Thursday News, May 23
Chamber "Cash Mob" Scheduled For Today
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will once again be hosting a "cash mob" today. People are asked to gather in front of the Chamber offices at 12:15 p.m. located on Central Avenue, when the name of a retail business will be selected. The gathering will then "mob" that retail business with the idea of each person to make a purchase of at least $20. Mary Reynolds, of the Chamber offices says the "cash mob" idea is a way to help stimulate the local economy.
Le Mars Has A Successful Recycling Program
(Le Mars) -- As noted by Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff, Le Mars' recycling efforts have proven to be very successful over the past eight years of existance. City Assistant Administrator Bill Cole tells of how much the community has recycled over the years.
Cole says other communities are turning to Le Mars and trying to duplicate our efforts.
The city official says recycling has helped the city get cash back, but he believes the community has embraced the recycling effort because it is the right thing to do.
Cole says there are three more occasions approaching when city residents can dispose of additional waste. May 31st will be the Recycltronics Day. A day when the city will collect old electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and discarded cell phones. June 4th the city will collect old appliances and old tires from the city's residents. Cole says that may include abandoned refrigerators, microwaves, stoves and washers and dryers. Spring clean up is scheduled for the week of June 10th to the 15th when the city will waive the fee for disposal at the landfill, up to 1000 pounds of waste.
Police Chase Ends In Roll Over Accident
(Le Mars) -- A police chase that started in Sioux County late Tuesday evening ended in a roll-over accident in Plymouth County. According to a report, Sioux County authorities were pursuing a vehicle being driven by 31 year old Adam Smith of Hawarden. The chase covered more than 30 minutes. Smith entered Plymouth County heading south on Kestrel Avenue and braked rapidly in an effort to make a left hand turn on 150th Street. The Sioux Center Police vehicle with flashing lights and siren on, and driven by Darren Wielenga, was only about two car lengths behind the Smith vehicle when the patrol car collided with the Smith vehicle, causing Smith to lose control of his vehicle and rolling down a steep embankment and into the ditch, rolling one and three-fourths times. Both drivers were
uninjured, and Smith was taken into custody by the Sioux Center Police. Smith was charged with eluding officers, possession of a controlled substance, failure to obey a traffic controlled device, no insurance, excessive speed, driving while license suspended and reckless driving.
Tractor Rollover Claims The Life Of Albert City Man
(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista authorities are investigating a tractor roll-over accident that claimed the life of 78 year old Richard Fondroy of Albert City. The accident happened on Tuesday at about 7:44 p.m. about five miles west of Albert City. Deputies say Fondroy was pinned beneath the tractor. Machinery was brought in to lift the tractor from the victim.
Senate Adjourns General Session
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate adjourned the 2013 legislative session late Wednesday night, but the House is set to return Thursday for more votes.
Lawmakers seemed to be moving to conclusion Wednesday after reaching deals to cut property taxes, revise education policy and provide health care for low-income residents.
But while the Senate voted to approve all those plans, action didn't move as quickly in the House. One issue arose over the Health and Human Services budget, with some Republican members
opposing providing Medicaid funding for abortions.
House lawmakers were scheduled to return Thursday with hopes of concluding the session.
Senate Approves Property Tax Relief Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has approved a compromise plan to cut commercial property taxes in the state.
The plan was approved in a 43-6 vote Wednesday. It now moves to the state House for approval.
The property tax plan will gradually reduce taxable assessments of commercial properties by 10 percent and provide property tax credits geared for smaller businesses.
The deal also limits the amount that residential property assessments can grow. It includes small income tax credits and increases the state earned income tax credit for low-income
Reducing commercial property taxes has been a longtime priority for Governor Terry Branstad.
Lawmakers Approve Education Policy Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state legislature has approved an education policy deal that would provide additional school funding.
Lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved the plan Wednesday. Republican Representative Ron Jorgensen of Sioux City says the compromise plan would provide more basic school funding for the next academic year, as well as offer dollars to districts that adopt a program to raise minimum teacher pay and offer leadership incentives.
Under the plan, Jorgensen says a task force would review teacher evaluations and some restrictions on homeschooling would be lifted.
The bill will next move to the governor for approval. Both legislative chambers are in session Wednesday, with hopes of soon concluding the 2013 session.
Glass Leaves Education Director Position For Superintendent Job
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As the state Legislature was nearing approval of significant changes to Iowa's public school system, the Iowa Department of Education director accepted a job as
superintendent of a Colorado school district.
Eagle County School District in Colorado announced Wednesday that Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass accepted the job. He starts July 1st.
Glass was among three finalists for the Colorado job. The current superintendent is leaving to head a school district in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Glass started as director of the Iowa department in late 2010. He previously worked for Eagle County schools and the Colorado Department of Education.
He will earn $175,000. That's $28,000 more than his current pay.
In his Iowa position, Glass took the lead in backing education reforms that were approved by lawmakers Wednesday.