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Tuesday News, October 8

Supervisors To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear from County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild today as she delivers her quarterly report.  The supervisors will also get a construction update from county engineer Tom Rohe.  Attorney Bob Brock is scheduled to visit with the county supervisors to request an extension on  Klingbeil Addition.  Also on the supervisor's agenda for today's meeting will be the appointment of Brad Harvey as the Westfield Township Clerk.  Harvey is replacing John Ziniel.

 

Postal Worker Has Accident

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A U.S. Postal Service worker has been hospitalized after he lost control of his mail delivery vehicle in Sioux City.
Sioux City police say the vehicle swerved off a street and crashed into a utility box on Monday afternoon.
Police say the worker had a medical condition while he was driving.

 

Remsen-Union School Seeking Volunteers For Advisory Committee

(Remsen) --  Remsen-Union Community School District Superintendent Ken Howard is looking for
interested parents and community members to serve on the 2013-2014 School Improvement
Advisory Committee (SIAC).  The School Improvement Advisory Committee may meet up to two
times a year, and is charged with annually making recommendations to the board with regard
to progress achieved with annual improvement goals for the state indicators that address
reading, mathematics, and science, and progress achieved with other locally determined
indicators that address the core content areas.
Within the SIAC, each district in Iowa, to the extent possible, is required to have
committee membership that is a balanced representation with regard to race, gender, national
origin, and disability.  Membership includes students, parents, teachers, administrators,
and representatives from the local community.


Merrill Fire Department Respond To Truck Fire

(Merrill) -- The Merrill Fire Department responded to a call at 5:37 p.m. yesterday afternoon in which a truck was on fire.  Fire officials went to the intersection of county road C-38 and K-42.  The fire was brought under control within a few minutes.  Fire officials were on the scene for only about a half an hour.

 

Le Mars Fire Department Educates Students On Fire Safety

(Le Mars) -- This week is Fire Prevention Week, and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will spend a lot of time educating students about the dangers of fires.  Fire officials will either visit each school, or host students at the fire station.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the focus this year is on kitchen fires and he shares some startling statistics.

Listen to

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Schipper says this is a good time to check smoke detectors, and he says fire prevention education efforts have already begun. He knows the message has been getting through to the students from the comments he hears.
Listen to

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The Le Mars Fire Department was recently honored with an award, in part, because of its fire
prevention efforts.  The Le Mars Fire Chief says the prevention education program was
started long before he became chief, and he credits the fire department and community for
having a low number of fires.

Listen to

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Close to 500 people attended the pancake breakfast held on Sunday at the Le Mars fire station.  It is an annual event to help kick off the awareness of fire prevention week.

 

State Climatologist Comments On October Tornadoes

(Le Mars) -- Nine tornadoes were spotted in Northeast Nebraska and Northwest Iowa on Friday
evening.  One of which touched down in Plymouth County about ten miles west of Le Mars.  But
how common is it to have tornadoes in October?  State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says Iowa
has had tornadoes in October, but it doesn't happen that often.

Listen to

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The state climatologist says despite the tornadoes that did damage on Friday, this year has been a low year for the number of tornadoes in Iowa.

Listen to

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Committee Sets Rules To Stop Video-conferencing For Abortions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A committee that provides legislative oversight on state agency rule making has allowed a new rule to move forward that will end the use of a
video-conferencing system used by Planned Parenthood to distribute abortion-inducing pills.
Democrats on the Administrative Rules Review Committee proposed delaying the rule but Republicans had enough votes to defeat the motion. That allows the Iowa Board of Medicine
rule approved last month to go into effect Nov. 6.
The rule ends the use of a rare telemedicine system, which allows doctors to distribute abortion-inducing pills to patients remotely. Opponents say it's unsafe, but supporters say the argument is political.
Monday's rules committee meeting was the last opportunity to stop the rule administratively.
Planned Parenthood is suing to stop the rule in court.

 

Report Shows Juvenile Home Understaffed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report says the Iowa Juvenile Home is understaffed, underfunded and has offered inadequate education to its residents.
The  Iowa Department of Education has ordered that "compensatory education" be provided for youths who have turned 18, have been discharged from the home over the past 26 months and have yet to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma.
The Education Department report issued Monday says the Department of Human Services, which runs the home, must find those former residents and report their names to the Department of Education within the next five weeks.
The Department of Education investigated the Toledo facility's educational services for the 38 youths who live there and receive treatment for behavioral disorders.
---

 

Iowa Settles Lawsuit With Movie Production Company

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has settled a portion of a lawsuit by a Rhode Island man who
says the state cost him millions of dollars when it ended its film tax credit program in 2009.
The state has agreed to pay $225,000 to financiers of the movie "2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams." The settlement partially resolves the lawsuit filed for Anthony Gudas, of Providence, R.I. He says his
company invested in four film projects based on state contracts, but the tax credits were never paid.
The lawsuit over the three other film projects continues.
The film tax credit program was halted after a state audit uncovered $26 million in
credits that were improperly issued by the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Seven
people eventually were convicted.
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License Plates To Honor Police Officers Who Have Died In The Line Of Duty

