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Wednesday News, March 13

FBI Agent To Address Seminar

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) will be hosting “Terrorism – It Can’t Happen Here?” on Monday, March 25, 2013 at the Willow Creek Golf Course.  The program will be presented by Special Agent Shara McGowan with the FBI Kansas City Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.   SA McGowan will review the mission and role of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the role of
the intelligence community, recent investigations including cases in the Midwest, and to learn about historical Kansas City Al-Qaeda connections.

The Plymouth County Medical Reserve Corp is a community based program and will function as a
way to organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to promote healthy living throughout the year and to prepare for and respond to emergencies in our community.  MRC volunteers will supplement existing local emergency and public health resources.  Although the title is Medical Reserve Corp, anyone may volunteer, not just those with a medical background. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m.  This program is open to MRC Volunteers, emergency responders, community response partners and preparedness planners.


American Legion To Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

(Le Mars) -- The American Legion Wasmer Post #241 of Le Mars will hold a special ribbon cutting ceremony this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.  The ceremony is to acknowledge the recent renovation of the building's facade'.  There will be a chamber after 5:00 event sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce.


Le Mars Home Expo Continues

(Le Mars) -- Its day two of the Le Mars Home Expo being held at the Le Mars Convention Center.  Both levels are being utilized with more than 80 exhibitors on hand.  Doors open at 4:00 p.m. and the show continues until 8:00 p.m.  KLEM radio and Powell Broadcasting are sponsoring the event.


College Students Lobby Legislators

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Students from Iowa's state universities are visiting the Capitol to lobby for financial support from lawmakers.
A group of students from all three universities will meet with legislators Wednesday as part of "Regents Day."
Spokeswoman for the Board of Regents Sheila Doyle Koppin says the group will be advocating that the universities receive the resources needed to freeze tuition. Koppin says the students will
also push lawmakers to increase state support for student financial aid.
Gov. Terry Branstad's budget proposal includes the funding increase requested by the Regents to provide the first tuition freeze in 30 years at state schools. But his budget plan does not
include the full amount sought by the Regents for student aid. The Legislature must now approve a budget plan.

House Appropriations Committee Passes Bill To Limit Taxes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A constitutional amendment that would make it harder for lawmakers to raise taxes is advancing in the Republican-controlled state House.
The House appropriations committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would change the state constitution by requiring all tax hikes to get a three-fifths majority vote in the
Legislature. Currently, a simple majority is needed.
The measure passed the committee 14-10 in a party line vote. It now goes to the full House for approval.
To change the state constitution, the measure would need to be approved by the current Assembly and then by the one elected in 2014. After that it would go to Iowa voters.


Brazil May Pass U-S On Soybean Production

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State University expert says long-term trends and recent weather patterns have put Brazil in a position to overtake the United States as the world's leading
producer of soybeans.
Chad Hart is a grain markets specialist at Iowa State, and he says the market change "has been building over a long period of time, but this year will be a milestone."
Hart says that U.S. farmers can't match the rate at which Brazil is
increasing the acres for soybean crops.
Hart says that although Brazil may replace the United States as the world's largest producer of soybeans, soybeans will continue to be profitable for U.S. growers. And, he says, U.S. dominance for
corn production will continue.

POET Joins With Netherlands Company For New Type of Ethanol Plant

EMMETSBURG, Iowa (AP) - An executive with a Netherlands-based biotechnology company has been asked to lead a joint venture that is building a new type of ethanol plant in northern Iowa.
Royal DSM, based in Delft, the Netherlands, has teamed with Sioux Falls, S.D.,-based Poet to create Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels.
The joint venture is building a plant in Emmetsburg that will make ethanol from corncobs, leaves and husks. It's expected to initially make 20 million gallons of ethanol a year.
The technology created to make the so-called "cellulosic" ethanol will be licensed to others in the industry.
Steve Hartig, a vice president with DSM, has been named general manager of the joint venture. He will be responsible for the licensing.

