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Friday News, August 7

American Enterprise Group Says Renovation Is Complete

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Insurance holding company American Enterprise Group says the $30 million renovation to its corporate headquarters in Des Moines is finished.
The 8-story building has been nominated for international architectural significance and is in the final stage of being added to the National Register of Historic Places. 
The renovation included new air handling and safety systems, sensors that turn off lights when rooms are unused and high-efficiency LED lights. Custom furniture original to the building in 1965 has been restored, refinished and reinstalled. A 400-piece contemporary art collection also is back in place.
CEO Tom Swank the more efficient work space will enable the company, which employs 330 workers in Des Moines, to add 146 jobs by 2017.
A public open house is planned for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

 

 

 

Army Corps Of Engineers Close Saylorville Lake Beaches

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says two beaches at Saylorville Lake are closed due to a blue-green algae bloom that could be harmful to people and pets.
Routine water quality monitoring performed at the lake identified high levels of a compound produced by blue-green algae under certain environmental conditions that can cause illness through direct skin contact, by ingesting the water or by breathing airborne water droplets.
The compound called microcystin can cause skin reactions, gastrointestinal pain, breathing problems or liver damage.
Public health officials recommend no swimming, wading or boating in areas where the water is covered with scum, is bright green or blue in color, or smells bad.
The corps oversees the lake 11 miles northwest of Des Moines and announced the beach closings on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

Girl Drowns In Eastern Iowa Lake

SOLON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a girl has drowned while swimming at Lake Macbride beach in Eastern Iowa.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says the girl, believed to be around 6 to 8 years old, was taken to the University of Iowa hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Her name was not immediately released.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports a group of teens swimming at the beach pulled the unresponsive girl from the water after one of them felt something underwater.
Emergency responders and Air Care were called to the beach at about 2:15 p.m. The girl was not breathing and CPR was performed until the helicopter arrived.
Lake Macbride, part of a 2,000-acre state park, is about 16 miles north of Iowa City near Coralville Lake.

 

 

 

 

DNR Investigates Fish Kill

LANESBORO, Iowa (AP) - State environmental officials say they are investigating a fish kill in a creek in Western Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said in a statement released Thursday they continue to try to determine what killed thousands of minnows, sunfish, and bullheads in a 1  1/4-mile section of Purgatory Creek in Carroll County.
The fish appeared to have been dead several days when a DNR officer responded to a call Sunday.
Field tests showed normal oxygen levels and no ammonia in the stream. There were no unusual odors or visual signs of contamination.
DNR collected water samples for tests. Results won't be known for several weeks.

 

 

 

 

Three Youths Killed In Accident

NEW SHARON, Iowa (AP) - Three youths have been killed in a car collision with a truck in southern Iowa.
The accident occurred about 12:55 p.m. Thursday near New Sharon in Mahaska County. The Iowa State Patrol says the car driven by 16-year-old Jamie Singletary collided at a rural intersection of gravel roads with a rock truck driven by Shawn Schippers. 
Singletary and two passengers were killed. They were identified as 13-year-old Carson and 10-year-old Christian Singletary. It's unclear whether the three were siblings or otherwise related. All three lived in New Sharon.
The patrol says the 41-year-old Schippers wasn't injured.

 

 

 

 

Winnebago Industries CEO Retires

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) - Recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago Industries says company president and CEO Randy Potts is retiring and former chief executive Robert Olson will return to lead the company until the position is filled with a permanent replacement.
A company statement says Potts' retirement is effective Thursday. The company says his departure comes after discussions and it was collectively agreed that "this is the appropriate time for new leadership."
A 32-year employee of the company based in Forest City, Iowa, Potts became president and CEO in 2011.
The 64-year-old Olson retired in 2012 after 43 years with the company. He left the board last year.
Third quarter profit posted in June was up slightly from a year ago. Sales of motor homes rose 7.4 percent while towable RV sales rose 16 percent.

 

 

 

 

Funeral Held For Airman

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) - Friends, family and more than 100 airmen have paid their respects to a 20-year-old Iowa Air National Guard member who drowned while stationed for duty in Guam.
A funeral was held Thursday in Osage for Senior Airman Drew Bellairs. Burial is scheduled for Friday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.
The 2013 Osage High School graduate was a member of the Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing. He drowned on July 25 while swimming at Marbo Cave on the eastern shore of Guam. He was temporarily assigned to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam at the time of his death.
Friends say the mechanic always had a smile. Fellow airman Shawn O'Tool says Bellairs never frowned and says he never saw Bellairs complain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



   

Thursday News, August 6

Pickle Ball Being Introduced To Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- A new sport is being introduced to Le Mars.  It is a combination of tennis, bad mitten, and ping pong, and it is called Pickle Ball.  A couple of weeks ago, the city council approved the action to paint additional lines on some of the city tennis courts to accommodate those wanting to start the game in Le Mars.  Greg Mitchell heads up a group of enthusiasts calling for Pickle Ball to be played in Le Mars.  He talks about the new game that is catching on in popularity.