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have begun issuing specialty license plates that commemorate law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
The state Department of Transportation says the plates have a "Fallen Peace Officer" emblem. Drivers can buy a numbered license plate for $35 or a personalized plate for $60.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety receives $35 from each new plate and $10 from each renewal. It distributes the funds in the form of grants to nonprofit organizations that assist families and co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

 

Lawyers Debate Larry Hedlund Dismissal Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Lawyers for the state and fired Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund are sparring over whether his wrongful termination lawsuit can proceed in court.
The Iowa Attorney General's Office has filed a motion asking a judge to put Hedlund's lawsuit on hold. Its lawyers say that Hedlund's termination technically isn't final because he will still get paid until the Employment Appeals Board rules on whether there is cause to support it.
The AG's office says Hedlund should go through that administrative process first, and it's premature to seek remedies in court. It also says the Public Employment Relations Board should hear his separate claim of whistleblower retaliation.
Hedlund's attorney has filed a motion asking a judge to declare those administrative appeals unnecessary, and allow the lawsuit to continue.


   

Monday Afternoon News, October 7

Climatologist Comments On October Tornadoes

(Le Mars) -- Nine tornadoes were spotted in Northeast Nebraska and Northwest Iowa on Friday evening.  One of which touched down in Plymouth County about ten miles west of Le Mars.  But how common is it to have tornadoes in October?  State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says Iowa has had tornadoes in October, but it doesn't happen that often.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



The state climatologist says despite the tornadoes that did damage on Friday, this year has been a low year for the number of tornadoes in Iowa.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Fire Department Educates Children On Fire Safety

(Le Mars) -- This week is Fire Prevention Week, and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will spend a lot of time educating students about the dangers of fires.  Fire officials will either visit each school, or host students at the fire station.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the focus this year is on kitchen fires and he shares some startling statistics.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Schipper says this is a good time to check smoke detectors, and he says fire prevention education efforts have already begun. He knows the message has been getting through to the students from the comments he hears.
Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



The Le Mars Fire Department was recently honored with an award, in part, because of its fire prevention efforts.  The Le Mars Fire Chief says the prevention education program was started long before he became chief, and he credits the fire department and community for having a low number of fires.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Close to 500 people attended the pancake breakfast held on Sunday at the Le Mars fire station.  It is an annual event to help kick off the awareness of fire prevention week.

 

Fire Officials Investigate Cause Of Garage Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that engulfed two home garages in Des Moines.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1co60ut ) crews extinguished the fire Monday morning on the 800 block of Buchanan Street. A plume of dark smoke was visible from nearby Interstate Highway 235.
Fire officials say they responded first to a report of a garage fire. A second garage was engulfed by the time they arrived. Both garages were destroyed and some power lines were affected.
No injuries have been reported.
---

 

Red Oak Bar Destroyed By Fire

RED OAK, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters from several departments have joined forces to battle a blaze in downtown Red Oak.
The fire was reported about 12:30 a.m. Monday at the old Pit Stop Bar. No injuries have been reported.
Firefighters were extra cautious because of concerns that the building's roof would collapse.
The fire cause is being investigated.



Despite Government Shutdown Guard Returns To Work

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa National Guard has recalled nearly all of the full-time federal technicians who were furloughed by the partial government shutdown.
The Guard said Monday that the employees are returning to work because of an interpretation of a law called the Pay Our Military Act.
More than 1,000 employees were furloughed on Oct. 1. Most are federal technicians that are uniformed members of the Guard.
Five federal technicians will remain furloughed. More than 15 other employees will continue to be temporarily laid off. And nearly 100 more employees are scheduled to be temporarily laid off beginning Oct. 18.
Officials say more than 2,000 full-time Guard employees remain on duty.

 

West Des Moines Is A "Connected City"

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - West Des Moines is the third city in Iowa and the 12th nationwide to be designated as a connected community for its efforts to increase high speed internet connectivity.
Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that West Des Moines has joined Indianola and Webster City in Iowa to earn the designation.
Communities must demonstrate adequate broadband availability, speed, competition, and broadband use. When a community excels in these areas, it is qualified to be a Connected Certified Community. The program is part of an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 
West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer says improved internet and other city-led changes have generated more than $25 million in private investment and it's growing. He says it proves the private sector will make investments if local government helps.

 

License Plates To Be Revealed

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The ownership of Gov. Terry Branstad's state vehicle and others in his security detail will no longer be a mystery to curious law enforcement officials.
An Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesman said Monday that license plates for Branstad's Chevy Tahoe and 13 others in its fleet have been added to computerized files.
Before, anyone who ran the plates through police databases learned that the registration information wasn't on record. That status meant that cities who operate traffic cameras would not give them tickets and officers who otherwise needed to check them were left in the dark.
Now, such inquiries will show the vehicles are registered to Iowa DPS.
Sgt. Scott Bright says the information has also been added for unmarked vehicles driven by captains, and more changes are likely.

 

School Bus Accident

VAN HORNE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a school bus landed nose first in a ditch following a morning crash in eastern Iowa, but no one was seriously injured.
The Benton County school bus collided with another vehicle Monday morning on a rural road south of Van Horne. The impact knocked the bus into the side of the road.
Both drivers were taken to a local hospital, but their injuries did not appear to be serious. A disabled student on board the bus was securely strapped into place and did not appear to be injured.
A crane later removed the bus from the ditch.
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