Wednesday News, September 18
City Approves Grant Funding For Businesses To Renovate Facade
(Le Mars) -- Businesses along Highway 75 and Highway 3 will have the opportunity to get
financial assistance from the city for renovation projects, thanks to a resolution adopted by the Le Mars City Council. City Administrator Scott Langel says the program is patterned after the Community Building Development Grant that was approved for downtown businesses.
Langel explains which commercial businesses are eligible, and which are not eligible, for the matching grant.
He says interested businesses should first fill out an application and present it to Mary Reynolds.
The city official shares how the city hopes to finance the projects.
Goodchild and Knapp Submit Nomination Papers For Council Seats
(Le Mars) -- Real estate broker Clark Goodchild and Public Accountant Rex Knapp have both submitted nomination papers to be candidates seeking a position on the city council. Goodchild is looking to represent Le Mars citizens in Ward 1. Knapp is already a member of the city council and is seeking re-election for an At-large position. Councilman John Leonard presently holds the position representing Ward 1. Leonard previously submitted his nomination papers seeking re-election which will place Leonard against Goodchild in the election. Candidates wishing to run for city council or mayor
have until Thursday, September 19th to file nomination papers.
City To Meet With Bargaining Unit On October 1st
(Le Mars) -- The City of Le Mars will hear a bargaining unit presentation by the employees of the city scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st at 10:00 a.m. This is the first step in negotiations pertaining to salary and benefits between the city and its employees. Once the city has the employee's initial proposal they will either accept the proposal, or, make a counter proposal at a later date.
Akron Prepares For Scarecrow Festival
(Akron) -- Akron residents are getting prepared for the 13th annual Great Akron Scarecrow Festival. This Saturday, the Akron city park will be transformed into a celebration of fall with food and fun for all ages. The scarecrow festival begins at 10:00 a.m. and will continue until 4:00 p.m. and will feature scarecrow decorating contest, homemade food and baked goods, kid's games and activities, and more than 50 vendors. The highlight of the festival is the scarecrow decorating contest. Contestants of all ages create and decorate scarecrows of all sizes, shapes, and themes to compete for $600 in cash prizes. Scarecrows are judged in three categories: pre-school through 5th grade, 6th through 12th grade, and adult. Participants are encouraged to be creative with both the themes and materials used for creating their scarecrows. The scarecrows will be auctioned to festival goers at 2:00 p.m. with the proceeds to help support projects and organizations within the Akron community. In past years, funds were used to support the Akron-Westfield community schools, Akron Care Center, Akron Opera House, Akron Library, and the Akron Community Museum.
Sioux City Appeals Judge's Ruling On Property
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City is appealing a judge's order that it pay $1.2 million on a promissory note guarantee the city made for the developer of a movie theater complex.
Attorney Jeff Wright, who is representing the city, says Sioux City is "challenging the ruling as a whole."
It could be a year before the Iowa Supreme Court or Court of Appeals makes a ruling.
District Judge John Ackerman ruled in August the city must pay $1.2 million to First National Bank for defaulted payments and $300,000 annually through 2018.
The case stems from the bank's more than $5.6 million loan to Civic Partners in 2003 to build the $13 million Promenade Cinema 14 movie theater and retail space.
Civic Partners stopped making payments in 2009.
Slain Police Officer Laid To Rest
ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - A slain Rockwell City police officer has been buried in the community he served for eight years.
The Tuesday funeral service for 37-year-old Jamie Buenting drew an estimated 800 to 1,000 police officers and firefighters from Iowa and surrounding states. They joined hundreds of others in the gym at South Central Calhoun Middle School. Buenting was buried in Rosehill Cemetery later in the day.
Buenting, a married father of two, was shot during a standoff early Friday in Rockwell City. Police arrested 32-year-old Corey Trott and charged him with first-degree murder in Buenting's death.
Buenting's 7-year-old daughter, Kalie, read a note at her father's funeral she penned after his death, asking God to make sure he "gets the best place in Heaven."
Grand Jury Clears Two Des Moines Police Officers In Wrongful Shooting
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A grand jury has cleared two Des Moines police officers of any wrongdoing in the July shooting death of an armed home invasion suspect.
A grand jury convened last week found that officers Theodore Stroope and Jacob Hedlund were justified in the July 5 shooting of 57-year-old Larry Hawkins.
An investigation showed the officers fired a total of seven shots at Hawkins. Hawkins was hit by three bullets, including a fatal shot to the chest.
Police say Hawkins and another man, 52-year-old Michael Eugene Walker, broke into a home and beat the occupants, threatening them with guns. Police say the officers shot Hawkins when he refused to drop his weapon and pointed it at officers.
Commission Deciding Upon New Standards For Iowa's Waters
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The commission responsible for setting Iowa's water quality standards is expected to make a decision next month on whether to set new measurable standards for the state's lakes.
The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission listened to a presentation at its Tuesday meeting in Mason City from two environmental groups that have petitioned for stricter water quality standards.
The Iowa Environmental Council and the Environmental Law and Policy Center filed a petition last month saying Iowa's plan for reducing phosphorous and nitrogen that pollute lakes doesn't meet federal standards.
The petition requires the commission to consider the proposed standards and either make new rules to carry them out or deny the petition within 60 days.
The commission next meets Oct. 14 in Windsor Heights and is expected to announce its decision.
Branstad Returns From India And Japan
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad will soon be back in his office in the Iowa state Capitol.
Branstad returned Tuesday afternoon from a trade trip to India and Japan and will be in the office Wednesday.
Branstad told reporters this week that the trip could soon deliver some results. Branstad says the state is chasing at least one significant project and several smaller ones.
Branstad departed Sept. 6 and first went to Japan for the 2013 Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference in Tokyo. Then he continued to India for a six-day trade trip, which featured stops in several cities to meet with business and government leaders.
Iowa exports to India grew 22 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same six months last year.
Grassley Celebrates 80th Birthday With Six-Mile Run
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Sen. Chuck Grassley celebrated his 80th birthday with a 6-mile run.
Grassley ran from his townhome in Arlington, Va., to the Capitol.
Grassley aide Jill Gerber says the senator also planned to have ice cream with his staff.
Grassley - a native of New Hartford - was born in Sept. 17, 1933. The Republican is Iowa's senior senator and has served in the Senate since 1981. Before that he served in the U.S. House and the Iowa House.
Grassley typically does a 3-mile run, four times a week.