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Friday Afternoon News, January 18

Living Healthy Wellness Challenge Falling Short of Registration Goal

(Le Mars) -- Living Healthy is the goal...and the ten-week wellness challenge is the means to achieve the goal.  You may recall, a local effort to get Plymouth County residents living healthy is under way.  Kari Daale with Floyd Valley Hospital says the goal is to have nearly 2300 county residents participate, although so far, registrations have been slow to come in.

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The ten-week Living Healthy Iowa Challenge begins on January 28th.  Daale says there are many reasons why a person should consider participating in the wellness program.

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Daale encourages people to get involved with the ten-week wellness challenge and to encourage a friend to participate with you.

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Registration is just $20, but with a coupon from Hy-Vee, the cost is $15.  For that, participants will receive a t-shirt, information about eating right and simple exercises, along with a year's subscription to one of six popular magazines.  Daale reminds people when they register to use the Plymouth County code which is LHIPLYCO.  For more information about the Living Healthy Wellness Challenge you can visit the Le Mars YMCA, Plymouth County Extension, or the Floyd Valley Hospital, or go online at www.livinghealthyiowa.org.

 

Judy Zeka Selected As School District Employee of the Month

(Le Mars) -- Earlier this week, the Le Mars Community School District honored Judy Zeka as the January employee of the month.  Zeka has been a teacher of English and Language Arts at Le Mars Community for more than 11 years.  According to the nomination as submitted by Doug Martin and Mark Zeka, Judy successfully accommodates the needs of the various learners, modifying and differentiating as needed.  She is very successful at differentiating her lessons so that all levels of students are successful in her class.  She helped organize and lead the Support Siouxland Soldiers food drive at Le Mars Community, in which $800 was raised along with collection of thousands of items that were donated to both deployed military and veterans to help improve their deployment time, and way of life after their service is completed.  Our congratulations to Judy Zeka for being named the Le Mars Community School District's employee of the month.


Branstad Doesn't Expect Changes To State Gun Laws

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he doesn't expect to see any significant changes to Iowa's gun laws.
Speaking Friday during a taping of the public television program, "Iowa Press," Branstad stressed his support of the second amendment. He says violence in schools would be addressed
through anti-bullying programs and his effort to reform the state's mental health system.
President Barack Obama this week proposed a major overhaul of the nation's gun laws, including renewing a ban on assault weapons, limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring
background checks for all gun buyers. His proposal came after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


Ice May Have Played A Role In Medical Helicopter's Crash

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A preliminary federal report suggests that icy conditions will be among the factors checked by investigators trying to determine what caused the fatal crash of a
medical helicopter in northern Iowa.
The report released Wednesday didn't include any conclusion about the crash cause. The pilot and two others on board died the night of Jan. 2.
The helicopter had been headed to Emmetsburg, about 80 miles west of Mason City, to pick up a patient when it slammed into the ground just north of Ventura about 9 p.m. The report says several
witnesses mentioned icy conditions at the time.
The three victims were identified as nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau, paramedic Russell Piehl and pilot Gene Grell.
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Iowa's Unemployment Remains Unchanged

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's preliminary unemployment rate was unchanged in December, matching the 4.9 percent recorded in November.
Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday that the figure was seven-tenths of a point under the year-ago figure of 5.6 percent.
Iowa's rate is significantly lower than the national figure of 7.8 percent in December.
Workforce Development says there were 80,000 unemployed Iowans in December, compared with a revised figure of 80,200 for November. The figure was 93,400 in December 2011.

 

 

   

Friday News, January 18

Plymouth County Sees A Rise In Gun Permits

(Le Mars) -- The number of people seeking permits to carry hand guns in Plymouth County has seen a dramatic increase, especially since the November elections.  Plymouth County Sheriff, Mike Van Otterloo says since the election, Plymouth County has issued 227 total permits to carry a hand gun, and the county has issued 84 permits to purchase a hand gun.  During the year of 2012, a total of 546 permits to carry a hand gun were issued, along with 170 permits to purchase a hand gun. Back in 2011, the Iowa legislature changed the rules regarding gun ownership and the opportunity to carry a hand gun making it somewhat easier to acquire a permit to purchase and a permit to carry hand guns.   Sheriff Van Otterloo says Plymouth County residents have taken advantage of the new rules.
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Van Otterloo says people give many reasons for wanting to carry a hand gun.

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The Plymouth County sheriff says, in general, he is not worried about the people who have filed to carry a hand gun.

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Van Otterloo offers his opinions about the high number of people seeking gun permits.
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Gun permits are for either hand guns or rifles, long barreled guns, such as shotguns are excluded.

 

Iowa Receives Money For Insurance Exchange

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has received more than $6.8 million in federal money to help build its new health insurance exchange.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the one-year grant Thursday.
The level one funding is used to conduct insurance market research and analysis. The state's public health department can use the money to determine what financial resources are needed for
individuals, small businesses, coverage appeals and complaints.
Governor Terry Branstad announced last month that Iowa would create a state-federal partnership exchange instead of a state-based exchange. The exchange system is a requirement of the
federal health care law.
Health officials say Iowa has now received more than $40 million in federal grants to build its exchange.

 

Iowa Board of Education Wants To Make It Easier To Recruit Superintendents

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state Board of Educational Examiners wants more time to discuss a proposal that would let business and military leaders become Iowa school superintendents.
A March 14 work session on the proposal was scheduled by the board at Thursday's meeting. Iowa Education Department staffers also were asked to prepare other proposals for creating alternative paths for superintendents.
Currently, only licensed educators may become superintendents.
Under the proposal, people with five years of recent experience in the "upper cabinet or leadership team of an organization" would be eligible for preliminary administrator licenses. That
would let them serve as school superintendents or the directors of Area Education Agencies.
They then would be required to spend the next three years completing courses for professional administrator licenses.
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Dvorsky To March In Inaugural Parade

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Democratic Party says its chairwoman and a Des Moines-based drill group will represent Iowa in Monday's inaugural parade in Washington.
Party Chair Sue Dvorsky said Thursday she "couldn't be more excited" to join the parade along with the Isiserettes, a group of high school students that performs marching and drumming routines.
The group performed at President Barack Obama's first inaugural event in 2009 and at an Obama campaign stop at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines last May. The group also appeared at
Obama campaign events dating back to 2007.
Dvorsky says she's thrilled to appear with other Iowans who helped launch Obama's career. She says it's been "an incredible journey and the opportunity to march in the parade puts a perfect
bow on this whole experience."

 

Emerald Ash Borer Moving Slowly

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Agriculture officials say there's little movement in northeast Iowa of an invasive insect known for killing ash trees.
The Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team says final results from surveillance efforts in 2012 show little movement from the emerald ash borer. Two traps last year indicated the metallic green beetles
had moved inland from the Mississippi River.
The insect was spotted in 2010 on Henderson Island in the Mississippi River in Allamakee County. The latest data shows the insects are still in Allamakee County but no longer on the island.
The county has been under a federal and state quarantine since 2010. It prohibits the movement of such items like firewood, ash nursery stock and ash timber.

 

   

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