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Monday Afternoon News, April 29

Wells Enterprises Celebrates 100 Years With 100 Wishes

(LE MARS) -- A birthday is an occasion to celebrate, a day to make special wishes come true.  Officials with Wells Enterprises, Inc., makers of Blue Bunny ice cream are in New York today to commemorate it's own special birthday, the ice cream maker has aligned with Make-A-Wish® foundation to ensure its 100th birthday wish comes true – that 100 kids with life-threatening medical conditions have their wishes granted.

The 100 Years, 100 Wishes program, was launched today, April 29, World Wish Day®. World Wish Day celebrates the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish. The launch of 100 Years, 100 Wishes on this special day celebrates the 100 more kids and families whose lives will be enriched with hope, strength and joy through the wishes Wells will help grant across the country.
Wish-granting events will take place nationwide during the coming weeks and months, each celebrated and continuously captured throughout the year with photos and videos on 100Years100Wishes.com.

According to a 2011 Wish Impact Study, parents of wish kids said wishes gave their kids renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and that the experiences helped bring the entire family closer together. Further, 89 percent of medical professionals – doctors, nurses, social workers, and child-life specialists – said that wish experiences have the ability to influence the physical health condition of wish kids.

 

Television News Report Questions Economic Development Director's Travels

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad calls a television news report about a top staffer's travel expenses a "bunch of baloney."
Branstad on Monday slammed the report from WHO-TV in Des Moines about Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham. The report says Durham spent $73,000 on travel in one fiscal year, on trips to Europe and other locations.
Branstad says Durham is seeking business opportunities for the state and has helped grow jobs in Iowa, citing the recent announcement that Facebook Inc. will build a data center in Altoona
as an example. He says she works long hours and has "a tremendous track record."
The television report says Durham's travels included five-star hotel stays and first-class plane tickets.
Iowa's previous economic development directors spent far less than Durham in a single year.

 

14 Year Old To Go To Trial After Being Accused Of Killing Mother

CLARION, Iowa (AP) - Jury selection in the trial of a 14-year-old Osage boy accused of fatally shooting his mother is scheduled to begin this week.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/ZX1Uho ) jury selection is expected to begin Tuesday in Wright County District Court in Clarion.
The trial was moved to Wright County from Mitchell County. A judge granted a change of venue request late last year after the boy's attorneys cited negative pretrial publicity.
Authorities say the boy was 13 when he shot his mother with a rifle in March 2012 at the family's rural home. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree assault with the
intent to commit sexual abuse.
The Associated Press generally doesn't name juveniles accused of crimes or their families.
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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.

 

 

   

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