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Monday News, January 28

Father Richter Honored As "Citizen of the Year"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner Saturday evening and presented the honors of "Citizen of the Year" and the "Business of the Year".  Outgoing chamber president, Sandy Norby read the nomination for the "Citizen of the Year".
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Father Kevin Richter of the St. Joseph Catholic Church was selected as the 2012 Chamber's Citizen of the Year.  Richter was given the honor for his work with both the transition from the old church to the newly constructed church building, and for the unification of Spalding Catholic and Gehlen Catholic High Schools. Richter admitted to being surprised by the honor, and said it was the people that made the transition from the old church to the new building possible.
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Richter also spoke about the unification of Spalding Catholic High School and Gehlen Catholic School.
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Earlier in the evening, a video skit portraying chamber officials attending a local book club after reading the popular, but controversial book "50 shades of Grey" featured the "church lady" character from Saturday Night Live.  At the conclusion of his acceptance speech, Richter was able to inject his humor about the skit.
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ICON Ag and Turf Selected As Business of the Year

(Le Mars) -- Local John Deere Dealership, ICON Ag and Turf was honored Saturday evening for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce "Business of the Year".  Incoming Chamber president, Brad Pick read the nomination for the "Business of the Year".

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General Manager and Senior Partner Adam Timmerman accepted the honor on behalf of ICON Ag and Turf.
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The former NFL player, now farm equipment dealer, believes the enthusiasm displayed in and around the Le Mars community will mean for better economic development.

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Icy Road Conditions Continue On Iowa Highways

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Road conditions remain slippery across northern Iowa after freezing rain fell across much of the state.
The Iowa Department of Transportation said conditions were starting to improve after the storm system left the state Sunday afternoon, but roads may be slippery through overnight hours.
A section of northbound Interstate 35 between Des Moines and Mason City was closed for several hours Sunday because a semitrailer truck blocked the roadway.
Butler County was one of the hardest-hit areas after receiving over half an inch of precipitation that froze quickly after hitting the ground.
Areas of dense fog, mist and frost may form overnight, and precipitation may refreeze on roadways.
The latest information about road conditions is available online at www.511ia.org or by calling 511 in Iowa.


Harkin Won't Seek Re-election - Braley Say He May Try

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014.  The longtime Senator says it is now someone else's turn.  Many Democrats are expected to run for the Senate seat, including Congressman Bruce Braley.  Rep. Bruce Braley says he is considering
running for Tom Harkin's U.S. Senate seat in 2014.
Harkin announced Saturday that he won't run for a sixth term in the Senate, which the Democrat was elected to in 1984.
Braley says he has heard from Iowans all over the state since Harkin's announcement. Braley says he's overwhelmed with the encouragement to run.
Braley is a 55-year-old Waterloo attorney who was first elected to represent northeast Iowa in 2006.
Braley says he will carefully consider running for the Senate.  He says the state deserves a senator who will continue standing up for Iowans who don't have a voice just as Harkin did.

 

Iowa Still Has A Political Glass Ceiling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - When Iowa lawmakers started their legislative session this month, 35 women were among those reporting to the Capitol.
That matches the state's record for women in the 150-member General Assembly.
But despite increasing their numbers in in Des Moines over the years, women in Iowa continue to struggle with a political glass ceiling. The state has never elected a women governor and is one of
just four states to never send a woman to Congress.
Insiders cite many likely reasons for why Iowa politics remains a boys club. Among them are the lack of term limits in the governor's office and the low turnover of the state's congressional seats. Women's groups are working to recruit more candidates to run for office.

 

 

   

Saturday News, January 26

Arrests Made On Ireton Woman For Drugs

(Le Mars) -- On Thursday afternoon, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle at K22 and 265th Street for operating without license plates.  While talking to the driver, the deputy could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming form the vehicle.  After an investigation at the scene, the driver, Sadie Ann Nelson, age 32 of Ireton, Iowa, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance marijuana, a Class D Felony possession of drug paraphernalia, a Simple misdemeanor OWI drugged, a Serious misdemeanor.  Nelson was taken to the Plymouth County Jail and held to see a judge.  The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Hinton Police Department.


Harkin Says He Won't Seek Re-election

CUMMING, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014.
The 73-year-old Harkin tells The Associated Press in an interview, "It's just time to step aside," because by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81.
Harkin said it would also allow a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.
The announcement comes as a surprise, considering he had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.
Harkin played a lead role in urging the Senate's more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill.
No Iowa Republicans have taken formal steps toward seeking the seat. Harkin's decision eases the burden on the GOP, who have to gain six seats to win the majority.

 

Soderberg Says Republicans Have Set Legislative Priorities

(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Legislature is setting its priorities by introducing several bills during the second week of the general session.  State representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars says in the Republican controlled Iowa House two specific priority bills have been introduced.
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Governor Branstad has stated his top two priorities are to reform the property tax policies, and to help fund education.  Soderberg says he is relieved to know the Governor wants to fund those programs with existing revenue.
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Soderberg says the state would find itself with some financial woes if the budget was to be balanced with one-time funding.

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The Le Mars representative says he will attend a legislative forum scheduled for Saturday at the Sioux City Museum.  That forum begins at 10:00 a.m. and is open to the public.


Lawmaker Wants Death Penalty Reinstated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Republican lawmaker was backed by the parents of slain children as he called for the reinstatement of Iowa's death penalty.
Milo Senator Kent Sorenson announced Friday he would introduce a measure that would establish capital punishment for the first time since the 1960s.
The death penalty would be limited to people convicted of first-degree murder in which a victim was kidnapped or sexually abused or if the victim was a child.
Among those standing with Sorenson were Heather and Drew Collins, whose daughter Elizabeth was killed after disappearing last July with her cousin, Lyric Cook.
Sorenson says he'll also propose four other measures dealing with kidnapping and sex offense convictions.
The chairman of a Senate panel says he won't consider the bill, but Sorenson says he'll seek public hearings.

 

Legislator Wants Schools To Be Tested For Radon

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines legislator is backing a bill requiring all Iowa school districts to test for the cancer-causing gas radon and make buildings safe if the gas is found.
Democratic Sen. Matt McCoy filed the bill this week, saying it's needed to protect students. The bill is similar to national legislation filed recently by Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley.
The bill would require all public and nonpublic districts to test every room of each school. If high levels of radon are found, districts would need to have ventilation system installed to make
buildings safe.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that leaks through cracks in building foundations. It's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. All of Iowa's 99 counties lie in the
government's highest risk zone.

   

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