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Saturday News, September 20

King And Mowrer Agree To Debate

(Storm Lake) -- 4th District Congressional candidates Steve King, a republican, from Kiron,and Jim Mowrer, a democrat, from Boone, have agreed to meet for one debate.  The debate will be held on the campus of Buena Vista University at Storm Lake and will be televised live on Iowa Public Television on October 23rd.  Mowrer's campaign manager, Ben Nesselhuf says Mowrer had been asking for multiple debates, but King, the incombent, wouldn't agree to any of the proposed debate formats.  King's campaign manager, Michael Stevens, confirmed the Congressman's acceptance in a news release.  He says it's not wise or practical to negotiate debates through the media.

 

Brad Anderson Seeks The Position Of Iowa Secretary Of State

(Le Mars) -- Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of State Brad Anderson made a visit to Le Mars Thursday evening.  Anderson, who hails from the Des Moines area, but grew up in Illinois, says his goal is to make voting registration easier, and to encourage more Iowans to vote.

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Anderson says one reason why he is pursuing the office of Secretary of State is because he is frustrated with the wasteful spending of Iowa's tax dollars on what he calls, "trying to prove this wave of cheating, when it doesn't exist."  
 
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Anderson says low voter turnout should be a much larger concern for Iowans than voter fraud.

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The Democratic candidate proposes on-line voter registration as a means to drive more people to vote.

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Anderson says he would also like to change the long process of paperwork for start-up businesses. 

 

Young Cancels Television Political Advertising

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican David Young has canceled some television airtime reserved for advertisements in his bid for Iowa's 3rd congressional district, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission this week.
     Young, a former chief of staff for Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, is running against Democrat Staci Appel in one of the nation's closest congressional races. The seat is open because Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Latham is retiring in the district, which stretches from Des Moines to Council Bluffs.
     Young's campaign cancelled airtime scheduled from Sept. 16 through Sept. 22 on WHO-TV and KCCI-TV, according to contracts the stations provided to the FCC. Young spokesman Tim Albrecht declined comment.
     The National Republican Congressional Committee is spending heavily on advertising in the race. Spokesman Tyler Houlton said he didn't know why the ads were cancelled but expressed confidence about the race.
     "It definitely does not raise any questions about his abilities," Houlton said.
     Isaac Baker, with the Democratic firm AKPD Message and Media, called the move a "very troubling sign for a candidate locked in a tight race this close to the election."
     Young had nearly $90,000 in his campaign account at the end of June. Appel, who didn't face a competitive primary, had more than $725,000.
     Young finished fifth in a six-person primary, but won the nomination at a June 21 convention after five rounds of voting.

 

Akron Scarecrow Contest Scheduled For Saturday

(Akron) -- Scarecrows of all sizes and colors will be out in full force at the 14th annual Akron Scarecrow contest scheduled for Saturday.  LeAnn Philips with the Akron Friendship and Service Club, the event's sponsor, says the competition is usually interesting.

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Philips reflects back on how the contest first started, and says through the years the annual "fall festival" has expanded.

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Philips says the scarecrow contest and fall festival has evolved to include more than just scarecrows...attendees will find many features including, crafts, artwork, games and food.

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The Akron Friendship and Service Club member says anyone can submit an entry for the scarecrow contest.

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The scarecrow contest is divided into three divisions: pre-school through 5th grade, 6th grade through high School, and an adult division. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in each category.  There is no admission fee for the annual Akron Scarecrow Contest, and all activities take place at the Akron City Park.

 

Group Assisting Immigrant Children To Seek Homes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The issue of unaccompanied immigrant children entering the U.S. has faded from the headlines, but an Iowa group is continuing to seek pledges from people willing to house and offer care to kids while their residency questions are resolved. 
     The 1,000 Kids for Iowa project has been collecting housing pledges since July, around the time when media attention focused on the thousands of unaccompanied children who were crossing the nation's southern border. Project organizers, concerned about where the children could stay as their cases worked through immigration court, have collected pledges to house about 300 children so far.
     Now the group is traveling around Iowa to homes, libraries and churches to build a more organized network of communities, according to project director Jessica Brackett. Those smaller groups will push the overall initiative, which includes creating a network of doctors, social workers, translators and school tutors willing to provide their services.
     The group plans to submit its housing pledges to federal officials once they hit the 1,000 goal.
     Their effort is in contrast to Gov. Terry Branstad, who said earlier this summer that sheltering such children sends an incorrect message that those who enter the country illegally are welcome.

 

Iowans To Receive Refund Checks From Membership Clubs

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The state of Iowa has started mailing out 374,000 refund checks to residents who were tricked into signing up for buying club memberships, Attorney General Tom Miller said Friday.
     Miller said he wants people to know the refund checks are legitimate, and not a scam. He said the green checks are labeled a "State of Iowa Warrant" and signed by the director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services.
     Miller released the statement Friday after some recipients contacted state agencies seeking to verify that the payments were legitimate. He said he applauds their skepticism, adding that the state is not collecting personal information or sending emails or making calls related to the refunds.
     It's expected to take the state's settlement administrator two months to mail out all the checks. Consumers were notified by a mailing in July that the refunds would be coming.
     The refunds are going to residents who paid for memberships with Vertrue Incorporated and two other buying clubs over the last 25 years, as part of a $40 million legal settlement. Most of the refunds will range from $6 to $40, but some will be $1,000 or more.
 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Friday News, September 19

6th Avenue Southwest Closed Today

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars city officials have announced that 6th Avenue Southwest from 18th Street to 24th Street southwest (also known as 200th Street) will be closed until Friday afternoon due to manhole and sanitary sewer installations.

