Thursday Afternoon News, September 4
City Sets September 15th - 20th As "Fall Cleanup Days"
(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars has established the week of September 15th through the 20th as the "fall cleanup" week and is declaring an amnesty from the Landfill Disposal Cost for up to 1,000 pounds per household of "throw away" material delivered to the landfill. The city will pick up the cost of the landfill fees. Only residential properties can participate. Each residential household must make their own arrangements for hauling waste to the Plymouth County Landfill during the amnesty period. Items that can be discarded include: furniture, construction and demolition including wood posts, scrap lumber, windows, doors, sinks and toilets. Metal objects such as bikes, mowers, metal posts, wire, swings and bed springs and bed frames are included as part of the amnesty program. Household garbage and yard waste, tires and hazardous waste products are NOT included in the amnesty clean up program.
Sioux City Struggles With Recycling Program
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials are expressing concern over the low number of households taking advantage of a free recycling program.
The city's waste collection service released data Wednesday showing only 18 percent of local homeowners have requested a recycling bin for curbside pickup. City Councilman Dan Moore says too many people are still unaware of the service, nearly four years after its creation.
Sioux City has offered free 65-gallon recycling bins to promote recycling since 2010. The service also aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.
Moore says the city needs to step up its marketing efforts to raise public awareness. Le Mars officials say at least 75 percent of the residents participate in the recycling program.
Clay County Fair To Begin On Saturday
(Spencer) -- What is promoted as "The World's Greatest Fair" starts this weekend. The Clay County Fair at Spencer kicks off its nine day run on Saturday. Fair manager, Jeremy Parsons says the Clay County Fair has a long tradition of featuring farm equipment, and this year's fair is no exception.
Parsons says the Clay County Fair will feature more than 900 4-H and FFA exhibitors from 42 different counties. As for entertainment, this year, the Clay County Fair will have seven different stages of free entertainment.
The Clay County Fair manager says tickets are still available for the grandstand shows. He says the grandstand entertainment offers something for everyone.
Admission to the fair is $8 for adults, but Parsons says there are opportunities to pick up reduced priced tickets and even some bargains.
The Clay County Fair annually attracts up to 300,000 visitors and runs from Saturday through Sunday, September 14th.
Auditor Finds 13 Attorneys Overbilled State
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state auditor says 13 private attorneys working as public defenders overbilled the state by roughly $310,000 during a three-year period.
Auditor Mary Mosiman released the report Thursday. Her office reviewed data from July 1, 2009, through Aug. 31, 2013, at the request of the State Public Defender's Office.
The report says 11 of the attorneys billed for work days that were longer than 12 hours. In some cases, they claimed to work more than 24 hours in a day.
A total of 13 attorneys filed improper mileage claims.
State Public Defender Sam Langholz says contracts have been canceled with eight attorneys. Another attorney voluntarily terminated his contract.
Langholz says the office has adopted new oversight rules.
A Department of Public Safety spokesman says the matter is under investigation.
Food Company Agrees To Settle Lawsuit
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A food distribution company has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit that claims it conspired with others over several years to restrain the bidding process for selling food at schools across Iowa.
The lawsuit says Martin Brothers Distributing Company conspired with Iowa Educators Corporation and its successor, the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing, to monopolize the business of food distribution at hundreds of schools over a 14-year period.
Martin Brothers and the others deny they did anything wrong. They say the process was fair, and the agreement was reached to avoid litigation costs.
An eligible individual can file a claim to receive up to $3.50 per student per year, for a maximum of $50 per student. Attorneys for both parties did not immediately return messages left Thursday.
Iowa Ranks 12th In Adult Obesity
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report says Iowa had the nation's 12th highest adult obesity rate in 2013.
The report released Thursday by the Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 31.3 percent of adults in Iowa were obese last year.
Nine of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South.
Mississippi and West Virginia tied for the top rate, at 35.1 percent. Colorado's 21.3 percent was the nation's lowest.
Iowa's obesity rate was higher than all of its neighboring states.