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Tuesday News, July 3

Grassley Holds Townhall Meeting At Akron

(Akron) -- Senator Chuck Grassley was met my fifty people at Akron during his townhall meeting Monday afternoon, all wanting answers to their questions relating to issues at Washington .  Grassley addressed questions ranging from the Supreme Court's recent decision on the Affordable Health Care Act to the U-S energy policy, to the educational reform of No Child Left Behind, to the flat tax, and he was even asked about welfare programs.  Grassley was also asked about the latest scandal in Washington, that being the so-called "Fast and Furious" scandal involving the Justice Department.  Grassley started the investigation, but knowing he was on the minority side in the Senate, he also knew he would not be able to pursue the investigation so he consulted Congressman Issa of California, the chairman of the House government over-sight committee.
 

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The Iowa Republican Senator says Congress should not have had to place Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress, but he says the actions of Holder and the Obama administration forced Congress to take the historical vote.

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Grassley says he believes the Obama Administration has something to hide and that is the reason for them to stall in the investigation.

 

Blood Organizations Need Donors During Holidays

(Le Mars) -- Holidays always seem to be a time when blood is needed the most, and it is also a time when donors are least likely to donate blood.  Life Serve Blood Center is asking for blood donors to do their part.  Blood donations leading up to the busy 4th of July festivities will help keep our hospitals fully operational.  Floyd Valley Hospital will hold a community blood drive on Thursday, July 5th.  The blood drive will be at the Floyd Valley Hospital in the Lower Conference Room from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Right now the current critical blood needs are for B negative and O negative.  If you would like more information you can call (800) 287-4903 or visit them online at www.lifeservebloodcenter.org.

 

Akron Fire Department Respond to Grass Fire

(Akron) -- The dry conditions were responsible for a grass ditch fire late last evening.  The Akron Fire Department was called to respond at about 10:15 p.m.  They were assisted by the Alcester, South Dakota fire department.  The grass fire was able to be extinguished rather quickly.  Fire officials were on the scene for a little more than a half an hour.

 

Dry Conditions Persist -- Crop Conditions Decline

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Crops conditions in Iowa have declined as the state remains dry despite some much-needed rain.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that 62 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition. A week ago, it was 68 percent. Fifty-nine percent of soybeans are in good shape, down from 63 percent a week ago.
     The USDA says 73 percent of topsoil and subsoil levels are dry. South-central Iowa is the driest with 91 percent of topsoil running short or very short.
     Storms brought rain to the middle of the state on Friday along with hail and strong winds. Rain fell on southeast Iowa late Saturday and Sunday.
     The statewide average rainfall for the week was 0.25 inches. The normal is over an inch.

 

Iowa Has High Number of Boating Accidents

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With seven boating fatalities so far on Iowa lakes and rivers, the state is on pace for its deadliest summer boating season in recent years.
     Seven fatalities are the most Iowa has seen since nine were reported for the entire boating season in 2007. The most dangerous boating months of July and August are still ahead.
     Alcohol may be playing a role. Authorities say 22 people have been arrested for drunken boating in the state. In all of last year 54 were arrested.
     The Des Moines Register reports  that from 2006 to 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in 43 Iowa boating accidents, which included 13 deaths and 23 injuries. That's nearly half of the 27 fatalities during that span.
     Nationally, about two-thirds of all boating crashes are alcohol-related.

 

Le Mars Chamber Wants "Little Ambassadors"


(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a contest to select ten children who will serve as the 2012-2013 Le Mars Chamber Little Ambassadors. Children must be four to six years of age and live in town or rural Le Mars. Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce explains the role of the Little Ambassadors.

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 Between now and July 20th, the Chamber will be accepting nominations for Little Ambassadors.  Contestants are asked to submit a 5" x 7" photo.  Entries must include the names of the child and parents, address and phone number with the submission.  Chamber officials ask that you not write on the photo, and photos will not be returned.  A selection committee will choose five boys and five girls to serve as Le Mars Little Ambassadors.  Reynolds says the group will take part in several Chamber sponsored activities including Ice Cream Days.

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Reynolds says the Little Ambassadors will all appear on the cover of the updated Le Mars Visitor's Guide which will be distributed to welcome centers, and motels and hotels across the region.  She says some businesses use the visitor's guide for other purposes.

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New  Penalties Are Being Enforced On Traffic Laws

(Le Mars) -- As of July 1st, several new laws have gone into effect.  A couple of transportation related laws were already on the books, but now the fines and penalties have increased.  Iowa State Patrol Trooper, Vince Kurtz says Iowa previously had a law forbidding motorists to pass a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and stop sign arm extended.  But now, thanks to what has become known as Kadyn's Law those penalties are much stiffer.

