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Thursday Afternoon News, April 11

Utility Companies  Trying To Restore Power

(Le Mars) -- Utility crews have been working diligently to restore power to hundreds of northwest Iowa residents that have been without electricity as a result of the spring storm. Lyle Korver, General Manager of Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative stated in a news release that as of 12:00 noon, approximately 300 member customers located in Sioux, O'Brien and Plymouth Counties are still without power.  Korver says crews have made great progress in the restoration of power, however, last evening's heavy snow has complicated the restoration efforts.  The REC official says  the utility cooperative is experiencing a number of outages again.  This is a result of tree branches contacting lines from the heavy, wet snow last night and in the last couple of hours from the ice coming off the lines and causing line burn downs.

 

Meteorologist Says Beware of the Coming Winds

(Le Mars) -- Although the weather forecast does call for some additional snowfall to occur for
Le Mars, Brad Temeyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Services from Sioux Falls, says it will be the strong winds on Friday that we should be concerned about.
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Snow depths ranged from the two inches reported here in Le Mars up to more than a foot of snow, along points along the Iowa-Minnesota border. 

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The National Weather Services official says the amount and depth of ice that fell on Tuesday was an unusual circumstance.

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Of course the question that everyone seems to be asking is "when will spring actually arrive?"

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Le Mars Chamber Prepares For Antique and Flea Market Show

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the third annual Spring Fever Antique Show and Flea Market this Friday and Saturday.  Although only in its third year, Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce says the antique show and flea market has been able to build a good reputation.

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This year's antique show  features more than 70 booth spaces and will utilize both levels of the Le Mars Convention Center.  Reynolds says the show will feature all types of collectable antiques and she suggests visiting Friday evening.

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Friday's hours are from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday's hours are 9;00 a.m. to 5:00
p.m.  Admission is $10 on Friday evening and $2 for Saturday.


Sioux City Man Pleads Not Guilty To Charges From Police Standoff

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 26-year-old Sioux City man has pleaded not guilty to a charge stemming from a nine-hour standoff with police last month.
Francisco Bayona-Fonseca is charged with criminal mischief and aggravated assault. Police say he got into a fight with a man and stabbed him, then argued with his former girlfriend and damaged her
car.
Police say Bayona-Fonseca held off officers at a Sioux City home for more than nine hours on March 12. Officers broke windows and entered the house to arrest Bayona-Fonseca. No shots were reported.
His trial is scheduled to begin on May 28.
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Pork Destined For Export Being Recalled

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa company has recalled more than 1,000 pounds of pork jerky because the product's label doesn't list wheat, which can cause an allergic reaction for some consumers.
Formosa Food Co., of Hull, is recalling 16-ounce individual packages of Formosa Brand Pork Szu, a cooked seasoned dried pork product.
The product was made on various dates through Nov. 29, 2012. There is no expiration date but the label carries the establishment number "EST. 2446."
The jerky was sold on the internet and through direct sales nationwide, and is commonly sold on the export market.
The USDA says in a statement released Wednesday that the problem was found by food safety inspectors during a label review. Wheat is an ingredient in the soy sauce used in the product.
There have been no reports of sickened consumers.

 

Branstad To Visit With China's President

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad will continue building Iowa’s long-term relationship with China President Xi Jinping by meeting with him Monday, strengthening ties to one of the state’s most important economic trading partners.  Branstad first met with Xi in the governor’s formal office in 1985, when Xi was a local party leader traveling on an exchange program through the Iowa Sister States program.  Branstad says he is excited to catch up with an old friend, Xi Jinping,” said Branstad. “The value of this relationship cannot be overstated, says Branstad, and as a result, Iowa is the preferred provider to feed China’s growing population and our agriculture exports to China continue to grow. This type of international trade currently supports 430,000 jobs right here in Iowa.”


State Treasurer Fitzgerald Urges Governor To Approve Medicaid Expansion

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is urging Gov. Terry Branstad and state lawmakers to expand Medicaid in Iowa.
Fitzgerald, a Democrat, says Thursday that a Medicaid expansion would cost the state less than an alternate plan proposed by Branstad. Fitzgerald is basing his analysis on data from the
non-partisan Legislative Services Agency and Senate Democrats.
Fitzgerald says he's concerned about the state's "fiscal health and how we spend our money."
Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers responded in a written statement that the governor doesn't want to "engage in partisan bickering" and continues to oppose expanding an "antiquated
program like Medicaid."
Senate Democrats support expanding Medicaid, as permitted under President Barack Obama's health care plan. Branstad contends long-term Medicaid costs are unsustainable and has proposed
expanding an existing program for low-income Iowans.

