Saturday News, May 28
American Legion Plans "Avenue Of Flags" Program
(Le Mars) -- Monday is Memorial Day, and the Wasmer post #241 American Legion will again host its annual Avenue of Flags program to be held at the Plymouth County Courthouse grounds. Wayne Schipper serves as the Commander of the local American Legion post. He says the program, which is to begin at 10:00 a.m., will focus on dedicating flags in the memory of veterans who have passed.
Schipper says the earliest veterans that are remembered with the Avenue of Flags go back to World War I. The American Legion post commander says the 1200 plus flags that will be displayed on the courthouse lawn and surrounding area all represent someone with either having a Le Mars or Plymouth County connection.
Again, this year, all 1260 names will be honored with a roll call performed by Legionnaire Pat Murphy.
Schipper says members of the American Legion Auxiliary will display wreaths to remember all veterans of the wars dating back to the Civil war.
Prior to the program being held at the Plymouth County courthouse lawn, the American Legion will hold a parade.
Branstad Signs Medicaid Oversight Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law new state oversight of Iowa's Medicaid program under private management.
Branstad announced the approval Friday amid final decisions on a number of bills, including several dealing with Iowa's $7.35 billion budget, which takes effect in July.
Branstad kept language negotiated by the split Legislature that will add more state oversight to Medicaid, the program that provides health care to poor and disabled people.
Some Democratic lawmakers in the Senate had demanded additional oversight of the program because of concerns about the transition to private management on April 1. Branstad says in a message his approval means the state's Medicaid program will be one of the most transparent.
The governor had 30 days after the legislative session adjourned to deal with remaining legislation.
Man Fires Gun In Sioux City Hotel, Hits Water Pipe And Causes Flooding
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man has been charged after Sioux City police say he shot a water pipe in a hotel room, flooding two floors.
Sgt. Scott Hatting says 30-year-old Brett Anderson was inside a Super 8 Hotel room Friday when he accidentally fired his gun. Hatting says a water pipe was struck, causing water to flood the first and second floors. No injuries were reported.
Anderson was arrested and charged with reckless use of a firearm.
Explosion At University Of Iowa Apartments Kills One
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa spokeswoman says authorities are investigating an explosion and fire at a university-owned apartment that left one person dead.
UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck says university police and Iowa City firefighters responded to a report of an explosion about 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Hawkeye Drive Apartments.
Beck says police are investigating a single fatality, and a State Fire Marshall's office investigator was at the scene.
Authorities aren't releasing the name of the victim.
Most residents of the apartment complex were allowed to return to their homes, and those in adjacent apartments likely can return later in the evening.
The apartments are owned by the university and are available for students and staff. They're about three miles west of the central campus.
Free Fishing Weekend
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Iowa residents may fish without a license next weekend.
The department has announced their free fishing weekend will run June 3-5. Although purchasing a license won't be required, all other fishing regulations will still be in place.
Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR's Fisheries Bureau, says he hopes the initiative prompts anglers to purchase an annual fishing license. He says the money allows the bureau to produce and stock over 160 million fish yearly, conduct research, construct fish habitat and improve water quality.
Hands-on activities will be offered across the state to teach parents and kids the basics of fishing. A list of events is available at programs.iowadnr.gov/specialevents/.
Indian Burial Grounds In Path Of Proposed Oil Pipeline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The possibility of an American Indian burial site in Iowa may require relocation of a crude oil pipeline route which would further delay the beginning of construction in the only one of four states where work hasn't yet begun.
The Dakota Access pipeline passes through the Big Sioux Wildlife Management area and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leaders say there is a burial site. The pipeline also goes through the Dakotas and Illinois.
The possibility prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which owns the property, to revoke a construction permit for the area and issue a stop work order to Dakota Access until further notice.
A spokeswoman for Dakota Access says if something is confirmed the company will work with the appropriate agencies to make any necessary adjustments.