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Mitchell says for those still wanting to play tennis, they should not have any problems with the lines that have been painted for Pickle Ball on the tennis courts.

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Mitchell says the game originated in the state of Washington.

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Introductory classes will be offered on Monday and again on Wednesday for those interested in learning more about the game.

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Mitchell says the game can be played with singles or doubles.

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Instructions will take place at the Le Mars Municipal Park tennis courts between 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Monday evening and on Wednesday morning between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

 

 

 

Le Mars Man Arrested For Providing False Identification

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alexander Rodriguez, age 21 of Le Mars, IA for providing false identification information, a simple misdemeanor, and no valid driver’s license, a simple misdemeanor. The arrest happened on Saturday evening at about 10:52 p.m. The defendant was stopped at 3rd St and 4th Ave SW in Le Mars for operating without registration. The defendant provided a false name. The defendant’s license was found to be suspended in Illinois and not valid in Iowa. Rodriguez was jailed at the Plymouth County Jail and bond was set at $300.

 

 

 

 

Truck Accident Results In Peas Being Spilled On Highway

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Officials closed a portion of Interstate 29 in western Iowa after about 50,000 pounds of split peas were spilled from a semitrailer. 
The spill occurred just after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when a southbound semitrailer went out of control and rolled over on the north side of Council Bluffs.
The lanes were closed for almost two hours as workers cleared away the vegetables. 
The 56-year-old truck driver, Bradley Zirott, of Sparta, Wisconsin, was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.
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Shots Fired At Crop Dusting Plane

WHITTEMORE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the shooting of a crop-dusting plane in northern Iowa.
The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office says the plane owned by Steier AG Aviation was hit in a wing flap while spraying a field in Fairfield Township on Friday morning. The pilot landed safely at Steier's landing strip in Whittemore. The pilot's name hasn't been released. 
The Sheriff's Office says rural Whittemore property belonging to a suspect in the shooting has been searched and items have been seized. No arrest has been reported.

 

 

USDA Reports Iowa Cropland Values Are Declining

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa cropland value dropped the sharpest in the United States in the past year, falling 6.3 percent as low grain prices weakened the value in the nation's leading corn producing state.
Cropland value fell to $8,200 an acre after climbing to $8,750 last year. Iowa cropland values shot up more than 56 percent from 2011 to 2014.
Cropland values declined in 10 states while the others remained static or grew.
Texas saw the biggest jump at 9.5 percent to $1,840 an acre.
Nationally, cropland grew an average of 0.7 percent.
New Jersey has the most valuable cropland at $13,500 an acre after a 3.8 percent increase. California is second at $10,690 and Arizona third at $8,320 an acre. Iowa is fourth.

 

 

 

 

ACT Lays Off Workers

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The nonprofit group that administers the ACT college readiness test is letting go 80 workers, mostly from its headquarters in Iowa City.
ACT announced job cuts Wednesday that will reduce its workforce to about 1,320, or by about six percent.
The organization said the cuts were made to improve efficiency and position itself for future growth. They were made across several departments.
Those affected are receiving severance packages and free outplacement services. Company leaders said they "sincerely regret the impact of these actions on valued departing team members" and their families.
Incoming CEO Marten Roorda said ACT must be "cost-effective, agile and innovative" as the markets for assessment tests change rapidly.

 

 

 

 

Regents Offer Raises To University Presidents

AMES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents is approving pay raises for two university presidents.
The board gave Iowa State University President Steven Leath a 5 percent increase Wednesday, bumping his base salary to $525,000.
The board also approved a five-year deferred compensation plan for Leath that will pay him $125,000 annually through 2020.
Regents approved a smaller raise of 2.5 percent for University of Northern Iowa President William Ruud, pushing his base salary to more than $357,000. Ruud will also receive a two-year deferred compensation plan worth $150,000.
Later in the meeting, the board gave initial consideration to a plan to raise tuition by $100 on resident undergraduate students in the spring semester. No regent raised an objection, and a final vote is scheduled for next month.

 

 

 

 

Aides To Ron Paul Indicted

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged three people who worked for Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign with conspiring to buy the support of a former Iowa state senator.
Among those changed is Jesse Benton, who now heads up a super PAC supporting the 2016 presidential candidacy of Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
An indictment unsealed Wednesday charges Benton, John Tate and Dimitrios Kesari with conspiracy and several other related crimes.
The indictment says they negotiated with former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to switch his support to Ron Paul in exchange for money. Sorenson had previously backed Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.
The indictment says the arrangement was concealed from Ron Paul himself and that Benton initiated the deal.






 

   

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