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Saturday News, February 9

Plymouth County Historical Museum To Have Open House For New Exhibit

(Le Mars) -- If you worked at a Le Mars business years ago, the Plymouth County Historical Museum invites you to share your memories at a special open house scheduled for Sunday, February 24th beginning at 2:00 p.m.  In the spotlight will be the Le Mars Main Street exhibit recently constructed by Dale Donlin and Brian Nitzschke, museum volunteers. 

Included in the exhibit are Mount Drug, Vander Meer Your Baker, The Le Mars Daily Sentinel, KLEM radio, and Blakeway's Department Store along with numerous other artifacts from the history of Le Mars businesses.  Dennis Hill from the Le Mars Area Preservation Commission will show scenes of old Le Mars.  Joan Kroepel, whose father ran Mount Drug, will speak about the drug store, and Glada Koerselman, former longtime editor of the Sentinel will also be on hand to speak about the Daily Sentinel.  The Museum is still looking for representatives of other businesses who would like to share memories.  Wrapping up the day will be a hotdog feed, compliments of the Museum.

Iowa To Celebrate 30 Years Of China Sister State

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - This year marks 30 years since the state of Iowa established a sister state relationship with Hebei Province in China and several events are planned to commemorate the
The first is Monday at the Iowa House of Representatives with a small group performance featuring Hebei and Iowa children. Six officials from Hebei Province will attend.
Monday evening an orchestra from Hebei will perform a joint concert with Valley High School's Orchestra at the school in West Des Moines.
Iowa Sister States, the nonprofit volunteer organization founded in 1985 to manage relationships with eight different countries, is organizing the activities.
The Hebei/Iowa connection is credited with forming a lasting relationship between Gov. Terry Branstad and Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping), who's now China's president.


GOP Chair Says Party Against Gay Marriage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of the Iowa Republican Party says he will continue to uphold the GOP's opposition to gay marriage.
During a taping of the public television program "Iowa Press" on Thursday, AJ Spiker said the Iowa GOP believes marriage should only be allowed between men and women.
Some Iowa Republicans have called for the party to embrace same-sex marriage.
Spiker added that, "There is one gay-marriage party in the state of Iowa and that's the Iowa Democratic Party."
Democratic Party Chairman Tyler Olson noted after the program that his party supports marriage-equality for gay couples.
Spiker said he didn't expect Republicans who favor gay marriage to leave the party.
Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa since a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling.


Man Charged In Death Of Infant

PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) - A southwest Iowa man faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of a toddler he was babysitting.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety says 22-year-old Colby Puckett of Pacific Junction was arrested and charged Friday in the death 13-month-old Aliyanna May. Officials say Puckett is dating
the girl's mother.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Puckett was with the girl when she sustained extensive injuries to her head and eyes. She was found unresponsive February 1st at a Pacific Junction
residence. She was treated in Omaha and later died.
Officials have ruled her death a homicide.
Puckett is being held at the Mills County Jail and his bond has been set at $1 million. A public defender has not yet been appointed to him.


Iowa City Woman Charged In Fatal Beating Of Son

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City woman charged in the fatal beating of her young son will live at home until she goes to trial.
Nineteen-year-old Mireya Balderas will live at home with her father under the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Balderas is charged with one count of child endangerment resulting in death. Her 20-month-old son, Marcus, died in April from blunt force trauma.
Balderas is scheduled to go to trial in July. Her boyfriend, Jorge Perez, faces two counts of the same charge and is scheduled to go to trial in September.
Balderas' attorney says the judge made the appropriate decision and it will allow the defense to better prepare for trial.


U of I Hospitals To Reduce Food Waste

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City is changing its procedures for reducing food waste.
The Gazette reports CEO Ken Kates told the Iowa Board of Regents this week that the hospital will eliminate Styrofoam and non-recyclable plastic from its cafeterias so that it can compost
food waste.
Kates also says the hospital, which serves about 10,000 meals a day, will cook smaller batches of food based on customer demand.  They also plan to donate more food. The changes will be made by the end of March.
The newspaper reported in January that the hospital threw away $181,000 worth of prepared food last year, despite the university's goal to divert 60 percent of waste by 2020.




Friday Afternoon, February 8

Le Mars Dialysis Center Celebrates A Year of Service

(Le Mars) -- Its been about a year since the Le Mars Dialysis Center started accepting patients, and Le Mars Dialysis Center President, Randy Reardon says its time to celebrate.
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Part of that celebration will be a dance at the Upper Level of the Le Mars Convention Center featuring the "Singer Somethin' Blue Band".
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Reardon says the local dialysis center is currently seeing 23 patients, but it can handle up to at least 48 patients.  Reardon talks about how the dialysis center was organized in Le Mars.
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Tickets for tomorrow evening's event are $25 with the proceeds going to help the dialysis center.  That dance will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Woman Steals From University

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) - A 28-year-old woman has been accused of stealing from Ashford University while working at the college in Clinton.
The Clinton Herald reports that Stacy Powers, of Camanche (kuh-MANCH'), was student development and activities coordinator for Ashford between August 2008 and April 27, 2012, when she was placed on administrative leave.
Records say an Ashford official told police that Powers made unauthorized withdrawals from the student government account and made unauthorized purchases with a debit card.
Powers' attorney didn't immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press.

Coralville Approves Bridge

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Johnson County supervisors have approved an $8.9 million contract to replace a bridge over Coralville Lake.
Cedar Rapids television station KCRG says the board voted 4-0 for the project on Thursday.
The 562-foot-long Mehaffey Bridge connects North Liberty and Solon. The federal government has classified the nearly 60-year-old bridge as structurally deficient, needing significant repairs or
Supervisor Pat Harney says the county has tried for five years to get funding help from the federal government but didn't succeed.
The Iowa Transportation Department says a daily average of more than 3,400 vehicles use Mehaffey Bridge.
Work is expected to start this spring and take two years.


Dubuque To Participate in EPA Study

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A city in Iowa and two in Nebraska have been chosen by the Environmental Protection Agency to receive assistance to implement programs for greener streets and improved
storm water management.
The EPA says Bellevue, Neb., will get help to create a green streets strategy. Omaha, Neb., was awarded assistance in evaluating ways to get better economic results from private development and
public investments.
In Iowa, Dubuque will receive assistance for a project designed to help reduce storm water runoff and incorporate green elements into a restoration project along the Mississippi River.
Program recipients were announced Thursday.
Assistance in the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities includes a visit from a team of national experts organized by EPA and other federal agencies. It also includes workshops and
consultations with decision-makers.

Branstad Pardons Pig

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is pardoning a 2-month old pig from a central Iowa farm in celebration of a popular festival.
Branstad will pardon the Berkshire breed Friday morning at the governor's mansion in Des Moines. The pardon will be ahead of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival scheduled for Saturday at the Iowa State
The pig will be named Bonnie and she will later be returned to a farm in State Center that works under Eden Farms. A spokesman for the Des Moines-based coalition of independent family farmers says
Bonnie is expected to become a pet and enjoy the great outdoors.
Attendees ate 6,000 pounds of bacon at the festival last year. Tickets for this year's event sold out in three minutes.





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