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Thursday News, August 27

Grassley Answers Questions At Le Mars Town Hall Meeting

(Le Mars) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley was in Le Mars on Wednesday afternoon to answer questions from constituents during a town hall meeting held at the Floyd Valley Hospital.  Grassley addressed issues relating to trade agreements, immigration, ethanol, the national debt, Iranian nuclear arms agreement, defunding planned parenthood, and the solvency of Social Security.  But a few people expressed their concern and displeasure with Grassley about being fed up with Washington politics.  One individual said that what was being discussed at Wednesday's town hall meeting doesn't matter, because Grassley and other elected officials in Washington D.C. would do what ever they wanted, and they don't ever listen to their constituents.  Grassley responded, "why do you think I come here then?"   Another individual spoke up to say the reason Donald Trump is doing well in the presidential polls is because people are tired of the partisan politics stalemate that is seen in Washington.  The first individual mentioned his displeasure for "professional career politicians" making reference to Grassley having been in the U-S Senate for 36 years and is again seeking re-election. The individual said he favors term limits. Grassley, again, defended his tenure position in the Senate by informing the individual that during the mid-1990's when the issue was brought up to the Senate for a vote, that Grassley had voted for term limits.  Grassley says that was the only time the issue came before the Senate chamber.  Following his town hall meeting Grassley met with local media representatives and addressed the issue of constituent discontent.

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Grassley says it is absolutely necessary for him to hold town hall meetings to better understand what is on the minds of the people he represents.  And what issue will Grassley remember from the Le Mars town hall meeting?

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Plymouth County World War II Veterans Receive Medals

(Le Mars) -- Just prior to his town hall meeting, Senator Grassley presented Victory medals to two Plymouth County World War II veterans.  Robert Taylor of Westfield and John Hart of Le Mars received the medals for their work in the military.  Upon receiving their medals, the gathering showed their appreciation for their service, by giving both veterans a standing ovation.  John Hart served two years in the U-S Navy in the Pacific region as a petty officer, quarter master.  He tells of his emotions upon receiving the medal.

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One of Hart's memories from the second World War was witnessing the Japanese surrender.

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The 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender just occurred a couple of weeks ago.  Hart says he still from time to time reflect back on the historical date.  Hart says his other memory from his time in the Navy was when he received his orders indicating his time in the Navy was completed.

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Robert Taylor of Westfield and John Hart of Le Mars receive "Victory Medals" from U-S Senator Chuck Grassley on Wednesday afternoon.



Insurance Companies To Raise Rates

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top insurance regulator has approved rate increases for several health providers in the state.
Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Wednesday that he approved increases on individual insurance plans provided by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Coventry Health Care and Gundersen Health Insurance. The changes go into effect in January.
Rate increases include between 17.6 percent and 28.7 percent on average for plans by Wellmark, 19.8 percent on average for plans by Coventry and 9.4 percent on average for plans by Gundersen.
Some residents who attended a hearing earlier this year on the proposed increases criticized it. Officials for at least two of the providers say the increases were needed because of unexpected health care costs.





USDA Says Farmers Will See Fewer Profits In Year Ahead

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will be a less profitable year for farmers as low grain, milk and hog prices cut into income.
The abundance of grain leftover from last year's crop and this year's anticipated harvest of the third-largest corn crop and second-largest soybean crop on record have kept prices below the cost of production.
The USDA said in a report Tuesday net farm income is expected to decline 36 percent to $58.3 billion, the lowest in nine years.
Iowa State University agricultural economist Chad Hart says farmers are using savings to get by.
Others are borrowing more, but while farm debt is rising, the USDA says it is not yet at worrisome levels.


Wednesday Afternoon News, August 26

Clovis Leaves Perry Campaign To Join With Trump

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Former talk radio host Sam Clovis wasn't without a Republican presidential campaign for long.
Clovis quit his role as Rick Perry's Iowa director on Monday. On Tuesday night, Donald Trump announced at an event in Dubuque that Clovis would serve as his national co-chairman and policy adviser.
Clovis, of Hinton, has worked as an economics professor at Morningside College in Sioux City and has hosted a conservative talk show out of Sioux City. Last year, he ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer after losing the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Trump, a real estate mogul and entertainer, has been leading in national polls of Republicans.




Hillary Rodham Clinton Rolls Out Rural Economic Plan In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Iowa rolling out her plan for rural America. It includes more money for programs that help new farmers and increase access to fresh food.
The Democratic presidential candidate is coming out with the agenda Wednesday in the leadoff caucus state. In it, Clinton promises to boost rural economic investment, increase agricultural production, promote clean energy and enhance access to health care and education.
This, in a state where about 36 percent of the population lives in rural areas.
Clinton is interrupting a vacation in the Hamptons in New York with a Midwestern campaign swing.




Black Hawk County Says No To Wind Turbines

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Black Hawk County will retain its status of having no industrial wind turbines after county officials rejected a plan to erect three of the structures.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the Board of Adjustment declined a request Tuesday for a special permit and setback variance for Optimum Renewables to install the tall structures in the county.
Opponents of the project said it could possibly harm residents' health, reduce property values and potentially endanger eagles and other wildlife.
Attorney Adam Van Dike for Optimum Renewables says there isn't any evidence to support any negative health issues for humans or livestock. He says the threat to eagles and birds was overstated.
Van Dike said the project would have generated $2.3 million in property taxes over 30 years.





Former Iowa State Trooper Pleas Guilty To Possessing Child Porn

GARNER, Iowa (AP) - A retired Iowa State trooper is scheduled to be sentenced in October for possessing child pornography.
Court documents say 66-year-old David Hubbard, of Garner, last week pleaded guilty to one count in Hancock County District Court. He'd been charged with three counts of misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a minor. His sentencing is set for Oct. 20.
Investigators say Hubbard possessed two photographs and one video, each involving a minor, in November 2013.
The patrol says Hubbard retired in 2004 after nearly 30 years with the department.





Man Convicted Of Murder

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 54-year-old Iowa man has been convicted in the April 2013 death of a woman he shot nearly two years earlier.
A Pottawattamie County jury found Craig Finney guilty on Tuesday of second-degree murder. 
He was convicted of shooting 48-year-old Patricia Harker, his former girlfriend, on June 17, 2011, during an incident at Harker's home in Minden. She survived, and Finney later pleaded guilty to attempted murder. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Harker died on April 25, 2013. Prosecutors then filed first-degree murder charges against Finney, saying Harker died from complications caused by the gunshot wound. 
The jury convicted Finney on the lesser charge of second-degree murder. He faces up to 50 years in prison when he's sentenced on Oct. 6.





University Of Iowa Interviewing Presidential Finalists

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The president of a private liberal arts college in Ohio is a finalist to be the next University of Iowa president.
The Iowa Board of Regents on Wednesday announced that Marvin Krislov, the president of Oberlin College since 2007, will visit campus Thursday for interviews.
Krislov is the first out of four finalists who are expected to visit the university in the coming days. The regents are expected to choose a successor for retired president Sally Mason next week.
At Oberlin, Krislov leads a selective, four-year college of 2,900 students that also includes a prominent music conservatory. 
Krislov previously worked as a vice president and general counsel at the University of Michigan, where he defended the school's admissions policies and oversaw a major NCAA investigation into its men's basketball program.







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