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Tuesday Afternoon News, October 1

Authorities Find Missing Child

(Le Mars) -- For a period of nearly three and a half hours last evening, local authorities were searching for a missing 12 year old boy.  Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga says the parents of the child reported to police at nearly 6:30 p.m. that their special needs child was gone.

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The boy was found hiding in a dog house at about 9:00 p.m. at a friend's home, nearly two miles away from his home.  He was safe without injuries. However, Dekkenga says it is always a difficult issue to determine if a missing child is a run-a-way, or if an abduction has occurred. 

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The police chief says last evening's search turned up evidence that led police to believe they were dealing with a run-a-way child.

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Dekkenga says he was only minutes away from contacting the media to ask for the public's assistance with the search of the missing child.  Some may wonder if an Amber Alert should have been issued.  Dekkenga says an Amber Alert requires specific criteria.

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Again, we want to emphasize the boy was found safe, and he was returned to his parents.

 

City Reports Fall Clean Up Data

(Le Mars) -- During the recent Le Mars Fall Clean Up Week, more than 108,550 pounds of waste products were disposed at the Plymouth County Landfill facilities.  Bill Cole, Assistant City Administrator, says the amount equaling to slightly more than 54 tons was about 15,000 pounds less than the spring clean up days.  The Fall Clean up is a time when the city offers amnesty on disposal fees.  190 residents participated in the fall clean up, which is 74 fewer people than the spring clean up days.  A year ago, 234 people disposed more than 109,200 pounds of waste products.  Fall Clean Up allowed
people to dispose white goods appliances, construction and demolition, furniture, and fencing.  Weekly garbage and trash were not allowed to be included in the special waste disposal.

 

Fire Department Issues Monthly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued both its monthly and quarterly reports.  During the month of September, the fire department responded to a total of 35 calls, of which 8 were fires, 7 rescue calls, 5 officer investigations, and 15 requests for services.  During September, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was awarded a 2012 Life Safety Achievement Award.  The fire department wishes to remind Le Mars residents and businesses that October 6th through October 12th is National Fire Prevention Week.  The annual pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, October 6th at Fire Station #1 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.  Members of the Le Mars Fire Department will also be serving ice cream at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor on Wednesday, October 9th between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  The Fire Department
will have a fire truck parked outside of the ice cream parlor during the time they are serving ice cream.

 

Trial Set For Shooter Of Rockwell City Police Officer

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - A December trial has been scheduled for a 32-year-old Iowa man accused of killing a Rockwell City police officer.
Corey Trott pleaded not guilty on Monday to a charge of first-degree murder. He's suspected of shooting 37-year-old Jamie Buenting on Sept. 13, during an hours-long standoff with police at Trott's house.
Trott's trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 3. He's being held in Webster County Jail.
Buenting was married and had two children.

 

Iowans Find It Difficult To Obtain New Health Care Insurance Information

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Getting information from the online insurance marketplace the first day of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul hasn't been easy for some Iowans.
Logging onto the computer system to compare insurance policies proved difficult for Ken Ridge, a 62-year-old retiree from Clive. He says he wanted to compare his insurance policy with those offered through the insurance exchange Tuesday morning, but the computer system wouldn't let him create an account. He'll try later in the day.
Violet Menke, of Ankeny, says she tried to call the toll-free Affordable Care Act information line but was told her wait would be 30 minutes.
Visiting Nurses of Iowa, one of the few groups in Iowa receiving a grant to help people buy insurance in the marketplace, reports receiving just one call so far.

 

Branstad Selects New Chief-Of-Staff

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has named a new chief who previously worked as an aide to Republicans in the state Legislature and Congress.
Branstad announced Tuesday he had hired Matt Hinch as his chief of staff. The 33-year-old Hinch takes the place of Jeff Boeyink, who resigned last month.
Hinch has most recently worked as senior vice president of public policy for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, which represents central Iowa businesses and chambers of commerce.
He previously worked as chief of staff to Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and as campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Tom Latham.
Hinch is a University of Iowa graduate. He and his wife, Ali, live in West Des Moines.

 

Grassley Deeply Disappointed With Government Shutdown

(Washington) -- For the first time since the mid-1990s, the federal government is essentially closed as Congress wrangles over funding for the federal health care program. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, in his weekly conference call with reporters in Iowa this (Tuesday) morning, says he's upset the partisan bickering has led to this point.

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Grassley, a Republican, says his offices have been ordered to trim back to only "accepted" employees who are essential to the operations. Beginning this afternoon and for the duration of the shutdown, he anticipates having only about 15-percent of his staff on duty.

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The Republican-controlled House passed a budget that would fund the federal government
only if so-called Obamacare was defunded, a plan the Democrat-run Senate rejected. Given the impasse, Grassley was asked how long the shutdown may last.

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The last time the federal government experienced a shutdown was under the Clinton Administration -- twice during late 1995 and early 1996. Those shutdowns lasted six days and 21 days, the longest in history. There have been 17 federal government shutdowns since 1977.
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Tuesday News, October 1

Congress Fails To Reach Budget Agreement --Government Offices To Shut Down

(Washington) -- Congress was unable to reach any type of compromise for the fiscal budget that starts today, and because of that, many of the U-S government agencies are shut down and closed for today.  Congressman Steve King had feared it would happen....Iowa Congressman Steve King says with a midnight deadline looming before the federal government partially shuts down because of a lack of funding, he's not seeing a mood of compromise on capitol hill between House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

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The 4th District Republican says the Senate Majority Leader isn't willing to negotiate on the federal health care plan, so the stalemate continues.

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King says even if parts of the government shutdown briefly, the damage to the economy will be minor compared to the implementation of "Obamacare".

