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Monday News, February 11

School Board To Again Discuss School Security

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening (Monday).  The local school board will review their legislative forum, as well as review the Iowa Association of School Boards' Legislative Conference.  The school board will also hear a report from School superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt with regard to school security.  The District Learning and Instructional Impact Team compiled the school security report.  The school board will also consider three resignations.


Chamber Schedules Agri-Business Luncheon - Putze To Speak

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its 19th annual Agr-Business Luncheon on Thursday, March 21st at the Le Mars Convention Center upper level.  Beginning at 9:30 a.m., with the chamber coffee as hosted by the Plymouth County Farm Bureau.  The morning program will commence at 10:30 with Vaugh Blum and Dwight Packard, who are executives with the meat industry.  The featured keynote speaker will be Aaron Putze of the Iowa Soybean Association.  Putze serves as the Director of Communications and External Relations for the 11,000 member Iowa Soybean Association.  Tickets are ten dollars and can be obtained from a Chamber agri-business committee member or from the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce office.

 

Museum To Showcase "Downtown Le Mars"

(Le Mars) -- If you worked at a Le Mars business years ago, the Plymouth County Historical Museum invites you to share your memories at a special open house scheduled for Sunday, February 24th beginning at 2:00 p.m.  In the spotlight will be the Le Mars Main Street exhibit recently constructed by Dale Donlin and Brian Nitzschke, museum volunteers.  Included in the exhibit are Mount Drug, Vander Meer Your Baker, The Le Mars Daily Sentinel, KLEM radio, and Blakeway's Department Store along with numerous other artifactrs from the history of Le Mars businesses.  Dennis Hill from the Le Mars Area Preservation Commission will show scenes of old Le Mars.  Joan Kroepel, whose father ran Mount Drug, will speak about the drug store, and Glada Koerselman, former longtime editor of the Sentinel will also  be on hand to speak about the Daily Sentinel.  The Museum is still looking for representatives of other businesses who would like to share memories.  Wrapping up the day will be a hotdog feed, compliments of the Museum.

 

Republican Lawmakers Fail To Introduce "Gay Marriage" Legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Since Iowa's legislative session started a month ago, Republican lawmakers have filed bills on school funding, taxes and abortion, but so far haven't taken up gay
marriage legislation.
Republicans have failed in recent years to begin the process of overturning the 2009 state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. Their efforts have been stopped by Senate
Democrats, and with Democrats retaining control of that chamber, some question the value of introducing another gay marriage bill.
Republican Senator Dennis Guth says he planned to introduce legislation seeking an end to gay marriage, but he acknowledged it likely wouldn't advance.
Asked if Republicans would file a bill seeking a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage, House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer noted, "It may or may not be."


Ethanol Producers Feel The Pinch of the Lingering Drought

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The persistent drought is taking a toll on producers of ethanol, with corn becoming so scarce that nearly two dozen ethanol plants have been forced to halt production.
The Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry trade group, provided data to The Associated Press showing that 20 of the nation's 211 ethanol plants have ceased production over the past year, including five in January. While most expect to resume, they won't likely do so until after 2013 corn is harvested in late August or September.
Industry experts don't expect an ethanol shortage because millions of barrels are stockpiled and the remaining 191 plants are still producing.
But there is growing concern about the high price of corn and what happens if the drought lingers through another corn-growing season.


Principle Finance To Renovate Headquarters

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Principal Financial Group plans to invest $238.5 million in renovations to its downtown Des Moines headquarters.
Principal's 10-year project could begin as soon as this summer. But the company wants to secure financial incentives from the city and possibly the state.
Principal senior vice president Ralph Eucher says the renovations remain only a proposal at this stage. The project hasn't been approved by Principal's board.
If the city approves, Principal could receive as much as $250,000 in incentives over 10 years.
The Des Moines City Council will discuss the project on Monday.
Principal employs more than 6,000 workers in the Des Moines area.

 

MidAmerican Wants A Nuclear Plant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - MidAmerican Energy is still considering building a new nuclear power plant as part of its long-term plans in Iowa.
MidAmerican President William Fehrman told state regulators the utility may try to build a nuclear plant at some point.
MidAmerican, which is owned by Warren Buffett's Omaha, Nebraska based Berkshire Hathaway Incorporated, is converting coal plants at Council Bluffs and Sioux City to natural gas. And it has invested heavily in 2,200 megawatts of wind power capacity.
But Fehrman says he wants to make sure MidAmerican has a diverse mix of fuels, and he's not convinced that natural gas will remain as cheap as it is now.
The utility will provide more details of its plans this summer in a report to regulators.

