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Iowa Senators React to Super Committee Failure

(Washington) -- The reaction from Iowa's two U.S. Senators to the "super committee's" failure illustrates the divisions that led to the impasse. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin says Republicans doomed the deficit reduction talks by rejecting all tax increases, and even calling for new tax cuts. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says the focus needs to be on reducing spending.

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Grassley says with or without an agreement, federal spending has to be reduced and that includes cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Grassley also blasts President Obama for "blaming Republicans" for the super committee's failure.

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From the other side of the partisan divide, Senator Harkin says Republicans "do not care about deficit reduction" and he says the only way to accomplish the goal is trhough "a fair mix of spending cuts and revenue increases." 

 

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors met this morning and approved a TIF debt certificate for the Plymouth County Ethanol at Merrill.  The money to be rebated after the Plymouth County Ethanol pays its share of property taxes will be in excess of $1.4 million.  Supervisor Craig Anderson says the county originally offered tax breaks to Plymouth County Ethanol as an incentive to build at Merrill.  Anderson says those tax breaks were set for seven year on the ethanol facility and five years on the oil facility.    

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors met this morning and approved a TIF debt certificate for the Plymouth County Ethanol at Merrill.  The money to be rebated after the Plymouth County Ethanol pays its share of property taxes will be in excess of $1.4 million.  Supervisor Craig Anderson says the county originally offered tax breaks to Plymouth County Ethanol as an incentive to build at Merrill.  Anderson says those tax breaks were set for seven year on the ethanol facility and five years on the oil facility.      

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(LeMars) -- The Northwest Area Education Agency Board of Directors held its monthly meeting last evening at LeMars.  During that meeting, the directors heard a report how the Education agencies have combined their efforts to offer teachers a "one-stop" online reference point.  John Wibbels serves as the Director of Media Resources for the Northwest Area Education Agency.  He says the education agency has now set up an online a system that is simpler and more efficient.  

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The Education Agencies recently converted its data to a new system called Tek Data which gives the teachers multiple reference points for one topic without having to go from one reference point to another.
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In other action during last evening's meeting, the board reviewed its policies.



DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The director of the Iowa Department of Education says meetings he held around the state has shown him voters aren't yet convinced to support the changes he has proposed
to overhaul the state's education system
     Speaking to The Associated Press Tuesday, education Director Jason Glass says that uncertainty has led to a decision to delay his plan to overhaul the way Iowa teachers are paid for a year. He
says the proposal was always planned to be put in place over a period of years and is still planned to take place over the next two to three years.
     Glass says he doesn't want to just tinker with teacher pay, but fundamentally overhaul the system and that will take time. He describes the effort as a marathon, not a sprint.

 

(Mapleton) -- A fatality took place as a result of an accident at Mapleton on Monday evening.  Twenty-nine-year old Robert Paris Palmer of Mapleton died, when the 1969 Oldsmobile 88 he was a passenger in was struck by a truck in Mapleton. The driver of the car -- 27-year old Lenley Ray Schofield, Junior, of Sioux City -- was injured and transported to the hospital in Onawa. Neither man was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the 2006 Chevy truck -- 24-year old Joseph Lee Daggett of George -- was not injured. The Iowa State Patrol says the accident happened at around 9:40 p.m., after the car left a gas station in Mapleton, heading south on Highway 141. Officials say Schofield did not appear to have control of the car, which swerved as it continued south on 141. The vehicle crossed the center line of the road and was hit on the passenger side doors by the northbound truck. The force of the impact pushed the car onto the curb at the northeast corner of the intersection of Sioux Street and Highway 141.


    

   

Tulip Festival Selects New Queen

(Orange City) -- The Orange City Tulip Festival crowned its 2012 Tulip Queen last evening.  The new queen is Samantha Droog.  Droog is a senior at Unity Christian High School and is the daughter of Rick and Sue Droog.  Droog will reign over the 72nd annual Tulip Festival scheduled for May 17, 18, and 19th.  She and her court will serve as ambassadors for the city of Orange City and for the Tulip Festival.  They will make several appearances across the state.

(Orange City) -- The Tulip Festival organizers also announced the night show for the 72nd annual festival.  They will produce the popular 1956 musical, "My Fair Lady."  The show will be produced by Kathy Vaughn, directed by Dr. Keith Allen with help from musical director, Tom Hydeen.  The Tulip Festival had "My Fair Lady" as their night show in 1984.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say no one was injured and no damage was done inside the Sioux City Museum when a fire broke out behind the building.
     The museum in downtown Sioux City was evacuated Sunday afternoon after smoke set off the fire alarms, along with a sprinkler on the exterior of the building.
     Visitors on the second floor reported smelling smoke. Fire officials found the fire at a loading dock behind the museum. The cause is under investigation.
    
    
(LeMars) -- Iowa Republican Congressman, Steve King was in LeMars on Monday holding a town hall meeting at the Good Samaritan Senior Care Center.  King addressed several issues including what he calls as the failure of the "Super Committee".  The "Super Committee" comprises of 12 people, six republicans from the House and Senate, and six democrats from the House and Senate.  The super committee was given the assignment to cut up to  $1.2 trillion from the budget, and to have those proposed cuts announced by Wednesday.  King believes the committee will not be able to come to any agreement by the Wednesday deadline.
He says the federal government needs to implement a balanced budget amendment. 

(Des Moines) -- Just as you can count on pumpkin pie and stuffing to go with your turkey dinner, state law officers will be out again this Thanksgiving wek in a Special Traffic Enforcement Program or STEP.  Randy Hunnefeld is the coordinator of the program for the Iowa Department of Public Safety

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He says having a bigger presence on the highways serves as a reminder for people to obey the traffic laws.


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Hunnefeld says the Thanksgiving holiday is not a big one for drunk driving arrests, but he says it is one where people seem to want to race to their relatives. 

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The effort starts today and will run through Sunday.

 PONCA, Neb. (AP) - A northeast Nebraska man has pleaded guilty to two counts of motor vehicular homicide and one count of drunken driving in an accident that killed two Wayne State College students near Emerson.
     Fifty-five-year-old Robert Mahler, of Hubbard, pleaded guilty Monday in Dixon County District Court. Sentencing is Jan. 23.
     Authorities say Mahler was driving drunk on the night of Sept. 9, on the wrong side of Nebraska Highway 9 and hit an oncoming motorcycle.
     Two people on the motorcycle were killed - 20-year-old Christopher Oberg, of Mapleton, Iowa, and his passenger, 19-year-old Alexis Calfee, of Bennet, Neb.
     Authorities say Mahler's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
     Mahler faces a sentence of one to 50 years in prison on each of the vehicular homicide charges.

 

 PALMER, Iowa (AP) - A 39-year-old man faces two counts of attempted murder and other charges, accused of running down two men with his car at a rural residence in northwest Iowa.
     Authorities say Luke Clark, of Pomeroy, was arrested Saturday morning. He'd gotten into a dispute with the men about treatment of a dog at a rural home south of Palmer, in Pocahontas County.
     Authorities say Clark drove his vehicle into the two men as they were standing in a driveway, injuring both.
     His bail has been set at $60,000. Calls to a listing for Clark's lawyer rang unanswered on Tuesday morning.

    

 

 

   

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