Thursday Afternoon News, October 8
Leaf Burning Prohibited In City Limits
(Le Mars) -- Autumn is upon us and that means falling leaves, and you may be tempted to burn those leaves in your backyard, but Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper reminds city residents the city code forbids such fires.
The Le Mars Fire Chief explains what the city code does allow in terms of recreational fires.
Schipper says the fire department has had to already respond to a few illegal burning calls. He offers some suggestions as to what options residents may consider to dispose of yard waste.
Schipper says even if your are having a legal recreational burn pit, there is always a chance you may have to extinguish it.
Copies of the city code regarding recreational backyard fires are available at the Fire Station number one, and at city hall.
Le Mars Community School Collecting Food For Soldiers
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community High School Student Council plans to honor all area veterans and current soldiers during Friday evening's football game. Fans are encouraged to dress in patriotic colors. The student council is also heading up a food drive for Support Siouxland Soldiers. Food items are being collected at the high school office now through October 30th. The American Legion Wasmer Post number 241 is also collecting items. Support Siouxland Soldiers is a non-profit organization that provides care packages for deployed troops and food for veterans. The Siouxland community has over 18,000 veterans. In addition, the Siouxland community has over 40 troops currently deployed. The student council hopes to collect enough food items to send to each soldier.
Privatization of Medicare May Save The State Money
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state official says $51 million in savings cited by Iowa as a reason for privatizing its Medicaid program is a midpoint of wide-ranging estimates from experts.
Iowa Department of Human Services fiscal manager Jean Slaybaugh testified last week that experts' estimates of savings range from nothing to 15 percent. She said she chose a midpoint of the estimates at the request of the department's director.
The $51 million estimate was factored into the state budget passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
The state plans to sign contracts with four companies Friday that would privatize Medicaid management on Jan. 1. The move requires federal approval.
Slaybaugh testified as part of a request by Aetna, which wasn't chosen, for a stay in signing contracts. A judge denied the request.
Prison Officials Hope To Upgrade Employee Standards To Catch Contraband
ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) - Iowa prison officials are considering upgrades in an effort to catch employees who might illegally smuggle contraband into prisons.
The move follows charges brought against four former Anamosa State Penitentiary guards accused of using drugs while on the job. At least one is accused of smuggling cellphones in to give to inmates.
Jerry Bartruff, director of the Iowa Department of Corrections, says that the department is considering some technology upgrades.
Bartruff says security procedures already require guards' personal items, such as cellphones, that come into the prison to be carried in clear plastic bags and placed in a lockbox. Employees also pass through a metal detector before entering the prison's secured areas.