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Friday News, September 6

Leonard Files Nomination Papers For Re-election

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City Councilman John Leonard has submitted his nomination papers seeking re-election to the city council.  Leonard represents the city's citizens living in Ward 1.  Leonard was first elected to the city council in 2005.  The only other candidate to file nomination papers is Ken Nelson.  Nelson represents Ward 3 and has been on the city council since 1998.  Mayor Dick Kirchoff and Councilman Rex Knapp are up for re-election.  So far, no other candidate has submitted nomination papers. September 19th is the deadline to file nomination papers and the election is scheduled for November 5th.

 

Kommes Seeks Re-election To School Board

(Le Mars) -- School Board elections are scheduled for Tuesday, September 10th.  The Le Mars Community School District has four board positions to be decided.  In District 2 is Scott Kommes, an executive with Wells Enterprises.  Kommes has completed his first term and is seeking a second term.  Kommes is running unopposed. He says community involvement is the reason why he chose to run for the school board.

Listen to

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Kommes says he would like to see the school board be able to devote more attention to the
education of the students.  However, much to his surprise, school financing consumes much
of the attention for the school board, especially so when the state doesn't act in a timely manner for establishing the educational budget.

Listen to

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Kommes says the Le Mars Community School Board can be proud of its many accomplishments.

Listen to

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Le Mars Mainstreet To Host Workshop

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars will serve as the host city for the State of Iowa Main Street program in November, and in so doing, the Le Mars Mainstreet Organization will offer a workshop opportunity for Le Mars businesses.  Representatives from 49 different communities will be in Le Mars for the conference.  Mary Reynolds, Le Mars Mainstreet Organization coordinator says the workshop will teach attendees how we can accelerate the shift from management to leadership at a moment's notice?  What are the five steps which will unlock your creative power?  and What six change tools will yield 63 different ways to view anything in your path?  The workshop will feature Iowa artist David Williamson.  Williamson believes creativity is a strategic tool in today's economy, and you will leave the November conference confident in your ability to collaborate and create at new levels.  The workshop is scheduled for November 6th and will take place in the lower level of Primebank.  The workshop fee is $25 per person.  It will be an all day workshop and specific times will be announced later.

 

County Road C-44 To Open Through Merrill

(Merrill) -- Good news for residents living in and around Merrill.  The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced County Road C-44 from K-30 to K-49 will be open beginning Monday, September 9th with no restrictions.  That means you will now be able to cross U-S Highway 75 and be able to drive to the downtown businesses without a detour.  However, the Iowa Department of Transportation is still working on Highway 75 and the traffic control cones will remain in place as construction is expected to continue for several weeks.

 

More Construction Planned For County Road C-38

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has also announced a road closure scheduled to start on Monday and continuing through next Friday.  County road C-38 from K-42 to Key Avenue will be closed in order to replace a small piece of pavement west of the Burlington Northern Railroad on C-38.  County engineer Tom Rohe says the construction project involving C-38 and K-42 on the northern edge of the town of Merrill near Plymouth Energy ethanol plant and Plymouth Oil is nearing completion.


I-Smile Receives $1.8 Million Grant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa public health officials have received a $1.8 million federal grant to help ensure children and some adults get adequate dental care.
The money from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be used to
expand a school-based dental program called I-Smile Dental Home Initiative and to monitor
and evaluate the state's dental public health program.
I-Smile helps Iowa's children connect with dentists who provide treatment and
evaluation. Other health professionals including dental hygienists, physicians, nurse
practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, and dietitians are a part of a
larger network providing oral screenings, education, guidance, and preventive services as
needed.
Since I-Smile began, 62 percent more low-income Iowa children have received dental
services.
Iowa is one of 18 states to receive CDC funding.

 

Branstad To Visit Japan And India

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is heading to Japan and India on a trade mission.
Branstad departs Friday. He will first go to Japan for the 2013 Midwest U.S.-Japan
Association Conference in Tokyo. Then he'll continue to India for a six-day trade trip.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority is organizing the trip, which will feature
stops in several cities to meet with business and government leaders.
Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham will join Branstad on the trip.
Branstad's travel will be paid for by a foundation associated with the Iowa Economic
Development Authority.  His airfare is estimated at $6,400 and lodging is estimated to be
approximately $3,500.  Last evening, Governor Branstad was in Hull, for the 35th anniversary of the Foreign Candy Company.

 

Kenyan Scientist To Receive World Food Prize

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A scientist from Kenya who helped discover a product that reduces the development of a toxic mold in corn will get a $10,000 award from the World Food Prize.
Charity Kawira Mutegi was named Thursday the recipient of the Norman Borlaug Award
for Field Research and Application. It was created in 2011 with a $1 million Rockefeller Foundation endowment.
Mutegi, who is 38, made a major breakthrough in combating aflatoxin, a corn mold fatal to animals and people consuming it.
Mutegi's research into a 2005 outbreak in Kenya that killed 125 people led to the development of a non-toxic strain of the fungus. It can be spread on soil before a crop flowers preventing aflatoxin from developing.
Mutgi will be presented with the award on Oct. 16 in Des Moines.

 

New Communications To Review Drug Concerns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have launched a communications tool that aims to inform residents about new and emerging drug concerns.
The Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy says the service will provide updates via a monthly newsletter. Special alerts may be issued via social media and local news.
Policy Director Steve Lukan says it's important for Iowa residents to get timely
information about the growing number of new synthetic drugs and other modified substances
of abuse.
Residents can sign up for the monthly newsletter online.