Google Settles With Iowa Attorney General

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa will receive $115,428 from Google Inc. as part of a settlement with the Internet giant over the collection of emails, passwords and other sensitive information
sent over wireless networks.
The state's share of the payment was announced Tuesday by Attorney General Tom Miller. Miller says the settlement recognizes the privacy rights of individuals whose information was collected
without their permission.
Google has agreed to pay $7 million to settle the investigation involving attorneys general in 38 states.
The case dates to 2010 when Google revealed that company cars taking street-level photos for its online mapping service also had been gathering personal data transmitted over wireless networks not
protected by passwords.
Miller says Iowa's share will go to the state's consumer education and litigation fund.







Tuesday Afternoon News, March 12

Supervisors Place Weight Limit On Marble Avenue

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution that restricts the weight limit on portions of Marble Avenue.  County Engineer Tom Rohe explains why the weight limit restriction is needed.
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The county engineer says the weight limit is set at six tons per axle.  Rohe says by the end of May is when the road is usually in better condition to handle some larger trucks.  He says depending upon how fast frost leaves during the spring melting, other roads may need weight restrictions.

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And which of the county maintained country roads concern him the most?
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Gehlen Students Select Their Pope

(Le Mars) -- Much like the Catholic Cardinals of the world who have gathered at the Vatican to select a new pope, students at Gehlen Catholic High School are performing a similar ritual.  Cecilia Henrichs serves as the religion teacher for Gehlen.  She says she is having her students place a ballot to "pick their pope."
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Henrich says the students will select their pope from a list of Cardinals.
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Henrich says she will use the experience to discuss the history of the conclave process.
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Henrich says unlike the Vatican, Gehlen students will not be sending a smoke signal when their pope is selected.



Senate Passes Tax Break Bill For Low Income Families

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Low income Iowa residents would get a bigger break on their taxes under a bill that is moving through the state Senate.
Democratic Sen. Joe Bolkcom says Tuesday that the measure would apply to households with incomes of less than $45,000. He says about 210,000 households would get a roughly $250 tax break. The proposal would raise the state credit from 7 percent to 20 percent of a taxpayer's federal earned income tax credit.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the bill Tuesday and will now go to the full Senate for a vote. But while Democrats who control the Senate support the effort, it may have little
chance of becoming law. Gov. Terry Branstad has vetoed similar legislation in past years.


Spring Rains and Melting Has Communities Concerned

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Recent rains coupled with an expected warm-up have some Iowa communities warily watching rising streams.
The National Weather Service says snowmelt is producing both minor and major flooding for cities along rivers mostly in eastern Iowa. Several flood warnings are in effect.
Several cities along the Iowa River are experiencing flooding. Kalona near the English River has major flooding, with water at 18 feet as of Tuesday. That's above its flood stage of 14 feet.
Residences along the Wapsipinicon River near DeWitt also are experiencing major flooding. The water is at 13.1 feet as of Tuesday, above its flood stage of 11 feet.
Weather officials say recent heavy rain is unusual for this time of year.


Efforts To Help Endangered Fish Species Are Stalled

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Federal efforts to create thousands of acres of shallow-water Missouri River habitat to help an endangered fish species have been stalled for nearly six years in the
waterway's namesake state.
The issue recently came to a head when a Missouri agency refused to act on a permit request for a long-stalled project. That raises new questions about what will happen next in the effort to provide
a refuge for young pallid sturgeon.
The conflict centers on where to dump dirt that's excavated as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeks to recreate about 20,000 acres of shallow-water habitat. So far, only 3,500 acres have been
Farm groups don't want the soil dumped into the river, saying they'll get the blame when it causes environmental problems. Proponents say rubbish.


Police Officer Saves Driver From Burning Car

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa police officer has rescued an unconscious driver by pulling him from his burning car.
Urbandale police spokesman Randy Peterson said Tuesday that Officer Zac McDowell wasn't injured Sunday night when he saved 18-year-old Ian Waseskuk (wa-SEHS'-kuh). The officer's dashboard
camera shows McDowell opening the car's passenger door, reaching in and grabbing Waseskuk to pull him away from the flames.
Police say Waseskuk was driving in circles, doing "doughnuts," in a church parking lot across from his home in suburban Des Moines when his car hit an air conditioning unit.
Peterson says Waseskuk will be charged with misdemeanor reckless driving when he leaves Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. Hospital spokesman Gregg Lagan (LAY'-guhn) says Waseskuk is in fair but
stable condition.









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