hospital during its last expansion which was nearly 40 years ago, and he was hoping the city would again show support for the current expansion.

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Some people may be a bit confused as to whether this is a new tax.  Technically speaking, it is a new tax, but only because the initial tax is set to expire, Donlin says people are already accustomed to contributing the one percent on retail sales.

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The hospital official hasn't seen any organized opposition to the continuation of the local options sales tax, and he believes the majority of people favor the measure because it has benefited each Plymouth county community and the rural areas.

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Donlin says the local option sales tax is not just a Le Mars issue, but a county-wide issue, and he says the Floyd Valley Hospital serves people other than just Le Mars residents.

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Le Mars Residents To Vote On Continuing Hotel/Motel Tax

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars residents will also have the opportunity to vote on the continuation of the Hotel/Motel tax.  Assistant City Administrator, Bill Cole says the city of Le Mars earns approximately $120,000 from the hotel/motel tax, which is paid by visitors to the city.  The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors issued a release asking the people of Le Mars to vote yes on both measures. The news release says in addition to financing the Plymouth County Jail, these tax dollars have been used to benefit the Le Mars Fire Department, the Plymouth County Museum, the Good Samaritan Alzheimer’s Unit, the Dialysis Center, the Downtown Streetscape Project, the Veterans’ Memorial Park, the Community Theatre, the Community Betterment Projects and various other quality of life projects.

If approved again, one of the uses of the Local Option Sales Tax will be assisting with the Floyd Valley Hospital expansion and renovation. Another benefit will be to provide matching dollars for the Community Development Block Grant for historic renovation in the downtown. Without these tax dollars, Le Mars will not have the matching dollars to capture the $500,000 of Federal funds awarded for downtown restoration work.

 

School Board Candidates Announced For County Public Schools

(Le Mars) -- Candidates seeking the position of school board director have been announced for the upcoming September 10th election.  At the Akron-Westfield school district eligible voters will vote for one candidate in districts 1,2,and 3.  Seeking election in district one is Nicholas Schoenfelder, district 2 has only Phillip C. Parks running for the school board position, and district 3 has only one candidate, it is Bobby Walrod.  Hinton voters will decide upon two of the following candidates for the at-large position.  They include: James D. Binneboese, Robert Held, and John Reintzel.  Remsen-Union voters will select three at-large candidates from the list including Melissa M. Harnack, Cheri A. Nitzschke, Micheal E. Sparr, Travis J. Tentinger, Theresa Van Dam, and Robin S. Weiler.  Kingsley-Pierson school district can vote for two at-large candidates, but only the name of Scott Bohle will appear on the ballot.  Le Mars voters will fill the positions for districts 1,2,3, and 4.  In district one, Todd Lancaster is the only name featured on the ballot.  District 2 has incumbent candidate Scott Kommes as the only name.  District 3 will feature two incumbents, Mark Hemmingson and Chris Collins, and in District 4, Brenda Phelan is seeking re-election, and is the only candidate.


Lt. Dan Band Performs For Wounded Veteran

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The Lt. Dan Band formed by actor Gary Sinise rocked out loud and proud for an Iowan who lost limbs to a bomb blast while serving in Afghanistan.  The band performed Saturday night in Cedar Falls to help raise money to build a high-tech "smart home" for Taylor Morris, who was wounded in May 2012.  Sinise named the band after his character in the movie "Forrest Gump." Gate receipts from the concert hadn't been totaled, but an organizer reported about $5,000 in walk-up ticket sales in less than an hour before the event at Gateway Park.  Morris remains in the U.S. Navy while recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington. He hopes to return to Cedar Falls in the next six to 12 months.

 

Texas Senator To Speak In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will give the keynote address at an Iowa Republican Party dinner this fall.  The Iowa GOP announced on their website Monday that Cruz will headline the Ronald Reagan Commemorative Dinner on October 25. The freshman Republican senator is a tea party favorite thought to be weighing a 2016 presidential bid.  Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said in a statement that Cruz has "quickly become nationally recognizable as someone who came to Washington to truly shake things up."
Cruz made his first Iowa visit last month. He is also scheduled to appear in Ames on Saturday at an event sponsored by the conservative group, the Family Leader.
Tickets for the October event — which includes a dinner and a VIP reception — range from $100 to $1,000.

 

False Alarm Fees

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines and other cities are pulling in big money from false alarms.
Iowa's largest city collected $138,000 for nearly 2,400 billable false alarms last year. In the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, the city collected $40,800 for false alarms.
Des Moines started charging for false burglar alarms in 2008. The city can charge up to $500 for an initial alarm each year, then up to $750 for each following alarm.
Of the 3,806 burglar alarms that Des Moines police responded to last year, 90 percent were false.
False alarms are an issue throughout the nation. A report by the Washington-based Urban Institute found that such calls take 20 to 40 minutes of an officer's time.

 

Centenarians Sought

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Two agencies are searching for northeast Iowans who quality for the state's Centenarian Registry.

The Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging and the Iowa Department say people who will be turning 100 years old will be honored by the office of the governor. Iowans born in 1913 or before and not yet on the registry are eligible for the recognition.

Iowans who qualify or who know someone who does from Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Hardin, Howard, Jackson, Marshall, Poweshiek, Tama or Winneshiek counties may call Janna Diehl at 319-272-2244 or 800-779-8707. She may be emailed at jdiehl@nei3a.org.

