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Thursday Afternoon News, October 10

Firefighters Serve Ice Cream

(Le Mars) -- Last evening, visitors to the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor were given a special treat.  Instead of the regular waiters and waitresses scooping up their favorite creamy flavor of ice cream, members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department were serving them.
The fire fighters were at the ice cream parlor between 5:00 and 8:30 p.m.
Dave Smetter is a spokesperson for Wells Enterprises and Blue Bunny Ice Cream and tells how
the event was organized.

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Children were given coloring books, and other handouts, including a red plastic fire fighter's helmet.  The children also had the opportunity to sit inside one of the fire trucks that was parked outside.  Fire officials showed off some of their equipment to the patrons. Smetter says Wells and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department have a special relationship.
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Blue Bunny officials estimate more than 300 people were served by the Le Mars Fire Department.

Three Teens Arrested For Theft Crimes In Iowa, Nebraska, And Missouri

SIDNEY, Iowa (AP) - Three teenagers suspected of crimes in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska have been captured in southwest Iowa.
Fremont County sheriff's deputies found the three inside the public library on Tuesday.
The three bolted but were soon captured after foot chases.
The three had been reported missing from a youth center in Manning.
Nebraska authorities had alerted the Fremont County deputies as Otoe County, Neb., deputies were chasing a pickup believed stolen in Plattsmouth, Neb. Fremont County deputies
soon were tipped that the pickup was seen in Sidney.
The three are suspected of vehicle theft in Manning, a police pursuit in Atchison County, Mo., thefts in Nemaha County, Neb., and vehicle theft and arson in Cass County, Neb.
Two of the teens are 16; the other is 13.


Fish Kills

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials are investigating two fish kills in north central Iowa.
The state Department of Natural Resources says it began looking into the fish kills Monday. They're located in Kossuth County on the east fork of the Des Moines River and Boone River in Hamilton County.
Officials are still looking for the source of pollution. In Kossuth County, the pollutant turned the east fork of the Des Moines River green, west of the town of Irvington. Staff reported low oxygen levels and a chemical odor.
In Hamilton County, the contaminant killed fish and other aquatic organisms along a stretch of the Boone River southwest of Woolstock.
Officials say it's not likely that manure caused the fish kills, since staff did not detect ammonia at either site.


Tax Revenue Expected To Increase

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A panel of state budget experts predicts a slight increase in tax revenue during the current fiscal year.
The Revenue Estimating Conference met Thursday to project state revenue numbers. The three-member panel includes the governor's top budget adviser, the financial adviser to the Legislature and an independent member, Mason City economist David Underwood.
The group predicts net state revenue - made up of taxes and other sources - will come in at about $6.7 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That represents a slight increase over the previous year, though a direct comparison is difficult because state lawmakers have changed some accounting practices.
The panel will meet again in December to set the revenue projection that Gov. Terry Branstad must use to craft his next budget.


Company Settles With Iowa Over Deceptive Sales

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Connecticut-based company will pay Iowa consumers more than $5 million to resolve allegations that it misled people into signing up for discount club memberships.
Attorney General Tom Miller announced the settlement Thursday with Affinion Group Inc. and its subsidiaries, Trilegiant Corporation and Inc.
Affinion and its subsidiaries run discount clubs and membership programs that offer services like credit monitoring, roadside assistance and discounted travel. The company is accused of duping consumers into paying for them through supposed "free trials."
The settlement states Affinion must provide clear information to consumers after enrollment about their membership, periodic reminders of their enrollment and notice of changes to cancellation practices.
The money is part of a $30 million settlement with 47 states and the District of Columbia.


Second Baby Boom

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A hospital in Dubuque experienced a baby boom in September, with the most births since the national baby boom was just beginning 67 years ago.
The Telegraph Herald reports ( UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital had 79 births in September. That's the most since there were 90 births in May 1946 as the nation experienced a baby boom following the end of World War II.
The hospital normally has 55 to 60 births a month.
No one has an explanation for the spike in births, but Becky Richardson, the hospital's birthing suites director, notes that last December there was a lot of talk about the Mayan calendar. Some believed it foretold the end of the world.
Or, as new mother Lisa Boffeli of Cascade speculated, "Maybe it was cold."

UNI Professors Hopeful After Court's Decision

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Some professors who took incentive packages and resigned from the University of Northern Iowa are hopeful they could get their jobs back following a court decision that found the buyout offers should have been negotiated through their union.

Professor Anne Lair, who headed UNI's French department, tells the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier ( she's waiting for the university to offer her position back after the Sept. 29 ruling that the buyouts should have been negotiated.

Attorney general's office spokesman Eric Tabor says the Iowa Board of Regents may appeal the decision to the Iowa Supreme Court. The regents have until Oct. 29 to decide whether to appeal.

Joe Gorton, the president of UNI's faculty union, says an appeal would be a waste of time and money.

UNI officials declined to comment.





Thursday News, October 10

Remsen-Union Students To Help With Tornado Clean Up

(Remsen) -- Remsen-Union school students will trade pencils and notepads for work gloves as they leave the classroom today, and instead will assist with clean up from last Friday's tornadoes that hit northwest Iowa.  Students from grades six through 12 will help with the aftermath clean up.  School officials believe it is a great opportunity for the students to give back to the community and provide support for those affected by last week's storms. 
Buses will depart this morning at 8:20 a.m. and the students will return at 2:30 p.m.

