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Tuesday Afternoon News, July 30

Supervisors Approve Tax Rebate For Van's Sanitation

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Supervisors approved a plan submitted by Scott Vandersluis of Van's Sanitation to allow the recycling business an opportunity to receive a tax break for a period of five years.  Van's Sanitation is looking to expand its facilities and its business.

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Vandersluis says the expansion will mean added jobs to his business and to the community.

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Vandersluis informed the county supervisors that the wages paid to the new employees will be in the $14 to $16 per hour range.  Van's Sanitation will receive a break in county taxes that will equal approximately $8,000 over the five year term.  Van's Sanitation will appear before the Le Mars City Council during its next council meeting to request a tax rebate over the five-year period.  The supervisors were split on the vote with Guenthner, Loutsch and Kass voting in favor of the measure and Anderson opposing it. Van's Sanitation serves the communities of Le Mars, Hinton, Akron, Westfield, Craig and Oyens.

 

Le Mars Residents May Have Discolored Water

(Le Mars) -- Due to a fire sprinkler line breaking, some residents and businesses located within the southwest portion of Le Mars may experience some discoloration to their water.  The Le Mars Water Department will be flushing some of the water lines in that area to resolve the problem.  At times, residents and businesses may also experience some low water pressure.


State Board Of Education Reviews Plan To Start School Later

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Starting classes before September would be more difficult under a proposal being considered by the State Board of Education.
The Iowa Department of Education proposed the new rule, which will be considered by the board Thursday.
State law now requires districts to start school no earlier than the calendar week that includes Sept. 1, but most districts seek waivers allowing them to begin earlier.
The new rule would require districts wanting to start up to seven days early to have local school boards hold public hearings and approve resolutions saying a later start date would negatively
affect education.
Districts that want to start earlier would need to document the negative impact and back up the claim with test scores, budget information and staffing data.
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UNI Considering Lowering Tuition In Hopes To Attract More Students

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Faced with slumping enrollment, the University of Northern Iowa is considering discounting tuition for students from neighboring states.
UNI President William Ruud says a tuition discount program for entire states or regions could help lure more students to the Cedar Falls campus, which is projected to have an enrollment this fall of
11,800 students. That's the school's lowest total since 1989.
The Iowa Board of Regents would need to approve such a plan.
UNI experienced a drop in student enrollment after a major overhaul last year to close a $5 million budget gap. That included eliminating low-enrollment academic programs, cutting faculty staff
and shuttering the Malcolm Price Laboratory School, a popular teacher training hub.

 

Juveniles Accused Of Assaulting Staff At Detention Center

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Two teenagers at a juvenile detention center in Waterloo have been accused of assaulting staff while trying to escape.
The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office says the teens attacked staff at the Northeast Iowa Juvenile Detention Center on Monday. The 14-year-old and 16-year-old are accused of striking staff with chairs, punching them and biting them.
Officials say the teens had taken a set of keys from a staff member. They had opened a door but were subdued before leaving an outside door.
Staff members were injured but they were not hospitalized. The teens were taken to the Black Hawk County Jail. They face several assault charges.


Branstad's Lawyers Want Discrimination Law Suit Dismissed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawyers for Gov. Terry Branstad want a discrimination lawsuit against the governor dismissed in federal court.
Branstad's attorneys appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. They say the lawsuit filed by Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey this year is similar to a suit he
filed in state court last year.
Branstad's attorney George A. LaMarca says the case has been in the state court system for 18 months and this is "another bite at the apple."
But attorney Roxanne Conlin, who is representing Godfrey, says the systems are different.
Godfrey claims Branstad discriminated against him by cutting his salary after he declined to quit his job, and that he was singled out because he is gay. The state suit is currently on hold.

 

Gronstal Says He Will Not Run For Governor

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - State Sen. Mike Gronstal says he won't seek the Democratic nomination for governor and instead will focus on maintaining a Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate.
Gronstal made his announcement Monday night in Council Bluffs and then issued a news release repeating his decision Tuesday.
Gronstal, the majority leader who has represented Council Bluffs in the Legislature since 1983, acknowledged previously he was considering running for governor.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't announced whether he'll seek re-election, but he's been raising money and hiring campaign workers.
Gronstal says his decision was difficult because of what he called, "Governor Branstad's poor leadership and lack of results."
Cedar Rapids state Rep. Tyler Olson is seeking the Democratic nomination, and Democratic state Sen. Jack Hatch, of Des Moines, is considering a run.

