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Wednesday Afternoon News, August 6

Lower Speed Limits Proposed For Business Highway 75

(Le Mars) -- During Tuesday's city council meeting, the council heard the first reading for a new proposed speed limit on Business Highway 75.  From Blue Bunny Drive to 4th Street southwest the speed limit is proposed to go from the current 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. Councilman Rex Knapp says the speed limit is being considered to be lowered, not for additional speeding tickets and revenue, but instead for safety considerations. Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga shares the number of accidents that have occurred on Business Highway 75.
 
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Dekkenga says nearly a third of the 74 accidents resulted in personal injuries.

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The Le Mars Police Chief says the efforts of the city council is to make the roadway safer.

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Dekkenga defends the actions of lowering the speed limit and brushes off the criticism

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Remsen Man Dies From Auto Accident

(Spencer) -- A 46 year old Remsen man has died as a result of an accident that happened Monday, on Highway 3 about a mile east of Merriden.  According to a traffic accident report by the Iowa Highway Patrol, Mark Offerman of Remsen apparently crossed the centerline while driving his Plymouth Neon and hit a semi truck and trailer loaded with hogs and being driven by 21 year old Joseph Meyer of Rock Valley, Iowa.  Offerman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. 

 

Kuhn Retires From Army And Receives Distinguished Alumna Honor

(Le Mars) -- A former Gehlen student recently received a distinguished alumna award from her college after retiring from the U-S Army.   Colonel Kimberly Kuhn received the Distinguished Alumna award from the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University, located in the Twin Cities.  The prestigious honor was bestowed upon Colonel Kuhn a month before her announced retirement from the military service.  Colonel Kuhn began her 25 military career as a ROTC student.  Kuhn pursued a military career focusing on military police.  After being promoted to Colonel, she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the Criminal Investigation Command, and led a Secretary of the Army appointed Fraud Task Force. The Distinguished Alumna Award honors an alumna who has distinguished herself for her outstanding achievements in her chosen profession, as well as has made a lasting contribution in her field as a role model or leader.
Colonel Kuhn is the daughter of Vincent and Alana Kuhn of Le Mars.

 

Iowa State Fair Set To Begin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - When the Iowa State Fair opens its doors for its 11-day run, the ingredients that make it a must-see attraction will be there.
     There's the food, the music and the competition. There's also the livestock, the rides, and the beloved butter cow. 
     Some visitors say they're drawn to the fair by its unique food, many of which involve fried delicacies on a stick. 
     Others are there for the friendly competition. There are more than 7,500 competitions at the fair that judge everything from the best cornstalk to the top decorative quilt. There are also nearly 50 special event contests that judge titles like the best arm wrestler and the best hog caller.
     The Iowa State Fair will be open Thursday through Aug. 17.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Headed to the Iowa State Fair this year? Roughly 1 million visitors are expected during the popular fair's 11-day run. Here are some things to know to help you save money and enjoy the event.
 
     FIND DISCOUNTED TICKETS
 
     If you didn't grab advance tickets before the start of the fair, that's OK. There are other ways to save on that $11 adult ticket and $5 child ticket. If you visit the fair between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, adult tickets are $6 and child tickets are $3. There are other discounts for older fairgoers and people who bring in canned food. Keep track of the schedule for those designated days, among others. And don't forget: Children under 5 always enter the fair for free.
 
     BYPASS THE PARKING HASSLE
 
     There is some parking available at the fairgrounds for $10, and nearby homeowners tend to offer up their properties at a discounted price. But you'll get a better deal if you rely on Des Moines' bus service, also known as DART. It's free to park at three designated DART locations away from the fairgrounds, and round-trip fares are $2 for adults and $1 for seniors, children 6 to 10 and people with disabilities. Younger children ride free. Advance fair tickets get you a discount on the bus fare, too.
 
     DON'T FORGET THE FOOD
 
     You're finally inside, so it's time for food. There will be nearly 200 food stands and nearly 70 delicacies available on a stick. While you try to figure out how to expand your stomach to try them all, there's at least good news for your wallet. Some new foods on the menu this year are valued-priced, meaning they'll cost $3. Such items include the Brownie Blitz and the Caprese Salad On-a-Stick (if you want to feel less guilty).
 
     THE COMPETITION IS ON
 
     If you're looking to bypass the food, maybe it's time for some friendly competition. There are more than 7,500 competitions at the fair that judge everything from the best cookie decoration to the top doll house. But they involve early registration, so maybe you should try entering one of the nearly 50 special event contests that judge skills like the best hay bale toss and the best grown beard.
 
