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Saturday News, April 20

Students' Debt On the Rise

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A report shows increased debt for students graduating from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University but less debt among graduates of the University of
Northern Iowa.
The Iowa Board of Regents report indicates University of Iowa graduating students saw the largest debt increase for the 2011-2012 school year. Average debt rose more than 3 percent, with Iowa
residents at $25,415 in debt and non-residents at $28,218.
Iowa State graduating students had the highest average debt among the three universities, with $28,940 for residents and $29,573 for non-residents. Debt for in-state students dropped slightly but increased overall less than 1 percent.
At UNI, average debt among both resident and non-resident students dropped to about $23,500, for a decline of about 8 percent.

 

Iowa Unemployment Rate Declines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Workforce Development says the state's unemployment rate for March dropped slightly to 4.9 percent, but the number of people working in nonfarm jobs also
declined.
The state agency reported Friday that the seasonally adjusted rate was down from 5 percent in February and had declined from 5.4 percent a year ago.
Although the number of unemployed people dropped from 82,300 in February to 80,700, the nonfarm employment figure also dropped by 5,500 workers.
Iowa's numbers are substantially below the national rate, which stood at 7.6 percent in March.

 

Contractor Sent To Prison For Hiring Unauthorized Worker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man who worked as a roofing contractor in eastern Iowa last year has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for money laundering and harboring workers not legally authorized to be in the United States.
Federal prosecutors in Cedar Rapids say Luis Trejos, a Costa Rican citizen, pleaded guilty in December. In a statement released Friday U.S. Attorney Sean Berry says Trejos was sentenced in
federal court on Thursday.
Trejos worked as a roofing contractor for several years. In March 2012, he agreed to work for an eastern Iowa roofing company.  The prosecutors say Trejos hired workers not lawfully present and
not authorized to work in the United States. Trejos admitted in the plea that he took no action to verify the workers' legal status.

 

Branstad Releases Tax Statement

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has released his income tax returns and they show he earned $226,728 and paid $32,734 in federal taxes last year. He's getting a refund of just
over $12,000.
Most of the income comes from his governor's paycheck totaling $121,188. He also earns money from the state's retirement pension fund from his earlier service as governor and in the Legislature.
Additional income is from capital gains earned on his share of ownership in an Iowa banking company, and business income from consulting work he did before being elected governor in 2010.
Branstad release Friday continued his annual practice of offering his returns.
While Branstad is in the 28 percent tax bracket, he paid an effective tax rate of 9 percent by reducing his tax burden through charitable donations.


Mock Video Released By Branstad's Administration Staff

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The chief of staff for Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says he proud of his staff for producing a video that Democrats say mocks them for their position on education
reforms and funding.
Chief of Staff Jeff Boeyink says  on Friday his staff succeeded in the 1-minute, 45-second video in restating the governor's education priorities.
Democrats say the video won't help negotiations that already were sure to be difficult.
Legislators from the two parties disagree about overall funding of education and whether local school districts should be required to implement reforms for paying teachers and other measures.
Boeyink says taxpayer money was used to produce the video, which was posted to the Internet site YouTube, and that is was a good use of public dollars.

 

Backpacks Not Allowed At Drake Relays

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Organizers of the Drake Relays say they will not allow spectators at next week's events to bring backpacks and large bags into Drake Stadium.
Earlier in the week, Drake Relays officials were asked whether security would be enhanced following the explosions at the Boston Marathon, and they expressed confidence in their preparations but
added they would tell the public of any security changes.
On Friday, Drake announced the ban on backpacks and large bags. Other banned items include coolers and thermoses, strollers, camera tripods, umbrellas and weapons.
Competing athletes and coaches can bring bags into the stadium but they may be searched.
The event will run from April 25-28.

 

 

 

   

Friday Afternoon News, April 19

Two Wells' Enterprises Employees Honored By American Red Cross

(Sioux City) -- Two employees of Well's Enterprises were honored by the American Red Cross during a "Heroes of the Heartland" award ceremony held Thursday evening.  Fritz Gaul and Jodi Ohm, both of Le Mars, both were able to use quick action and lifesaving procedures to save the lives of fellow employees.  Kara Kelly, Regional Communications Coordinator with the American Red Cross explains the "Heroes of the Heartland" program.

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Both Gaul and Ohm were nominated by their employer Wells Enterprises.

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Gaul recognized the symptoms of a heart attack and used his CPR training.    Ohm used an AED device along with CPR to help save a co-worker's life.  Ohm has been an EMT for more than 20 years and has saved many lives, but this was the first time her talents were used at work.  Afterwards, Ohm spoke to other employees who witnessed the incident to make certain they were emotionally stable.

