Thursday News, October 3
Fire Department Responds To Field Fire
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to a field fire last evening near the Park View Terrace. That call came in at about 9:25 p.m. Fire crews were on the scene for nearly an hour and a half.
Chamber To Sell Holiday Dollars
(Le Mars) -- It may be early October, but the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce is already thinking Christmas. The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will sell Holiday dollars at a 15 percent discount. A total of $185,000 in Chamber Holiday dollars will be sold to help stimulate shopping in Le Mars. Individuals have the opportunity to purchase up to $1500 of Holiday Chamber dollars. The Chamber will sell the Holiday Dollars in three separate categories: The first can be used at Hy-Vee, Fareway, or Wal-Mart. The second category can purchase food items at participating restaurants, such as 4 Brothers, Archies, Habitue Coffeehouse and Creperie, Hardees, La Fiesta Charra, Mr. P's Pizza and Sports Grill, Piece of Cake, Pizza Ranch, Subway, and Taco Johns. The final category is reserved for shopping at Le Mars retail stores including: Bad Habit Boutique, Binneboese Shoes, Cellular Connection, Claussens, Cork-It, Emily's Home Furnishings, Fashionette, Hardware Hank, Hotopp's Jewelry and Gifts, Joba's, Premier Communications, Rust's Western Shed, Sugar n' Spice, Sunshine Foods, and The Education Station. Holiday dollars will be sold on November 2nd starting at 8:30 a.m and continuing until 10:00 a.m. at the Le Mars Convention Center lower level.
Semi Truck and Tank Trailer Accident Occurs On Highway 60
(Orange City) -- The Sioux County Sheriff's Office is investigating a truck accident that occurred Tuesday on Highway 60, about a mile south of Hospers. Luke Scalla, 23, of Scranton was driving a Peterbuilt semi truck and pulling a tanker trailer which was loaded with non-hazardous liquid nitrogen fertilizer. Skalla was northbound on Highway 60 when he lost control of his vehicle, which entered the median and rolled multiple times. Skalla refused medical treatment at the scene. The truck sustained $150,000 worth of damage, and the tanker trailer had sustained $30,000 worth of damage. Skalla
was cited for failure to maintain control.
Osceola County Dairy Farm Has Manure Spill
MELVIN, Iowa (AP) - The estimate of a manure spill from a northwest Iowa dairy producer has jumped from 200,000 gallons to 1 million gallons.
The state Department of Natural Resources says Wednesday that the owner of High Plains Dairy near Melvin increased the estimate for the spill, which occurred Sunday
Dairy workers dammed a dry creek bed to contain the manure and then were working to pump it out and apply it to nearby fields.
The DNR says it advised the dairy owner to pump clean water into the streambed and flush the remaining manure downstream.
Because the creek was dry, no fish have been killed.
A pump failure was blamed for the spill.
Troubles Still Remain With Implementation Of New Healthcare Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Technology snags that kept people from successfully buying insurance in the new exchanges set up by the federal government are continuing into a second day.
Some consumers have turned to insurance companies offering polices for information.
West Des Moines-based CoOportunity Health, which sells policies in Iowa and Nebraska, says it hit a daily high for website hits Tuesday with more than 500 people logging in to get quotes and about 100 people calling the company's toll-free call center.
Cliff Gold, the company's chief operating officer, says people likely turned to insurer websites when they couldn't access the federal government's site.
He says he's been telling people to wait a week or two.
Consumers who want coverage starting January 1st have until December 15th to enroll.
Attorney Challenges Campaign Finance Laws
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An attorney known for challenging campaign finance restrictions wants the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down an Iowa law that bans corporations from giving directly to political candidates.
Indiana attorney Jim Bopp said Wednesday that he's filed the petition on behalf of Iowa Right to Life, which opposes abortion rights.
The group wanted to donate to a Republican candidate for Iowa attorney general in 2010, but says it couldn't under the law.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in June, saying that it prevents political corruption and the appearance of it.
Bopp's petition argues the law is unconstitutional because it allows labor unions to donate to candidates while barring corporations from doing so.
The court hasn't decided whether to take the case.
State Senator Resigns Following Financial Scandal Involving Presidential Candidate
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa state senator has resigned after a special investigator found it likely he violated ethics rules by taking money from political entities connected to former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and then denying he'd done so.
Senator Kent Sorenson told The Associated Press Wednesday evening that he's resigning.
His decision came after attorney Mark Weinhardt said in a report released earlier in the day that it was "manifestly clear" Sorenson negotiated payments in 2011 that eventually reached $7,500 monthly in exchange for his work as Bachmann's Iowa campaign chair.
Weinhardt says Sorsenson received compensation that originated from Bachmann's presidential campaign and her political action committee. He says the payments went to a Colorado company, which then paid Sorenson's Iowa-based firm.
Sorenson says resigning is best for his family.
Iowa Tourism On The Rise
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new study says tourists and travelers spent $7.6 billion in Iowa last year.
That's 5.6 percent more than the previous year.
The U.S. Travel Association did the study for the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Tourism Office.
LuAnn Reinders of the Iowa Tourism Office says that people who are traveling "spend money on restaurants, gasoline and entertainment, and that really adds to the economy."
The national increase last year was 4.4 percent.
Iowa National Guard Furrloughs 1000 People Due To Government Shutdown
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa National Guard says more than 1,000 full-time employees have been furloughed because of the partial government shutdown.
The Guard says most of the furloughed employees are federal technicians that are uniformed members of the Guard. About 45 are civilian federal government employees.
Colonel Greg Hapgood says about 50 employees remain on duty. The shutdown began Tuesday.
The Guard says most drills scheduled through October 10th and community outreach missions have also been canceled.