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Thursday Afternoon News, Dec 6

City Officials Worried About Burdensome Government Regulations

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City officials expressed their concern to State Representative Chuck Soderberg and State Senator Bill Anderson about mounting regulations, and how it is costing the city thousands of dollars.  Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel says there is often a goal expressed by lawmakers to reduce unfair and burdensome regulations, but many times it is all talk and no action. 
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Representative Soderberg asked the group on Wednesday whether unneeded regulations were from the state or from the federal level.  He says the state legislature should be able to lift many of the state regulations to better assist businesses and communities.  Langel says many of the regulations are from the environmental standpoint.

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Bodies Found in a Wildlife Refuge Area

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A sheriff says hunters discovered the bodies believed to be two missing cousins in a secluded wildlife area about 25 miles from where they vanished in July.
Bremer County Sheriff Dewey Hildebrandt said Thursday the bodies were found in Seven Bridges Wildlife Area, a park along the Wapsipinicon River that is popular for hunting and fishing.
Hildebrandt says investigators from his office, the FBI, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and other agencies are processing the crime scene.
Authorities said hunters Wednesday discovered bodies believed to be Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook. Elizabeth was 8 and Lyric was 10 when they vanished while bike riding in Evansdale on July 13.
The bodies have been sent to the state medical examiner's office in Ankeny for identification. Authorities will release more information Thursday.


Arnold's Park Roller Coaster Undergoes Renovation

ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa (AP) - The mild fall weather has let workers begin the $250,000 restoration of the 85-year-old Legend Roller Coaster at Historic Arnolds Park amusement park in the northwest
Iowa town of Arnolds Park.
Work had been scheduled to start this coming spring.
Workers are replacing 575 feet of track and catwalks, along with making other improvements. They also are replacing steel supports added to reinforce old wood about 25 years ago. The steel didn't
flex, which is contrary to the characteristics of a wooden roller coaster.
Park officials say the nearly 1,500-foot ride, built in 1927, is the 13th-oldest operating wooden roller coaster in the country.


State Democrat Top Officials Resign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Democratic Party's top two leaders are stepping down.  The Des Moines Register reports Sue Dvorsky and Norm Sterzenbach will leave their positions soon to pursue other interests. Dvorsky has been party chairwoman since June 2010 and Sterzenbach has been executive director since December 2006.  The newspaper reports the pair is stepping down for personal and professional reasons.  The Democratic state central committee will choose replacements in January.  The 2010 election secured Republican leadership in the governor's office and the House.
Democrats have a slight majority in the Senate.


Egg Farm Catches Fire

STUART, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in central Iowa say several fire departments were called in to help battle a blaze at an egg production facility.  The Adair County Sheriff's Department confirmed the Wednesday afternoon fire at Rose Acre Farms in Stuart. Chief Operating Officer Tony Wesner says all company staff has been accounted for following the blaze. Wesner says the fire was contained to just one building, and no chickens were inside the building.  Rose Acre Farms has 16 facilities in six states.
Stuart is located about 40 miles west of Des Moines.





Thursday News, December 6

Lawmakers Visit With Community Leaders

(Le Mars) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg and State Senator Bill Anderson visited with community leaders representing the city, school, hospital, chamber, and area businesses during the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon.  The state lawmakers told the gathering of the priorities for the upcoming General Session of the state legislature.  Both lawmakers say the state budget is a major concern.  Anderson, a Republican from Pierson, says whatever takes place in Washington with regards to the budget will trickle down to the state level.  Soderberg, who will assume the role of chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, says Iowa's budget is doing o.k. but heavily dependent upon the federal government's subsidies.  Soderberg says Iowa's budget is approximately $12 billion dollars of which half is generated from Iowa tax revenues, and the other $6 billion is funded from the federal government.  Anderson says he expects the Democratic controlled Senate to seek additional tax credits
with property taxes, as opposed to any tax reform.
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Soderberg told the group that there is a good news - bad news scenario with the state's

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The area lawmakers addressed questions from the crowd that dealt with allowable growth funding for school districts, mental health levy, the state's infrastructure including the proposed hike in gasoline tax, tax incremental financing or TIF, and deregulation.

Arlene Urban Honored By Le Mars Community School District

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District has announced the recipient of the "Employee of the Month" honors.  This time the honor goes to Arlene Urban who works in the Education Center in the Central Office building.  Arlene works in the printing department.  According to the nomination submitted by Gale Horan, Arlene Urban is instrumental to every teacher and staff member being a great employee.  She is responsible for us having all our classroom materials printed-laminated-collated-punched-stapled-bound, and in a timely manner that allows us to be our best.  She is organized, and helps us to be organized as well.  I don't know how she gets everything done for us during the year, to say nothing about the summer crunch.  She helps make books for students, booklets for the different buildings whether it be for registration, or stats for organizations.  She is responsible for many of the programs for extra-curricular events.  She always greets us with a smile if we have something last-minute or special to get done.  I know that Arlene and her great work are appreciated by many at all levels of education whether it be preschool or high school.  I know that I personally very much appreciate everything that Arlene does to help me do my best in my classroom.


Bodies Found By Hunters Feared To Be Missing Cousins

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say hunters have found bodies believed to be two young Iowa cousins who disappeared while riding their bikes in July.  Black Hawk County sheriff's Captain Rick Abben says two bodies were found Wednesday in a wooded area, though he wouldn't say where.

He says the families of the cousins, 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 11-year-old Lyric Cook, were told of the discovery and are asking for privacy.Abben appeared to fight back tears, saying "it's definitely not the outcome that we wanted. "Abben says the bodies are being sent to the state medical examiner's office for identification.

The girls vanished July 13th near Meyers Lake in Evansdale in northeast Iowa. Their bikes were found near the lake.


Vigil Held For Missing Cousins

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Dozens of people gathered for a candlelight vigil for two Iowa cousins who disappeared in July, just hours after investigators announced that hunters had found two bodies in a wooded area.  The vigil was held Wednesday night at a lake in Evansdale where investigators had found the bicycles belonging to 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 11-year-old Lyric Cook.  Some of the roughly 70 people attending the prayer vigil were holding out hope that the bodies weren't those of the cousins. Others seemed resigned to the tragic news.  Barb Collins, of nearby Waterloo, says the community is grieving.  Black Hawk County sheriff's Captain Rick Abben says the girls' families were told about the two bodies and are asking for privacy. The bodies will be identified by the state medical examiner's office.






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