Saturday News, November 8
Plymouth County Agricultural Society To Hold Annual Meeting
(Le Mars) -- The annual meeting of the Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society, also known as the Plymouth County Fairboard, will be held Thursday, November 13, 2014 7:30 p.m. at the Plymouth County Extension and Outreach Office in the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center in Le Mars.
The following director terms expire at the annual meeting: John Ahlers, Brad Collins, Brad Harvey, Bob Kabisch, Candice Farrer, Matt Reuter, Gregg Roepke, Loren Schnepf and Gail Schoenrock.
Items on the annual meeting agenda include the election of Fair Board members, a recap of the 2014 fair, award presentation, suggestions for the 2015 fair, and other business.
Membership to the Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society is open to any county resident that pays a $5.00 one-time membership fee by 4:30 p.m. the day of the meeting to the Plymouth County Extension and Outreach Office.
Former Township Clerk Placed On Probation
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former township clerk in western Iowa accused of mishandling $60,000 over several years has been placed on probation.
Woodbury County District Judge Edward Jacobson suspended a 10-year prison sentence for 65-year-old Peggy Powell after she pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of first-degree theft. Her probation is for three years.
Powell, of Hornick, must repay more than $44,000 to Grange Township and a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, where she was treasurer.
A state audit this year said Powell mishandled the money between 2006 and 2013. Records showed more than $35,000 in ATM withdrawals and fees, some of which came from casinos. In a resignation letter to officials last year, she acknowledged owing money.
Judge Rules In Favor Of Iowa Gaming and Racing Commission
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa judge has upheld actions of the state's gaming commission over its decision to issue a casino license last year to a new developer in Sioux City.
Polk County District Court Judge Eliza Ovrom's ruling Friday upholds actions by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that led to a Hard Rock-themed casino and hotel.
Belle of Sioux City, operators of the former Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino, had sued to force the commission to reinstate its license and rescind the new one to the Hard Rock developer.
Ovrom dismissed claims the commission's actions were unreasonable and violated state law, among other arguments.
Belle of Sioux City is a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming. A message left for Penn was not immediately returned Friday.
AFSCME To Offer Contract Proposal To Branstad
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's largest state employee union is set to offer an initial contract proposal to Gov. Terry Branstad.
Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will make the proposal Monday. The union, which represents about 20,000 state workers, is covered by the current contract through the end of June.
Union president Danny Homan declined to say what was in the proposal. The state will release its proposal Nov. 24 and negotiations start early next year.
The current two-year contract included no raises, but maintained benefit plans, for which most members pay no monthly contribution.
Civil Liberties Union Suing State Over Felons Right To Vote
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging Iowa's tough policies that bar felons from voting.
A lawsuit filed Friday seeks to restore voting rights to thousands of former offenders before the 2016 presidential election. It also seeks to end confusion over the rules for ex-felons that followed a 2011 policy change by Gov. Terry Branstad.
Iowa is one of three states where felons cannot vote after completing their sentences until their rights are restored by the governor.
ACLU attorney Rita Bettis says the widespread denial of voting rights based on felony convictions "is the single biggest denial of civil rights in Iowa." She says it disenfranchises thousands of people and wants a court to limit the number of felony offenses that trigger the loss of voting rights.
Grassley Says Republican Senate Should Address Affordable Healthcare Plan
(New Hartford) -- Republicans have long been opposed to the Affordable Health Care Act, sometimes better referred to as "Obamacare" and the House of Representatives have voted to repeal the inclusive health care act, but it was never introduced in the Senate. Now, that Republicans will control the Senate, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley believes the bill to repeal or to reform should be discussed in the U-S Senate.
Grassley says if the Senate does pass a measure to repeal the national healthcare plan, he would expect President Obama would veto the repeal, and Grassley says there would not have the two-thirds votes in the Senate to override the veto. But Grassley says at least Republicans would keep their promise. Grassley was asked during his weekly news conference if Republicans have an alternative plan to Obamacare, and is it ready to be introduced? Grassley offered a list of what Republicans would include.
Grassley admits the system is not perfect and needs tinkering, but he also believes the Senate would need to provide some type of alternative health care plan.