Saturday, May 30, 2015
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Saturday News, May 30

Cabin May Be Moved On Monday

(Le Mars) -- Museum officials are hoping the Joy Hollow log cabin can be moved on Monday.  The move is scheduled to happen between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  The 115 year old cabin was scheduled to be moved from the Plymouth County fairgrounds to the Plymouth County Historical Museum on Thursday.  However, permits had not been completed, and some tree limbs were needing to be trimmed, so not to damage the cabin.




EPA Sets Ethanol Production At Lower Levels

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa leaders are criticizing a proposal from the Obama administration that would reduce the amount of ethanol blended in U.S. gasoline.

Iowa leads the nation in producing ethanol, a fuel additive made mostly from corn. Under the proposal released Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of ethanol blended in to gasoline will increase, but not by as much as originally required by law.

Still, the agency didn't decrease the standards as much as it had proposed in 2013. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad - who has lobbied aggressively for maintaining a strong standard - says in a statement that he was disappointed, but noted that the EPA made slight increases from a previous proposal.

Senator Joni Ernst says in a statement that "we can and must do better."




Branstad Extends Disaster Proclamation From Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he has extended a state of disaster emergency until July 1 as farms continue to report new cases of the bird flu virus in their poultry operations.

Branstad announced Friday he had extended the proclamation, which otherwise would have expired Sunday.

The virus has infected more than 26 million birds in 18 Iowa counties, making the state the hardest hit in the nation.

Branstad's declaration activates disaster response programs, allows the use of state supplies and makes other efforts to speed response efforts.




Legislative Leaders Say They Have Reached An Agreement On Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Legislative leaders say they have a tentative budget agreement that could enable them to adjourn within days.

Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said Friday they had reached an understanding. They declined to provide details on the overall spending level or on individual items, like education, saying that information would be released next week.

The leaders in the divided Legislature reached the terms after roughly five hours of negotiations Friday. They have been haggling for weeks since their daily expense payments ran out May 1.

Gronstal said he expected that the Legislature could adjourn next week. He said Democrats chose "compromise over gridlock."

Paulsen said the agreement "meets the needs and priorities of Iowans."




Fort Madison Officials Hope To Turn Penitentiary To Tourism Site

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - The Fort Madison City Council has approved $10,000 for a nonprofit group that is planning the future of the old penitentiary in the southeast Iowa community.

The Burlington Hawk Eye reports the money, which comes from Fort Madison's hotel/motel tax fund, will go to form the group, which then will rely on grants and donations.

The initial money will be used to pay an attorney to form the nonprofit, hire a project manager and reimburse travel expenses for volunteers from Iowa State and the University of Iowa.

Fort Madison officials envision the prison, parts of which date to 1839, as a tourist destination.

Their plans have been delayed by problems opening a new prison in Fort Madison, but officials want to be ready when the old prison closes.



Friday Afternoon News, May 29

"Color Me Sweet" Scheduled For Saturday

(Le Mars) -- Tomorrow, (Saturday)  is the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce "Color Me Sweet" Walk and Run event to be held at the Maser Trail circling the Willow Creek Golf Course. At least 735 people have registered for the 3.1 mile event.  Mary Reynolds, Main Street coordinator says the inaugural event will have 16 different places for contestants to be "showered" with a different color.  Prior to the start of the walk and run, people will loosen up and stretch and listen to music and perform some Zumba.


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Reynolds talks about how the Chamber first came up with the idea of the "Color Me Sweet" walk and run.


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As mentioned, sponsors will be placed around the course, ready to throw different colors on the participants.  Reynolds says contestants need not to worry because the colors will wash away.


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Reynolds says the event is already proven to be successful, and will become an annual event for Le Mars. The Chamber Mainstreet coordinator says each sponsor has developed its own way of splashing the colors on the contestants.


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Reynolds says the start and finish line will be at the Maser trail next to the tennis courts.  She says at the conclusion of the walk, contestants and spectators will be encouraged to throw a color packet into the sky to offer a rainbow effect.


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Contestants are encouraged to wear white clothing, and by the end, they will be multi-colored.  Participants should report to the Le Mars YMCA this evening (Friday) after 5:00 p.m. to pick up their registration packet. Registration is set to begin at 7:00 a.m. with the start scheduled for 9:00 a.m.



Zebra Mussels Found In Iowa Great Lakes

ORLEANS, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials say they've found evidence that invasive zebra mussels have reached another of Iowa's Great Lakes.

State fisheries biologist Mike Hawkins says that two larval zebra mussels were found in a recent water sample. He says more tests will be performed this summer to confirm the presence.

The mussels can attach themselves to pipes or other structures, damage boat motors and reduce the ability to draw water into facilities such as water treatment and power plants. The city of Spirit Lake recently contracted for a system to keep zebra mussels from clogging its intake pipes.

State officials say signs of zebra mussels already have been found in nearby East Okoboji, West Okoboji and Upper Gar lakes.




Court Dismisses Lawsuit For Closure Of Juvenile Home

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is dismissing a lawsuit that challenged Gov. Terry Branstad's decision to close the Iowa Juvenile Home last year.

The court ruled Friday the lawsuit brought by Democratic lawmakers and a labor union leader was now moot because the Legislature is no longer appropriating money to operate the home.

The court's decision vacates a temporary injunction entered by a district judge last year ordering the home to be reopened. The high court had put the injunction on hold while it heard the governor's appeal.

For decades, the home in Toledo provided housing, education and other services to some of Iowa's most troubled youth.

The Branstad administration transferred the home's residents elsewhere and laid off its workers amid reports of mistreatment, including the use of isolation cells.





Virtual Clinic

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa Health Care has begun offering a virtual clinic that lets people use their computers, tablets or smartphones to check with health care providers.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says is designed to gain help on minor illnesses and injuries that might be urgent but not life-threatening.

The fee is $50 per visit, and users must have Internet connections and web cameras on their computers or mobile devices.

After each visit to the virtual clinic, patients will be sent detailed email summaries of what was discussed. A provider will check back five days later.

Dr. Patrick Brophy with University of Iowa Health Care says a Nebraska company offers similar virtual clinics in western Iowa, but UIeCare would be the first such Iowa-based service.




O'Malley To Visit Iowa After He Announces Bid For President

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Martin O'Malley is returning to the state that introduced him to presidential politics three decades ago, when he played guitar and knocked on doors for Gary Hart.

This time he'll be in Iowa as a Democratic presidential candidate, if he announces a White House bid Saturday as expected.

Iowa could well determine whether O'Malley's longshot challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination takes roots or fades away.

The former two-term Maryland governor has been well received in recent trips to Iowa and New Hampshire. But Clinton holds a commanding advantage. And O'Malley faces competition for liberal support from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the nomination race.

O'Malley is making his announcement in Baltimore, where he served as mayor, before campaigning in Iowa later Saturday.







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