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Another revision with a previous law requires motorists to slow down and move over to the left when an emergency or maintenance vehicle is stopped along the shoulder of the road.

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The Highway Patrol official says the "move over law" came about as the result of two episodes, the first having a tow truck being hit and the second involving the death of a volunteer fire fighter assisting an accident scene on Interstate 80.  Kurtz says violation of either law will mean the suspension of driving priviledges. Kurtz says the legislature also passed a law that limits the amount of window tinting on the front and side windshields.
  




    



 

   

Monday News, July 2nd

Grassley To Hold Townhall Meeting At Akron

(Washington) -- Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley will be visiting several communities in northwest Iowa and holding townhall meetings.  This afternoon Grassley is scheduled to be at the Akron Fire Department beginning at 3:45 p.m.  He will visit with the public about issues of interests.  The public is welcome to attend.

County Closes Road for Repairs

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Road Department wants to remind the public that starting today and continuing until July 20th, the one-mile stretch of road on 180th Street from Quartz Avenue to County road L-12 will be closed.  The county road department is replacing a wooden bridge with a culvert pipe.

 

Plenty of Earth Construction Projects Found in Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- If you look around the town of Le Mars, you will no doubt see a lot of earth moving construction take place.  There is of course the Highway 3 widening project, the Dogwood Properties paving project and also some dirt moving is taking place on the far southern side of Le Mars.  City administrator Scott Langel says in many of the current construction projects the city is receiving additional financial assistance through state grants.  He offers an update on each of the projects beginning with the construction taking place at the area just west of the community high school, now known as Dogwood Properties.

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Langel says the area which used to be a cornfield will now be converted to a light industrial area.
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Another area of town having earth construction is the 13 acres along 18th Street Southwest and 6th Avenue West.  Langel says it will be the future home of the city's public works including the street department and the parks department. Although at this time there have not been any bids accepted, or even an approved design for the building.  Langel says the city needed the dirt for other projects within the city.    
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Langel explains the four projects around town that have received the dirt from the 18th Street location.
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As for the Iowa Highway 3 project, Langel says that construction site is running ahead of schedule and involves funding from the federal and state governments, as well as local funding.   

 

Body Found in Crawford County Identified as Pennslyvania Man

DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified the body found near railroad tracks in western Iowa last month as a Pennsylvania man.
     But investigators are still waiting on more test results to help determine the cause of 44-year-old Jonathan Elwell's death.
     Crawford County Sheriff Jim Steinkuehler says the Shillington, Pennsylvania man's body was found by two railroad workers near Highway 30 between Vail and Westside on June 19th.
     Elwell's rented vehicle had been found in Crawford County on April 20th with his bicycle in the trunk.
     Officials say foul play is not suspected in Elwell's death, but family members have said they don't know why he was in Iowa.

 

 Study Shows Midwest Economy Slowing Down

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A nine-state Midwest and Plains economic survey index fell for the second straight month in June.
     A survey report released Monday for the Mid-America Business Conditions Index says it dropped to 57.2 last month, compared with 57.6 in May. The index was 60 in April.
     In the survey any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below 50 suggests decline.
     Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the businesses that were surveyed are still benefiting from healthy farm income and exports, but the activity is slowing. Global economic problems
are pushing export orders into negative territory.
     A quarter of the managers surveyed say the biggest hurdle in the next year is implementation of health care reform.
     The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

    

Des Moines Airport Seeing More Travelers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines airport is serving passengers at a record pace that could top 2 million this year.
     Industry officials attribute the passenger growth to an improved Iowa economy and existing air carriers adding capacity.
     Business is expected to improve even more when low-cost provider Southwest Airlines begins operations in Des Moines on Sept. 30.
     More than 820,500 travelers passed through the Des Moines airport from January through May, up nearly 10 percent from last year. That puts the airport in a position to surpass 2004, its best
year, when it served 1.99 million passengers.
     Passenger growth in Des Moines counters the national trend. The Federal Aviation Administration says the number of flights nationally has dipped slightly.

 

A Passenger's Joke Regarding Flight Crew Delays Plane

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa airline passenger's joke about whether a U.S. Airways flight crew had been out partying kept the plane from leaving Des Moines for several hours.
     The Saturday morning flight to Charlotte, North Carolina had already been delayed two hours to 9 a.m. before the incident.
Airline spokeswoman Tina Swail says the original delay happened because the crew's previous flight arrived late the night before.
     When passengers boarded the plane, one of them asked the crew whether they had been out partying too much the night before.
     That joke forced the flight to be delayed until 1 p.m. because the airline decided to administer drug tests to the crew, and all the passengers were removed from the plane during testing.
     Swail says the airline takes any accusation like this very seriously.

 


    

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 


 

   

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