Monday News, April 29th
Grass Fires Continue Over the Weekend
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Fire Departments continued to fight grass fires over the weekend. The Le Mars Fire Department responded to three grass and field fires on Saturday, Hinton was called twice on Sunday, and the Merrill Fire Department responded to a grass fire on Sunday that was along the railroad tracks.
Dan Gable Speaks At Le Mars Leadership Clinic
(Le Mars) -- Former University of Iowa Head Wrestling Coach and Olympic Wrestling Champion, Dan Gable was in Le Mars on Saturday speaking at the first Le Mars Leadership Clinic. The event attracted more than 130 people. Gable told the gathering that motivation is often times the key to success, and he says he motivates himself in every venture.
Gable also mentioned that adversity will always face people, and he suggests to take on adversity head on, and don't avoid it, but rather learn from it. Gable is among a handful number of coaches with multiple national championships that span over several years. Others that come to mind include John Wooden with UCLA men's basketball, Pat Summitt with the University of Tennessee lady's basketball, and Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski . Gable says each are similar not only for their number of wins and championships, but for how they are able to motivate others, and get those around them to perform and become leaders themselves.
Gable says it goes beyond the X's and O's, and it involves teaching others life skills.
Postal Playhouse Presents "A Month Of Sundays"
(Le Mars) -- A Month of Sunday's is the next production of the Le Mars Postal Playhouse. It features a cast of six, with four veteran community play actors, and two newcomers to the community stage. Dan Casey plays the lead character, a retired gentleman named Cooper.
Casey offers this description of the play's plot.
This is Casey's third appearance with the Postal Playhouse, having also been in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Proof".
Larry Brangwin is the director of "A Month Of Sunday's". He says he selected the play in part because he believes many people will be able to relate to the plot.
In addition to Casey, Brangwin tells who also is among the cast members.
Opening night performance is Friday, May 3rd, at 7:30 p..m. Other evening performances are scheduled for Saturday, May 4th, and Thursday, May 9th; Friday, May 10th, and Saturday, May 11th. There are two matinees scheduled for Sunday, May 5th and Mother's Day Sunday, May 12th. All evening performances begin at 7:30 and the lights go up on the Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
Owner of Riverfront Property Wants Pickup Truck Removed From River
SLOAN, Iowa (AP) - Three months after a truck splashed into the Missouri River during a police chase, no one wants to pay the cost of removing the sunken vehicle.
The situation is frustrating for the riverfront landowner who has to keep looking at the truck that's covered by about a foot of water near Sloan, Iowa.
Usually when vehicles wind up in the river, the owner or his insurance company pays the $6,000-to-$8,000 bill to retrieve it. But in this case, the truck's owner, who was fleeing police at speeds over 70 mph, is either unable or unwilling to pay the bill.
Land owner Don Dixon says he's tried contacting every agency he can think of for help, but hasn't had any luck.
Branstad Says He Is Willing To Talk About Fuel Tax Increase
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With time running out in this legislative session, Gov. Terry Branstad still isn't ruling out the possibility of increasing the state fuel tax, though lawmakers seem
Branstad told reporters this week that if the Legislature approves proposed cuts to the commercial property tax, then a fuel tax increase "could be considered."
For years, legislators have debated increasing Iowa's fuel tax - currently 22 cents per gallon of gasoline, including fees - but they haven't taken action. The tax has not gone up since 1989.
A commission appointed by Branstad in 2011 recommended an increase of 8 to 10 cents to support the state network of bridges and roads, many of which are considered deteriorating or deficient.
UNI To Receive Educational Grant
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - An organization has given the University of Northern Iowa a $2 million grant to launch a new center for educational research and development.
UNI announced the gift from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust on Friday.
The money will go toward the Center for Educational Transformation and finance faculty and student research.
The center's goal is to transform education through research, advocacy and innovation.
About 25 percent of Iowa's educators and 33 percent of school administrators receive instruction at UNI.
The Muscatine-based Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust is among Iowa's largest private philanthropic foundations, with assets of more than $250 million.
It was created by the will of Carver, who died in 1981.
Iowans Enjoy Short Commute To Work
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Roughly 80 percent of Iowa workers enjoy a commute to work that's shorter than 30 minutes, making them the envy of commuters nationwide who regularly endure longer treks to their jobs.
New U.S. Census data shows that Iowans fare better than the national average commute of 25 minutes each way.
In Des Moines, a typical commute is 16 minutes. And in Ames, Dubuque and Sioux City roughly half the workers enjoy a commute less than 15 minutes long.
But that doesn't mean some Iowans don't have longer commutes. Jill Nowadzky says she drives 40 miles each day from Pleasantville to West Des Moines because she likes her job. But she hates the
Cedar Rapids Fire Destroys Home
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Cedar Rapids firefighters are crediting a smoke alarm for waking a couple and enabling them to escape a fire that damaged their home.
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says Chet and Kelsey Mumby, both 25, were sleeping when an alarm awoke them. After finding smoke and a fire in the bathroom, they left the home with their dog
and called 911 shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday.
Firefighters extinguished the fire, which cause extensive damage to the home. They also managed to rescue the couple's cat.
The fire was blamed on an electrical failure in a bathroom exhaust fan.
Fire department spokesman Greg Buelow credits the smoke alarm for the couple's escape. He notes that last year, less than one-third of residential fires in Cedar Rapids were in homes with