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Monday News, April 14

School Board To Review And Approve 2014-2015 Budget

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education this evening will review and approve the proposed budget for the 2014-2015 school year.  A public hearing has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Education Service Center. The total operating fund spending authority for the Le Mars Community School District for next year equals $23,981,588.  The recommended budget for the operating fund equals more than $20,764,000.

 

Western Iowa Technical Community College To Unveil New Training Center

(Le Mars) -- Western Iowa Technical Community College will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. for the new Western Iowa Tech Le Mars Center located at 25 5th Avenue Northwest. The new Le Mars Center will offer students hands-on training for jobs featured in this area.  Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, and Western Iowa Tech Community College director Neal Adler offers a preview to the facility.

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Busy Saturday For Area Fire Departments With More Grass Fires

(Le Mars) -- Saturday was another busy day for the county fire departments.  Le Mars, Akron, Remsen, and the Merrill Fire Departments all responded to grass/field fires.  The Merrill Fire Department was called at 11:50 to 22585 Iris Avenue to put out a round bale pile that had caught on fire.  Then just a few minutes later, at about noon on Saturday, the Merrill Fire Department responded to a grass fire that had rekindled from Friday.  That grass fire was located a half mile west of County Road K-49 on 230th Street.  Merrill requested the assistance from Le Mars at about 12:30 p.m.  The fire was under control and extinguished within a half hour.  At about the same time, both the Merrill and Akron Fire Departments were called to 22472 Fawn Avenue for a grass fire.  Fire officials were on the scene of that fire for more than two hours. Shortly after the Merrill Fire Department had killed the Fawn Avenue blaze, they were called to 21610 Fir Avenue where a garbage fire had spread to start a building on fire.  Fire officials were on that scene for nearly forty-five minutes.  Remsen, Le Mars, and Akron fire departments conducted some controlled burns.

 

Remsen And Oyens Fire Departments Respond To Auto Accident

(Remsen) -- Both the Remsen and Oyens fire departments responded to a car accident that occured Sunday afternoon.  The accident was reported at about 4:30 p.m. and was located on County Road C-38 between Pioneer and Polk Avenues.  No other information about that accident is known at this time.

 

City Zoning Board To Consider Request For Adjustment And Variance

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars board of zoning and adjustment is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to decide whether to approve a request for conditional use and variance as submitted by Cindy Nagel.  The property in question is located at 126 4th Avenue Northwest.  The area has been designated and zoned as an R-2 apartment district and/or residential area.  Nagel is requesting a the zoning board to re-zone the lot.  The proposed use would be a speech therapy clinic.  The structure would be built to resemble a residence and could be converted to a residence in the future.  If the conditional use is approved, the property would need a variance from the off-street parking requirements.  Based on the square footage of the proposed structure, twelve off-street parking spaces would be required.  The site plan provided depicts six spaces in the rear of the property and six more in the front parking area.  Several nearby residents within the area are opposed to the re-zoning, and are opposed to having a speech therapy clinic to be located within the residential neighborhood.

 

Iowa Department Of Public Health To Hold Hearing On New Birthing Center

(Sioux Center) -- The Iowa Department of Public Health will hold a public hearing today concerning a new proposed birthing center to be located in Sioux Center.  Several area community hospitals and physicians are opposed to the proposed birthing center.  The birthing center would not have a family physician perform baby deliveries.  Rather a mid-wife would handle the procedure.  Nancy Dykstra is the executive director with Promise Health Care Center based in Sioux Center, the organization that has made the request.  In a recent article featured in the Northwest Iowa Review newspaper, Dykstra says more women are choosing midwife-led, out-of-hospital births, and that is the reason the Promise Health Care Center has submitted an application for a birthing center.  Since the health center opened its doors in 2008, about 70 women each year have received their prenatal care from its certified nurse midwives, in addition to post-natal care and well-women gynecology services. More than 320 babies have been born to mothers who received their prenatal care from midwives at Promise Community Health Center.

