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Friday Afternoon News, March 15

Gehlen Second Grade Students To Receive Helmets

(Le Mars) -- Opportunities Unlimited (OU) of Sioux City will be presenting bicycle helmets to second grade students at Gehlen Catholic Elementary School. The presentation will take place this afternoon.  Originally, the presentation of the helmets was to happen two weeks ago, but the event was needing to be changed due to Bishop Walker Nickless' of the Sioux City Diocese visit to Opportunities Unlimited.  OU will be giving away helmets to each student who participated in an essay contest on bike and helmet safety program known as "Gotta Brain...Getta Helmet".  The helmet give away is in recognition of March as Brain
Injury Awareness Month.  The donation is meant to further highlight the importance of protective equipment during recreational and athletic activities.   Opportunities Unlimited is a non-profit organization providing rehabilitation and therapeutic services for individuals with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and/or physical disabilities, as well as support for those families.


BoDeans Baking Group and Le Mars Chamber Get Ready For Easter Egg Hunt

(Le Mars) -- Over 25 people helped stuff plastic Easter eggs for the upcoming BoDeans Baking
Group and Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Easter Egg Hunt.
Two other stuffing sessions are planned  --- with help from the Kiwanis and Aktion Club  and from the HYPER group.   13,000 are being prepared for the hunt.  Eggs will contain candy, prizes, coupons or
money.   The Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, March 30 at Cleveland park
beginning at 11:00am.  There is no charge to participate in the hunt.   There will be three age groups for hunting.     2 year olds,  3 and 4 year olds  and 5 and 6 year olds.   Children should bring their own Easter basket for hunting.   The Easter Bunny will be at the event beginning at 10:00am.  Bring your cameras.   Children need to open the eggs at the hunt as some eggs contain prizes that need to
be picked up at Cleveland park.    Adults are not allowed to pick up eggs for the

House Appropriations Committee Works On Budget Bills

(Des Moines) -- Week nine of the 2013 General Assembly is now completed, and State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars says this past week the Appropriations Committee, which he chairs, worked primarily on the different budget bills.
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Senate Wants Teachers To Watch For Teen Suicides

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate wants all school employees to undergo training to recognize when a student is suffering from trauma or contemplating suicide.
The bill, prompted by the recent suicides of two students in Johnston, unanimously passed Wednesday.
School boards would be required to select a program to train school personnel on recognizing the symptoms of students contemplating suicide. It also would train them on how to
Democrat Sen. Tod Bowman of Maquoketa, an educator, says teachers are well-positioned in a child's life to recognize suicidal behavior. He told the senate Wednesday that the suicide of
a former student 24 years ago still scars his memory.
Statistics show there are about 30 teenage suicides in Iowa each year.
The measure now moves to the House.





Friday News, March 15

Plymouth County Sheriff Identified Hit and Run Driver

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff's Office has been able to locate the driver of the hit and run accident that occurred on Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 140 and County Road C-60, near Kingsley.  68 year old John Jongma of Hawarden was driving a Mack semi truck and grain trailer heading westbound when he failed to make a stop at a stop sign.  Jongma's trailer struck a vehicle driven by 45 year old Mark Bremer of Ocheyedan.  Both Bremer and his passenger, Donald Bremer, age 83, also of Ocheyedan were injured and were transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.  The Bremer vehicle was unable to stop on the snow and ice and it hit the grain trailer near the left rear duals causing damage to  the grain trailer, meanwhile totaling the pickup truck they were driving.  Jongma stated he did not realize there had been an accident until he reached his destination.  He then contacted the Sheriff's office to provide his information.  Jongma has been cited into court for failure to obey a stop sign and leaving the scene of an injury accident.  The Kingsley Fire and Ambulance Department assisted at the scene.


Le Mars Ambulance Responding To More Calls

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Ambulance Service has been busy during the past year, although the number of service runs for the quarter between December 1st and February 28th has held steady.  The Le Mars Ambulance has responded to 228 calls compared to 235 from a year earlier.  Year to date figures do show an increase of 21 percent in the number of service calls.  From February 28 of 2012 to February 28th of 2013, the local ambulance responded to 940 calls compared to 775 during the same period a year earlier.


Relay For Life Plans Organizational Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Relay for Life of Plymouth County is having an organizational meeting scheduled for this evening.  That meeting will take place at the Sweet Sixteen bowling.  Shelly Clay, serves as the Team Chair for the cancer awareness program.
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Clay says the Relay For Life is moving back to Le Mars this summer, and will be held on July 19th.  During the last few years, the event had taken place in Remsen.  Clay says everyone knows of someone who has been affected by cancer, and she says that is a reason to get involved with Relay For Life.
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Branstad Congratulates China's President

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa is fortunate to have strong ties to the new president of China, which could create business opportunities.
Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday congratulated Xi Jinping on assuming the presidency of the world's most populous country. Branstad says Xi will be "someone who is very good to work with" and he looks forward to visiting him soon.
Branstad's ties to Xi date back to a 1985 diplomatic trip that Xi took to Iowa, during Branstad's first stint as governor. Branstad visited with Xi on a trade mission in 2011.
Xi returned to Iowa last year during a trip as vice president, stopping in Muscatine to meet with those who hosted him in 1985 and in Des Moines to meet with state leaders.


Altoona Man Lied About Military Record Sent To Prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Altoona man who lied about his Army record has been given prison for health care fraud.
Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Jeffrey Kepler, of Altoona, was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day. He'd pleaded guilty in September.
Prosecutors say Kepler had submitted a falsified discharge form to the Veterans Affairs medical center in Des Moines in August 2007. The form said Kepler had served between January 1977 and
August 1979 and received medals for valor, including a Silver Star and Purple Heart.
Prosecutors say Kepler received more than $100,000 in health benefits as a result of his deception. He also filed for disability benefits but was caught.
Prosecutors say Kepler served only 27 days in the Army in 1986 and was discharged for not meeting medical fitness standards.


Surgeon Disciplined For Disruptive Behavior

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Regulators have filed a disciplinary complaint against a former University of Iowa surgeon accused of pushing another doctor during a procedure.
The Iowa Board of Medicine announced its complaint Thursday against Domenico Calcaterra, who now practices at an Indiana University surgery clinic in Indianapolis.
The complaint says Calcaterra was suspended by Iowa after he allegedly shoved another doctor in the chest during a cardiac crisis in the operating room in November 2010.
The complaint accuses Calcaterra of engaging in a pattern of disruptive behavior and unprofessional conduct, which includes allegations dating to 2003 and 2007 during residency and fellowship
programs elsewhere.
Calcaterra's attorney, Steven Ballard, said his client will contest the complaint and looks forward to presenting his side of the story. He says the complaint includes years-old allegations.


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