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Monday News, April 29th

Grass Fires Continue Over the Weekend

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Fire Departments continued to fight grass fires over the weekend.  The Le Mars Fire Department responded to three grass and field fires on Saturday, Hinton was called twice on Sunday, and the Merrill Fire Department responded to a grass fire on Sunday that was along the railroad tracks.

 

Dan Gable Speaks At Le Mars Leadership Clinic

(Le Mars) -- Former University of Iowa Head Wrestling Coach and Olympic Wrestling Champion, Dan Gable was in Le Mars on Saturday speaking at the first Le Mars Leadership Clinic.  The event attracted more than 130 people.  Gable told the gathering that motivation is often times the key to success, and he says he motivates himself in every venture.

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Gable also mentioned that adversity will always face people, and he suggests to take on adversity head on, and don't avoid it, but rather learn from it.  Gable is among a handful number of coaches with multiple national championships that span over several years. Others that come to mind include John Wooden with UCLA men's basketball, Pat Summitt with the University of Tennessee lady's basketball, and Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski .  Gable says each are similar not only for their number of wins and championships, but for how they are able to motivate others, and get those around them to perform and become leaders themselves.

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Gable says it goes beyond the X's and O's, and it involves teaching others life skills.

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Postal Playhouse Presents "A Month Of Sundays"

(Le Mars) -- A Month of Sunday's is the next production of the Le Mars Postal Playhouse.  It features a cast of six, with four veteran community play actors, and two newcomers to the community stage.  Dan Casey plays the lead character, a retired gentleman named Cooper.
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Casey offers this description of the play's plot.

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This is Casey's third appearance with the Postal Playhouse, having also been in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Proof".

Larry Brangwin is the director of "A Month Of Sunday's".  He says he selected the play in part because he believes many people will be able to relate to the plot.

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In addition to Casey, Brangwin tells who also is among the cast members.

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Opening night performance is Friday, May 3rd, at 7:30 p..m. Other evening performances are scheduled for Saturday, May 4th, and Thursday, May 9th; Friday, May 10th, and Saturday, May 11th.  There are two matinees scheduled for Sunday, May 5th and Mother's Day Sunday, May 12th.  All evening performances begin at 7:30 and the lights go up on the Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.


Owner of Riverfront Property Wants Pickup Truck Removed From River

SLOAN, Iowa (AP) - Three months after a truck splashed into the Missouri River during a police chase, no one wants to pay the cost of removing the sunken vehicle.
The situation is frustrating for the riverfront landowner who has to keep looking at the truck that's covered by about a foot of water near Sloan, Iowa.
Usually when vehicles wind up in the river, the owner or his insurance company pays the $6,000-to-$8,000 bill to retrieve it.  But in this case, the truck's owner, who was fleeing police at speeds over 70 mph, is either unable or unwilling to pay the bill.
Land owner Don Dixon says he's tried contacting every agency he can think of for help, but hasn't had any luck.


Branstad Says He Is Willing To Talk About Fuel Tax Increase

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With time running out in this legislative session, Gov. Terry Branstad still isn't ruling out the possibility of increasing the state fuel tax, though lawmakers seem
less optimistic.
Branstad told reporters this week that if the Legislature approves proposed cuts to the commercial property tax, then a fuel tax increase "could be considered."
For years, legislators have debated increasing Iowa's fuel tax - currently 22 cents per gallon of gasoline, including fees - but they haven't taken action. The tax has not gone up since 1989.
A commission appointed by Branstad in 2011 recommended an increase of 8 to 10 cents to support the state network of bridges and roads, many of which are considered deteriorating or deficient.


UNI To Receive Educational Grant

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - An organization has given the University of Northern Iowa a $2 million grant to launch a new center for educational research and development.
UNI announced the gift from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust on Friday.
The money will go toward the Center for Educational Transformation and finance faculty and student research.
The center's goal is to transform education through research, advocacy and innovation.
About 25 percent of Iowa's educators and 33 percent of school administrators receive instruction at UNI.
The Muscatine-based Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is among Iowa's largest private philanthropic foundations, with assets of more than $250 million.
It was created by the will of Carver, who died in 1981.

 

Iowans Enjoy Short Commute To Work

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Roughly 80 percent of Iowa workers enjoy a commute to work that's shorter than 30 minutes, making them the envy of commuters nationwide who regularly endure longer treks to their jobs.
New U.S. Census data shows that Iowans fare better than the national average commute of 25 minutes each way.
In Des Moines, a typical commute is 16 minutes. And in Ames, Dubuque and Sioux City roughly half the workers enjoy a commute less than 15 minutes long.
But that doesn't mean some Iowans don't have longer commutes. Jill Nowadzky says she drives 40 miles each day from Pleasantville to West Des Moines because she likes her job. But she hates the
commute.

 

Cedar Rapids Fire Destroys Home

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Cedar Rapids firefighters are crediting a smoke alarm for waking a couple and enabling them to escape a fire that damaged their home.
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says Chet and Kelsey Mumby, both 25, were sleeping when an alarm awoke them. After finding smoke and a fire in the bathroom, they left the home with their dog
and called 911 shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday.
Firefighters extinguished the fire, which cause extensive damage to the home. They also managed to rescue the couple's cat.
The fire was blamed on an electrical failure in a bathroom exhaust fan.
Fire department spokesman Greg Buelow credits the smoke alarm for the couple's escape. He notes that last year, less than one-third of residential fires in Cedar Rapids were in homes with
alarms.

