Friday News, June 19
Friday Holds Several Ice Cream Days Events Plus Gehlen's All-school's Family Reunion
(Le Mars) -- Today is day three for the Ice Cream Days, as well as the first day for the
St. Joseph - Gehlen Catholic All School Family Reunion. Three-on-three basketball and
youth wrestling matches will begin the day's events. Brad Pick of the Chamber of Commerce
Ice Cream Days Organizing Committee highlights today's events.
At 11:30 a.m. this morning, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the alleys to
observe the many murals and alley art work.
The Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars will again be hosting the annual smile contest for
youth between four and seven years old.
The St. Joseph - Gehlen Catholic All School Family Reunion begins with a family picnic at
the Plymouth County Fairgrounds at 5:00 p.m. Reunion chairman Mike Dreckman explains what
will take place.
Back at the Olson Cultural Events Center, Ice Cream Days visitors can enjoy a stunt show.
Gehlen Quiz Bowl Competitors Talk About National Championship
(Le Mars) -- Gehlen alumni who are in town celebrating the all school family reunion would be proud of the Gehlen High School Quiz Bowl team. Not only did the intelligent Jays win the regional competition as hosted by Morningside College and KCAU-TV, but they went on to the National competition at Chicago and was able to walk away with the top honors trophy. KLEM news recently visited with two members of the winning Quiz Bowl team, Joseph Lemers and David Puhl. Both individuals have recently graduated from Gehlen, and both intend to attend Iowa State University. Joseph Lemers tells how the team would practice for the Quiz Bowl competitions.
David Puhl says the Gehlen Quiz Bowl team would try to utilize each team member's strengths and interests when answering the questions.
Puhl says the Gehlen Quiz Bowl team started in November with the national competition held in early June. He says the first competition was held in December. Puhl says once a week after school, the quiz bowl team would practice and conduct research for two hours, preparing them for the competition. Puhl admits there were some tough teams that gave the Gehlen team some concerns.
Lemers says the Gehlen team struggled with some of the music based questions at the national level.
Puhls says he was able to quickly answer questions relating to world geography, where as Lemers says popular culture questions, especially those dealing with films and movies were his easiest. Both individuals admit they were not intimidated by facing much larger schools in the national competition. So, how is the best way to prepare for Quiz Bowl? For David Puhls, it is watching one of America's favorite television game shows.
Boat Capsizes At Storm Lake
(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista authorities are investigating a capsized boat accident that happened Wednesday afternoon, causing three people to be rescued. There were no injuries relating to the incident. A Buena Vista County Sheriff's deputy and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources each responded by watercraft and transported the occupants to the Lakeside Marina. The occupants of the boat were identified as Michelle Tackett, Derek Lewis and Jessica Lewis, all adults from Cleghorn, Iowa. They reported the boat sank after taking on too much water.
Branstad Asks President Obama To Declare Emergency Disaster Because of Bird Flu
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says more than 1,500 workers will likely lose their jobs as a result of the bird flu outbreak and he is asking President Barack Obama to declare a major disaster for four of the hardest hit counties.
The presidential disaster declaration would draw federal help in coordinating recovery efforts.
In his letter to the president Thursday, Branstad says 438 people have sought unemployment benefits from Buena Vista, Sioux, Webster and Wright expected to lose their jobs by August.
Branstad says Iowa's egg industry expects losses in excess of $1 billion from lost production. Turkeys and chickens lost from the bird flu are valued at more than $83 million.
He says the outbreak is of such severity that federal assistance is necessary.
New Fertilizer Plant Wants More Incentives
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A $1.9 billion fertilizer plant under construction in southeast Iowa is asking for an additional $21.5 million in incentives from the state.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board will consider the request from the Iowa Fertilizer Company on Friday. It also includes additional sales use tax refund of $3.5 million.
According to board documents, approval of the request would bring the total amount of tax benefits the state has provided to the company to $107.5 million.
The construction of the plant near Wever is one of the largest economic development projects in state history.
Boone Water Works Says Don't Give Water To Children
BOONE, Iowa (AP) - Boone Water Works and the Xenia Rural Water District are advising thousands of customers not to give tap water to children under 6 months old because of high nitrate levels.
The warning applies to nearly 1,600 customers within the Xenia Rural Water District and 5,000 Boone Water Works customers. Xenia buys water from Boone for some of its customers.
The water tested out Wednesday at 10.7 milligrams per liter. The maximum level allowed in public drinking water is 10 milligrams per liter.
Experts say infants under 6 months can't process nitrates like older children and adults can.
People are advised not to boil, freeze or filter the water, because boiling can concentrate the nitrates.
Boone City Administrator Luke Nelson blames the high levels on recent rains.
Bankers Say Economy Has Shown Slight Improvement
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The economy has improved slightly in rural parts of Iowa, Nebraska and eight other Midwestern states, but a new survey suggests little growth ahead.
The overall Rural Mainstreet index improved to the neutral score of 50 in June from last month's 49.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss in Omaha says the strong dollar is continuing to hurt crop prices and exports, so farm income is down.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and the Dakotas were surveyed.
The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in that factor in the months ahead.
The weak crop prices and current bird flu outbreak have regional bankers worried. The confidence index registered 45.9 in June, up from 41.5 in May, but still negative.