 

Homecoming Float Vandals Reported

(Le Mars) -- Last week KLEM news reported the Le Mars Community Homecoming floats had been vandalized.  Today, the Le Mars Police Department has released the names of the individuals responsible for the destruction of the homecoming floats.  Each of the four students have been charged with Criminal Mischief in the 5th degree.  Andrew Carpenter, Kyle Kliever, Colton Beitelspacher and Silas Buss, all sophomores at Le Mars Community High School, met with and self reported to school officials that they were responsible for the criminal mischief to the three homecoming floats.  They each admitted to entering the building at the fairgrounds and destroying the floats on the evening of September 11th, the night before Homecoming.

 

Waste Water Treatment Plant Holds Open House

(Le Mars) -- Last evening, the city of Le Mars opened the doors of the new waste water treatment facility for the public's review during an open house.  The new $18 million plant is capable of pumping 700,000 gallons of water per day.  Greg Sindt was the engineer of the new waste water plant.  He says this facility differs somewhat from other municipal waste water treatment plants.

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Sindt says the procedure used to break down the sludge and other solids in the waste water is a natural biological process.

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Although the treated water is not recommended to drink, once the waste water has ran through the system, officials say that 98 percent of the contaminants have been removed. Ron Kaiser is the city's waste water treatment superintendent.  He says the old waste water facility located on the northwest corner of town will still be utilized, but only for the residential waste.

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Early Frost May Hurt Crop Production Yields

(Le Mars) -- Last week's early frost may have set back the yield production for both corn and soybeans according to Iowa State University Extension crops specialist Joel DeJong.  DeJong says some areas of soybeans may see some losses up to five percent of the yield potential.

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As for corn, even though many fields are lagging behind in terms of maturity, DeJong believes farmers may see a slight yield reduction due to the early frost, but perhaps not much.

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The ISU crops specialist says although area farmers may suffer a slight yield loss as a result of the early freeze, he says most of the plants survived the colder temperatures, and farmers are fortunate the temperatures were not colder as more damage could have occurred.

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Most soybean fields are just starting to turn color and DeJong expects to see combine harvesters in the soybean fields within two weeks harvesting this year's crop.

 

"Kids Day On The Farm" Beneficial To Educational Curriculm

(Le Mars) -- More than 230 students from Le Mars and Remsen elementary schools participated in the "Kids Day on the Farm" today.  Its an opportunity for students to learn about agriculture from an "up close" and often times a "hands-on" experience.  Gehlen Catholic teacher Cheri Herbst says the annual field trip of visiting four different types of farms is beneficial to the student's better understanding and appreciation for agriculture.

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Herbst teaches 4th grade at Gehlen Catholic and she says her curriculm includes learning about the different states and the products produced from each state.  She says the farm tour helps her students know the products produced in Iowa.

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Clark Elementary school teacher Vicki Oetken says the farm tours serve a good purpose for her class as part of the Social Studies curriculm.

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Oetken says it is sometimes surprising to see how much, and how long of time students will remember the information shared from their farm visits.

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The Clark elementary school teacher says her students are inquisitative about farming and often ask several questions of the farmer.

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The school students visited a beef, swine, sheep, and a dairy farm.  The program has been in existance for 16 years, and is sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee.

 

Rayhons Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Abuse

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican State Rep. Henry Rayhons has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of sex abuse.
     Online court records say Rayhons, 78, of Garner, made the plea Wednesday. No trial date has been set.
     Rayhons is accused of having sexual contact in May with the resident of a care center who was not able to give consent. The Iowa Department of Public Safety has said the woman was Rayhons' wife, Donna Rayhons, who died in early August.
     Rayhons represents the 8th District in the state House, which covers part of north-central Iowa. He won the GOP nomination to seek re-election but withdrew from the race.

 

Prison To Investigate The Origin Of Found Capsules

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - The discovery of hundreds of capsules containing an unknown substance at a northern Iowa prison has prompted a state drug investigation, officials said Thursday.
     Authorities said that 300 to 400 capsules were found last week during routine searches by staff at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City.
     Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said the capsules were found inside the prison, but he would not say where. He said the department believes the capsules may contain illegal substances, and that's why they are being sent to a state crime laboratory in Ankeny for processing and analysis.
     The Iowa Department of Public Safety cautioned that test results will take several weeks to complete. The agency's Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Division of Criminal Investigation are leading the investigation.
     Scaletta said no one has been arrested in connection with the discovery. He said he couldn't reveal whether any inmates have been disciplined internally.
     The minimum-security prison houses low-risk offenders, many of whom are nearly ready to complete their sentences and return to society. The Iowa Department of Corrections says the prison has 494 inmates and 107 employees.
     Warden Cornell Smith declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

 

New Survey Shows Slow Economic Growth In Midwest

 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new survey suggests economic growth in rural areas of Iowa, Nebraska and eight other Midwestern states will continue slowing down in the next few months.
     Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said Thursday that crop prices are significantly lower than last year, and that's a drag on the economy in rural areas.
     The overall economic index from the monthly survey of bankers declined to 48.2 in September from August's already weak 48.3 reading.
     The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in the months ahead.
 

 

    



 

   

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