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Monday News, June 11th

Truck Accident At Wells North Plant Causes Power Outage

(Le Mars) -- A semi-truck pulling into the dock at the north Wells Plant caused a minor inconvenience for many downtown businesses on Saturday morning.  Apparently, the truck accidently struck a utility pole causing power to flicker and in some cases even go out momentarily. The incident happened just prior to 11:00 a.m. Little damage was suffered on the truck and trailer, but the utility pole moved about four inches, and sustained some damage.  The brief power outage caused the fire alarms to sound at the Wells north plant.  Fire officials were assisting Wells personnel to re-set the alarms so production could continue.

Fire at Farmers Co-op at Boyden

(Boyden) -- The Boyden Fire Department responded to an electrical fire at the Farmers Co-op at Boyden early Saturday morning.  Sometime during the early morning hours, a small fire began in the feed mill portion under a storage tank inside the feed mill.  The fire appears to be due to an electrical problem on the radiant heater and pump.  No injuries were reported, but the storage tank sustained approximately $2,500 in damages. 

Chamber to Hold "Cash Mobs"

(Le Mars) -- You've heard about "flash mobs" where a mass of people invade a public space to make a scene.  The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce is wanting to implement a "cash mob".  The idea is to encourage local people to spend at least $20 at a selected store to show support for that business.  At noon, on Thursday, June 21st, local residents are asked to gather outside the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber officials will select a name of a Chamber member business.  Then the group of people will converge upon the store, with each person purchasing items and spending at least $20. Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Main street program says it will be a great way to build the community, meet new people, and support the local economy.  Reynolds says the Chamber will conduct four "cash mobs" through out the summer.  The first "cash mob" will visit a downtown retail store, the other "cash mobs" will patronage a retail business located away from downtown, and a third "cash mob" will stop at a local restaurant.


School Board To Amend Budget and Hear Reports on New Books

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening and the first item of business is to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed amendment to the 2011-12 school budget and consider adoption of the budget amendment following the hearing.  The school board will hear reports from Kellie Bork, the high school Health teacher, and from Kris Mohning, Melissa Leraas, and Mark Vonnahme, all middle school teachers.  Each will be introducing new text books to the board.  Bork will present a new health text book, and the others will present a new middle school social studies text book.

Downtown Clean Up Scheduled for Today

(Le Mars) -- Don't forget about the Downtown Clean Up that is scheduled for this afternoon.  Community citizens are asked to bring brooms, garbage bags, and other cleaning equipment to the front door of the Chamber of Commerce office. Chamber officials are asking for volunteers and business owners to assist in the project.  The downtown clean up will be for two hours beginning at 3:00 p.m.


Anamosa State Penitentiary Under Lockdown

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) - The Anamosa State Penitentiary has been placed under tighter security since two inmate brawls.
     State prisons spokesman Fred Scaletta says the prison went into lockdown after Saturday's fights. He says no serious injuries were reported.
     Many of the 1,100 inmates at the eastern Iowa prison are serving long sentences for murder and other violent crimes.
     Investigators are looking into the cause of the incidents, and Scaletta says it's too early to say whether they were gang-related.
     Danny Homan is president of Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He says the fights show what can happen when the prisons are overcrowded and


Many Counties Can't Fund Mental Health Services

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Changes to Iowa's mental health system have left counties short of money and forced some to drop mentally disabled people from programs.
     County officials blame a new state law that shifts control over Medicaid-funded mental health services from counties to the state.  The change is part of larger reforms of Iowa's mental health care
system designed to make services more uniform, in part by taking control away each of Iowa's 99 counties.
     Cedar Rapids Representative Renee Schulte acknowledges programs could be cut. But she says counties struggling with funding now would have faced problems anyway. That's because some counties were spending Medicaid dollars in ways the federal government was going
to stop.
     Department of Human Services Director Chuck Palmer says he hopes cuts won't be as bad as counties fear.


Fund Raising Tactics Being Questioned At U of I Hospitals

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some tactics the University of Iowa Foundation uses to raise money for the university's hospitals are being questioned because patient information is being shared with
     Officials with the University of Iowa's hospitals and the foundation defended the way they raise money as ethical.
     But patient advocates said that the campaign that uses letters signed by doctors appears to be taking advantage about the way people feel about doctors who helped them.
     And the foundation hired three fundraising companies to help, and at least two of those firms failed to register with Iowa officials and report details of their campaigns.
     Hospital spokesman Tom Moore says the fundraising campaign is legal and ethical. And he says it is in line with what other hospitals are doing.


