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Tuesday News, August 18

Jindahl To Campaign In Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- Louisiana Governor and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindahl is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Le Mars today.  The republican will be at the Four Brothers restaurant between 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m.




City Council To Hold Public Hearing On Ethanol Storage Facility

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to convene at the City Hall Council Chambers beginning at noon.  The city council will hold a public hearing regarding the urban revenue tax increment revenue bond.  The hearing will hear public comment on the proposal to take action on not to exceed $2,500,000 taxable urban renewal tax increment bond for funding a project in the Le Mars Highway 75 By-pass urban renewal area consisting of providing an economic development loan to the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation in connection with the construction and development of ethanol storage and loading facilities and related rail improvements in the urban renewal area.  In action items, the council will discuss the energy audit recommendations for the public library.  The city council will also consider a request from Wells Enterprises.  Wells is proposing expansion of its business operations and creation of additional jobs.  Wells is pursuing financial assistance for a portion of the costs of this project, and as such, is requesting approval from the city to submit applications to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for funding through the High Quality Jobs Program.  The council will also discuss whether a new housing assessment study should be conducted.






Supervisors To Consider Renewing Leases With Pride Group

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hear from Anne Rust this morning during their weekly meeting.  Rust, is with Pride Group, Incorporated, and the county governing board will consider renewing commercial leases.





Former Water Officials Tampered With Samples

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two former Sioux City employees tampered with samples at the city's wastewater treatment plant.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Kevin Baskins said Monday former plant superintendent Jay Niday and shift supervisor Pat Schwarte treated wastewater with chlorine only on days when samples were tested for E. coli. Baskins said the wastewater, which is released into the Missouri River, could have higher E. coli levels on days when chlorine isn't added and could pose a risk to those who drink the river water.
Baskins said the employees have been sent a letter telling them the state plans to revoke their wastewater treatment certifications, which the two can appeal.
An investigation was launched after a complaint about the wastewater was sent to city






Branstad Wants A Review Of Funding To Planned Parenthood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he wants state agencies in Iowa to review its contracts with the local Planned Parenthood affiliate to ensure no funding is going to abortions.
Branstad said Monday the health care provider does not receive a state appropriation and no Medicaid dollars go to abortions in Iowa. Branstad said most money going to Planned Parenthood is federal.
Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the governor will determine his next move after the review.
Suzanna de Baca, president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, says the organization has helped reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections.
Branstad's move comes after the release of videos by an anti-abortion group showing Planned Parenthood officials in Texas describing how they provide fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.





Quality Food Processors To Expand And Add Jobs At Denison

DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Good news for the town of Denison.  Just days after Tyson closed its beef slaughtering facility, officials for the small western Iowa city of Denison say a local meat processor plans to add about 200 jobs as part of an expansion.
The Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County says Quality Food Processors LLC wants to start hiring for the jobs in 2016. The company currently has about 100 employees in Denison.
Evan Blakley, executive director for the chamber, says Quality Food Processors is still seeking local tax incentives and state grant money to move forward with the project.
The announcement comes just days after Tyson Foods said it will close its plant in Denison. It employed about 400 people.
Blakley says the expansion at Quality Food Processors and pending announcements from other employers offering local jobs is a sign there are work opportunities in Denison.





Four Companies To Manage Iowa's Medicaid Program

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's administration will turn over management of Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program to four companies beginning Jan. 1.
The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Monday that Amerigroup Iowa; AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa; United Healthcare Plan of the River Valley; and WellCare of Iowa were selected after a bidding process.
The announcement marks a key point in Branstad's transformation of Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled that serves 560,000 Iowans.
The companies will coordinate services for beneficiaries through networks of providers.
Branstad argues that having managed care organizations run the program will contain costs that have risen sharply while improving outcomes. The state says patients will receive the same benefits but the new system should reduce unnecessary services.
Critics worry the shift will hurt patients.



Monday Afternoon News, August 17

Authorities Identify Fatal Accident Victim

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have released the name of the fatal accident victim from the two-vehicle accident that happened Sunday afternoon on Highway 75, four miles north of Le Mars.  The accident victim has been identified as 16 year old Zachary Rolfes of Le Mars.  Rolfes crossed the centerline, and was hit by a semi truck and trailer.  He was pronounced dead at the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.  The driver of the semi truck, 43 year old Jon Edwards of Sibley suffered only minor injuries. Authorities are still investigating the accident to determine as to why Rolfes lost control and entered the southbound lane of travel.




High School To Offer Counseling Sessions For Students After Death Of Teenager

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community High School is offering counseling sessions for those students that feel a need to express their emotions due to the tragic death of Zachary Rolfes.  Dr. Mark Iverson, the high school principal, says students were notified through emails of the tragedy.  He says students can visit the high school to seek counseling.

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Iverson says the 16 year old participated in football, wrestling, and band.  Iverson says the high school does not have a time table for the counseling sessions.  He says they will continue as long as there is a need.

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Branstad Says Caucus Results Count, Not Early Polling Numbers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's Republican governor says don't read too much into August presidential polls.