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King says Congress is not obligated to fund the health care plan, and the President has made changes to the plan without Congressional approval, such as providing exemptions to certain groups.

Local agencies under the supervision of the federal government have their doors closed today.  They include Social Security offices, veterans affairs, and even the offices of the United States Department of Agriculture.  One federally backed agency that will be operating today is the postal service, so mail will continue without interruption.

 

Supervisors To Meet With Hospital Administrator

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet with Floyd Valley Hospital Administrator, Mike Donlin during today's weekly scheduled board meeting.  It is expected Donlin will offer the supervisors an update on the hospital expansion project.  A portion of the Local Options Sales Tax that was approved in August is slated to help finance the hospital's expansion.  County Engineer Tom Rohe will also appear before the county governing board.  He will again discuss the Smith Company road which was brought to the attention of the board, a few weeks ago.  Rohe will also update the supervisors on current construction projects.

 

City Council To Discuss Dogwood Additions

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council have a light agenda for today's meeting.  The council will discuss the development and zoning of Dogwood Additions, an area designated for light industrial.  The area in question lies at the corner of 12th Street Southwest and 6th Avenue Southwest.

 

Storm Lake Woman Abuses And Neglects Mother

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A 32-year-old Storm Lake woman has been accused of neglecting her mother and stealing from her.
Police say Erika Larios hadn't been taking her mother in for kidney dialysis and had been spending her mother's Social Security payments on herself. Police say Larios had removed her mother from a nursing home in Rock Island, Ill., and took her to Storm Lake.
Larios is charged with felony dependent adult financial abuse and dependent adult abuse causing bodily injury. State authorities have removed Larios' mother from Larios' care.
A public phone listing couldn't be found for Larios. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney in the case.

 

Woman Sentenced To Jail After Stealing From Past Employer

DAKOTA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A northern Iowa woman has been given jail time for stealing thousands of dollars from the welding shop where she was a bookkeeper.
36-year-old Rebecca Bottjen, of Osage, was sentenced Monday in Dakota County, Nebraska District Court to 60 days in jail and five years of probation. She was given credit for nearly 40 days already served in jail.
Bottjen had earlier pleaded guilty to five counts of theft by unlawful taking. She will need to pay restitution.
Bottjen was accused of stealing more than $67,000 from New Ideas Fabrication of Dakota City, Nebraskabetween October 2010 and February 2012. Prosecutors say she wrote checks to herself and illegally transferred money out of the company's accounts.
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Judge To Consider Disciplining Attorneys For Contacting Jurors

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A judge will consider whether to sanction former attorneys for Sholom Rubashkin for contacting jurors after the verdict that landed the former kosher slaughterhouse executive in prison.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade says the juror contacts violated a rule because they were done without permission. She'll decide Tuesday how to handle them.
Des Moines attorney Guy Cook has apologized for having an associate interview some jurors after the verdict in 2009. He says he believed Reade authorized the contacts when she told jurors they could speak with anyone or no one.
Kansas City attorney James Wyrsch authorized private investigators to contact jurors last month. In one case, Rubashkin's daughter showed up at a juror's home. Prosecutors say that was harassment.
Wyrsch said he's decided against representing Rubashkin on appeal.

 

U of I To Conduct Water Research With Iowa DNR

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa is linking its research on water and geological resources with the University of Iowa.
The University of Iowa and the state Department of Natural Resources have reached a cooperative agreement that will transfer some groundwater and geological research to the school's Department of Hydroscience and Engineering.
The university's new responsibilities include surveying Iowa's natural resources in all their economic and scientific aspects, as well as making topographic maps and studying the state's geological problems.
DNR Director Chuck Gipp says the agreement increases the state's capabilities to focus on geological and hydrological research, and also frees up the agency to focus on regulatory obligations.


West Des Moines Company Ordered To Pay Fines For Violating Environmental Laws

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A West Des Moines company has been ordered to pay $80,000 for violating state environmental laws when it demolished a Williamsburg truck stop.
Iowa District Court Judge Paul D. Miller assessed the civil penalty against Jai Santoshi Ma Inc. and owner Bhupen Patel.
Attorney General Tom Miller said in an April petition that Patel and his business failed to inspect for asbestos when it arranged for the demolition of the former Middle America Truck Stop in May and June of 2012. Testing later showed the demolition waste included asbestos material.
The court ordered Patel and Jai Santoshi Ma to identify and properly dispose of all asbestos-contaminated soil at the site.

 

State Senate Candidate Arrested For OWI

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A south Des Moines candidate for the Iowa Senate has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
The Des Moines Register says (http://dmreg.co/17n7u4k) Tony Bisignano, a Democrat, acknowledged his mistake and took responsibility for his action.
A police report says the 61-year-old was arrested at 12:38 a.m. Monday in Altoona. The report says his blood alcohol level was 0.099 percent.
Bisignano has been arrested for operating while intoxicated twice before, most recently 12 years ago.
He's seeking the Senate seat of Democrat Jack Hatch, who is running for governor. The district includes the south side of Des Moines and the Sherman Hill neighborhood.
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Register To Move Globe To Historical Museum

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The world is a nearly ready for a move down Locust Street in Des Moines.
The Des Moines Register is moving its 150-pound globe, which was a fixture in the newspaper's lobby since the 1950s, a mile east to the State Historical Museum in the city's East Village.
The Register reports (http://dmreg.co/GzD8lc ) a ceremony is planned Wednesday morning, when Register Publisher Rick Green and Mary Cownie, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, will transfer ownership of the aluminum globe. It then will be loaded onto a truck and hauled to the museum. After being temporarily stored in the museum's basement, it will be installed in the building's lobby later this year.
The Register donated the globe after moving into new offices a few blocks from its old building.
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