Home News Monday News, July 31st

Monday News, July 31st


Plymouth County Fair Sets New Attendance Record

(Le Mars) — Good weather combined with good entertainment are being credited for the record breaking attendance for the Plymouth County Fair.  Saturday’s one-day attendance was estimated at 32,500 and fair officials estimated Sunday’s
attendance at 20,000 bringing the total attendance for the “Five Best Days of Summer” at 111,500.  Rich Benson is the president for the Plymouth County Fair.  He says it was a “great fair.”

Benson says for Saturday, parking was extended to the limits.

New attractions, such as the addition of helicopter rides, gave fair-goers a new experience.

Benson says he was pleased with the results of the annual fair auction held Sunday afternoon that raised about $25,000 for the fair.  He explains what the money from the chainsaw sculptures, belt buckles, toy trucks, quilt and other items are used for.

The fair board president says the fair board has already identified projects scheduled for next year involving some infrastructure improvements.

Benson says he wants to thank everyone who attended this year’s Plymouth County Fair, and all the volunteers that helped make the fair special.



University of Iowa Opens New Residence Hall

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa has opened its newest and biggest  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa has opened its newest and biggest residence hall to meet its student housing needs for the next few years. The Catlett Residence Hall officially opened Friday, in time to serve
students for the fall semester. The 12-floor, 1,049-bed residence hall is named after world renowned sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett, a university graduate who was one of the nation’s first students to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree. Catlett came to Iowa City in the late 1930s. She lived off campus because university housing was unavailable to African Americans until the desegregation of Currier Hall in 1945. Catlett, who is black, was influenced by Grant Wood, the Iowa painter who urged students to portray the subjects they
knew best.



Juvenile Offenders With Life Sentences Are Being Reduced

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa corrections officials say all but three of Iowa’s 46 juveniles sentenced to life in prison without parole have been given new sentences with a chance for freedom.
The Associated Press in a story published Monday found after a 50-state review of juvenile life cases that in many states the chance at resentencing has been inconsistent and sometimes elusive.
Iowa began resentencing juvenile lifers in 2012 after the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that mandatory life without parole for offenders under 18 is unconstitutional and should be rare. The ruling was made retroactive last year.
Iowa is among the most aggressive states in curtailing lengthy prison terms for juveniles due to Iowa Supreme Court rulings. In a June case, the court said even mandatory minimum sentences should be uncommon for juveniles.



McGregor Still Shows Scars From Tornado Damage

MCGREGOR, Iowa (AP) – A small city in northeast Iowa still shows the scars of a tornado that hit the picturesque riverfront community earlier this month, but downtown businesses have reopened and visitors are stopping to shop in local stores even as repairs continue. The Telegraph Herald reports that electric service has been restored to nearly all buildings in McGregor following the July 19 tornado that pummeled the city. Katie Ruff is the McGregor and Marquette Chamber of Commerce president.
She estimates that at least 75 percent of businesses were operational this week. The tornado heavily damaged two buildings in downtown, an antique store and a tattoo studio. Ruff says crews had to demolish the tattoo studio, but that
the owner plans to reopen in another downtown building.



Investigation Into Senate Caucus Harassment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Attorneys for a former Iowa Senate Republican caucus aide awarded $2.2 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit this month have filed a motion seeking an independent investigation into the caucus office’s workplace
culture. The Des Moines Register reports attorneys for Kirsten Anderson filed the motion Thursday. It accuses GOP party leaders of doing nothing to curb an ongoing toxic environment at the statehouse. If approved, the caucus would be ordered to hire an independent consultant to complete an investigation and write a report. Republican Senate leaders would also be required to develop new policies and training designed to stop sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. In her trial, jurors sided with Anderson, who was fired in 2012 as the
caucus communications director hours after handing in a memo detailing rampant sexual harassment in the caucus office. —