     BUTTER COW OR BUST
 
     There are certain attractions at the fair that are a must-see. Yes, we're talking about the butter cow, located at the fairground's agriculture building. There are variations of it at other fairs, but the Iowa State Fair butter cow and its many incarnations have been on display for more than a century. At any given time, there's an impressive line to get a glimpse of the cow and its companion sculpture. This year's piece will be a sculpture celebrating the 25th anniversary of the "Field of Dreams" movie. If you sculpt it, they will come.

 

Republicans Fundraisers

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The new chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says the organization has raised more than $315,000 since he took the helm just over a month ago.
     The party announced the fundraising numbers in a Wednesday news release. Chairman Jeff Kauffman, a former state lawmaker, was selected for the job in late June. At that time, he pledged to raise more than $300,000 during his first three months. The organization had limited funds in the bank when Kauffman took charge.
     Kauffman was made chairman after new members were elected to the state central committee with the support of Gov. Terry Branstad. 
     Branstad wants to unite the party and ensure the future of the state's leadoff presidential caucuses. The changes came after tension between veteran Republicans and evangelical and libertarian groups.

 

Regents Tell Universities To Renegotiate Service Contracts 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's three public universities are being directed to renegotiate new, master contracts for goods and services as part of a consultant-led effort to cut costs.
     The Iowa Board of Regents voted Wednesday to implement a plan requiring the schools to work together to negotiate "more favorable contracts" in areas such as office supplies, furniture, food, and shipping.
     If that effort is successful, the regents may call on the universities to renegotiate additional contracts in two additional waves over the next two years.
     In all, Deloitte Consulting says the plan could save between $16 million and $40 million if fully implemented.
     Regents acknowledged the new approach may make it more difficult for Iowa companies to win contracts. But they said it was their goal to hold down student costs.

 

 

 







   

Wednesday News, August 6

Premier Communications Offers Progress Report To City Council

(Le Mars) -- Representatives from Premier Communications appeared before the Le Mars City Council on Tuesday and offered the council a status report regarding the progress of the installation of fiber optic cable within the city.  Premier spokesman Scott Testroete (Test-row-tee) says by next year the project will have been completed.

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Testroete says Premier Communications has a committment to staying in Le Mars and says the installation of fiber optic cable for the city came with a huge investment.

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The Premier Communications spokesman says Premier believes in the growth potential and of the future of Le Mars.

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Testroete says overall, Le Mars has overlooked the small inconvenience of the construction, and has welcomed the installation of fiber optics into the community.

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The cable company and internet provider spokesman says Le Mars has been an understanding and patient community through the transition of installing fiber optic cable.

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City Council Has First Reading Of Proposed New Speed Limit

(Le Mars) -- In other action during Tuesday's city council meeting, the council heard the first reading for a new proposed speed limit on Business Highway 75.  From Blue Bunny Drive to 4th Street southwest the speed limit is proposed to go from the current 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. Councilman Rex Knapp says the speed limit is being considered to be lowered, not for additional speed tickets and revenue, but instead for safety considerations. Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga says within the last three and a half years, there have been 74 reported accidents on business highway 75 from the north city limits to the south border of the city limits.  Dekkenga also said of the 74 accidents, 27 involved personal injuries.  Following a closed door session, the city council approved the purchase of the former CSS building located on South Business Highway 75.  The building was purchased for $300,000.   

 

Accident Information Released

 

(Le Mars) -- We now know the details of that accident that happened on Saturday afternoon at highways 140 and county road C-38.  51 year old Patricia Britt of Aurelia was traveling eastbound on C-38 when she pulled out in front of 45 year old Jon Neumann of Kingsley.  Neumann was traveling southbound on Highway 140, and was towing a boat and trailer.  Britt collided with the Neumann vehicle causing it to go into the southeast ditch.  Damage was done to both vehicles and the boat and trailer.  The Remsen, Kingsley, and Marcus Ambulances all responded to the scene, as did the Remsen Fire Department.  Britt had to be extricated from her vehicle, and was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital by the Remsen Ambulance.  There were two other passengers in the Britt vehicle, but apparently were not injured.  Neumann was not injured, but two other occupants in his vehicle did receive injuries and were taken to Mercy Medical Center in the Kingsley ambulance.  Charges are pending for Britt for failure to yield from a stop sign.

 

Preparations Being Made For "Creekfest"

(Cherokee) -- It’s being called "a party in the pasture". Over the past few years one event in northwest Iowa is becoming well known... Creekfest.  It started out pretty humbly.

