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Thursday News, September 25

Gehlen Catholic Announces Homecoming Royalty

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic is getting prepared for its Homecoming celebration scheduled for the week of October 6-12th.  The chosen theme for this homecoming is the "Jammin' Jays."  Gehlen Catholic has announced the royalty court for this year.  This year's king candidates include: Aaron Britt, son of David Britt and Tamie Britt, both of Le Mars, Solomon Freking, son of Judy Freking of Le Mars, Alex Kellen, son of Bruce and Pam Kellen of Le Mars, Morgan Kellen, son of Mike and Denise Horkey of Granville, Ty Kurth, son of Marty and Jennifer Kurth of Le Mars, Ryan Stoll, son of Dan and Betsy Stoll of Granville, Andrew Wankum, son of Matt and Margaret Wankum of Merrill.  The queen candidates include: Maggie DeRocher, daughter of Steve and Mary DeRocher of Le Mars, Trisha Langel, daughter of Keith and Leslie Langel of Le Mars, Emily Meyer, daughter of Stan and Bonnie Meyer of Ireton, Taylor Peters, daughter of John and Kim Peters of Le Mars, Brittany Schmit, daughter of Chris and Ruth Ann Schmit of Hospers, Melissa Schmit, daughter of Dennis and Deb Schmit of Alton, and Morgan Whitehead, daughter of Erv and Lisa Whitehead of Le Mars.

The emcee's for this year's Gehlen Homecoming celebration include: Carli Bollin, daughter of Dennis and Patti Bollin of Le Mars, Drew Dickman, son of Stu and Donna Dickman of Le Mars, and Brock Nohava, son of Bryan and Brenda Nohava of Hawarden.

 

Absentee Ballots Are Available Beginning Today

(Le Mars) -- Today is the first day people can cast an absentee vote for candidates in the General Election.  Ballots are available at the Auditor’s Office at the Plymouth County Courthouse during regular business hours of 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday to vote in person.
Absentee ballots may be cast in the Auditor’s office until Monday, November 3rd until 5 pm.
Absentee ballots to be mailed to voters must be requested in writing.  Forms are available at the Plymouth County Auditor’s Office or at www.co.plymouth.ia.us under Online Services and then County Forms.  Absentee ballot request forms can be mailed to the Auditor’s office at 215 4th Ave. SE, Le Mars, IA 51031.  Voter’s may contact the Auditor’s office and an absentee ballot request form can be mailed to a voter.
  Voters requesting an absentee ballot to be mailed to them must have the request form to the Auditor’s office no later than 5 pm on Friday, October 31st, as that is the last day absentee ballots can be mailed out to voters.   The Auditor’s office provides the postage for all absentee ballots returned by mail.  Ballots must be postmarked prior to midnight, November 3, 2014 (the day prior to the election), or can be delivered to the Auditor’s office before the polls close at 9:00 pm on November 4, 2014 (Election Day).

 

Branstad Appoints Tott As District Judge

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad has appointed Patrick H. Tott District Court Judge in the Third Judicial District Tott, of Sioux City, earned his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and is currently working in private practice and as a judicial magistrate. 
District 3 includes Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Lyon, Kossuth, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties.
Tott fills the vacancy left by Judge D. Scott.

 

Branstad Talks About Bullying Program At West High School

(Sioux City) -- Bullying continues to be an issue in school districts around the region, but Sioux City has been at the forefront  of taking prevention measures against that conduct.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds joined Sioux Ciity School Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman and others for a public forum on the topic Wednesday afternoon at West High School.    Branstad says programs at West High and other schools are setting a standard in stopping bullying.

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Karter Jones was one of the students participating in the forum.  He says learning bullying is wrong and it starts in the home.

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Iowa's House and Senate passed different anti-bullying bills last year, but the session ended before a compromise could be reached.  Branstad says he thinks a bill will make it through this year.    

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State Representative Ron Jorgensen of Sioux City heads the House Education Committee.  He will push the measure again in the 2015 General Session.   

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West High is one of three school in the state Branstad and Reynolds are visiting to learn what Iowa schools are doing to deal with bullying and what steps the state should take next.  

 

Administrators Say Their Jobs Were Illegally Turned Into Political Appointments 

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four state government administrators responsible for regulating hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities claim their jobs were illegally turned into political appointments last year by Governor Terry Branstad's administration. And one of the administrators says they're fighting back.
     The top two administrators in the Health Facilities Division and the Investigations Division of the Department of Inspections and Appeals said in appeals documents filed with the Public Employment Relations Board the administration stripped their long-standing status as merit employees and reclassified them to at-will jobs. Merit workers can only be fired for job performance issues while at-will workers can be fired for almost any reason.
     Wendy Dishman, head of the investigations division said she and three other top administrators are appealing for reinstatement of merit coverage saying a state law specifically includes DIA division administrators in the merit system. A two-day administrative law judge hearing is set to begin Thursday.

 

Templeton Rye Being Sued

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Chicago law firm is suing Templeton Rye, alleging that the Iowa company broke consumer protection laws and misled drinkers with stories of its whiskey's origins.
     The class-action lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois on behalf of "all individuals in the United States who've purchased a bottle of Templeton Rye." It comes after news in August that the whiskey is made using the stock recipe in an Indiana distillery, according to the Des Moines Register.
     Since the company released its first bottles of whiskey in 2006, its marketing materials have said the founders were inspired by the Prohibition-era recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff, handed down through his family on a scrap of paper.
     But in an interview last month with the Register, company chairman Vern Underwood said federal regulations prevent the company from making the whiskey using the Kerkhoff recipe.
     The company also announced plans to begin printing on its labels that the whiskey is distilled in Indiana.

