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Wednesday Afternoon News, May 1

Snow In May...Really?

(Le Mars) -- An old joke says "If you don't like Iowa's weather stick around ten minutes and it will change" that certainly seems to be true, especially when you look at the month of April and now having snow on May first.  Although snowfall in May is not as uncommon as one would think, according to State of Iowa Climatologist, Harry Hillaker.

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Hillaker says Le Mars actually holds the record for the most snow accumulated for the month of May, but you have to go back a number of years.

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The State Climatologist says this past month was the wettest April on record.

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Iowans have witnessed quite a range of weather patterns within the last few weeks, and Hillaker says that is likely to continue.

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Senate Rejects Branstad's Health Care Plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has rejected the governor's low-income health plan approved by the House this week.
Democrats, who support a Medicaid expansion plan, voted Wednesday against Gov. Terry Branstad's measure for low-income Iowans on a party-line vote, 26 to 24. The House approved the bill Tuesday.
The issue now goes to a joint committee where lawmakers of both parties and chambers will seek a compromise.
Democrats say Medicaid expansion would cover 150,000 additional low-income residents. The federal government would pay the full cost for the first three years then 10 percent would gradually
shift to the state.
Branstad opposes it saying it's an unsustainable cost for the federal government.
Democrat Sen. Pam Jochum of Dubuque says Branstad's plan would be more expensive for the state and cover fewer people.

 

School Districts Look At Teacher Lay-offs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Dozens and possibly hundreds of Iowa teachers are receiving notices they could lose their jobs in the next school year.
School districts are sending layoff notices because of a deadline requiring them to notify teachers by April 30 of possible job losses.
District officials say they hope they won't have to follow through on the job cuts, but the inability of state lawmakers to approve a general school funding level forces them to guess on
their budgets for the upcoming year.
Galen Howsare, of the Iowa Association of School Boards, says the group knows of at least 83 teachers who have been sent layoff notices, and the actually figure is likely 150 to 250.
This year, school funding has been mired in discussions about Gov. Terry Branstad's proposed education reforms.

 

Senate Approves DNA Misdemeanor Crimes Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has approved a measure that would require people convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors to submit DNA samples for a federal databank.
Lawmakers passed the bill Wednesday, 29 to 20. It now goes to Gov. Terry Branstad.
Under the proposal, adults convicted of crimes like aggravated misdemeanor assault and theft would submit a DNA sample. Under current Iowa law, only convicted felons and sexual offenders are
required to submit samples.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller supports the bill, saying it would help police solve cases.
Senators rejected an effort by Republican Sen. Mark Chelgren of Ottumwa to amend the bill to require samples from convicted juveniles and undocumented immigrants stopped by police.
Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach of Ames opposed the bill, saying it violates privacy rights.


Sorensen Says He Did Not Receive Payments From Bachmann

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa senator accused of taking improper payments from a presidential campaign says there is no evidence to support the claims.
Republican Sen. Kent Sorenson, of Milo, released a detailed statement Wednesday to the Senate ethics committee. The panel is set to meet to review an affidavit from an Iowa campaign adviser to
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign. In it, Andy Parrish says the Minnesota congresswoman approved a plan to indirectly pay Sorenson to work on her 2012 campaign.
Sorenson says he was never paid directly or indirectly. He provides an affidavit from an attorney who audited his bank statements and says there is no evidence of the alleged payments.
The alleged payments could violate an Iowa Senate ethics ban on paid employment with political campaigns.



 

 

   

Wednesday News, May 1, 2013

Le Mars Woman Dies In Auto Accident

(Wellsburg) -- A Le Mars woman has died in an auto accident in Grundy County.  21 year old Kelby Klein was east-bound on Highway 20 early Tuesday morning when the Ford Escape she was driving dropped off the roadway on the inside shoulder. Klein over corrected, according to the sheriff’s office report. The vehicle then went onto the other shoulder, entered the ditch and went through a fence before rolling.  The accident happened about three miles northwest of Wellsburg and was discovered at 2:20 a.m.,  Klein was pronounced dead at the scene.  The incident remains under investigation by the Grundy County Sheriff's office.


Banks Warn Customers Of Phone Scam

(Le Mars) -- Local bank officials are  warning their customers and others of a phishing phone scam that has been detected within the area.  Apparently, customers are receiving  automatic telephone calls or voice messages informing them their debit card has been deactivated and in order to reactivate the card, customers are asked to touch the "1" button or call the number given.  American Bank, Primebank, Great Southern, First National, Kingsley State Bank, and Northwest Iowa Credit Union have all reported that some of their customers have been contacted by the phishing scam today.   Bank officials say they are not the ones making the calls, and are urging their customers not to offer any personal information to an automated system or to someone they do not know. 
Le Mars Police Chief Stewart Dekkenga says unfortunately scams are becoming a common occurrence.  Dekkenga echoes the sentiment of the banks and that is not to offer any personal information.

