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Monday Afternoon News, August 31

Bicycle Rodeo Scheduled For Monday Evening

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Cyclists, along with the Le Mars Rotary and Floyd Valley Hospital will host a Bicycle Rodeo, scheduled for this evening.  The bicycle rodeo will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Olson Cultural Events Center.  Organizer Mark Strub explains what's involved with a bike rodeo.

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Strub says the event is open to children of all ages.  He says they are anticipating as many as 200 youngsters with their bicycles.  Strub says in addition to the bicycle rodeo, organizers will offer an inspection service.

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Strub says there will be fun and games and prizes at tonight's event, but he says the purpose for the bicycle rodeo is to emphasize bicycle safety.

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Strub says the bicycle rodeo will offer door prizes for the participants to win.

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Participants will also have the opportunity to register their bikes with the Le Mars Police Department.  Registration is free of charge at the bicycle rodeo.




University Of Iowa Continues To Interview Finalists For President's Position

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A corporate executive who says he helped turn around the IBM Corporation is the fourth finalist to be the next University of Iowa president.
J. Bruce Harreld will visit Iowa City on Tuesday, the last among those seeking to replace Sally Mason.
Ohio State University provost Joseph Steinmetz visits Monday. Last week, Tulane University Provost Michael Bernstein and Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov had their meetings.
The Board of Regents is expected to decide Thursday.
Harreld is managing principal for Executing Strategy, LLC, which confidentially advises organizations on leadership and change. Before that, he worked on the Harvard Business School faculty for six years, teaching courses to MBA students.
For 13 years, he worked as a senior vice president at IBM in New York helping rescue the organization from near-bankruptcy.





Offices Being Renovated In Preparation For New University President

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Renovation and maintenance work are in the beginning stages of the University of Iowa's president's office and home while the school looks to find its next president. 
Four finalists are up for the job to replace Sally Mason, who's retiring. The Iowa Board of Regents is expected to choose a successor Thursday. 
School officials say the $500,000 renovation of the president's office is long overdue. They say it'll cost an estimated $1.5 million to address deferred maintenance at the president's residence, which is more than a century old. 
A university official says work on two projects will reach a point by the end of the fall semester when the spaces should be useable. Both projects are expected to finish before spring semester ends.



Companies Receive Grants To Expand Broadband To Rural Areas

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says people living and working in rural Iowa will benefit from plans to expand broadband Internet service.
Branstad discussed the expansion plans Monday. Four companies will expand Internet services to nearly 90,000 Iowa locations using grant funding provided by the Federal Communication Commission's Connect America Fund.
Providing high-speed internet throughout the state has been a top priority for Branstad. The four companies receiving over $53 million in grants are CenturyLink, Windstream, Frontier and Consolidated Communications.
Company officials said the dollars would help provide service in some areas, as well as improve speeds in others.
Branstad says broadband access is a "great equalizer" for rural communities.








Monday News, August 31

Le Mars Man Arrested After Eluding Officers For 24 Hours

(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars man has been captured after eluding police officers from a chase that started on Saturday afternoon.  52 year old Randall Hurlbut was taken to the Plymouth County jail and charged by the Le Mars Police Department with robbery in the second degree, a class C felony, domestic abuse and assault, a class D felony, theft in the 3rd degree, an aggravated misdemeanor, obstruction of emergency communications, a simple misdemeanor. Charges are pending with the Merrill Police Department for assault on a law enforcement officer.  The incident started on Saturday afternoon when Le Mars Police received a call of a domestic disturbance at about 3:41 p.m. The suspect fled the premises before police had a chance to arrive on the scene.  Le Mars Police then named a suspect and shared the information with other law enforcement agencies.  Nearly a half hour later, a Merrill police officer spotted the suspect vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop.  The suspect failed to stop for several blocks.  The suspect then fled on foot towards a cornfield on the south edge of Merrill.  The Merrill police officer pursued on foot and got into an altercation with the suspect.  The suspect then fled into the cornfield.  After an extensive search of the cornfield by the Plymouth and Sioux County Sheriff's office, Le Mars and Merrill Police Departments, Plymouth County Conservation, the Iowa State Patrol and the Iowa State Patrol aircraft, the suspect was not located.  Throughout the next 24 hours the Sheriff's office received numerous tips from citizens about a subject walking in the area of county road K-42 and 250th street, and in and around Merrill.  On Sunday afternoon at about 5:05 p.m., deputies from both Plymouth and Sioux County Sheriff's office located the suspect behind Branum's Oil in Merrill.  Hurlbut was taken into custody without incident at that time.





