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Monday News, May 7, 2012

Van Otterloo to Give Report to Supervisors

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have a light agenda for this week's meeting scheduled for Tuesday.  Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo is scheduled to offer a report regarding the sheriff's department and the jail.  The supervisors will also hear from county engineer Tom Rohe.

Life Skills To Hold Annual Meeting

(Le Mars) -- Life Skills Training Center, Incorporated will hold its annual meeting next Monday evening at the Presbyterian United Church of Christ.  The general meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m. following a catered meal that starts at 6:30 p.m.  During the meeting, board members will be recognized, as well as foundation board members, volunteers, clients, and staff.  Life Skills will also present the client achievement award.  Reservations are requested, along with notification of attendance no later than today, May 7th by calling Becky Scheitler at 546-9554.

Campers Suffer Injuries After Tree Falls on Tent

  COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Three people have suffered injuries when a tree fell on their tent at Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs.
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 23-year-old Alicia Nichols, 25-year-old Timothy Hiers Junior and 3-year-old Timothy Hiers the Third, all of the Council Bluffs area, were taken to a
hospital after the Sunday morning incident. Details of their injuries weren't immediately available.
     Authorities say the three victims were camping in a tent at the
park when high winds swept through the area about 5 a.m. when the tree fell on the tent.

Iowans Have a Short Commute to Work

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Census Bureau data show Iowa's average commute is nearly 6 minutes shorter than the national average.
     The Des Moines Register reports ( ) that the average Iowa commute is 19.1 minutes. That ties the state with Kansas for the seventh-fastest average commute in the country. The national average is 25 minutes.
     The Census Bureau's American Community Survey says North Dakota residents enjoy the nation's shortest average commute: 16.1 minutes.
     The Iowa Transportation Department says Iowa residents travel an average of 11.5 miles to work.
     The census data say Madison County residents have the longest average commute: 29 minutes. Many of them work in the Des Moines area.
     The state's shortest average commute is the 12.3 minutes in Sioux County.

Teachers Set Up Memorial on State Capital Grounds

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new memorial honoring teachers has been installed on the grounds of the Iowa Capitol.
     The display unveiled Saturday is located on the terrace on the northwest corner of the complex. The granite boulder bears the inscription "TEACHER."
     Iowa State Education Association President Chris Bern says the memorial is the first in the state dedicated to teachers. He says Iowa has a history of employing the best teachers, which is evident in the state's graduation rates and student test scores.
     Money for the memorial came from private donations.

Legislative Leaders Compromise on Budget Bills

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislative leaders are expressing confidence they can finish their protracted budget talks and end their session this week.
     Many lawmakers left the Statehouse last week because measure weren't coming up for votes. But Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says lawmakers will return Monday to vote on budget bills
following negotiations by legislative leaders.
     Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal expresses similar optimism, saying lawmakers have made good progress on budgets for health and human services, agriculture and other needs.
     They're also expected to debate proposed property tax bill, a top legislative priority this year.
     Governor Terry Branstad says it's time for lawmakers to act on property taxes, which are rising with land values.
     The Legislature was scheduled to adjourn nearly three weeks ago.


U of I President's Husband Gets "Fundraiser" Salary

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The husband of the University of Iowa president will be paid $54,000 this year to attend school fundraisers, although officials who supposedly approved the
position have no recollection of doing so.
     The university says Ken Mason was appointed in 2007 as both a "presidential fundraiser" and a lecturer in the biology department - earning $107,000 a year.
     Sally Mason was hired in June 2007 at an annual salary of $484,000. University spokesman Tom Moore told the Des Moines Register that Ken Mason's hire was part of the negotiations to lure
his wife away from Purdue University.
     Moore says former Board of Regents President Michael Gartner and former Executive Director Gary Steinke agreed to the deal. But both men told the newspaper that they don't remember approving Ken Mason's hire.

Judges Given "Profiles of Courage Award"

(Washington) --
Three former judges from the Iowa Supreme Court will receive the Profiles in Courage award as presented by Caroline Kennedy in honor of her father, the late President John F. Kennedy.  The three judges, Marsha Ternus, David Baker, and Michael Streit were outsed from office during the last election following their ruling allowing for same-sex marriages in Iowa.  Kennedy heads up her father's library foundation which promotes his memory and legacy.  Kennedy says the three judges are "interesting and courageous on many levels...Like many of the people who get this award, they don't consider that they are doing anything particularly courageous, they just feel they're doing what's right, they're doing their job."  The award will be presented later today in Boston, Massachuettes.


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