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Thursday Afternoon News, August 7

Several Plymouth County Exhibits Featured At Iowa State Fair

(Le Mars) -- The Iowa State Fair begins today in Des Moines and will continue through Sunday, August 17th.  Among the thousands of entries to be judged at the state fair will be several items representing Plymouth County. 

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Janelle Johnson, serves as the Program Coordinator with Plymouth County Extension Services.  Johnson says the number does not reflect the communication projects slated to participate at the Iowa State Fair.

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The Extension Official says Plymouth County has several first-time exhibitors at the state fair.

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Johnson says in addition to the static displays, 32 exhibitors from Plymouth County will be exhibiting either livestock, poultry, and/or small animals at the Iowa State Fair.

 

Leath Says: "No More VEISHEA!"

 AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University's president is ending the annual Veishea festival saying it has become a week-long alcohol fueled party that places students at risk.
     President Steven Leath says the violence-marred festival over the years it has resulted in dozens of violent incidents, riots, property damage and two deaths. A late-night crowd disturbance in early April injured a student and the remainder of the festival was cancelled for this year.
     He says it has hurt Iowa State's reputation as he announced Wednesday Veishea will end for good and the name will be retired.
     Leath says as university president his top priority is student safety and although he acknowledged ending a 90-year tradition will be criticized he's convinced it's the right thing to do for the university.

 

Wellmark Blue Cross - Blue Shield Says It Saved $12 Million

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's leading health insurer says it has saved about $12 million in keeping patients well instead of being treated when they're sick. 
     The savings are less than 2 percent of the overall care provided to about 358,000 patients over the past two years. 
     But Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield says the savings from its Accountable Care Organizations are a start. It's an arrangement that rewards hospital and clinics for preventing expensive health care. 
     Wellmark official Mike Fay says the savings come from clinics encouraging patients to come in for checkups before medical issues become severe. 
     Fay says some clinic staff members are also using medical records to identify patients who often go to the emergency room for minor problems.
     ---

 

Consumer Spending Up

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New federal data shows that consumer spending in Iowa has grown slightly faster than the national average since the end of the recession.
     The report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday provides a state-by-state breakdown of spending. It shows that per capita spending in Iowa jumped 12 percent between 2009 and 2012. That's more than the national average of 10.7 percent, but less than states like North Dakota and Oklahoma that have seen spending skyrocket due to oil and gas drilling booms that have prompted big jumps in per-person income.
     According to the data, in 2012, Iowans spent an average of $33,585 on consumer goods and services, compared with a national average of $35,498.
     That spending includes purchases of food, gas, housing and health care.

 

New Version of "Music Man" To Premiere In Iowa

  MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A new version of the classic Broadway musical "The Music Man" will premiere in the Iowa hometown of the show's creator.
     Meredith Willson was born in Mason City and he wrote the book, music and lyrics for the original show.
     Officials said during a news conference Wednesday that the show will run Sept. 18-19 at the North Iowa Community Auditorium.
     The new version is called "The Music Man-In Concert." One of the featured players will be Shirley Jones, who starred as Marian the librarian in the movie version. She'll portray Marian's mother. Jones' son Patrick Cassidy will lead the cast as Harold Hill, who brought music to fictional River City and found love there.
     The production will feature a cast from New York but be supplemented by local talent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Thursday News, August 7

Chemical Sanitizing Systems Building May Become New Police Station

(Le Mars) -- The former Chemical Sanitizing Systems building, located on south Business Highway 75 may serve as a new police station for the city of Le Mars.  The city council approved purchasing the building for $300,000 during its Tuesday meeting. Mayor Dick Kirchoff says it may be a while before the building is converted to serve as a police headquarters.

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Kirchoff says the present building that houses the city's police department, located at 22 2nd Street Northeast is starting to be costly to maintain, and the police are needing additional space.

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The Le Mars mayor says Chemical Sanitizing Systems Building location was appealing to city officials.

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Kirchoff says the city council has not discussed what to do with the present police headquarters, but he anticipates it may be turned into a public parking lot to accomodate events at the Olson Cultural Events Center.

 

State Fair Opens Today

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - When the Iowa State Fair opens its doors today 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.  State Fair manager Gary Slater says a number of improvements have been made on the fairgrounds in the past year which should help to boost attendance.

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Attendance first reached one-million in 2002 and it's passed the million mark ten more times since then. Slater says tickets to several grandstand acts have been selling well, especially to country music lovers. 

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 Slater says tickets are also selling very well for country artist Jake Owen and the 1970s-80s rockers Foreigner and Styx. Among the many building renovations, Slater says the fair has modernized the 4-H and F-F-A dormitory. He says the fair's participation from those ag-related groups continues growing every year.

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Slater advises fair goers to get there early and to make a plan, as the fairgrounds cover some 445 acres of land. The Iowa State Fair runs through August 17.

 

Iowa State University President To Announce VEISHEA Plans Today

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say the president of Iowa State University will announce his decision Thursday on the violence-marred Veishea festival.
     President Steven Leath will make his announcement during a news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
     A task force formed by Leath submitted recommendations to him on July 11. The group was created shortly after a late-night crowd disturbance in early April. One student was injured. The rest of the festival's events were canceled.
     ---

 

Board Of Regents Want Receipts From Consulting Firm

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents has a suggestion for its own cost-cutting consultant: start providing receipts to justify employee expenses.
     Regents said Wednesday they would start requiring Deloitte Consulting to submit receipts, like university employees do, to document claims for travel, lodging and food.
     The move came after The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reported that Deloitte submitted $220,000 in expense reimbursements without documentation, under its $3.3 million contract to find savings.
     Board President Bruce Rastetter says Deloitte's contract did not require its employees to submit receipts. But he says the regents didn't want the "relatively small expenses" being questioned to reflect poorly on the larger initiative, which could save millions.
     He says Deloitte has been receptive to providing receipts going forward, and the contract may be amended to require them.

 

Student Brings BB Gun To School

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An 11-year-old elementary student has been accused of bringing a BB gun to school and threatening to shoot four classmates.
     Des Moines police say the incident occurred Tuesday at River Woods Elementary School, which maintains a year-round calendar. No injuries were reported.
     The  11-year-old student is accused of firing the BB gun at a tree on school grounds.
     School employees told police the student arrived at the school with two former students, ages 14 and 16. Additional information about the incident was not released.
     ---

 

Des Moines Hopes To Host Mens NCAA Basketball Tournament

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines is pushing hard for a shot at hosting the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
     The Des Moines Area Sports Commission, Iowa State University and Global Spectrum, the company that operates Wells Fargo Arena, announced Wednesday that they're bidding to host NCAA tournament games in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
     Des Moines has long wanted to host the men's basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena, which opened downtown in 2005. But Iowa's capital city has had to settle for less prestigious events like the women's basketball and wrestling tournaments.
     Des Moines ranked first in attendance among women's basketball regional sites in 2012. The 2013 wrestling championships drew strong crowds as well.
     The city also hosted the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in 2008, 2011 and 2012 at Drake Stadium.



   

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