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The Le Mars Police Chief suggest people to check with their own local bank if they have questions.  Dekkenga says its frustrating that many times the local police can't do much to prevent the scam.
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Dekkenga says in many times if a person makes the call, it could be costly in many ways.

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Bank officials have said that personal information has not been compromised and there is nothing wrong with the customers' debit cards.   Bank officials say this is not a new scam, but the perpetrators have acquired a list or group of cell phone numbers from this area.  Customers are asked if they are the victim of such phone calls to contact their bank immediately.

 

Le Mars Mainstreet Organization Receives Accreditation

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Mainstreet organization has been given some good news.  The Le Mars Mainstreet organization has met all ten performance standards and criteria required to be named an accredited Mainstreet program.  The news was delivered via a letter from the National Mainstreet Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The ten performance standards include: having a broadbase level of community support for the commercial district revitalization process, develop a vision and mission statements relevant to community conditions and to the local Main Street program's organizational stage, have a comprehensive Main Street work plan, possess and exhibit an historic preservation ethic, have an active board of directors and committees, have an adequate operating budget, have a paid professional program manager, conduct a program of ongoing training for staff and volunteers, report key statistics and have a current membership in the National Main Street Network membership program.  Le Mars Mainstreet organization will receive a certificate from the National Main Street program.


Family Members Urge Jamal Dean To Turn Himself In

(Sioux City) -- Family members of the suspected police shooter in Sioux City are urging that he turn himself in to authorities.  Levon Dean, the father of Jamal Dean, appeared before the media on Tuesday afternoon.  Jamal Dean is currently on the run.  He is suspected of shooting Sioux City Police officer Kevin McCormick in the head.  Jamal Dean is a known gang member and has an extensive criminal record dating back to grade school.

 

Viet Nam Veteran Remains Go To Arlington Cemetery

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - The remains of an Iowa native will rest with those of his crewmates who also died when their helicopter was shot down during the Vietnam War.
The U.S. Defense Department says additional remains of aviation anti-submarine warfare technician Donald McGrane, of Waverly, have been identified. Also killed in the crash were Lt. Dennis Peterson,
of Huntington Park, Calif.; Ensign Donald Frye, of Los Angeles; and aviation anti-submarine warfare technician William Jackson, of Stockdale, Texas.
The remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday.
Partial remains of McGrane, Frye and Jackson were recovered by the Vietnamese government and turned over to the U.S. government in October 1982. Peterson's remains were recovered in March 2012.
Navy records say the carrier-based helicopter was shot down on July 19, 1967.

 

Northbound I-35 Closed Due To Truck Hitting Over Pass

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several quiet Iowa communities are suddenly much busier because of the closure of the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 in Warren County.
The Iowa State Patrol began rerouting northbound traffic Monday night after a truck hauling construction equipment hit and severely damage a bridge that passed above I-35. Until it's repaired, the bridge is too precarious to drive beneath.
That meant on Tuesday, residents in Martensdale, Prole and Norwalk dealt with big changes
in their communities.
For elementary principal Tom Wood, Martensdale has changed from a place where the only noise was children playing or birds singing to "semis humming by every few seconds."
The detour veers onto Highway 92, then Highway 28 and north to Highway 5, where traffic returns to I-35 near West Des Moines.
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Indian Hills Community College President To Retire

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - The president of Iowa's Indian Hills Community College says he intends to retire this year.
The Ottumwa Courier says (http://bit.ly/1035JCF ) a college news release didn't give a retirement date for Dr. Jim Lindenmayer. But it did say he planned to remain at least until his successor is
selected.
Lindenmayer is the fourth top college this year to accept an early retirement package offered by the school.
Lindenmayer has worked at the college for 33 years and has been president since 2011, when he was named to succeed Dr. Lyle Hellyer.
Indian Hills Community College is one of 15 community colleges in the state. The district spans 10 counties in southeast Iowa.
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Senate Debates DNA Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate plans to debate a bill that would require people convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors to submit DNA samples for a federal databank.
Lawmakers are set to debate the measure Wednesday.
Under the proposal, adults convicted of crimes like aggravated assault and theft would submit a DNA sample. Under current Iowa law, only convicted felons and sexual offenders are required to
submit samples.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is supporting the bill, saying it will help police solve more cases. The American Civil Liberties Union is campaigning against the measure, calling it invasive and
excessive.
Republican senators stalled the measure from being debated Tuesday in order to file amendments to the bill.


 

 

 

   

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