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Thursday News, July 4

Le Mars Set For Independence Day Celebration

(Le Mars) -- While our nation turns 237 years old today, Le Mars is set to celebrate the
Independence Day with style and numerous festivities.  Starting at 11:00 a.m. will be the traditional parade, although with a different route.  Judy Bowman with the "Friends of the Fourth" explains this year's route will go north on Central Avenue.

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Bowman says the parade is for anyone and everyone, especially children.  Children of all ages are encouraged to dress up in a patriotic theme and participate in the parade. She says there will be judging of the children entries with cash prizes.

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Following the parade, everyone is welcome to attend a free 4th of July picnic meal that will take place at the Old Central Gym at the Plymouth County Historical Museum. Later, a free watermelon feed also occurs at the museum.

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The Fourth of July festivities also include patriotic music from the Le Mars Municipal Band which begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Foster Park.  At dusk, the sky show will take place at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  Be sure to tune your radios to  KLEM this evening as you watch the fireworks show.

 

Fire Officials Warn Of The Dangers Of Fireworks

(Le Mars) -- Fireworks are commonly associated with the 4th of July. Iowa is among only four states in the US to ban fireworks. The reason, according to State Fire Marshall, Ray Reynolds,is in 1931 a sparkler was responsible for burning two and half blocks of downtown Spencer.

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Not surprising, Reynolds, says more fires occur around Independence Day.

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Reynolds explains which fireworks are legal.

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The fire official offers these safety tips.

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Highway Patrol To Have More Officers On Highways During Holiday Weekend

(Des Moines) -- The Iowa State Patrol is stepping up patrol efforts for the holiday weekend. Extra officers will be patrolling Iowa's roadways throughout the week.  They will be looking for seat belt and speeding violations, along with impaired and distracted drivers, according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

 

Circuit Judge Named For BPI Lawsuit Against ABC News

(Elk Point,SD) -- A South Dakota circuit court judge has been appointed to oversee a defamation lawsuit over ABC News' coverage of a meat product.  Beef Products, Incorporated filed the lawsuit which was moved from federal court to state court.  First Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering will oversee the lawsuit.  Dakota Dunes-based BPI claims the TV network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing that its signature product - lean, finely textured beef is unhealthy and unsafe.  BPI is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.  ABC has said it intends to ask the circuit court to dismiss the case.

 

Iowa Has Seven Cases Of Cyclospora

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa health officials are monitoring a spike in cases of an intestinal infection caused by a parasite.
The state Department of Public Health announced Wednesday seven cases of cyclospora infection in five counties in the past two weeks. The department says there have only been 10 cases reported
in the state in the previous 20 years.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/19ZluEM ) cases have been reported in Benton, Des Moines, Fayette, Linn and Webster counties. The infection can cause severe diarrhea that lasts an
average of 57 days.
Officials say consuming tainted food or water can cause the infection, and previous outbreaks have been traced to fresh produce. Consumers are being urged to carefully wash their produce.
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Insurance Commissioner Says State Will Have Little Impact Due To Delay Of Healthcare Programs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's insurance commissioner says the state will likely feel little impact from the announcement that a key part of President Obama's health care law will be delayed.
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that they would delay by a year the requirement that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.
Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart says Wednesday that most Iowans working for those types of companies already get insurance.
The state continues to get ready to expand low-income health coverage and offer an online health exchange, where customers will be able to shop for coverage and qualify for subsidies and benefits. Iowa will partner with the federal government for the exchange, with enrollment starting October 1st and coverage on January 1st.

 

Police Look For Suspect In Council Bluffs

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police in western Iowa are asking the public's help in finding a man they say hit an officer with a stolen car and is facing charges that include attempted murder.
The Council Bluffs Nonpareil (http://bit.ly/12IBlgT ) says Andrew Brown was being chased by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Department on June 25 in a vehicle allegedly stolen from Omaha.
Council Bluffs police officers attempted to disable Brown's vehicle with stop sticks. But officials say Brown directed the vehicle toward several officers before striking one.
The officer was flipped in the air and against a utility pole before landing in a ditch. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries and released.
Brown then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

 

Johnston Man To Face Trial For Son Bringing Gun To School

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Johnston man whose 8-year-old son brought a loaded gun to school will face trial in August.
Online court records show that Louis Friestad is charged with four counts of neglect and one count of making a gun or ammunition available to a person under 21.
The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/12nLsJl ) says that Friestad's second-grade son reportedly took the firearm to Johnston's Lawson Elementary on May 7.
Students saw the gun and alerted a teacher. Staffers then took the weapon from Friestad's son.
Officials say they didn't believe the boy intended to use the gun, but he was suspended from school.
Friestad was charged on May 8 and was released from jail on bond.