 





 

 

   

Thursday News, April 11

Utility Crews Work Overnight To Restore Power

(Le Mars) -- Utility crews have been working through the night to restore power to hundreds of northwest Iowa residents that have been without electricity as a result of the spring storm.  Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative have brought crews from other parts of their service areas to assist with the restoration of power.  Gaylene Eshuis is the Operations Coordinator for the Northwest REC.
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In a news release issued late yesterday, Lyle Korver, the General Manager of Northwest REC says line personnel continue to make good progress on the electric service restoration efforts for our members.   By 3:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, there are approximately 140 members out of power.  The most extensive damage has been in northwest Sioux County.  We also have a small number of members out of power in O’Brien and Plymouth counties.  We have had 15 to 20 broken poles and a number of line breaks.  Korver stated he believes that most of their members will have had restored power by 10:00 p.m.   However, we will have a few members that will likely be out of power overnight due to the pole replacements that are necessary in order to restore service.


Road Crews Deal With Latest Blanket of Snow


(Le Mars) -- Road crews have been trying to stay ahead of the storm by pushing the snow and ice off roadways as soon as they can.  The Iowa Department of Transportation reports that all highways in northwest Iowa are wet and many are either partially or completely covered with snow.  U-S Highways 75, 18, 71, 59, and State Highways 60, 3, 12, and 9 are completely snow and ice covered and motorists are urged to use caution during their early morning commute.  Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz says north of Le Mars was the heavier snowfall.  Kurtz says Orange City has at least five inches of snow.  He says the heavy snowfall will make it more difficult to travel.
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The Highway Patrolman says, if possible delay your travel so to allow road crews the opportunity to clear the roads.  He says there have been some accidents related to the snow and ice.
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State Lawmakers Try To Compromise On Education Funding Bill

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republicans lawmakers are offering an education compromise that includes more general funding for schools if Democrats agree to GOP policy proposals.
Legislators from the Republican-majority House and the Democratic-controlled Senate met Tuesday on GOP Governor Terry Branstad's education plan.
State Representative Ron Jorgensen of Sioux City says House Republicans would support increasing general school funding if Democrats agreed to the policy language in the House version of the
bill. House Republicans want to make some items optional, like boosting minimum teacher pay.
Under the new House offer, schools would get a 2 percent increase to general school funding in the upcoming school year, plus a one-time payment equal to another 2 percent.
Democrats have supported a 4 percent funding increase for schools. They said they needed time to review.


House Approves New Laws Against Taking Police Radios

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved legislation that creates a new criminal offense for trying to remove a communication device from a law enforcement officer.
The House passed the bill 77 to 17 on Wednesday. It earlier passed the Senate and now moves to Governor Terry Branstad.
The measure makes it a simple misdemeanor to steal an officer's radio or cellphone. Penalties can be enhanced to a felony if the officer is injured during the theft.
Representative Ako Abdul-Samad of Des Moines voted against the bill, saying it creates another way to incriminate minorities, who make up more than 26 percent of the state's prison population.
The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency reports the bill would apply to nearly 30 cases each year.


Branstad Denies  Inmate Commutations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has denied ten applications from Iowa inmates seeking commutation.
Branstad announced the decision Wednesday. Six of the applicants are serving life sentences for murder. The others were convicted of robbery and kidnapping. They range in age from 40 to 71.
A spokesman for Branstad says he has not yet made a decision on the application for commutation from 66-year-old Rasberry Williams.
Williams is serving a life sentence for the 1974 fatal shooting of a neighbor. His bid to have his sentence commuted to a set number of years so he can become eligible for parole has won the
backing of prison wardens, the prosecutor who convicted him and the judge who oversaw his trial.


Des Moines Bar Ordered To Stop Serving Home Brew Beers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A downtown Des Moines bar has stopped customer sampling of local home-brewed beers, fearing retribution from state regulators.
El Bait Shop's Jimmy Carter Happy Hour has been a weekly event. It's named in honor of former President Jimmy Carter, who signed into law a bill that allowed home brewing.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/16UdnCz ) that the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division notified the bar earlier this month that it was breaking the state law that allows home-brewed
beer to be consumed only in homes.
Bar manager Mike Gauthier says it's the first time legal concerns have been raised in the five years or so the event has been held.
He says the bar stopped holding the event so its liquor license
wouldn't be imperiled.
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