 

 

   

Saturday News, April 27

Fire Departments Fight Grass/Field Fires

(Le Mars) --Grass fires have kept Plymouth County Fire Departments busy on Friday. The Hinton Fire Department responded to a grass fire that was reported at about 9:35 a.m. yesterday morning.  That fire was located along county road K-18 and West Loop Road.  Fire officials were on the scene for a half an hour.   Meanwhile, the Le Mars Fire Department was called to a field fire near 130th Street and Nature Avenue, near Highway 60 on Friday afternoon.  The fire was reported at about 12:35 p.m.  Fire crews needed to use three trucks to surround the fire's perimeter and keep it from spreading any further.  A brush pile was purposely set on fire, but quickly got out of control and spread to a nearby corn field burning approximately twenty acres.  Smoke could be seen for miles as fire officials arrived at the scene. There was no one attending the fire when officials arrived on the scene.  Officials were on the scene
for more than an hour. Later in the afternoon, the Remsen Fire Department was dispatched to put out a grass fire at Beck Avenue and County Road L-14.  The fire was reported at about 3:00 p.m.  Remsen fire officials were on the scene at the grass fire for nearly an hour.

 

Le Mars Hosts Leadership Clinic

(Le Mars) -- "Building Leaders for Life" is the theme for the first Le Mars Leadership Clinic scheduled for Saturday at the Le Mars Community High School.  Judd Kopperud serves as the coordinator for the leadership seminar.  He says the idea originated with the University of Nebraska.  The purpose for the leadership conference is to introduce ideas to help others as well as communities be successful.

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Already more than 130 people have registered for the conference, and Kopperud says you can still register at the door, and registration begins at 8:00 a.m.    The program will feature speakers that will address three areas of interest in the breakout sessions.

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The key-note speaker is Olympic wrestling champion and former Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling Coach Dan Gable.

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Registration is $20 for pre-registration and $30 at the door.

 

Farmers Anxious To Start Field Work

(Le Mars) -- After having temperatures in the upper 70's yesterday and expected again for today, Monday's three inch snowfall seems like a long lost distant memory.  However, farmers are wanting to get into their fields to start with this year's crop production.  Iowa State University extension crop specialist, Joel DeJong believes farmers will be seen in their fields today.  Ideally, soil temperatures in the 50's and rising make for the best planting conditions, but DeJong says he is looking at the calendar more so than the soil temperatures.  Corn yields suffer if planted after May 10th to mid-May.  DeJong is close to suggesting to farmers to go ahead and plant the seed.

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Branstad Requesting Federal Aid For Northwest Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is requesting a presidential disaster declaration for five northwest Iowa counties due to damage caused by severe weather.
Branstad announced Friday he had signed a letter that will be delivered to President Barack Obama, requesting the designation for Dickinson, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties.
The request was prompted by severe weather from April 9 to 11, including high winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms, freezing rain, ice and snow. The conditions cause damage to utility lines, poles,
trees and vegetation.
Officials estimated there was $6 million in damage that could be eligible for help through the Public Assistance Program. The program can be used to rebuild damaged infrastructure, such as
roads, bridges and culverts, or to cover the cost of emergency work and debris removal.

 

Branstad Signs 9 Bills...Vetoes 2 Others

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed nine bills into law, including establishing a compulsory preschool attendance age, but he vetoed a measure letting gamblers decide how long they want to be banned from casinos.
Branstad reviewed 11 bills Friday, signing nine into law and vetoing two.
The governor approved legislation giving school boards power to require all 4-year-olds enrolled in a voluntary, state-sponsored preschool to follow attendance policies.
He vetoed a measure that would have given gamblers the option of banning themselves from the state's casinos and Iowa lottery for either five years or life. Current Iowa law only permits a lifetime
ban.
Branstad says he made his decision based off gambling treatment experts, who say gambling addiction is a lifelong problem, making Iowa's lifetime-only ban the best option.

 

Federal Government To Sue Des Moines & MidAmerican Energy

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The federal government has filed a lawsuit against the city of Des Moines and MidAmerican Energy Co., claiming a fee the city collects on a VA hospital's utility bills
is actually a tax and violates a constitutional provision against cities taxing federal agencies.
The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Des Moines says MidAmerican recently sent the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Des Moines a notice to shut off electricity and natural gas unless
it pays $8,086 in unpaid fees.
The VA says in the lawsuit it considers the fee an illegal tax and won't pay.
The lawsuit says MidAmerican Energy agrees not to disconnect service until the dispute is resolved.
City Attorney Jeff Lester says he's can't comment until he reviews the lawsuit with city officials.


Legislature Wants To Open Unemployment Offices

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senate Democrats are pushing to reopen some unemployment offices that closed amid a shift to offering more services by computer, but they acknowledge the governor's
opposition will likely stop their effort.
The Democrats, who hold a majority in the state Senate, have included $2.7 million in their economic development budget to reopen unemployment offices in Ames, Atlantic, Clinton, Dennison
and Newton. Supporters of the effort say those areas need extra attention to help unemployed people.
But supporters like Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler, of Waterloo, acknowledge Gov. Terry Branstad opposes the effort and Republicans likely won't support it.
Branstad has been behind the effort to close dozens of unemployment office and install computers in more than 1,000 spots where job seeks can file for unemployment, search for jobs and
build resumes.

 

Upper Iowa Selects President

FAYETTE, Iowa (AP) - Upper Iowa University in Fayette has hired an internal candidate to be its next president.
The private university announced Friday its next president would be William R. Duffy, who has been working as the school's senior vice president for academic extension. In that position, he was
responsible for the university's off-campus offerings, including 19 education centers throughout the nation and its distance education programs.
Duffy replaces Alan Walker, who resigned in early January. He had led the university since 2004.
After a nationwide search, a committee recommended five candidates to the university board, but trustee Bill Cook says the board opted to forgo further interviews and chose Duffy.
Before joining Upper Iowa, Duffy worked for 12 years as executive director at the University of Tennessee at Martin.


 



   

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