   

Monday News, August 5

Plymouth County Voters To Decide Upon Local Options Sales Tax

(Le Mars) -- Voters in Plymouth County will have the opportunity to go to the polls on Tuesday and cast their vote on the Local Options Sales Tax issue.  Originally, the local options sales tax was voted upon by Plymouth County voters in 2002 to help finance the Plymouth County Law Enforcement Center, but each Plymouth County community has been able to benefit from the funds generated from the one percent tax.  The current local options sales tax is set to expire at the end of next year.

 

Moville Man Is Missing

(Sioux City) -- Woodbury County sheriff's office is searching for a Moville man who has gone missing.  Dale Robinson, age 84, was last seen early Saturday afternoon in Moville. Robinson suffers from numerous medical conditions.  He stands 5 foot six inches tall and weighs 90 pounds.  Robinson was last seen at the four-way stop sign at Moville heading west on Highway 20.  He was wearing a maroon colored plaid shirt.  Robinson was seen driving his brown 2000 Ford F150 pick-up truck with the license plates, 870-ZCF.  If you should happen to see either Robinson or his vehicle, you are asked to contact the Woodbury County
Sheriff's office at (712) 279-6510.

 

Woman Found In Southwest Iowa Corn Field

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 31-year-old woman's body was found a cornfield in southwest Iowa this weekend.
The woman's body was found Saturday night in a field west of Lenox in Taylor County.
The woman's identity and the cause of her death have not been released.
But the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says preliminary information didn't show any obvious sign of foul play.
An autopsy will be performed early this week.
The DCI is working with the Iowa State Patrol and local authorities on the case.

 

Two Men Killed By Train

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities have identified two men killed by a BNSF train in the southern part of the state this weekend.
Police say 24-year-old Zack Brown of Osceola and 22-year-old Justin Schumacher of
Indianola were struck and killed by a train around 5 a.m. Saturday.
The engineer of the BNSF train reported the accident to 911 because he knew the train
had hit someone.
Authorities are trying to determine why the two men were walking on the tracks in a
residential area of Osceola. There weren't near a crossing.

 

Branstad Elected To Executive Committee Of National Governors Association

(Milwaukee) -- Governor Terry Branstad has been elected by his fellow governors to serve on the Executive Committee of the National Governor's Association.  The nation's governors are meeting in Milwaukee this week.  Branstad, who served as the vice chair for the education and workforce committee where he focused on state-driven education reform and innovative programs, like the Science...Technology...Engineering and Mathematics or STEM initative.  Branstad says he is honored to be selected by his colleagues from both parties.  Branstad will help provide guidance to the National Governors Association's efforts to share best practices across states and add a strong voice to Federal policy discussions that impact the states.

 

Fort Dodge Residents Complaint Of Odors

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Residents of a neighborhood near Fort Dodge blame landfill odors for a string of illnesses, but Iowa officials say they haven't found proof the smell is invading homes.
The Fort Dodge Messenger reports (http://bit.ly/13FiKUK ) residents of the Coleman
District blame wastewater from a regional landfill that's being carried through their
neighborhood's sanitary sewers for a variety of problems.
Robert Pingel Jr. says he and his neighbors think their headaches, sore throats and occasional burning sensation in their eyes are linked to landfill wastewater being piped
through area sanitary sewers.
Cindy Turkle, interim director of the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency, says many residents of the neighborhood have refused to allow officials into their homes.
Turkle says that makes it hard to determine what's causing the problem.
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Governor Has Yet To Sign-off On Abortions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's new policy that the governor must sign off on reimbursement approval for Medicaid-funded abortions remains untested one month in.
Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad, says no reimbursement claims for abortions have been submitted since the rule took effect July 1.
Branstad signed the law, which is thought to be unique to Iowa, in June.
Iowa's Medicaid program covers a small number of abortions each year due to rape, incest, fetal deformity or to protect a mother's life. Albrecht declined to answer questions about the criteria Branstad will use.
Jill June, president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said she thought there
should be more clarity, arguing that "otherwise the public is left to wonder if the governor is in a good mood or not."

 

Nursing Home Employees Fired After Posting Photo Of Resident On Internet

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - Two employees at a Johnston nursing home have been fired for posting at least one inappropriate photo of a resident on a social media website.
Bishop Drumm Retirement Center issued a statement Friday confirming the firings. The center is subsidiary of Mercy Medical Center, a Des Moines hospital.
It was not clear whether more than one photo of the resident had been posted online.
Officials would not detail the nature of the photo, but Bishop Drumm President Brian Farrell says it was taken by "rogue employees" and publishing it violated "the human dignity of the resident."
Officials say police have been notified, as has the family of the resident in the photos.


Authorities Look For Escaped Inmate

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are searching for a man who did not return to jail from a work release facility in Council Bluffs.
The U.S. Marshal's Office and Iowa State Patrol say 52-year-old Michael Hannum was last seen at a work release facility around 5:40 a.m. Saturday. Authorities say they discovered he was missing during an inmate count at 7 a.m. Saturday.
The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports that Hannum is believed to be driving a silver car with the Iowa license plate number SIS-613. Authorities believe he may be across the Missouri River in Omaha.

 

Con-Agra Contributes To Food Bank

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Food Bank for the Heartland now has $110,000 more to work with to
help make sure families in rural parts of Nebraska and Iowa get enough to eat.  The money will help feed about 2,000 families in the region over the next year.
A unit of ConAgra Foods sponsored a golf event last month that raised the money. Bill Stoufer, president of ConAgra Mills, says organizing the event gives his team a chance to give back to the community.  ConAgra is based in Omaha and makes food brands such as Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher  Hunt's, Wesson and Marie Callender's. It is also the largest maker of store-brand products.


 

 

   

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