Le Mars Man Dies From Auto Accident In Southwest Iowa

(Glenwood) -- A Le Mars man has died from an auto accident that occurred in southwest Iowa. Two others were injured in a two-vehicle accident in Mills County Sunday afternoon. The Iowa State Patrol says 59-year-old Larry Saxen of Le Mars died at Creighton University Hospital in Omaha of injuries suffered in the accident at the intersection of Highway 34 and 195th Street west of Glenwood. Authorities say Saxen's car was stopped at the intersection facing north when, for unknown reasons, it pulled out in front of a car driven by 74-year-old Dale Fink of Glenwood that was eastbound on 34, causing a T-bone collision. Saxen was taken via Lifenet Helicopter to the Omaha hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Fink and a passenger, 73-year-old Margaret Fink, also of Glenwood, were taken via Pacific Junction Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs with unknown injuries. The accident happened shortly after 3:20 p.m.




Late School Start Helped State Fair, Arnold's Park, And Other Venues

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A new law that prevented Iowa schools from starting before August 23rd helped boost crowds at the State Fair and other attractions this month.
Attendance at the Iowa State Fair in mid-August hit an all-time high of 1,117,398.
The August crowds at Arnolds Park Amusement Park appeared larger this year.
Myles Kass of Le Mars, owns Bob's Drive In, a seasonal restaurant at Arnolds Park, and he said his August sales numbers were higher than in recent years.
Many Iowa school districts started on August 24th. Last year, only 14 of 338 Iowa districts started after August 23rd.
Mark Sanders says the later school start helped him keep a promise to take his daughter and two friends to Arnolds Park earlier this month.





Regents To Interview Another Finalist For University Of Iowa President's Position


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Ohio State University administrator is one of the four finalists to become president of the University of Iowa.
The Iowa Board of Regents said Sunday that Joseph Steinmetz will visit the campus in Iowa City on Monday to meet faculty and students. He is currently Ohio State's executive vice president and provost.
Steinmetz is the third finalist identified publicly. The Iowa Board of Regents is expected to choose a successor for retired president Sally Mason on Thursday after the fourth finalist visits campus.
Steinmetz has been at Ohio State since 2009. Before that, he led the University of Kansas' College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for three years.





Motel Owners Ordered To Pay $1.2 Million For Sexual Harassment

PEOSTA, Iowa (AP) - The owners of an Iowa hotel have been ordered to pay two former employees who complained about sexual harassment more than $1.2 million.
An Iowa jury ruled Friday against the owners of a Quality Inn and Suites in Peosta, Iowa.
Sheila Oyler and Julie Schemmel had sued the hotel operators because they say a male coworker repeatedly made sexual comments.
The ownership group, Laxmee Incorporated, was ordered to pay Oyler $630,000 and pay Schemmel $500,000 in damages. For back pay, Oyler is slated to receive $16,484.01 and Schemmel will receive $446.25.
In addition to those damages, one of the individual co-owners, Vijay Patel, was ordered to pay Oyler $70,000.




Mall Shooting Trial Now To Be Held In Story County

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The trial for the man accused of killing a woman at Coral Ridge Mall in June has been moved from Johnson County to Story County.
The motion was filed earlier this month by an attorney for 22-year-old Alexander Kozak, who has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the June 12 slaying of 20-year-old Andrea Farrington.
Defense attorney Peter Persaud successfully argued that media attention of the mall shooting made it too difficult to find an impartial jury in eastern Iowa.   Johnson County District Judge Christopher Bruns also pushed back Kozak's trial to April 12. It had been set to begin in October.





Triple A Reminds Motorists To Be Safe Around School Zones

(Des Moines) -- School started this past week, and Triple A Motor Club reminds motorists that young student pedestrians can pop up anywhere.  Triple A spokesperson, Rose White tells motorists to slow down near school zones, and stay watchful for children on foot as they might suddenly dart into the road.

(sot) White1

During 2013, a national study found more than 330 child pedestrians were killed and 13-thousand were injured, with more than half of the deaths happening during the times kids were heading to and from school.

(sot) White2

Speed is a big factor in saving lives. Research finds a pedestrian who's hit by a vehicle traveling 25 miles an hour is two-thirds less likely to be killed than a vehicle traveling at 35.

(sot) White3

Another key is to eliminate distractions for drivers. White says to avoid any activities that take even one hand off the steering wheel, and avoid using your cell phone by putting it in a safe place -- like the glove box -- until you arrive at your destination.





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