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Monday Afternoon News, July 1

Several People From Le Mars Appointed By Governor To Serve On Boards And Commissions

(Des Moines) -- Several people from Le Mars and the surrounding area have recently been appointed by Governor Branstad to serve on various state boards and commissions.  Wayne Marty of Le Mars has been tapped to serve on the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation. Roger Claypool also of Le Mars will serve on the College Student Aid Commission. Patrick Schmitz of Kingsley and executive director with the Plains Area Mental Health Clinic of Le Mars will serve on the state's Mental Health Risk Pool Board, pending Senate confirmation. Jody Still Herbold of Kingsley was appointed to the Northwest Iowa Regional STEM Committee. Earlier this spring, Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars was appointed to the Board of Dentistry, while Dr. Allison Schoenfelder of Akron was asked to serve on the state's Board of Medicine.


Fire Fighters Issue June Report and Initiate Fund Raising Campaign

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to 21 calls during the month of June, according to the department's monthly report.  Five times the fire department was called to battle a fire, and twice for rescue calls.  The local fire department conducted five investigations which include clean up from accidents, odor investigations and illegal burning.  The Le Mars Fire Department had nine requests for services.  You may have noticed in your mailbox a letter from the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department asking for donations. The donations help keep the fire and rescue department fully equipped and trained.  Last year, the donations was able to supplement portable radios, fire coats, fire pants, boots, helmets, and self-contained breathing apparatus masks.  Several firefighters were able to attend valuable training seminars.  This year, the goal is to raise at least $20,000 in order to purchase uniform additions, protective clothing, emergency lights, wrenches, hose adapters and additional training for all members.  The fire department thanks you for your support.


Auditions For "The Woman In Black" Scheduled For Tonight

(Le Mars) -- Auditions for the next community play are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow evening.  Lisa Opheim will be the director for the thriller play entitled "The Woman In Black".

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Opheim says the production of the play will occur in the autumn which will be a kickoff to the haunted Halloween season.  She says the play calls for a limited number of actors.

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Auditions will take place at the Postal Playhouse beginning at 7:00 p.m.


Nebraska Woman Accused Of Stealing From A Sioux City Couple Reaches Plea Agreement

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska woman accused of stealing more than $150,000 from an elderly Iowa woman has reached a plea deal.

Terry Lockie pleaded guilty Monday in Woodbury County District Court to one count of dependent adult abuse. A first-degree theft charge has been dismissed.

The plea agreement means a five-year prison sentence has been suspended and the 65-year-old Lockie will be on probation for two years. Her attorney says Lockie may also lose her certified public accountant license.

Lockie, of Homer, Neb., owns an accounting firm in nearby Sioux City. Court records say Lockie had power of attorney for an elderly woman who was suffering from dementia. The records say that between 2008 and 2010, Lockie took money from the woman's accounts and put it in her own account.


Nebraska Man Pleads Guilty To Fort Dodge Bank Robbery

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska man is facing up to 10 years in federal prison for helping another man rob Citizen's State Bank in Fort Dodge earlier this year.

U.S. Attorney Sean Berry says 26-year-old Christopher Anderson pleaded guilty to being an accessory to bank robbery.

Prosecutors say Anderson drove 43-year-old Michael Clayton to a location near the bank in Fort Dodge on Feb. 7. When Clayton returned to Anderson's car, he was holding a bag and urged Anderson to drive fast.

Anderson drove Clayton to Omaha, Neb., to elude authorities. Anderson was given $1,000 for his help.

Clayton is being held without bail, and he could face up to 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to be tried in August for bank robbery.

Wellmark Blue Cross - Blue Shield To Pass On Insurance Exchange

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The chairman of Iowa's leading health insurer says the company will not participate in the state's new health exchange during 2014.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield CEO John Forsyth said Monday that the insurer will enter the online insurance marketplace in 2015. He said the decision to delay was not financially motivated, but based on concern that implementing the exchange would be bump in year one.