 

Spirit Lake Assisted Living Care Center Faces Fines

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - The state has fined an assisted living center in Spirit Lake, saying it presents an "imminent danger" to residents.
      Keelson Harbour Assisted Living has been fined $3,000. The state says the center has not adequately trained workers, used nonmedical staffers to inject diabetic residents and borrowed medical supplies from residents to meet other residents' needs. The center has 68 residents.
     Keelson Harbour is owned by Vista Prairie Communities in Minnesota. Patrick Rafferty is a Vista Prairie executive, and he says the Iowa inspectors' findings are being reviewed. He says a decision has not been made yet on whether Vista Prairie will appeal the fine.
     Rafferty says that "if there are issues, they will be corrected."
     The center's executive director declined to comment.
     ---

 

 

Research Project Looks At Reducing Nitrates In Water

 SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) - A research project in northwest Iowa is looking at ways to keep fertilizer out of drinking water by planting certain crops to help contain nitrogen.
     The project on Matt Schuiteman's land near Sioux Center yielded lessons that may be useful in other areas.
     The research got started because some of Schuiteman's land is close to wells Sioux Center relies on for drinking water, and nitrate levels were rising.
     The project looked at five different ways to use perennials and cover crops to limit the amount of nitrogen that washed away.
     Schuiteman says he plans to start growing alfalfa on his land in rotation with corn because that proved effective.

 

State Senate To Again Consider Legalizing Medical Marijuana

(Des Moines) -- The legalization of medical marijuana may again be brought up before the State Senate.  Originally, the bill was introduced by Iowa City Democrat Joe Boekomp, but it failed to gather enough support to be passed through committee.  However, Senate majority leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs has re-introduced the bill as a leadership measure after visiting with a family that has children with epilepsy.  Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson says he is sympathetic to the family's concerns, but isn't certain he would support the bill.

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Anderson says the new proposed bill is greatly different than the original bill calling for the legalization of medical marijuana.  He says the senate republicans are asking the leadership to allow the bill to go through the same process as other bills.


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Government Oversight Committee To Continue Hearings On "Secret Settlements"

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senate Democratic leaders say their questions about government payments to former workers for secrecy and other issues will continue after the Legislature adjourns for the year.
     While lawmakers appear to be on track to end the session within a few weeks, the Senate Government Oversight Committee is likely to keep pursuing the matter.
     The Senate Government Oversight Committee has set another hearing to ask more questions about government payments to former workers for secrecy and other issues they believe could be problems in the executive branch.
     Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, who chairs the oversight committee, has set a meeting for 2:30 p.m. Monday and two Department of Administrative Services officials who didn't come last week say they'll appear. 
     They are Doug Woodley, DAS general services enterprise chief operating officer, and Paul Carlson, the agency's chief resource maximization officer.

 


  



   

Saturday News April 12

 

Street Closer to affect travel

Le Mars -- City officials have announced 24th St SW will be closed for street repair until Monday afternoon between Lincoln and Industrial Road by the Rail road Crossing.

Grass Fire Causes Akron Fire Department To Respond

(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department was called to yet another grass fire yesterday, this time located at 17771 k-18-N. The call came in near 430 in the afternoon. They arrived on the scene at 435 and were there for approximently a half an hour.

Northern Iowa Man Arrested In Connection With Child Pornography 

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a northern Iowa man faces dozens of sexual exploitation charges in connection to child pornography found in his possession.
     The Spencer Police Department says 22-year-old Daniel Ross Sutherland was arrested Friday following a 10-month investigation by several agencies.
     Sutherland faces 66 misdemeanor counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and a felony count of the same charge. Court records do not list an attorney.
     Police say Sutherland had more than five dozen child pornography videos in his possession. He is also accused of distributing child pornography.
     Records show Sutherland is at the Clay County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

 