Sioux County Accident Results In Fatality

(Orange City) -- An auto accident in Sioux County early Wednesday morning resulted in a fatality.  The accident occurred at 4:07 a.m. on Highway 60 about five miles south of Orange City.  Zakaria Hussein Ahmed, age 24, of Minneapolis, Minnesota was driving northbound on Highway 60 when he lost control of his vehicle, entered the median and rolled several times.
Ahmed was ejected from the vehicle and sustained serious injuries.  He was transported to the Orange City hospital and was pronounced dead by the Sioux County medical examiner. 
Authorities believe alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.


Suspicious Person Arrested In Sioux County

(Orange City) -- Sioux County authorities were notified of a suspicious person at a residence at 350th Street northeast of Sioux Center.  A person who lives at the residence reported to sheriff's deputies that someone was outside their driveway, tampering with their vehicle.  Upon further investigation, deputies and officers from nearby police departments, located Jonathan DeBondt, age 22, of Doon, Iowa, hiding near a vehicle that was parked at the residence.  DeBondt was arrested for criminal trespassing.  Sioux Center and Rock Valley police assisted Sioux County deputies with that arrest.


Interstate Highway Collapses

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa State Patrol says a section of Interstate 80 in Council Bluffs has collapsed, but no one was injured.
Crews were installing a pipe beneath the freeway when the three eastbound lanes collapsed Wednesday night.
Council Bluffs police say the collapse left about a 10-foot gap that was 2 to 3 feet deep.
Workers immediately called 911 and authorities were able to halt traffic and avoid injuries.
The state Department of Transportation posted a message on its website just before 9 p.m. saying lanes were blocked between Exit 1A and Exit 4.
The Department of Transportation advised that eastbound lanes from the Missouri River
bridge to the South Expressway exit would remain closed until late afternoon Thursday.


Governors Speak At Tri-State Conference

(Dakota Dunes, SD) -- The governors of our tri-state area met together Wednesday in Dakota Dunes for their annual conference.  Iowa's Terry Branstad was joined by Dave Heineman of Nebraska and Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota.

Heineman says the area economy remains strong as evidenced by low unemployment rates.
Nebraska has just 4.2 percent unemployment and South Dakota 3.8 percent, the third and second lowest in the country.

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Iowa's unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, 8th lowest in America. Governor Daugaard says the three states consistently rank high in many business categories.

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The governor's also discussed the federal health care mandate.  Branstad says Iowa is still waiting on federal approval for their plan.

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The governors of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, all three, Republicans, are urging federal
lawmakers to end the partial government shutdown.  They discussed what the shutdown had done
to their states.

Daugaard and Heineman say the shutdown's chief impact has been the loss of National Guard jobs.
Daugaard also says the uncertainty caused by the shutdown "is not helpful to any of our economies."
Heineman says both parties are at fault for the situation in Washington, and Branstad says President Barack Obama should stop attacking the Republican leadership in Congress, because that lessens chances of compromise.
This was the 13th gathering of the tri-state governors.


New Business Opens In Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- A new business is offering satellite services here in Le Mars.  Satellite Central has opened it's doors in a new location on the corner of business highway 75 and 12th Street.  General Manager Angie Galles says that the company is happy to have an office in this community.

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Satellite Central is also an Authorized Sales Agent for Frontier Communications which means your satellite service, phone and internet can all be set up at their location.
This whole week is a celebration of Satellite Central's grand opening. Daily from 9 to 11
stop in for free coffee and cookies. Tonight they're having a Chamber After 5 until 7pm, with a ribbon cutting at 5:30.  Galles says that Saturday will be an extra special day at the store.

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The kangaroo will be on site from 10-4p.  Adults can also get thier "Hopp" on with a beer tasting on Saturday afternoon.


Five People Have Enrolled In New Health Care Insurance Plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An insurance carrier under Iowa's new health marketplace says at
least five persistent residents have signed up for insurance on the government's website.
CoOportunity Health says the people enrolled in the carrier's insurance plans by
Wednesday morning. The consumers are from Iowa City, Glidden and Clive.
The marketplaces, also known as exchanges, have been troubled by technical glitches and
delays since launching on Oct. 1. Iowa's exchange is available under the federal website.
Cliff Gold, CoOportunity Health's chief operating officer, says he's encouraged that
some people are getting through the website. He says nine Nebraska residents have also
selected policies via the new system. 
The policies go into effect on Jan. 1.


Texas Governor Perry Will Headline Iowa Republican Fundraiser

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry will headline a Republican fundraiser in
Iowa next month.
Perry will appear at a dinner hosted by the Republican Party of Polk County on Nov. 7.
The event will be held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines, with tickets starting
at $75 per person.
Perry is considering a 2016 run for president after an unsuccessful effort in 2012.
Other potential 2016 Republican contenders have also been visiting Iowa, the site of
the nation's first presidential nominating event. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand
Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have all made appearances in recent months.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will give the keynote speech at a birthday fundraiser for Gov. Terry Branstad next month.


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