Three People Arrested For Des Moines Warehouse Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three people have been arrested in connection with a warehouse fire near downtown Des Moines.
Authorities say 20-year-old Kristopher Duff and two 17-year-old boys, all of Des
Moines, have been charged with second-degree arson in connection with the Aug. 29 fire at a recycling company.
The Des Moines Fire Department and Des Moines Police Department say they conducted interviews with several witnesses and suspects before making any arrests.
The suspects were taken to the Polk County Jail for processing. The two 17-year-old boys were taken to a juvenile facility.

 

 

   

Thursday Afternoon News, Sept. 5

Kommes Seeking Re-election To School Board

(Le Mars) -- School Board elections are scheduled for Tuesday, September 10th.  The Le Mars Community School District has four board positions to be decided.  In District 2 is Scott Kommes, an executive with Wells Enterprises.  Kommes has completed his first term and is seeking a second term.  Kommes is running unopposed. He says community involvement is the reason why he chose to run for the school board.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Kommes says he would like to see the school board be able to devote more attention to the education of the students.  However, much to his surprise, school financing consumes much of the attention for the school board, especially so when the state doesn't act in a timely manner for establishing the educational budget.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Kommes says the Le Mars Community School Board can be proud of its many accomplishments.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Camp High Hopes Celebrates One Year Anniversary

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City camp for people with mental and physical disabilities is celebrating its first year and looking to expand.
Camp High Hopes will mark its birthday Thursday. The $5.8 million facility, which started after eight years of fundraising and planning, has served more than 300 participants from 16 Iowa counties and four states.
The camp plans to add another cabin and a separate medical center. Camp CEO Ali Langseth says the additions are part of growing with the times.
The facility provides recreational opportunities and overnight trips to both children and adults. Funding comes from donations and grants.
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Labor Department And Mexico Sign Agreement For Immigrant Training

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Consulate of Mexico are signing an agreement to provide training and resources for immigrant workers in Iowa and Nebraska. The goal is to inform workers of their rights to be paid fairly under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal wage laws.
A formal signing ceremony on Thursday will establish the agreement under which regional labor officials and the consulate's office based in Omaha will develop ways of communicating information to workers and employers.
The agreement will be signed in Des Moines by Michael Staebell, Wage and Hour Division district director for the Labor Department in Des Moines and Jorge Ernesto Espejel Montes, Consul of Mexico based in Omaha.
Staebell says immigrant workers often do not know their legal rights.


Regents To Hear Presentation On Sexual Harassment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A national expert will deliver a presentation to the Iowa Board of Regents next week on the legal landscape of sexual misconduct on campus.
A regents memo released Wednesday shows that Saunie Schuster will address the board
during its meeting in Cedar Falls.
The memo says Schuster is a partner with the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management and an expert in "preventive law," notably in the fields of sexual misconduct and harassment.
Schuster is expected to discuss legal issues, policies and training related to sexual
misconduct.
The regents govern Iowa's three public universities, and have responded to several
high-profile sexual assault and harassment cases in the last decade. Most recently, the regents asked the universities for policy changes after the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal at Penn State.

 

Insurance Commissioner Say He Needs Commitment From Insurance Company

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's insurance commissioner says he needs a commitment from a
national insurer before he can release pricing information on policies to be sold on the state's new health insurance exchange.
The prices were scheduled to be released next week, but that's been delayed until Sept. 16.
Commissioner Nick Gerhart says  that he's awaiting a decision from Coventry on whether it will carry through on its initial plans to offer policies. But Coventry's new parent company, Aetna, has withdrawn from five other states' exchanges.
Aetna officials didn't respond to requests for comment.
If Coventry were to opt out, that would leave Iowans with only one carrier,
CoOportunity Health. The state's dominant health insurer, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, won't participate in the exchange until 2015.
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London's Resignation Letter Has Similar Passages

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A resignation letter written by Public Safety Commissioner K. Brian London contains several passages that are nearly identical to a retirement speech given by a Navy captain.
London wrote the letter to employees Wednesday, after submitting his resignation to
Gov. Terry Branstad following a rocky 11-month tenure.
London wrote that he believed his staff would work well after his departure because,
"when you take your hand out of a bucket of water, the hole does not long remain."
An identical line was included in a 1999 speech by John Allen Williams, when he retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve. Williams' remarks are available on the website of Loyola University Chicago, where Williams teaches.
London used several other lines nearly identical to those Williams delivered, including a George Carlin quote.

 

Drought Conditions Worsen

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Drought conditions have worsened in a portion of the Midwest including Iowa, the nation's leading corn producer, as the region experienced its hottest week of the year.
The extreme heat and near record low August rainfall combined to expand drought
conditions from the eastern Dakotas southeastward into western Illinois.
Iowa saw its warmest week since July 2012, with highs topping 104 at Des Moines on Aug. 30. 
About 98 percent of the state is in drought. Severe drought expanded to 32 percent of
the state from 22 percent the week before.
Conditions are mostly unchanged in Nebraska and Kansas.
The weekly drought monitor, which tracks conditions from Aug. 27 through Tuesday morning, shows 61.7 percent of the contiguous United States in drought, nearly the same as the week before.


 

 

   

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