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Saturday News, March 7

Firefighters Respond To Vehicle Fire

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire this morning at shortly after 7:00 a.m. The vehicle, an SUV, caught on fire when the front tire broke off from the axle causing the wheel to scrape the pavement, which ignited the vehicle.  Fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire using an extinguisher.  The fire occured on county road C-30 on the southeast corner of town.  Fire officials were at the scene for less than 15 minutes.


Change Batteries In Smoke Detectors

(Le Mars) -- Daylight savings time begins later tonight, and in addition to moving your clocks one hour ahead, fire officials say this is an opportune time to change your batteries in your smoke detectors.  Fire officials also suggest you take and remove any dust or cobwebs that may have formed on your smoke detector, and to test your detector to be certain it is in proper working condition.


Sanborn Man Arrested For Drugs

(Orange City) -- A Sanborn man has been arrested as a result of a traffic stop that led to the discovery of drugs.  48 year old Michael Rydstrom was stopped by Sioux County Sheriff's officials on Highway 60, two miles south of Alton, on Thursday.  Upon further investigation, deputies discovered a controlled substance in Rydstrom's possession.  Rydstrom was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and a third offense of possession of a controlled substance.  K9 units of the Sioux County Sheriff's office and Plymouth County Sheriff's office assisted in the investigation.


Deere And Company To Retain Workers

  WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - John Deere has cancelled layoffs for several workers at the company's Waterloo manufacturing factory.
     54 employees will keep their jobs at John Deere Waterloo Works. The announcement comes after the Moline, Illinois-based company announced two rounds of layoffs in the past six months.
     Deere spokesman Ken Golden on Friday confirmed the cancellation of the layoffs in Waterloo, saying labor needs have changed since the company's initial layoff announcement.
     In January, Deere announced the layoff of 940 workers at five locations in Iowa and Illinois, citing reduced demand for farming equipment as the reason. Of that number, 556 Deere employees in Waterloo were slated for layoff, in addition to 460 who were indefinitely laid off in October.   

Potential Presidential Candidates Attend Iowa Agriculture Summit

(Des Moines) -- Republican party contributer and Iowa Regent Bruce Rastetter is hosting the first Iowa Agriculture Summit today at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  Several potential Republican candidates for U-S president has accepted the invitation to come to Iowa and answer questions about their thoughts as it relates to agriculture, ethanol and other renewable fuels, and environmental issues.  Among the politicians and other notable people that have agreed to speak at the Iowa Agriculture Summit include Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Former Pennslyvania Senator Rick Santorum, Businessman Donald Trump, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Former New York Governor George Pataki.  Many people believe the forum will serve as a kick start for the candidates seeking the position of president.


Bush Stands By His Decision On Core Education

 URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is standing by his support for a set of statewide school standards, called Common Core, even though it puts him at odds with some in his party.
     Speaking at a congressional fundraiser Friday night in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, Bush tells Republicans that he's "not going to back down."
     Common Core's voluntary goals in reading, language arts and math were designed by a bipartisan team and put in place in more than 40 states.
     Some possible Republican presidential candidates such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie once supported Common Core but have backed away from the standards. A segment of Republicans view Common Core as a federal mandate.
     Bush's visit Friday to Iowa is his first as a presidential prospect.

Iowa Couple Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Trafficing

 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An Iowa couple arrested in Virginia with a 20-year-old woman in their recreational vehicle have pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges.
     Thirty-six-year-old Aldair Hodza and 31-year-old Laura Sorensen of Clive, entered their pleas Friday in U.S. District Court in Richmond. They also pleaded not guilty to a charge of transportation of a person for prostitution.
     The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a June 22nd trial date was scheduled.
     Hodza and Sorensen were arrested January 6th in New Kent County after a trucker saw the alleged victim inside their RV parked at a truck stop.
     Investigators say Hodza and Sorensen threatened to kill the victim and her family and forced her into an online prostitution scheme as they traveled to Virginia.




Friday Afternoon News, March 6

Anderson And Soderberg Talk About Bills That Survived Funnel Deadline

(Des Moines) -- Today is the state legislature's self-imposed funnel deadline. If bills have not yet passed through the committee level, they are essentially dead.  Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson reviews the pending legislation that did make it through the funnel deadline.  He says the Senate will still be working on a broadband internet bill.