 

Iowa D-O-T Tells Tesla Motors To Stop Offering "Test Drives"

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Transportation Department has told Tesla Motors to stop offering test drives.
     The department said the test drives were illegal because Tesla isn't a licensed auto dealer in Iowa and because Iowa law bars carmakers from retail sales.
     A Tesla spokeswoman told the newspaper that the company doesn't think the statutes apply because the company was offering only three-day test drives, not actually selling cars.
     Tesla doesn't sell its electric cars through franchise dealerships. People can buy the Model S online or at one of a handful of Tesla stores around the country.
     Tesla is based in Palo Alto, California.
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Wednesday Afternoon News, September 24

Plymouth County Authorities Arrest Le Mars Man On Drug Charges

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have arrested a Le Mars man for possession of drugs.  During a traffic stop, shortly after midnight, Tuesday morning, 41 year old Timothy Orban of Le Mars was stopped for equipment violations at county road K-42 and Juniper Avenue, just east of Hinton.  Orban was found to have a suspended driver's license.  Deputies also found Orban to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  Orban was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance on a third offense, which is a class D felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor, and driving while suspended, a simple misdemeanor.  Orban was transported to the Plymouth County jail and bond was set at $5,000.

 

Le Mars To Asphalt Streets

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City officials will be closing some streets beginning today in order to lay asphalt.  City Administrator Scott Langel says Barkley Asphalt Company has been hired to lay asphalt in five different city locations.

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Langel says several residents living near the Memorial Cemetery had recently shared their concerns regarding the water runoff with the city council. 

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The city administrator tells which other city streets will be closed due to a scheduled overlay of asphalt.

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National Farm Safety And Health Week

(Le Mars) -- This is National Farm Safety and Health Week, a time devoted to call attention to the dangers associated with agriculture.  We continue our week-long series today.  Iowa State University Extension Farm Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says agriculture sustains a higher number of deaths per 100,000 workers and therefore is the most dangerous occupation when compared to mining, construction, and manufacturing.

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Schwab says there are five categories of farm-related accidents that compile most of the injuries or deaths.  They include tractor and ATV roll-overs, machine entanglements, suffociation, roadway collisions, and electrocutions.

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Another danger that livestock producers are noticing is the build up of toxic gases, especially in confinement facilities.  Schwab says, if not properly ventilated, many of the gases found in a confinement facility can either cause a producer or animals to lose consciousness from a lack of oxygen and suffocate, or, they can also be explosive.

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Just last week a pork producer from northern Iowa suffered burns on his body when it was suspected a bubble of methane gas was trapped in the pits beneath the building had ignited when he was powerwashing the barn.

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Tomorrow, during the noon hour news update, we will continue our focus on farm safety.

 

Rand Paul To Visit Iowa

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will visit Iowa next month to campaign for Republican congressional candidate Rod Blum, according to a Wednesday news release from Blum's campaign. 
     Blum's campaign said Paul will appear at a public event at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Oct. 22. 
     Blum is running in the 1st Congressional District against Democrat Pat Murphy. The seat is vacant because four-term congressman Bruce Braley is running for Senate.
     Paul has visited the leadoff voting state of Iowa several times over the past two years. In June, he spoke at the state GOP convention. He has been touring the country this year amid speculation about his 2016 presidential plans.

 

Reynolds Announces Mentoring Program For Women

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa is launching a statewide effort to recruit mentors to encourage young women to consider careers in science and technology, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday. 
     The effort is part of a national campaign called Million Women Mentors. The Iowa program seeks to enlist 5,000 mentors for young women in the state over the next four years to encourage women to pursue science, technology, engineering and math, often called STEM, education. Officials said 1,500 have already signed up.
     Reynolds said STEM education "continues to grow momentum across the state." She stressed that there are good job prospects in related fields and said women should seek out those opportunities.
     The program will be geared at girls aged 12 and older, and mentors will be expected to offer at least 20 hours a year in service. Some companies and universities have already pledged to participate, including Hy-Vee, Vermeer Manufacturing, the Principal Corporation, Drake University and all three of the state's public universities. 
     For those interested in participating, the program is online at www.mwmia.org .

 

Early Voting In Iowa To Begin On Thursday

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Early voting by absentee ballot will begin in Iowa on Thursday, and the secretary of state is encouraging all eligible voters to participate.
     Iowa allows absentee voting by mail and offers early in-person voting at the offices of county auditors beginning the 40th day before Election Day.
     Residents have increasingly opted for voting by absentee ballot in recent elections for the convenience and in response to increasing pressure from political parties striving to get as many votes as possible cast by Election Day.
     Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced earlier this week that the number of absentee ballots requested by Iowa voters this year is nearly double the number sought 43 days before the 2010 election.
     Democrats have in recent election cycles excelled at the strategy but the numbers released Monday show Republican absentee ballot requests are up nearly 145 percent from 2010 to just over 31,000. Democratic requests have climbed nearly 67 percent to nearly 58,000.

 

 

 

 



   

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