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Friday Afternoon News, January 29

Candidates Make Last Ditch Effort To Sway Caucus Voters

(Le Mars) -- This weekend marks the last weekend before the Iowa caucuses and candidates and their supporters are crisscrossing the state making their final stump speeches, with several appearing in northwest Iowa.   Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is scheduled to appear at Dordt College in Sioux Center this evening.  Bush will be at the Campus Center and is scheduled to speak at 6:45 p.m.  Speaking about Dordt College, Dr. Ben Carson will appear at the Sioux Center college on Saturday afternoon.  Carson is also scheduled to appear at the Campus Center beginning at 3:00 p.m.  Across town in Sioux Center, conservative radio and television talk show host Glenn Beck will appear with television personality Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.  The dual are campaigning on behalf of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Both have recently endorsed the republican presidential candidate. Beck and Robertson will appear at the Terrace View Events Center and are scheduled to speak at 4:30 p.m.





Unfinished Atlantic Ethanol Plant To Be Completed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Minnesota businessman whose construction company has built many of the nation's ethanol plants is planning to complete a previously idled southwest Iowa plant using newly approved state tax incentives.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority approved Friday tax benefits for the corn ethanol project proposed by Farmers Energy Cardinal northwest of Atlantic.
The IEDA board approved $4.25 million in sales tax refunds for the company promising to create 49 jobs.
Ohio-based FEC is led by Ron Fagen, founder of Minnesota-based Fagen Inc., which has helped build 100 biofuels plants in the U.S. and will design and build the Atlantic facility. 
The plant, originally planned in 2006, stalled and wasn't completed.
It will be Iowa's 44th corn ethanol refinery and at 150 million gallons a year is among the state's largest.





Cruz Continues To Defend His Ethanol Position

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is telling Iowa voters he's the only true conservative in the GOP presidential race who can be trusted to keep his word.
Cruz spoke Friday at a Ringsted, Iowa, restaurant and drew sharp contrasts with rivals Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Cruz defended his call to phase out a mandate that all fuel contain a certain percentage of ethanol, saying and says it would be "easy" to take Trump's position that it ought to be expanded.
Ethanol made from corn is big business in Iowa, and pro-ethanol forces have railed against Cruz. Cruz says his tax plan includes removing all mandates and subsidies.
Cruz told voters the way not to "get burned" is to look for a candidate "who keeps his word when it's difficult, when there's a price to be paid."




Investigators Look At Child Abuse Complaints At Boarding School

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Dozens of state and federal investigators are looking into child abuse allegations at a privately-owned boarding school for troubled teens in southeastern Iowa.
Agents descended on the Midwest Academy campus in Keokuk to serve a search warrant Thursday and Friday, interviewing students and employees.  They served a second warrant at a related building, the Midwest Treatment Center, in Montrose.
The Division of Criminal Investigation said the warrants stemmed from a complaint alleging that a staff member of Midwest Academy sexually assaulted a resident. The Iowa Department of Human Services and the FBI are also investigating.
A former employee claims in a lawsuit that she was fired in December, one day after reporting to DHS that a female student had been sexually abused by a staff member.
Academy officials declined comment.




School Board President Resigns Amid Controversy From Shoving A Student

ROCKFORD, Iowa (AP) - The president of a northern Iowa school board has quit, saying he shoved a student.
Tim Trettin said Wednesday that he lost his temper a few weeks ago and shoved the student in the school's weight room. Trettin says he thought the student had cursed at him.
The Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock School District board accepted Trettin's resignation at its Jan. 18 meeting. Trettin had served eight years on the board.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Rockford police and the Floyd County Attorney's Office say no criminal charges are pending against Trettin.








Friday News, January 29

Struble Man Arrested For Domestic Assault

(Le Mars) -- Both the Le Mars Police Department and the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department responded to a call on Thursday afternoon from a woman that claimed she was being assaulted by her husband.  Law enforcement authorities went to 315 4th Street in Struble of rural Le Mars.  When officers arrived, both subjects were found in an upstairs bedroom.  The parties were separated and after the investigation, the male subject was arrested for domestic assault for a second offense. Authorities arrested Jesse Aduddell  of the mentioned address and was transported to the Plymouth County Jail.  There is no bond on a domestic assault until the subject sees a judge.




Three Men Arrested For Possession Of Marijuana

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department have arrested three people from Illinois for drug charges following a call from management of the Econolodge motel in Le Mars.  At around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, police received a complaint from personnel at the Econolodge of an odor of marijuana coming from one of the rooms.  As a result of a search warrant that was issued and subsequent investigation, police arrested 32 year old Corneilius Humphries of Chicago, 28 year old Antwaun Smith of Crete, Illinois, and 19 year old David Davy of Evanston, Illinois. Humphries was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, a class D felony; failure to have a drug tax stamp, a class D felony; and possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor. Smith and Davy were both charged with possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor. All three subjects were transported to the Plymouth County Jail where they were booked on all the charges.  Plymouth County Sheriff's Department assisted the Le Mars Police Department with the investigation and arrests.





Police Collect Expired And Unused Medications

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department wants the public to know that if you have expired, or unused medications, you can dispose of those old medications at any time during regular business hours to the Le Mars Police Department.  Captain Tim Hop says many people are unaware the police collects the medications on a regular basis, and not just during certain special events.

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A common medication found in medicine cabinets are pain killers, and Hop says the police would like to see those removed from homes, as soon as possible.

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The Le Mars police officer says they are considering installing a secure drop-off box in the police headquarters lobby so people can dispose of the old medications at any time, day or night.

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Hop says he can't estimate the number of, or weight of, disposed medications, but he adds that several people have taken advantage of the disposal program.

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Hop describes the procedure the police department uses to properly dispose of the expired medications.