Sibley Man Arrested For Farm Equipment Thefts

(Sibley) -- Osceola authorities have arrested a Sibley man suspected of possession of stolen property, including farm equipment, in connetion with a four-county theft ring.  52 year old Mike Block has been charged with multiple felonies for stolen property from Sioux, O'Brien, Lyon, and Osceola counties.  Farm and construction equipment valued at more than $200,000 had been reported stolen over a year and a half.  Block, who is a custom baler and construction worker, turned himself in to Osceola county sheriff's officials on Friday.  He was transferred to the O'Brien County jail where he is being held on a $100,000 bail.  Block is charged with seven counts of first degree theft, a class C felony; ten counts of second degree theft, a class D felony; one count of third degree theft, and one count of a fourth degree count of theft.  Deputies served search warrants after noticing tire and shoe impressions matching those taken at a theft scene.  Stolen hay bales from O'Brien County on March 21st led to the search warrants for Block's acreage on U.S. Highway 59 and his home.  Investigating officers seized a New Holland baler, wagons, construction equipment, trailers, four motor vehicles, and other items.  Block is a former Osceola County sheriff's deputy and resigned from the force after he admitted to taking $630 in cash from a burglary theft investigation.  He is also the brother-in-law to Osceola County Sheriff, Doug Weber.


Arrests Made In Connection With Veishea Riot

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Ames police say they have arrested more people in connection to a crowd disturbance at Iowa State University that injured one student.
     Police said in a news release Friday that four people have been arrested since the incident that began late Tuesday and ended Wednesday morning. A fifth person turned themselves into police.
     Records show the five men are students at Iowa State, including defensive lineman David Irving. He has been suspended indefinitely from the team.
     The men face various charges, including trespass and criminal mischief. Police Cmdr. Geoff Huff says he expects additional arrests and charges in the case.
     The crowd formed during the week of a multi-day celebration on campus known as Veishea. It was later suspended for the rest of the week.

 

Many Support ISU President Decision To Cancel Veishea


(Ames) -- Iowa State University, President Steven Leath says he has received a lot of support for his decision to cancel the Veishea celebration this week in the wake of violence early Wednesday morning. Leath, says he has received feedback from students and communitymembers.

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Leath plans to assemble a task force to decide if the 92 year old celebration will be shut down permanently. Leath says although Veishea has a history of problems, a surge of social media fueled the latest riot.

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One person was seriously injured in the rioting when a light pole was torn down and fell on him. Leath made his comments on Iowa Public Radio’s "River to River" program. Ames police issued a list of five people who were charged or cited in connection with the rioting. One of those is an Iowa State football player. Twenty-year-old David Irving was charged with second-degree criminal mischief, a felony, fifth-degree theft and disorderly conduct, which are both misdemeanors.

 

New Law Helps Children With Dyslexia

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - For the first time, dyslexia has been officially defined in state law in an attempt to improve literacy among young students across Iowa. 
     Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill into law Wednesday that effectively establishes a definition for the reading disability in Iowa code and offers professional support for teachers so they can better develop student literacy.
     The law defines dyslexia as "a specific and significant impairment in the development of reading." It also seeks to better equip teachers with the skills and strategies to improve student literacy and screen for problems.
     Supporters of the new law say it's a positive step forward in addressing dyslexia, but lawmakers may need to revisit the issue as parents and educators implement programs and determine how best to help children.

 

Medical Marijuana Bill Re-introduced In State Senate

(Des Moines) -- The legalization of medical marijuana may again be brought up before the State Senate.  Originally, the bill was introduced by Iowa City Democrat Joe Boekomp, but it failed to gather enough support to be passed through committee.  However, Senate majority leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs has re-introduced the bill as a leadership measure after visiting with a family that has children with epilepsy.  Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson says he is sympathetic to the family's concerns, but isn't certain he would support the bill.

Listen to

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Anderson says the new proposed bill is greatly different than the original bill calling for the legalization of medical marijuana.  He says the senate republicans are asking the leadership to allow the bill to go through the same process as other bills.

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Ryan Calls For Inter-Party Fighting To Stop

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Republican Congressman Paul Ryan has a lot of work to do in Iowa to sell his just-passed budget plan, should the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee seek the 2016 presidential nomination.
     The Wisconsin representative and chairman of the House Budget Committee planned to make a pitch Friday night at the annual spring fundraising dinner for the Iowa Republican Party in Cedar Rapids.
     His measure passed Thursday by the House promises a balanced federal ledger by 2024 through sweeping cuts to social spending.
     Many GOP officials in the leadoff caucus state, including Governor Terry Branstad, praise Ryan's effort but say it's far from perfect.
     And some have opposed the plan outright for its 10-year timeframe.
     The annual Lincoln Day dinner often draws headliners who are considering a run for president.

 

 

   

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