 

Flags To Be Lowered To Honor Colonel Day

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all U.S. flags in Iowa flown at half-staff in honor of retired Col. George "Bud" Day, an Iowa native who died last week.
Branstad made the order for flags flown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.
The funeral for Day, who died Saturday at age 88, will be held Thursday in Shalimar, Fla. He will be buried in Barrancas National Cemetery at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Day was born in Sioux City and was one of the nation's most highly decorated servicemen, earning more than 70 medals during service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Among his honors was
the Medal of Honor for escaping his captors for 10 days after the aircraft he was piloting was shot down over North Vietnam.

 

Allegient Air Announces New Non-stop  Flights From Iowa To Florida

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Allegiant Air has announced plans to offer a nonstop flight between Cedar Rapids and the Punta Gorda and Ft. Meyers area in Florida.
The airline says the direct flights from the Eastern Iowa Airport will begin Dec. 18 with two non-stop flights per week.
Fares will be as low as $99.99 each way for ticket purchased by Aug. 6 for travel by Feb. 11, 2014.
The new service will become Allegiant's fifth nonstop service from Cedar Rapids. That includes trips to Las Vegas, Orlando, Mesa, Ariz., and the Tampa area.








   

Tuesday News, July 30

Supervisors To Hear From Van's Sanitation

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County supervisors are scheduled to meet at the Courthouse Board Room this morning.  The supervisors will hear from Neal Adler, the executive director with the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce and LBIC, along with Scott Vandersluis of Van's Sanitation.  The board will review Van's Sanitation minimum assessment agreement and tax rebate for approval.  The county governing board will also hear from Craig Bauerly as he seeks an extension for PK Farms.  The supervisors will also hear from Fritz Dirkson as he seeks an approval for an addition in Remsen township.


Le Mars Police To Celebrate "National Night Out"

(Le Mars) -- Tuesday, August 6 is designated as National Night Out and Le Mars will join cities across the nation to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of night of crime awareness.  National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness generate support for and participation in, local anticrime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.  From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. residents in neighborhoods throughout Le Mars and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.  Many neighborhoods throughout Le Mars will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, and visits from the police.  The Le Mars Police department is the local sponsor for the event.  If you have questions, or would like to host a block party for National Night Out, you can contact the police department.

 

Merrill Water To Be Shut Off

(Merrill) -- Merrill city officials are reminding Merrill residents that the city's water will be shut off today, Tuesday, July 30th.  It is not known how long the water will be off, but city officials say they will try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

 

Bishop Nickless Upset With Congressman King Over Immigration Remarks

(Sioux City) -- Bishop Walker Nickless of the Sioux City Diocese is upset with recent comments attributed to Republican Congressman Steve King.  In a statement issued on Monday, Bishop Nickless says he is disappointed by Representative King's remarks, which speak of migrants in a way that undermines their human dignity and the respect owed them as children of God.  Bishop Nickless also says "While Catholics may disagree on the specific approach to reforming the immigration system, they should agree that the immigration debate should be conducted in a civil and humane manner."  Bishop Nickless urges Congress to address the immigration issue on its merits.  He says he supports common sense reform that provides a reasonable path to citizenship for the undocumented and promotes family unity.

 

Quilt Auction Benefits Life Skills Training Center

(Le Mars) -- A quilt auction held at the Plymouth County Fair will benefit the  Life Skills Training Center.  78 quilts were sold on Saturday afternoon, including  13 silent auction items raising nearly $20 thousand dollars.  Becky Scheitler serves as the public relations coordinator with Life Skills and says the total of $19,886 was nearly $500 more than last year's auction. Scheitler says she sees some familiar faces from year to year.

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Scheilter explains how the money will best be utilized and benefit the clients of Life Skills.

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The Life Skills official says the annual auction has been around for 17 years. 
Lea Reid of Sioux City placed the highest bid of $650 for a modernistic quilt done in warm batiks made by Ginney Freyermuth of Le Mars.  Speaking about Life Skills Training Center, the winner of the Cow Chip Bingo was Cody Laughton of Le Mars.  Scheitler says he stopped by on Monday morning to pick up his $1000 check.

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Scheitler says all 910 squares were sold out before the event...and what was the winning square?