Asked about billionaire Donald Trump's surge, Gov. Terry Branstad said four years ago, the leading position changed hands many times. February is a long time off, he said, a reference to the first in the nation caucuses in his state.

Branstad on Monday noted that nearly every 2016 presidential candidate is coming to the fair. Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are among those who have already visited. Scheduled to appear Monday were Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former business executive Carly Fiorina and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Iowa's Republican governor walked the fairgrounds with Bush Friday. So far, he has not given the same attention to another candidate, but he said the face time with Bush happened simply because their schedules lined up.

Branstad said: "I'm trying to be truly a good host in welcoming all candidates. I do have a busy schedule and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't."





Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Steps Up To The State Fair Soap Box Stage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is rallying hundreds of supporters in Iowa, despite protests of a vocal minority during his speech at the Iowa State Fair.

During his stop at The Des Moines Register's Political Soapbox, the Republican candidate for president said he is "frustrated with the Republican leadership in Washington." It was an indirect jab at some his rivals for the 2016 GOP nomination who are members of Congress.

Walker also tried to distinguish himself from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, referring to those who have "been out of the fight" for a while. Bush left the Florida governorship after two terms in 2007.

Walker, who beat a 2011 recall after signing legislation stripping public unions of some negotiating rights, said his detractors didn't intimidate him in his home state. He said, "the truth is things are better in Wisconsin."





Mower To Run Again For Congress, But This Time In The 3rd District

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iraq war veteran who lost a Democratic congressional bid last year says he will try again in a different district.

Jim Mowrer announced Monday that he'll run for the Democratic nomination in Iowa's 3rd congressional district. Mowrer ran unsuccessfully last year against Republican Rep. Steve King in the 4th district.

The 3rd district stretches from Des Moines to Council Bluffs and is represented by freshman Republican Rep. David Young.

The 29-year-old Mowrer says his family now lives in Des Moines. He recently resigned from a leadership role with the Iowa Democratic Party and says he is running to bring new leadership to the district.

Mowrer was soundly beaten by King in a Republican-heavy district. The 3rd district is considered a more politically competitive district.





Trench Collapses Killing Otho Man

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a 49-year-old man who died after a trench collapsed on him in central Iowa.

The accident happened around 1:40 p.m. Friday at Marian Home and Village in Fort Dodge. Authorities say workers were installing a sewer line as part of a renovation and expansion project when about 20 feet of the 3-foot-wide trench collapsed.

The Messenger reports that firefighters had to shore up the 12-foot-deep trench before the man's body could be recovered. The man was identified as William "Butch" Paterson, of Otho (OH'-thoh).

Safety investigators have been called in to see what caused the accident and determine whether safety procedures were followed.






Man Sets Another Man On Fire - Charged With Attempted Murder

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 46-year-old man accused of setting another man on fire has been charged with attempted murder in Des Moines.

Police say Mark Thomsen was arrested and charged with attempted murder and willful injury after the incident that was reported around 8 p.m. Saturday. Online court records don't list the name of an attorney who could be contacted to comment on Thomsen's behalf.

Witnesses told officers that Thomsen was arguing with the other man at a camp for homeless people. The other man later was identified as Kenneth Wise. Wise was taken to a Des Moines hospital and then flown to Iowa City for treatment of burns that police say covered 75 percent of Wise's body.








School District To Sell Wind Turbine

NORTHWOOD, Iowa (AP) - The Northwood-Kensett school district is considering selling its wind turbine that it purchased over a decade ago.

The school district bought the 250-kilowatt turbine in 2002 for about $68,000. Officials had planned for the equipment to be moved to the Northwood-Kensett school campus in Northwood, but it never happened.

The turbine remains at a wind farm, where it generates electricity that the district sells to Alliant Energy. Superintendent Mike Crozier says the equipment has generated about $4,050 in total profits over the past five years.

He says that, "If there's a market out there, we'll go ahead and sell it." The district would formally advertise the turbine and open it up for bid if anyone shows interest and officials decide to sell.





College Divers Find Abandon Pick Up Truck At Bottom Of Lake

LEHIGH, Iowa (AP) - Some college divers on a training dip have been surprised by their discovery of a pickup on the bottom of a lake in central Iowa.

The scuba divers from Iowa State University found the truck Sunday at Brushy Creek State Recreational Area near Lehigh. Webster County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Paullin says the divers got the truck's license number, and authorities confirmed that the license had been given to a pickup stolen several years ago.

Paullin says the divers attached a cable from a tow truck to the pickup, and the pickup was pulled from the lake.




Branstad Unveils New App For Arts & Culture

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is unveiling a new mobile app that offers information about Iowa's arts, culture and history destinations.

Branstad announced the app Monday at a news conference at the Iowa State Fair. The app provides details on more than 3,500 spots throughout the state's 99 counties.

Users can sort the information by category and location, using mapping tools to see what is available in different regions. It offers details on destinations like the American Gothic House, the bridges in Madison County and the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.

Branstad says the app showcases destinations that are "points of pride" and will help people learn more about Iowa.

The app is available in the Apple and Google Play stores.
































































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