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John Hansen is one of the organizers, he says this year 10,000 people are expected for two nights of live music.

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Hansen says there will be people of all ages there, and they work hard to make it a family oriented event. This year Florida Georgia Line will be headlining Friday night, and Chris Janzen will headline Saturday night.
 
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Gates open at 4pm both nights and the music starts at 4:30. Portions of the proceeds go to the June E Nyland Cancer Center, and to local groups who volunteer time at the event. The festival site is two miles west and 2 miles north from the water tower in Cherokee. 

 

Judge Tells Attorney To Make Training Video

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A lawyer who angered an Iowa federal judge by repeatedly raising objections has received an unusual punishment: an order to produce a training video that denounces such tactics.
     U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett issued the sanction last week to attorney June Ghezzi, who works in the Chicago office of the law firm Jones Day. 
     Bennett criticized Ghezzi's pretrial conduct in a case in which she successfully defended Abbott Laboratories against a lawsuit alleging its infant formula contained dangerous bacteria that caused a baby to suffer brain damage. He wrote that, during depositions, Ghezzi "proliferated hundreds of unnecessary objections and interruptions" that coached witnesses and delayed the proceedings.
     Bennett says the video must be made available to Jones Day lawyers.
     Jones Day said it will appeal, arguing Ghezzi acted appropriately.

 

Judge Rules Preacher Cannot Preach At State Fair

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ruled that state troopers didn't violate a preacher's First Amendment rights by asking him to stop preaching near state fairgrounds. 
     U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt delivered the ruling Tuesday. Pratt says it was wrong for troopers to threaten to arrest Christian preacher Jason Powell last year. He says the fair has a legitimate interest in limiting where a person could stand so that attendees can move freely.
     Powell was kicked off the fairgrounds after preaching near the main gates.
     He wanted the judge to order fair officials to allow him access to this year's fair which starts Thursday. Powell's attorney says it's unclear if his client will preach outside the fair this year.
     ---

 

Grants Offered To Rural Fire Departments

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are offering grant money to help rural fire departments with their equipment costs.
     The forestry bureau of the state Department of Natural Resources is coordinating with the U.S. Forest Service to offer grants for hoses, nozzles and adapters, among other things.
     Applications are due Oct. 15. A grant provides 50 percent reimbursement for fire equipment. A department can received up to $3,500.
     Fire departments are encouraged to submit a special report after responding to a wildland fire to receive priority points in the grant application process.

 

President Obama Issues Emergency Declaration For 22 Iowa Counties

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal disaster declaration has been issued for 22 Iowa counties damaged by severe weather in June and July.
     The White House and Gov. Terry Branstad announced the presidential disaster declaration Tuesday. The declaration was issued for Audubon, Black Hawk, Butler, Cedar, Des Moines, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Mahaska, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Tama, and Washington counties.
     The governor requested the support from President Barack Obama after the counties were hit with storms, hail, tornadoes and heavy rain from June 26 to July 7. The declaration means the counties will get federal funding to help with rebuilding efforts, such as repairing property, removing debris and other emergency work.
     This is the third such declaration that Iowa has received this year.

 

City Refuses To Purchase Old School Building

 INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) - Independence city officials say a proposal to purchase a former high school for $1 is too expensive because of costs to restore or repair the property. 
     City and Independence Community School District officials say a deal between them is dead. 
     The city had reached a tentative agreement in March to purchase the school and 20 acres from the district. City officials had said the building could be repurposed into a police department or civic center. 
     City engineers estimate it could cost more than $250,000 to tear down the building or $2.5 million to bring it up to code. City officials say that's more than tax payers would want to spend. 
     The school board will discuss what to do with the property at its August meeting.
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Water Quality Forum Scheduled

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A forum focusing on how farming can affect water quality is planned for Aug. 15 in Des Moines hosted by the Iowa Food Systems Council.
     The council is a nonprofit organization created to encourage a food system that builds a healthier economy, environment, and people.
     Presenters include Roger Wolf, director of environmental programs for the Iowa Soybean Association; Mike McCurnin, director of water production at Des Moines Water Works and Rick Kruse, Iowa State University agronomy professor.
     Attendees will learn the impact Iowa's farming and food systems have on Iowa's water quality, discuss ideas for reducing water pollution and discuss policy strategies to help improve water quality. 
     The event, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., is set for the Franklin Avenue Library.

 


 


 

 


 


 


 

 

 

   

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