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Sioux City Woman Gives Birth To Quintuplets

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A Sioux City woman has given birth to quintuplets at an Omaha hospital.
Bianca Garcia had a Caesarean section Thursday, and on Monday the four girls and one boy were under close watch in the neonatal intensive care unit at Methodist Women's Hospital.
Jose Garcia says he feels good but his wife is tired.
She was on bed rest for more than 10 weeks before the babies were born at 28 weeks, or about three months premature. A team of 35 doctors and nurses delivered the babies.
The babies were about 2 pounds each. They're named Marah, Christobal, Arleth, Jimena and Rosalyn.
The couple has two sons, ages 9 and 7.
Doctor Brady Kerr says the babies "primarily need to grow."

 

Monona County Auditor Arrested For Drugs

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - The Monona County auditor has been released on a promise to appear in court after her arrest on charges of possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety says in a statement that 27-year old Brooke Kuhlmann scheduled a methamphetamine buy and pickup from an undercover Iowa State Patrol officer on Monday who had seized a dealer's cell phone the day before.
After the drug purchase, Onawa police initiated a traffic stop and took Kuhlmann into custody for questioning.
She was arrested, charged and released.
Kuhlmann, a Democrat, is serving her second term as auditor.
A home telephone number could not immediately be located for her. The case had not yet been posted in online court records.


Storm Lake Boy Sets Mobile Home On Fire

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Police say a 12-year-old boy accidentally set his family's mobile home on fire in northwest Iowa.
Storm Lake police announced Monday that the boy was playing with matches Friday in the bathroom while nearby adults slept.
A homeowner attempted to contain the blaze with a garden hose. Law enforcement officials also responded to the fire, which caused about $7,000 in damage.
The newspaper reports the child has been charged with misdemeanor reckless use of fire. Additional information has not been released.
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Council Bluffs Police Identify Man From Fiery Truck Accident

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs police have identified a Jacksonville, Fla., man as the driver who died in a fiery truck crash on Interstate 29 in western Iowa.
The  Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office identified 54-year-old Samil Meskic as the driver and lone occupant of the semitrailer on Sunday afternoon that flew off an overpass in Council Bluffs, just across the Missouri River from Omaha, Neb.
The examiner's office says Meskic died from internal injuries, not the fire.
The crash and blaze shut down the section of I-29 while engineers determined whether the fire had damaged the bridge.
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Iowa Residents Show Support For Health Care Coverage Insurance Plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa residents are largely expressing support for a plan to expand low-income health care, although there are still questions about some of the details.
About 75 people attended a public hearing Monday in Des Moines on the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan.
Under the plan the state will accept federal dollars offered to states that expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. That funding will be used to provide health coverage
for as many as 150,000 low-income residents by putting some on a new state-run program and to pay the premiums for others to get private insurance on the new health care exchanges.
Attendees questioned how proposed health incentives would be structured in the plan and why transportation for non-emergency appointments is not covered.


Construction To Begin On Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

GALVA, Iowa (AP) - Quad County Corn Processors has launched a construction project to build onto its existing ethanol plant a facility that can make additional ethanol from corn kernel fiber.
The $8.5 million project uses newly developed cellulosic ethanol science to convert additional parts of corn into ethanol at the company's Galva plant. The project will add about 6 percent more
ethanol from the same amount of corn. The plant currently makes 35 million gallons of ethanol a year.
General Manager Delayne Johnson says the process also will add several jobs. It also improves the protein content of the animal feed byproduct the plant sells to livestock farmers by about 40
percent.
Construction is expected to be completed by next April.
Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries.

 

Iowa City Has Sewage Spill

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - At least 20,000 gallons of sewage flowed into an Iowa City stream after workers damaged a pumping station.
The Department of Natural Resources says the release happened Saturday evening at the Modern Manor Mobile Home Court while workers were cleaning a pumping station.
Between 20,000 and 30,000 gallons of sewage flowed into an unnamed tributary of Snyder Creek.
The DNR says it's monitoring the situation.

 

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Fair

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former North Iowa Fairgrounds manager against the fair association.
The  lawsuit by Wanda Kruse, of Rockwell, was dismissed with prejudice - meaning it cannot be filed again based on the same claims.
Kruse served as North Iowa Fairgrounds manager for two years until July 2010, when she was fired for having property at her home paid for with fair board money. She was fined $200 and ordered to pay court costs for misdemeanor theft in February 2011.
Kruse's lawsuit alleged she was fired because she refused to pay fair board officers, which would have violated Iowa law.
She had been seeking damages for lost wages and benefits and emotional distress, among other things.
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