 

Cedar Rapids Couples Renew Vows At Hy-Vee

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Several dozen Iowa couples have celebrated Valentine's Day early by renewing their wedding vows in ceremonies at three Hy-Vee grocery stores in the Cedar Rapids area.
Hy-Vee store director Jeff Deahr says the vow renewals were a first for his store and said "it's the month of love."
Attended by strangers, friends and families on Saturday, the couples received miniature wedding cakes, sparkling grape juice, bouquets of flowers, picture frames and a chance for a weekend
trip.
Cedar Rapids residents Joyce and Chuck Bruggeman have been married for 38 years, but Chuck Bruggeman had a special reason for having their vows renewed. He said, "I'm here for the wedding
cake."



 

 

   

Saturday News, February 9

Plymouth County Historical Museum To Have Open House For New Exhibit

(Le Mars) -- If you worked at a Le Mars business years ago, the Plymouth County Historical Museum invites you to share your memories at a special open house scheduled for Sunday, February 24th beginning at 2:00 p.m.  In the spotlight will be the Le Mars Main Street exhibit recently constructed by Dale Donlin and Brian Nitzschke, museum volunteers. 

Included in the exhibit are Mount Drug, Vander Meer Your Baker, The Le Mars Daily Sentinel, KLEM radio, and Blakeway's Department Store along with numerous other artifacts from the history of Le Mars businesses.  Dennis Hill from the Le Mars Area Preservation Commission will show scenes of old Le Mars.  Joan Kroepel, whose father ran Mount Drug, will speak about the drug store, and Glada Koerselman, former longtime editor of the Sentinel will also be on hand to speak about the Daily Sentinel.  The Museum is still looking for representatives of other businesses who would like to share memories.  Wrapping up the day will be a hotdog feed, compliments of the Museum.


Iowa To Celebrate 30 Years Of China Sister State

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - This year marks 30 years since the state of Iowa established a sister state relationship with Hebei Province in China and several events are planned to commemorate the
anniversary.
The first is Monday at the Iowa House of Representatives with a small group performance featuring Hebei and Iowa children. Six officials from Hebei Province will attend.
Monday evening an orchestra from Hebei will perform a joint concert with Valley High School's Orchestra at the school in West Des Moines.
Iowa Sister States, the nonprofit volunteer organization founded in 1985 to manage relationships with eight different countries, is organizing the activities.
The Hebei/Iowa connection is credited with forming a lasting relationship between Gov. Terry Branstad and Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping), who's now China's president.

 

GOP Chair Says Party Against Gay Marriage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of the Iowa Republican Party says he will continue to uphold the GOP's opposition to gay marriage.
During a taping of the public television program "Iowa Press" on Thursday, AJ Spiker said the Iowa GOP believes marriage should only be allowed between men and women.
Some Iowa Republicans have called for the party to embrace same-sex marriage.
Spiker added that, "There is one gay-marriage party in the state of Iowa and that's the Iowa Democratic Party."
Democratic Party Chairman Tyler Olson noted after the program that his party supports marriage-equality for gay couples.
Spiker said he didn't expect Republicans who favor gay marriage to leave the party.
Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa since a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling.

 

Man Charged In Death Of Infant

PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) - A southwest Iowa man faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of a toddler he was babysitting.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety says 22-year-old Colby Puckett of Pacific Junction was arrested and charged Friday in the death 13-month-old Aliyanna May. Officials say Puckett is dating
the girl's mother.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Puckett was with the girl when she sustained extensive injuries to her head and eyes. She was found unresponsive February 1st at a Pacific Junction
residence. She was treated in Omaha and later died.
Officials have ruled her death a homicide.
Puckett is being held at the Mills County Jail and his bond has been set at $1 million. A public defender has not yet been appointed to him.

 

Iowa City Woman Charged In Fatal Beating Of Son

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City woman charged in the fatal beating of her young son will live at home until she goes to trial.
Nineteen-year-old Mireya Balderas will live at home with her father under the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Balderas is charged with one count of child endangerment resulting in death. Her 20-month-old son, Marcus, died in April from blunt force trauma.
Balderas is scheduled to go to trial in July. Her boyfriend, Jorge Perez, faces two counts of the same charge and is scheduled to go to trial in September.
Balderas' attorney says the judge made the appropriate decision and it will allow the defense to better prepare for trial.

 

U of I Hospitals To Reduce Food Waste

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City is changing its procedures for reducing food waste.
The Gazette reports CEO Ken Kates told the Iowa Board of Regents this week that the hospital will eliminate Styrofoam and non-recyclable plastic from its cafeterias so that it can compost
food waste.
Kates also says the hospital, which serves about 10,000 meals a day, will cook smaller batches of food based on customer demand.  They also plan to donate more food. The changes will be made by the end of March.
The newspaper reported in January that the hospital threw away $181,000 worth of prepared food last year, despite the university's goal to divert 60 percent of waste by 2020.

 

 

   

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