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Anderson says the bills he introduced did not survive the funnel deadline, as was the case with many of the Republican minority sponsored legislation.

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Earlier in the week, Senate Democrats held a news conference regarding the expansion of medical marijuana to include eight different chronic diseases.  Anderson says although the bill remains alive in the Senate, he doubts if the House Republicans will want to again address the medical marijuana issue during this session. 

Like the Senate, the House has also moved ahead legislation dealing with the broadband internet.  Le Mars State Representative Chuck Soderberg explains.

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Soderberg says this past week was a "fury of activity" in the House chambers, and as an example he says the House Judiciary committee passed 17 bills on Wednesday evening.  Soderberg tells of some of the legislation that did make it through the funnel deadline.

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One area of interest to school districts is the funding for education.  The House and the Senate are split as to how much money should be appropriated to the school districts.  Soderberg serves on the conference committee and says even though the two sides have been meeting, they remain miles apart in reaching a final decision.

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The Le Mars state representative explains the differences between the Senate spending level for education and what the House has passed.

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Pizza With A Purpose Benefit

(Le Mars) -- "Pizza With A Purpose" is a benefit scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the All Saints Parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars.  The benefit is for both Kylie Hayworth and Turner Manley.  Hayworth is suffering from a rare form of brain cancer and Manley suffers from several ailments including Addison's disease, and Ulcerative Colitis resulting in the removal of his entire colon.  Hayworth is currently on a trip to Italy {through the "Make A Wish" campaign}.  While visiting Rome, and the Vatican, she had the rare opportunity to meet with Pope Francis. 


Court Upholds Wage Discrimination Lawsuit

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three women who worked for Muscatine-based office furniture manufacturer Allsteel may proceed with a lawsuit claiming wage discrimination but any potential damages are limited to a two-year period due to an Iowa Supreme Court opinion.
     The court says Iowa's 2009 Equal Pay Act is not retroactive so Erin Dindinger, Lisa Loring and Elizabeth Freund cannot seek damages prior to 2009. Some claims in their lawsuit go as far back as 2000. 
     The opinion filed Friday also says workers may file wage discrimination cases under the older Iowa Civil Rights Act but that limits damages to 300 days.
     The women's lawsuit will proceed in federal court in Des Moines.
     A spokesman for Allsteel, a division of HNI Corp., says the claims are without merit and the company plans a vigorous defense.


Court Rules Chinese Tire Maker Can Be Sued For Iowa Explosion

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says a Chinese company that made a tire that exploded and caused permanent injuries to an Iowa teenager can be sued in the state.
     Justices ruled Friday that courts in Iowa have jurisdiction over Doublestar Dongfent Tyre Company because it shipped thousands of tires into the state.
     The ruling reinstates a civil lawsuit brought by Dylan Book, who was severely injured in 2009 when a tire exploded at his father's auto repair shop in Adel.
     Then 17, Book was trying to mount a tire on an older rim when he overinflated it, causing an explosion. He was left blinded in one eye and lost part of his jaw, most of his sense of taste and smell, and the partial use of his left arm and hand.


Mechanic Dies From Auto Shop Fire

 MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) - A Maquoketa (muh-KOH'-kih-tuh) man has died after being severely burned in a fire at his auto shop.
     Authorities say 75-year-old James "Jim" Bealer died Sunday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
     Maquoketa Police Chief Brad Koranda says officers responded to a caller on Feb. 26 who said a man's clothing had caught fire. Koranda says Bealer had been using a blowtorch at his shop.
     A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday in Maquoketa at Carson Celebration of Life Center.


Dating Site Scam

   BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - A southeast Iowa woman has been accused of scramming more than $17,000 from a South Carolina woman in a dating website ruse.
     46-year-old Doris Warth, of New London, is charged with felony theft. Jail records say she remained in custody on Friday. Her attorney didn't immediately return an Associated Press call seeking comments on her case.
     Court documents say Warth told investigators that she'd used a military-oriented dating website in the scheme. The South Carolina woman was led to believe she was engaged to a serviceman in Afghanistan. Warth posed as the wife of a soldier who was friends with the other make-believe serviceman.
     The documents say the woman sent the money to help her supposed fiance out of a legal jam.


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