 

Gehlen Prepares For Annual Fund Raising Ball

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic will celebrate 26 years of the Gehlen Ball Saturday evening with this year having the theme of Safari Sensation.  Ann Bunkers serves as the co-chair of the event and says the Le Mars Convention Center is being transformed into a Safari.
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Bunkers says the Gehlen Ball serves as a major fund raising event for the local Catholic school, and it has generated nearly three million dollars during the last 25 years.  There are many items being featured this year to help raise revenue.

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The evening's event begins with the serving of the meal at 6:15 p.m. followed by the auction and afterwards music and dancing will be featured on both levels of the Convention Center.

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Hinton Fire Department Responds To Tractor Fire

(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire Department responded to a tractor that caught on fire Friday morning.  The call was at 33501 Hickory Avenue.  Fire officials were on the scene for approximately a half an hour.


State Settles Lawsuit With Hog Farm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state has settled a lawsuit filed by
a Texas hog farm that claimed a law prohibiting meat processors
from owning livestock is unconstitutional.
Texas Farm, based in Perryton, Texas, filed a lawsuit April 4 in
federal court in Des Moines naming Attorney General Tom Miller.
Miller's office says he signed an agreement Friday to settle the
lawsuit. The state promises not to enforce the law if Texas Farm
guarantees certain rights to Iowa farmers producing the livestock.
Farmers must be allowed to join a producer's association and can
file complaints to authorities about improper actions by the
company.
The agreement is similar to others Miller has signed with
meatpackers in recent years, including Smithfield Foods and
Cargill.
Texas Farm is owned by Osaka, Japan-based Nippon Meat Packers
Inc.


Iowa DNR Comments On Wastewater In Creeks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Department of Natural Resources says
workers have temporarily repaired a valve that failed, causing
hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater to flow
into an eastern Iowa creek near Eldridge.
The DNR says Friday in a news release that the release of
wastewater had stopped. Earlier, between 300,000 and 400,000
gallons of untreated wastewater was being released daily by the
Park View Water and Sanitary District.
The wastewater entered Glynns Creek, which flows about two miles
through Scott County Park before emptying into McDonald Creek. It
finally enters the Wapsipinicon River.
The DNR recommends people keep children and pets away from
Glynns and McDonald creeks until Saturday.


Iowa Rivers At Flood Stage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Many rivers in Iowa remain at flood
stage but no catastrophes have been reported to state emergency
management officials.
In some communities residents are finding water in basements,
cities are dealing with overworked sewers, and roads are closed.
Several Mississippi River cities are seeing some flooding
including Dubuque, Burlington, Keokuk, and Muscatine. The river is
expected to fall below flood stage in Dubuque on Saturday and
recede below flood stage in others by Monday.
Many Iowa rivers will recede below flood stage over the weekend
but in some cases it won't occur until early next week.
Iowa Emergency Management officials say they have no reports of
catastrophic flooding. Some communities are expected to seek a
governor's proclamation that would allow them to seek aid for
residents with flooded basements.


Students Have Increased Debt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A report shows increased debt for
students graduating from the University of Iowa and Iowa State
University but less debt among graduates of the University of
Northern Iowa.
The Des Moines Register reports Friday (http://dmreg.co/12sLn9O
) the Iowa Board of Regents report indicates University of Iowa
graduating students saw the largest debt increase for the 2011-2012
school year. Average debt rose more than 3 percent, with Iowa
residents at $25,415 in debt and non-residents at $28,218.
Iowa State graduating students had the highest average debt
among the three universities, with $28,940 for residents and
$29,573 for non-residents. Debt for in-state students dropped
slightly but increased overall less than 1 percent.
At UNI, average debt among both resident and non-resident
students dropped to about $23,500, for a decline of about 8
percent.
---

Police Investigating Car In Lake

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A dive team is investigating a vehicle
found submerged in Gray's Lake, a popular park near downtown Des
Moines.
Someone reported the vehicle in the lake a little after 9 a.m.
Friday, and a dive team was suiting up about 90 minutes later.
Des Moines Fire Department Capt. Steve Brown told KCCI-TV
(http://bit.ly/11ooqCn ) the vehicle is believed to be a truck that
was stolen Thursday night at the site of a fire north of downtown.



Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Workforce Development says the
state's unemployment rate for March dropped slightly to 4.9
percent, but the number of people working in nonfarm jobs also
declined.
The state agency reported Friday that the seasonally adjusted
rate was down from 5 percent in February and had declined from 5.4
percent a year ago.
Although the number of unemployed people dropped from 82,300 in
February to 80,700, the nonfarm employment figure also dropped by
5,500 workers.
Iowa's numbers are substantially below the national rate, which
stood at 7.6 percent in March.



 

 

   

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