 

State Land Available For Haying and Grazing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are opening up state land for haying and grazing to help farmers impacted by severe weather conditions.
The state Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that available land is primarily the upland grassland areas, although there will be some availability for "flash grazing" in northeast Iowa and other land not being leased to farmers.
Officials say haying and grazing can start after July 15th, when the primary nesting season for upland birds has been completed.
Farmers are encouraged to set up temporary electric fencing and watering tanks because most state lands do not have proper fencing for cattle.

 

 

   

Wednesday Afternoon News, July 3

Fire Marshall Stresses Safety With Fireworks

(Le Mars) -- Fireworks are commonly associated with the 4th of July.  Iowa is among only four states in the US to ban fireworks. The reason, according to State Fire Marshall, Ray Reynolds, is in 1931 a sparkler was responsible for burning two and half blocks of downtown Spencer.

Listen to

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Not surprising, Reynolds, says more fires occur around the Independence Day holiday.

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Reynolds explains there are a few fireworks that are legal in Iowa.

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The fire official wants to make certain everyone is safe with fireworks and offers these safety tips.

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Kingsley Fire Department Responds To Car Fire

(Kingsley) -- The Kingsley Fire Department responded to a car fire this morning at about 9:00 a.m. The fire was reported at 41598 310th Street in rural Kingsley. No other details are known at this time. Fire officials were on the scene for about 40 minutes.

 

U of I Over-payed Employees

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A state audit shows the University of Iowa overpaid its employees about $805,000 in the fiscal year that ended in 2012.
The state auditor's report released Wednesday shows the university made more than 300 overpayments in that fiscal year. It resulted in an increase in overpayments of nearly $160,000 from the
previous year.
Overpayments happen when a university department fails to submit in a timely basis electronic forms that reflect changes in employment status.
The Iowa City-Press Citizen reports (http://bit.ly/12lU2Il ) the university responded in the report that it's made changes and reduced overpayments by roughly 60 percent since then.
The report details a university-wide audit and lists various aspects of the school's operations that required corrective action. It was sent to the Iowa Board of Regents.
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DCI Agent Suspended For Reporting Branstad's Vehicle Speeding

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A special agent complained to superiors at the Iowa Department of Public Safety that an April speeding incident involving the governor's vehicle put public safety at risk and illustrated a dangerous double standard.
Special Agent in Charge Larry Hedlund of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation sent a memo to superiors April 29, days after he was involved in a three-vehicle pursuit in which a trooper
driving the governor was traveling 90 miles per hour but let go without consequence.
Hedlund wrote that, "Regardless of what dignitaries are in the back seat of the speeding vehicle, it is still against the law."
Two days later, his superiors put him on paid administrative leave in what his attorney calls retaliation.
Hedlund's attorney gave the complaint to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

 

Boaters Urged To Stay Off Mississippi River

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) - Officials are advising boaters to stay off the Mississippi River from Clinton in eastern Iowa down to the Missouri border.
The state Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that the water is above flood stage with a strong current that makes for a hazardous situation. The high water was caused by recent flash flooding in northeast Iowa.
State Conservation Officer Ed Kocal says they're advising against boating until the water level drops several more feet. That could take weeks.
Two people were towed from the Mississippi River Tuesday after their boat lost power and drifted down the river at a rapid pace with no control.

 

West Nile Virus Detected In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in Iowa this year.
The state Department of Public Heath announced Wednesday that the case is a middle-aged man from Linn County who is recovering.
Officials are reminding residents to take precautions to protect against the disease, which is transmitted by mosquito bites. That includes using insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts,
pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.
About 20 percent of people infected with the virus have symptoms like a fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of cases become seriously ill. An even smaller amount could
die from the disease.
There were 31 human cases of the virus in 2012 and no reported deaths.


Madison County To Pay $685,000 For Sexual Harassment Suit

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa county will pay $685,000 in a settlement with a dispatcher who claimed she was groped and sexually harassed by the sheriff and fired after complaining.
Madison County Sheriff Craig Busch also provided a letter of recommendation to Kathryn Frank under the settlement. In the letter, Busch says the 15-year employee who he fired in 2009
handled 911 calls with "the utmost expertise" and was praised by officers for her "excellent skills."
The settlement avoids a third trial in Frank's lawsuit after the first two ended in hung juries.
Frank claims that Busch harassed her for years before he became sheriff in 2008, leading to an earlier $60,000 settlement. She says Busch retaliated by firing her for bogus reasons.
Busch said Wednesday he denies wrongdoing, but declined further comment.

 

Human Skull Discovered Near Skunk River

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a human skull has been discovered near the Skunk River in Ames.
Ames police say a person walking along the sandbar Tuesday night discovered the skull. It was north of the old Carr Pool and was located within inches of the river.
Officials say the skull, which appears to be very old, was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office along with another fragment. It is being sent to a forensic anthropologist.
Officials say recent heavy rains may have washed the skull down the river.


   

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