Sunday was the deadline for insurance carriers to file to be included in the Iowa exchange.

Under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, all states must have a health exchange, with enrollment starting Oct. 1 and coverage on Jan. 1.

Iowa's insurance commissioner is expected to soon release more information on the exchange participants.


John Deere Employee Dies From Forklift Accident

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A John Deere employee hurt in a forklift accident in Waterloo has died from his injuries.

Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Service says 54-year-old Stan Delagardelle died Saturday at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Delagardelle, of Cedar Falls, was struck by a forklift June 25 at the company's service parts operation in Waterloo.

The funeral home says Delagardelle was a supervisor at the facility. Additional information about the accident was not available.




Coralville Company To Add 120 Jobs

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A company that won the contract to help consumers navigate the Affordable Care Act says it will add 120 jobs to its call center in eastern Iowa.

General Dynamics Information Technology said Monday the new jobs at its Coralville location were part of an expansion in which thousands are being added nationwide to staff the government's around-the-clock call center to help implement the law, also known as "Obamacare."

Vice President Mark Meudt said calls about the law started coming in last week and are expected to increase in October, when residents can start enrolling in health care plans that are subsidized by the new law. He says it will be a "huge undertaking" and involve millions of calls.

The Coralville location already operates a call center to help Medicare patients.


Iowa To Promote Tourism With Semi Trucks And Trailers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa tourism destinations are being featured on state tractor-trailers as part of a new promotional effort.

Gov. Terry Branstad announced the campaign Monday. Nine trucks from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division have been wrapped with images promoting Ames, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Des Moines, Iowa City, Newton, Sioux City and Waterloo.

Images on the trucks include a Cedar Falls bike trail, the Fun City Waterpark in Burlington and the Iowa Veterans Museum in Waterloo. The trucks will feature the billboards for 18 months. The roughly $50,000 cost was shared by the state and the cities.

Branstad is encouraging residents to take a trip in Iowa. He says there are lots of wonderful and fun things to do.









Monday News, July 1

Fourth Of July Festivities Being Planned

(Le Mars) -- Plans are under way for the July 4th festivities in Le Mars. For a while, there was some doubt as to whether Le Mars would be celebrating with a traditional Independence Day parade and other program events, since the organizer had passed away.    However, a group entitled "Friends of the Fourth" have stepped up to insure Le Mars would have the traditional celebration parade. Judy Bowman is a member of the "Friends of the Fourth" and says this year's parade will start later and have a different route.

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Children of all ages are encouraged to participate in the Independence Day parade, and to dress in a patriotic manner.  There will be judging of the children entries.

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Bowman says the festivities actually begin the previous evening with the band "The Jammers" performing at the Plymouth County Historical Museum's Old Central Gym.

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What's a Fourth of July without food?  Bowman says the traditional lunch will now be at the Museum, along with a watermelon feed.

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Bowman says the Le Mars Arts Center will be open during the parade, and will feature craft projects for the children.  The fourth of July festivities will conclude with the Municipal Band performing at Foster Park at 8:00 p.m. and then fireworks, set to music, will be held at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds at dusk.


Little Sioux River Drowning

(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista County authorities responded to a river rescue on Saturday afternoon following a report of a man who had gone over the dam on the Little Sioux River at Linn Grove.  Witnesses reported seeing the victim go over the dam and had disappeared underneath the water about 25 yards down river from the dam.  During a search of the river, the victim, identified as 61 year old Robert Wiese of Greenville was recovered nearly a half mile down river.  Wiese was pronounced dead at the scene by the Buena Vista County Medical examiner.  Wiese had been attempting to launch a small motor boat into the Little Sioux River.  During the unloading process Wiese was outside of the boat removing it from the trailer, when the boat was caught in the river's current which took the boat and Wiese into the river.  The river's current swept Wiese and the boat over the dam.