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Captain Hop discusses the potential dangers that may occur from failure to properly dispose expired and unused medications.

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Akron Mercy Medical Clinic Participates In Obesity Research Study

SIOUX CITY, IOWA: Selected patients of the Akron Mercy Medical Clinic will soon be participating in RE-POWER, a research study examining the best ways to treat obesity in rural areas. RE-POWER is an innovative and collaborative multi-site research study comparing three different models to treat obesity in primary care practices throughout the Midwestern United States.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the study will include patients from 36 practices in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin. Staff from the Akron Mercy Medical Clinic attended training sessions on January 15 at KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Research partners include the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin.

Dr. Cindie Wolff of the Akron Mercy Medical Clinic says, “We wanted to be a part of RE-POWER because obesity is a serious problem that affects our patients every day. Studies like these give our patients practical tools to lose weight and keep it off, and we hope the data gathered gives family doctors insight on best approaches for rural residents.”

Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural communities, and individuals from rural areas have higher rates of obesity and obesity-related illnesses than individuals in urban areas. Those illnesses include diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. This study will test three different approaches to weight management, following either an individual or group counseling format. Participants in all three groups will be instructed on diet, exercise and behavioral changes that provide sustained weight loss.
The program is supported by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and it is offered at no cost to the participating practices and their eligible patients.

Akron Mercy Medical Clinic is the only Iowa study. There are 19 practices in Kansas,6 in Nebraska, and 10 in Wisconsin participating in the study over a 36-month period.

Dr. Wolff of the Akron Mercy Medical Clinic, says “We appreciate the opportunity to expand our services to our community, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with other rural practices."




Branstad and State House Differ On Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad and House Republican leaders have different views this session on the impact of a tax bill that would cut available state revenue by more than $95 million.
The House overwhelmingly voted 82-14 Thursday for legislation that would make retroactive tax changes to better mirror federal guidelines. The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency projects the bill would reduce available state revenue by more than $95 million.
That cut would affect surplus dollars, which Republicans don't use to calculate for the next fiscal year. They contend there's still at least $153 million in new state revenue available.
Branstad didn't support the measure in his budget recommendations. He said Monday it would make it "impossible" to fund education needs and other expenses. The bill now heads to the Democratic-majority Senate.





Fast Food Workers Strike For Higher Minimum Wages

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Hundreds of people calling for a higher minimum wage marched several blocks through downtown Des Moines and gathered near the venue of a Republican presidential debate.
At least 500 people joined Thursday night at a downtown square and then walked to an area to rally about a block from the Iowa Events Center, the site of the GOP debate.
The march and rally were the latest actions taken by a group that earlier in the day included workers at fast food restaurants who walked off their jobs to demand $15-an-hour wages.
Wiley King, a Wendy's worker, says the strike included workers from McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Long John Silver's. King says they hope media attention about the Iowa caucuses will help focus discussion about the needs of low-wage workers.





Branstad Says Security Is Top Concern For Iowa Republicans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With just days to go until the Iowa caucuses, the state's longtime Republican governor says that the federal government has failed to assure the American people that they are safe.
Governor Terry Branstad, who is likely serving out his last term in office, is declining to publicly endorse anyone in this year's crowded Republican field, but he applauds those who have made national security a central theme in their campaign platforms - anyone, that is, except Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
"Security is a big concern - personal security for Americans because of the attacks that have occurred on our own soil, as well as Paris," the six-term governor said in an exclusive interview with Associated Press.
Iowans are gearing up for the country's leadoff vote on February 1st.





Trump Skips Out On Republican Debate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As his rivals made their final case to voters ahead of Iowa's kickoff caucuses, Donald Trump was headlining a show of his own.
Just three miles from the site of the final GOP presidential debate before voting begins, Republican front-runner Donald Trump held what amounted to a cross between his typical rally and a fundraising telethon to benefit veterans.
Between his usual talking points on issues like the country's trade imbalance and media camera angles, Trump read out the names of wealthy friends who'd pledged major contributions to veterans' causes. Later he announced the event had just cracked raising $6 million. When he announced he'd pledged $1 million himself, the crowd erupted in cheers.
It was the latest example of how Trump, a billionaire businessman and former reality television star, has completely rewritten the rules of campaigning, turning typical protocol on its head. Trump decided to boycott the debate due to a feud with debate host Fox News and organized a competing event instead.
Trump opened by telling the students and veterans packed into a 775-seat auditorium at Drake University that he would have preferred to be at the debate, but felt he had little choice but to stand up for himself. 
Trump was joined at his event by two of his rivals - Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum - who briefly spoke about supporting veterans.





Republican Presidential Candidates Have Final Debate Before Caucus

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - For the Republican candidates for president, it was a glimpse of what could have been.
Front-runner Donald Trump's boycott of the final debate before the Iowa caucuses created space for his rivals to delve more deeply into their differences on immigration, foreign policy and their approach to governing.
And for some candidates, Trump's absence from the debate stage Thursday night appeared to ease some of the tension created by his sharply personal attacks.
Iowa voters kick off the 2016 nominating process Monday, offering the first indications of whether Trump's abrupt decision to skip the debate will have any impact on his standing atop the GOP field.
His lead in Iowa had already been more tenuous, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pulling support from conservative and evangelical voters.





Obama Says He Doesn't Want To Go To The Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) - Don't expect Barack Obama to wind up on the Supreme Court -- he doesn't want the job.
The White House says Obama's post-presidency plans don't include becoming a Supreme Court justice.
When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked in Iowa if she'd nominate Obama if she were elected president, she responded by saying, "What a great idea."
But White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama would prefer to spend his post-presidency handling a wider range of issues than what the high court typically deals with.
Obama himself said in 2014 that he doesn't envision serving on the Supreme Court because the experience would be too "monastic" for him.


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