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Saturday News, January 26

Arrests Made On Ireton Woman For Drugs

(Le Mars) -- On Thursday afternoon, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle at K22 and 265th Street for operating without license plates.  While talking to the driver, the deputy could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming form the vehicle.  After an investigation at the scene, the driver, Sadie Ann Nelson, age 32 of Ireton, Iowa, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance marijuana, a Class D Felony possession of drug paraphernalia, a Simple misdemeanor OWI drugged, a Serious misdemeanor.  Nelson was taken to the Plymouth County Jail and held to see a judge.  The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Hinton Police Department.


Harkin Says He Won't Seek Re-election

CUMMING, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014.
The 73-year-old Harkin tells The Associated Press in an interview, "It's just time to step aside," because by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81.
Harkin said it would also allow a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.
The announcement comes as a surprise, considering he had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.
Harkin played a lead role in urging the Senate's more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill.
No Iowa Republicans have taken formal steps toward seeking the seat. Harkin's decision eases the burden on the GOP, who have to gain six seats to win the majority.

 

Soderberg Says Republicans Have Set Legislative Priorities

(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Legislature is setting its priorities by introducing several bills during the second week of the general session.  State representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars says in the Republican controlled Iowa House two specific priority bills have been introduced.
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Governor Branstad has stated his top two priorities are to reform the property tax policies, and to help fund education.  Soderberg says he is relieved to know the Governor wants to fund those programs with existing revenue.
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Soderberg says the state would find itself with some financial woes if the budget was to be balanced with one-time funding.

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The Le Mars representative says he will attend a legislative forum scheduled for Saturday at the Sioux City Museum.  That forum begins at 10:00 a.m. and is open to the public.


Lawmaker Wants Death Penalty Reinstated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Republican lawmaker was backed by the parents of slain children as he called for the reinstatement of Iowa's death penalty.
Milo Senator Kent Sorenson announced Friday he would introduce a measure that would establish capital punishment for the first time since the 1960s.
The death penalty would be limited to people convicted of first-degree murder in which a victim was kidnapped or sexually abused or if the victim was a child.
Among those standing with Sorenson were Heather and Drew Collins, whose daughter Elizabeth was killed after disappearing last July with her cousin, Lyric Cook.
Sorenson says he'll also propose four other measures dealing with kidnapping and sex offense convictions.
The chairman of a Senate panel says he won't consider the bill, but Sorenson says he'll seek public hearings.

 

Legislator Wants Schools To Be Tested For Radon

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines legislator is backing a bill requiring all Iowa school districts to test for the cancer-causing gas radon and make buildings safe if the gas is found.
Democratic Sen. Matt McCoy filed the bill this week, saying it's needed to protect students. The bill is similar to national legislation filed recently by Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley.
The bill would require all public and nonpublic districts to test every room of each school. If high levels of radon are found, districts would need to have ventilation system installed to make
buildings safe.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that leaks through cracks in building foundations. It's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. All of Iowa's 99 counties lie in the
government's highest risk zone.

   

Friday Afternoon News, January 25

City Council To Hold Special Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, January 29th beginning at 4;00 p.m.  The purpose for the special meeting is to review the budget proposals.  Each of the city's departments will meet with council members to present their budgets.  Final action on the budget won't occur until a later date.  The council is also expected to act upon an agreement by the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation wishing to purchase part of Lot 9 of Killeas Industrial Park. LBIC is requesting the city council to allow a partial release of the real estate contract for that purpose.

 

Still Time To Sign Up For Wellness Challenge

(Le Mars) -- During the month of January, we have been mentioning the Living Healthy Iowa ten-week wellness challenge.  The program officially begins on Monday, and locally, the Le Mars YMCA, Floyd Valley Hospital, and the Plymouth County Extension Services have been coordinating the efforts recruiting Plymouth County residents to register online and begin to change your lifestyle.  Todd Lancaster serves as the executive director with the YMCA and explains why people should consider participating.
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Lancaster says about 90 people have joined up in Plymouth County, which falls short of the 2300 participation goal.  But Lancaster says there are many people who registered, but may not have included the Plymouth County Code.
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As we mentioned, the program officially begins on Monday, but Lancaster says if people are interested, they can still register.
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Gehlen To Celebrate National Catholic School Week

(Le Mars) -- Next week, Catholic schools across the nation will celebrate Catholic School Week, and Gehlen Catholic will also observe the week-long celebration.  Lisa Niebuhr of Gehlen Catholic School explains why it is important to honor the religious connection to eduction.
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Le Mars Community School Board To Hold Educational Retreat

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District will hold a board and administrator retreat on Monday. The focus of the retreat is to have professional development from the teacher perspective as well as from the administration perspective.  The school board will also be served a school lunch as prepared by the Le Mars Community District's Food Services. The board will get an update on new food service requirements.  The school board will also review the value of extra curricular programs.  The board will conclude its retreat with discussion on the common core and 21st Century learning skills.


Prosecutors Looking For Disbarred Attorney

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Federal prosecutors are seeking the public's help in apprehending a disbarred Iowa lawyer who is wanted on mail and tax fraud charges.
Dennis Bjorklund has been a fugitive for 2 1/2 years and prosecutors are hoping that unsealing the indictment against him will help lead to his capture.
Bjorklund made a name for himself by falsely marketing himself as the nation's pre-eminent lawyer in drunken driving cases.
Prosecutors say Bjorklund underreported his income for years to avoid paying taxes on it and duped clients in various ways. Among other things, prosecutors say Bjorklund encouraged clients to donate to a fake charity he controlled by promising it would lead to a lighter sentence in drunken driving cases.
The state Supreme Court disbarred Bjorklund in 2006 after determining he "lies with reckless abandon."



   

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