Wednesday News, September 10
Le Mars Fire And Rescue Respond To Semi Truck Accident
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Fire and Rescue officials responded to the scene of a semi truck and fuel tanker trailer that has overturned in the ditch. That accident was reported at about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. The truck and tanker trailer went into the ditch on county road C-12 near the Dykstra Dairy farm, about six miles north of Le Mars. No other information is available at this time.
Floyd Valley Hsopital Trustees Review Critical Access Hospital Annual Report
(Le Mars) -- The Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees met last evening and among other topics, they reviewed the annual Critical Access Hospital annual report. Floyd Valley Hospital saw a drop in the number of acute care days. In fiscal year 2013, the number was at 2,067 and in 2014, the number of acute care days was listed at 1,997. However, outpatient observations and visits had increased. In FY 2013, the local hospital 373 outpatient visits, this year the number was at 408. The outpatient visits jumped up from 51,325 to 52,423. The number of births at Floyd Valley decreased significantly dropping from 129 in 2013 to 97 in 2014 fiscal year.
Sioux City Police Investigate Morningside Shooting
(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are investigating a shooting in Morningside Tuesday morning that sent one man to the hospital. Police Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick says officers discovered 66 year old Ben Stefffe had been shot twice in the chest when they arrived at his home at 4625 Applewood, shortly before 7:00 a.m.
Kirkpatrick says Steffe and his wife were in the home when officers arrived.
Steffe was taken to Mercy Medical Center. His condition has not been released. The handgun used in the incident was recovered. Kirkpatrick says investigators are talking to a person of interest in the shooting.
Branstad Orders Flags To Be Half-Staff For 9/11
(Des Moines) -- In honor of all the Americans that lost their lives during the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, Governor Terry Branstad has ordered that all flags be flown at half staff on Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Flags will be flown at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, an upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
Branstad Proposes Tuition Freeze On Certain Majors
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad called Tuesday for the state's public universities to reduce tuition costs by implementing a number of changes.
Branstad said he wants to challenge the universities to offer some bachelor degree programs to Iowa residents for $10,000 in tuition. That can be done for students through a combination of online courses, college credits earned while in high school and some on-campus learning, he said.
Acknowledging the bargain degrees might be limited in scope, Branstad also said he wants to see price cuts for bachelor's degrees in other disciplines, calling for discounted tuition in at least half the majors at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.
Annual resident tuition at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa is roughly $8,000.
Branstad outlined his plan at news conferences at Drake University and Iowa State.
He didn't offer an estimate on the state cost, noting there may be ways to pay for this through other savings.
Branstad also proposed reducing student debt through a tax credit program in which businesses could be given tax breaks if they donate to charities designated as "student debt reduction organizations." Those charities could use the money to help graduates pay down college debt if they volunteer for the organizations.
Board of Regents spokeswoman Sheila Doyle Koppin declined comment.
Branstad's Democratic opponent Jack Hatch earlier released a college affordability plan, which included offering accelerated degree programs and creating a state loan fund to provide low-interest college borrowing options.
Board of Regents Committee Recommends UNI To Sell Property
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Board of Regents committee recommended Tuesday the sale of 50 acres of land on the western edge of the University of Northern Iowa campus to the Cedar Falls school district.
The Property and Facilities Committee of the Board of Regents moved the issue to the full board, which meets Wednesday in Ames.
The proposal is for UNI to sell the land for $1.2 million to the Cedar Falls Community School District, which hopes to build a new high school on the site.
The sale of the land will only go through if school district voters approve a bond issue on Tuesday.
Supporters of a school improvement plan petitioned for the bond issue which asks voters to approve a property tax increase that would finance borrowing $118 million. The money would help fund a series of projects including construction of a new high school at the UNI site, construction of a new elementary school and remodeling and construction projects at North Cedar and Orchard Hill elementary schools. The old high school building would be renovated to serve as an administration building.
Opponents of the bond issue said on their website that many taxpayers in the community on fixed incomes cannot afford it. Taxes would increase $220 per year for each $100,000 of a property's value for the next 15 years.
The university bought the property in 1986. It is used primarily for recreation fields.