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Saturday News, April 6

Anderson and Soderberg To Hold Legislative Forums

(Le Mars) -- State Senator Bill Anderson and State Representative Chuck Soderberg will hold a series of legislative forums this morning.  At 8:30 the two law makers will be in Remsen at the Remsen Public Library, then at 10:00 this morning, Anderson and Soderberg will discuss legislative issues with the public in Le Mars at the Habitue Coffeehouse and Creperie.  The state legislators will finish the day at Akron at the Akron Public Library with a legislative forum at 11:30 a.m.  The legislative forums are open to the public.

Merrill Fire Department Called To Addyville Grass Fire

(Merrill) -- The Merrill Fire Department responded to a grass fire Friday afternoon located near the Addyville Methodist Church of rural Merrill.  The alarm came in at about 4:00 p.m.  Firefighters were on the scene for nearly a half an hour.


Hinton Fire and Rescue Responds To Roll-over Accident

(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire and Rescue crew was dispatched to the scene of a personal injury roll-over accident yesterday.  The accident happened in the southwest corner of the county on Loop Road.  That accident was reported at about 5:17 p.m.  Fire officials were on the scene of the accident for nearly a half hour.  No other information regarding the accident is available at this time.

Tyson Fined By Environmental Protection Agency

(Sioux City) -- Tyson Foods has agreed to pay nearly four-million-dollars in civil penalties for the mishandling of anhydrous ammonia at its plants in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.  Ben Washburn is the spokesperson for the E-P-A region covering the four states.

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Washburn says the anhydrous ammonia releases led to property damage, multiple injuries, and the death of a worker at a plant in Kansas.  The settlement includes Tyson operations in Dakota City, Sioux City, Cherokee, Denison, Storm Lake and other sites.  Washburn says Tyson will take some other steps along with paying the three-point-nine-five-million dollar penalty.

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Washburn says the E-P-A plans to keep an eye on Tyson to ensure they are following through with the safety procedures.
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Kevin Igli, chief Environmental, Health and Safety Officer of Tyson Foods, says the company agreed to develop a third-party audit system at the facilities involved to assure EPA the plants are in compliance with all aspects of our Risk Management Plan obligations.  Igli says Tyson strives to operate their facilities responsibly, so after learning of EPA's concerns we immediately made improvements and cooperated with EPA officials throughout the process.  Tyson is headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas and is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork.


Pharmacy Owner Charged With Illegally Selling Pain Pills

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines pharmacy owner accused of illegally selling pain pills has had his state license permanently revoked.
The Iowa Board of Pharmacy says in a ruling released Friday that Mark Graziano's explanation for a shortage of nearly 700,000 pills of hydrocodone was neither credible nor plausible.
Graziano's license was suspended last year after an audit of Bauder Pharmacy in Des Moines showed the discrepancies over about four years. Graziano told the board in a February hearing that an
employee may have ordered the drugs, but he had no proof.
The pharmacy continues to operate. The board on Friday decided to keep a store ban on dispensing addictive drugs, and its overall license is on probation. The business also has been fined $25,000.


Military Families To Receive Quilts

FONDA, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa group that comforts military families is presenting quilts to the families of six fallen service members.
Freedom Quilts, Inc. will present the quilts during an event Saturday in Fonda. Col. Robert Wiley of the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command will be the keynote speaker.
The quilts were sewn by volunteers. They will honor service members that have served in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan.
The group's founder says the quilts are a reminder for the families that their loved one is not forgotten.


Tortoise Left in Elevator

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa museum says an employee hid a presumed stolen African leopard tortoise in an elevator after finding the 18-pound reptile trapped behind paneling in her
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque says the employee's bizarre move was a misguided attempt to prevent further embarrassment after officials announced Tuesday that they believed Cashew had been taken as a prank.
Cashew was discovered in the elevator on Thursday and officials said they supposed the regretful thief had smuggled her back inside.
President and CEO Jerry Enzler said Friday that an employee actually found Cashew some time earlier, wedged behind a wall panel. The employee then put her in the elevator to keep up the
impression she had been stolen.
Enzler says the employee will be reprimanded.


Friday Afternoon News, April 5

Plymouth County Democrats Elect Officers

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Democratic Party recently held their odd year caucus and elected their county officers.  Jon Neunaber of rural Akron was re-elected as county party chair, Amy Oetken of Le Mars was selected as vice chair, Kay Luckett of Le Mars will serve as the secretary, Dennis Wolf of rural Le Mars was elected as the treasurer, while Mark Sturgeon of Le Mars will serve as the interim treasurer, and Phyllis Monore of Le Mars will be the voter access network coordinator.

King Says He Will Decide Soon For Senate Race

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Republican Steve King says he is nearing a decision on whether to seek the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin, but does not know today whether he
will run.
Appearing on Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press," the six-term U.S. House member from Kiron said: "I need to get a decision made fairly quickly."
King says he is reviewing polling data he says will help him decide. The outspoken western Iowa conservative has been urged by Republicans, including Gov. Terry Branstad, to forgo a 2014 bid,
and run in 2016, in the event six-term Republican Sen. Charles Grassley retires.
Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo is his party's only candidate for Senate. Harkin, first elected in 1984, said in January he would not seek a sixth term.

Branstad Launches Website For Open Auditor's Position

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has launched a website to help in his search for a new state auditor.
The site was announced Friday. Those interested in the job can submit resumes and others can offer recommendations.
State Auditor David Vaudt announced Thursday he is resigning his elected position to become chairman of a national nonprofit accounting board. Under state law, Branstad will appoint a replacement to serve until Vaudt's term expires. An election for a new state auditor will be held in November 2014.
On the website, Branstad says he wants a replacement that will follow budgeting principles like avoiding using one-time funds for ongoing expenses and making sure revenue and expenses match up in the fiscal year.

Spring Is Near - Fundraiser Car Falls Through Ice

OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) - Another sign of spring: The fundraising car has fallen through the ice at West Okoboji Lake in northwest Iowa.
The Spirit Lake Sunrise Kiwanis Club and American Red Cross sell tickets as a fundraiser each year. Buyers record their best guesses for when a car placed on ice in Smith Bay will fall through. The
car engine and all fluids are removed from the car so it won't pollute the lake.
Last year it plunged by mid-March. This year the plunge took place either late Wednesday or early Thursday morning.
A search and rescue team and a towing company will recover the car on Saturday. A clock rigged to record the plunge will be checked. The ticket buyer with the closest guess of the plunge time
will win $1,000.

Bedbug Lawsuit

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) - Two people have filed a lawsuit on behalf of more than 50 residents and former residents of a Mount Pleasant apartment complex, saying they've dealt with
health-related problems because of a long-running bedbug infestation.
The lawsuit filed last month claims the owners of Maple Leaf Apartments failed to eliminate the infestation despite numerous requests from tenants.
The lawsuit says tenants noticed the bedbugs in 2012, and an exterminator's work did not solve the problems.
The newspaper reports representatives of the federally subsidized complex and its management company, National Management Corp., could not be reached for comment.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs plan to request a class-action status for the lawsuit.







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