Salt Supplies in Good Order

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state of Iowa and many local governments have been topping off salt supplies for winter even before summer officially starts. With mild temperatures this past
winter, many cities have plenty of salt left over. The Iowa Transportation Department says the state is still buying salt under an old contracted price.




Saturday news, June 9th

20112 Relay For Life

(Remsen) -- More than $35,500 was raised during last evening's Plymouth County Relay for Life held at Remsen. 26 different teams participated along with several individuals, all with the mission to call attention and raise money to fight cancer.  Malia Mouser of Remsen was this year's Honorary Chair.  Mouser, a cancer survivor, says she has been on both sides of cancer. 

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Mouser recounts her days as a victim of cancer.

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Mouser says before being diagnosed with cancer, she would often help others who had the disease.  

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The Remsen resident says her doctors inform her that it will be five years before she can be considered totally free and cured of cancer. Mouser is coming up on two years since she had the chemo therapy...so, how does she feel?

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Team Carly's Angels and Team Mitchel were selected as the the top fund raising teams during last evening festivities.


Main Street Wanting to Clean Downtown

(Le Mars) -- Next week is "Ice Cream Days" for Le Mars, but before the city welcomes its many guests acknowledging the "sweet treat", efforts are being organized to help clean up the downtown district.  Le Mars Main Street Coordinator Mary Reynolds says on Monday between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. citizens are invited to the Chamber office to help clean the downtown area.

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Reynolds says she is hoping for at least 50 people to join in on the cleaning duties


CenturyLink Moves to Sioux City

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - CenturyLink is closing its sales and call center in Des Moines and relocating the operations to Sioux City, a move that will affect over 100 employees.
     Spokeswoman Nancy DeVinay-McNeley says the center will close on September 7th. She says the work will be "consolidated" to Sioux City and all employees would be offered the chance to move. She
says the move is part of an ongoing effort to remain competitive and reduce cost.
     CenturyLink has about 1,500 employees in Iowa.

Penn National Agrees to Casino Extension 

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The owner of the Argosy riverboat casino in Sioux City has accepted a contract extension with the nonprofit group that holds the license.
     Penn National Gaming says it has agreed to sign the offer by Missouri River Historical Development to extend the current agreement through March 2015. The deal appears to keep the casino
from closing.
     Talks have stalled on a long-term deal. Penn is proposing a new $100 million land-based casino. The nonprofit group wants more than the current 3 percent of gross revenue for community projects.
     Penn spokesman Eric Schippers says it was the "best interest" of all parties to extend the current agreement. Mark Monson of thenonprofit group says he didn't know Penn had accepted the deal, and
the group will talk about it on Monday.


Governor Branstad To Hold News Conference at Storm Lake

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is taking some of his weekly news conferences on the road in Iowa.
     Branstad says he and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will be holding the news conference outside the Capitol in Des Moines as part of their transparency goals. The first will be on Wednesday in Storm Lake.
     Other dates and cities will be announced as they're scheduled.


Milford Man Sentenced for Methamphetamine

(Sioux City) -- A Milford man has been sentenced to federal prision for two and a half years for distributing methamphetamine.  32 year old Terry Lowry pleaded guilty in February to a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Lowry admitted that from 2010 through February of 2011, he distributed more than 50 grams of methamphetamine in the Spencer area.


Sioux City Man Gets 27 Years in Federal Prision

(Sioux City) -- A Sioux City man has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prision for distributing marijanan, illegally possessing firearms, and possessing firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes.  Isaiah Thomas, age 27, received his prison term after a September 2011 guilty plea.  Thomas had a number of prior convictions for domestic violence which precluded him from lawfully possessing any firearms.  Information revealed at the hearings showed that Thomas repeatedly brutalized his girlfriend and her friend who was merely visiting the apartment.  Thomas broke two of his girlfriends's fingers, stood on her head, choked her, forced his hand into her mouth in an attempt to break her jaw, and shoved a pistol into her eye ripping her eyelid and destroying a tear duct.  Thomas knocked his second victim unconscious.  After the assaults had occurred, Thomas drove his girl friend to the hospital and instructed her to lie about how she acquired the injuries.  Officers found the second victim in Thomas's apartment unconscious and she too was transported to the hospital to receive medical attention.  Officers executed a search warrant for the apartment and found, among other things, two loaded handguns - one of which was covered in fresh blood and hair, several individually packaged baggies of marijuana, two larger Ziplock bags containing marijuana and other items associated with the drug trade. Thomas has a long history of violence.



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