Rock Rapids Man Arrested For Using Sword

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa man is facing several charges after authorities say he threatened another man with a sword.
Hiram Meadows was arrested at his home in Rock Rapids Sunday after a short standoff with authorities.
The Lyon County Sheriff's office says deputies went to Rock Rapids around 3 a.m. Sunday after the sword incident was reported.
After talking with the victim, deputies went to Meadows' home nearby. He surrendered around 5 a.m.
Meadows is charged with using a sword to threaten assault and being armed with the intent to commit a felony.
The victim was not hurt.


Grant Money Available For Removal Of Lead Paint

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A city program that helps remove lead from older buildings has received a $2.5 million federal grant.
The Neighborhood Services Department was awarded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Lead Hazard Control Grant.
The money is for owner-occupied and rental units. People can apply to get money for removing lead paint and other items.
Properties have to be built before 1978 and have a child under age 6 living there. Applicants also have to meet income rules.
Those interested in participating may call 712-279-6328 for more information.


Tractor Rollover Causes Fatality

ELDORADO, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 60-year-old Iowa man died this weekend when the tractor he was driving rolled into a ditch along a northeast Iowa highway.
The Fayette County Sheriff's office says the accident happened Saturday morning along Highway 150 south of Eldorado.
The sheriff's office said Sunday that Marvin Luke Kriener of Waucoma, Iowa, died in the crash.
Authorities say the Kriener lost control of the tractor before going into the ditch. Kriener was thrown from the tractor when it rolled.
Kriener was taken to Palmer Hospital where he died.


DNR Reports Swimmer's Itch At East Okoboji

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Officials are warning residents about swimmer's itch after cases were reported on East Okoboji Lake in the Iowa Great Lakes Region.
The state Department of Natural Resources says people should avoid swimming in marshy areas and places containing aquatic plants.
Swimmer's itch is caused by a parasite, but officials say most cases do not require medical attention. They can be treated with anti-itch lotions and other creams used for most skin allergies or
Officials recommend that people limit the time they spend in water and towel off quickly afterward. That helps remove parasites from the skin's surface.
Welts and itching caused by parasites can last for several days to about a week.


Insurance Carriers Face Deadline

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowans should soon know more about what they can expect to find on the new health exchange, though whether the state's two largest carriers will participate remains unclear.
Today is the deadline for insurance carriers to file to be included in the online marketplace for Iowa. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart says he expects to release the insurance providers' names tomorrow, though the details on the specific plan proposals will come later.
Representatives for Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare - which combined hold roughly 90 percent of the Iowa insurance market - declined to comment on their intentions.
Gerhart says he expect a few statewide providers to be available, but doesn't know if the big two will opt in.

New Laws Begin Today

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several new laws take effect Monday in Iowa after this year's productive legislative session.
Lawmakers approved a wide-ranging tax cut bill that will gradually reduce taxable assessments of commercial properties by 10 percent and provide property tax credits geared for smaller businesses. It will also offer some new tax credits.
Iowa school districts will see their funding increased over the next several years.
And anytime Medicaid dollars are used to pay for abortions in Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad will now have to personally approve the spending. The state's Medicaid program covers a small number of
abortions each year due to rape, incest, fetal deformity or to protect a mother's life.
The state will accept Medicaid expansion dollars offered under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Branstad Hasn't Announced, But Campaign Is Ready

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With a historically productive legislative session wrapped up and bills signed with suitable pomp, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is setting himself up to run for an unprecedented sixth term in 2014, even as he holds off announcing whether he'll actually seek re-election.
Although Branstad isn't indicating his plans, his powerful political operation is gearing up this summer with staffing and fundraising. And Branstad's team in the Iowa Capitol is starting work on policy proposals that could form part of the campaign platform.
Richard Schwarm, a longtime Branstad adviser and his former law partner, says: "It's his time table for when he announces, but I expect that it will be that he's running."
Branstad Chief of Staff Jeff Boeyink says if he opts to seek re-election, the campaign will be ready.





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