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Monday News, September 30

MenuMasters Raises $28,500

(Le Mars) -- More than $28,500 was raised for the Le Mars Community School District through the efforts of the second annual MenuMasters event held Saturday evening at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  Attendees had the opportunity to sample more than 30 different food items from 30 teams of chefs.  Appetizers...beverages...entree's...and desserts were all served.  Team Shockers was voted by the attendees as having the best appetizer.  The Best Dessert was awarded to Family Tree Lawn Care Service.  Le Mars Physical Therapy with its "I pulled my butt" pork loin won the Best Entree entry.  The Best Theme was awarded to Lederman Bail Bonds Service, which featured a jail bird behind bars, complete with handcuffs, ankle restraints, and outfitted with a convict horizontal stripped outfit.  The crowd of more than 600 people chose Primebank as having the Best Food as it was served by Cole Sitzmann and Mark Schmidt with their "Cole Cash Slaw".


Plymouth County K-9 Unit Helps With Drug Arrest

(Le Mars) --  The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Highway 75 and County Road C-80.  That traffic stop was made last Saturday.  As a result of the stop, Jeffery McDaniels, age 30, of Cherokee, Iowa, was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He was booked into the Plymouth County jail.


Deputies Make An Arrest For Domestic Assault And Drug Paraphernalia

(Le Mars) -- Last Monday, the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office responded to 41696 100th Street for a report of a domestic dispute.  As a result of an investigation conducted, Lauren Goss, Age 19, of Alton, Iowa, was placed under arrest for domestic assault and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) Goes Into Effect Tuesday

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Starting Tuesday, uninsured Iowa residents can start using the new online marketplaces created under President Barack Obama's health care law to compare and buy health insurance plans.
After years of debate and preparation, the consumer launch day of the biggest new social welfare program in a generation has arrived. About 264,000 Iowa residents without insurance could benefit.
Just how many people will immediately participate is unclear. While Iowa is not a state where political opponents of the law are trying to impede implementation, state officials say there is still work to be done to explain the law to the public.  Not all the education, assistance and marketing efforts will be fully ready in Iowa on day one.
Iowa City Senator Joe Bolkcom calls it a "massive undertaking to educate Iowans."

 

Better Business Bureau Warns Against Healthcare Scam

(Des Moines) -- Iowans are being warned about a scam involving the federal government's Affordable Care Act, a large portion of which will launch next week. Con artists are calling homes, saying they're ready to send your Obamacare card, all they need is your personal information. Kimberly Hazen with the Better Business Bureau, says these are the latest in the long-running string of health care "phishing" scams.

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Callers may claim they need your Medicare, banking or personal information to get you your coverage. Hazen says it's highly unlikely Medicare or anyone from the federal government is really calling you.

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Hazen says the best response to these calls is to hang up, or to make some calls yourself to learn more.

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If you repeatedly get these calls, contact your local authorities or contact the Better Business Bureau via www.bbb.org.

 

Harkin Blasts Texas Senator Cruz For Comments

(Washington) -- Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has drawn national attention for remarks he made on the Senate floor Friday. Harkin, a Democrat who helped craft the Affordable Care Act, accused "minority" Republicans pushing for a government shut-down over "ObamaCare" of stirring up passions and putting the country at risk.
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Harkin's comments are being played and replayed on television newscasts and featured in dozens of national stories about the showdown in Washington. Harkin referred to Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz and other Tea Party favorites as a "small group of willful" politicians who didn't get their way in the 2012 election.

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Harkin further explains their position.

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Earlier last week when he spent more than 21 hours speaking on the senate floor, Senator Cruz compared modern-day "pundits" who say "ObamaCare" can't be "defunded" to the Nazi appeasers of the 1940s. Harkin has referred to Cruz's speech-a-thon as a "tirade."


Southwest Airlines Helping Lower Air Fares At Des Moines Airport

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One year after Southwest Airlines began flying out of Des Moines, airfares at the airport are cheaper.
Airport Director Don Smithey credits Southwest for the lower fares because other airlines adjusted prices to compete.
The U.S. Transportation Department says Des Moines' airfare fell 6.9 percent between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.
That was the third-largest drop in the U.S. at a time when airfares were increasing in most places.
Southwest began offering twice-a-day flights from Des Moines to Chicago last September. The discount airline added a daily flight to Las Vegas on Sunday.

 

Iowa Farmers Allowed To Carry Heavier Loads During Harvest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers will be able to carry heavier loads of corn, soybeans and other items for the next two months.
Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation Friday allowing the heavier loads, a move Iowa governors usually take in the fall.
The proclamation allows people to haul loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover up to 90,000 pounds of gross weight without a permit for 60 days. The temporary allowance doesn't apply to interstate highways.
The move is intended to help farmers efficiently move crops after harvest.

 

Northey Encourages People To Visit Apple Orchids

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's agriculture secretary is encouraging residents to visit apple orchards around the state.
Bill Northey says it's been near perfect weather for the state's apple trees. He added that growers are reporting apples are maturing a little ahead of normal schedule, so now is a great time to visit a farm.
Northey says an orchard visit is a great way to enjoy the autumn weather and try new varieties of apples that may not be offered at a local grocery store.
A list of apple growers can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website.


Fire Destroys Family Home - Second Time Family Loses Home

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A fire destroyed an Iowa couple's home and forced them to relocate nine years after a flood made their previous home unlivable.
Keith and Judy Steger's in Delaware County was damaged by fire on Friday after something on the stove caught fire.
The Stegers and their seven children spent the weekend trying to salvage what they could from the home.
In 2004, the Stegers lost their home in Elkader to flooding.
The couple's son, Jeremy Steger, says it's hard to express what it's like to lose a home. He says the family just has to keep moving forward.
For now, the Stegers are planning to live in another building on their property.


Elderly Sex Offender Still Waiting For Trial

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than two years after an elderly convicted sex offender confessed to sexually assaulting a fellow nursing home resident, 85-year-old William Cubbage still hasn't been tried.
The 95-year-old woman Cubbage is accused of assaulting at the Pomeroy Care Center in 2011 died later and her family sued the state and accused officials of failing to protect the public.
Cubbage is being held by the Iowa Department of Corrections until a trial can be held to determine if he should be recommitted to the state's sex offender unit.
Attorney General spokesman Geoff Greenwood says the family's lawsuit isn't a factor in Cubbage's delayed trial. Instead, he says issued like the death of the Calhoun County prosecutor and schedule conflicts for lawyers and experts forced the trial to be delayed until March.
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Saturday News, September 28

ALS Walk Scheduled For Saturday

(Le Mars) -- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.  A-L-S, affects millions of people worldwide, including here in Le Mars.  That's why Colleen Scholten is organizing an A-L-S awareness walk scheduled for Saturday morning at the Le Mars Municipal Park.  Registration begins at 10:00 a.m. with the walk to begin at 11:00 a.m.  The walk is two miles long, although Scholten says you don't have to walk the entire distance.

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Scholten's son, Steve, has been diagnosed with the deadly disease.

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Scholten says family members take turns in caring for her son.  She says ALS is hard to diagnose and with her son, he first noticed a tingling or numbness in his hands.

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Scholten says the disease continued to progress and continued to deteriorate Steve's nerves and muscles.

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Scholten says doctors and researchers are still puzzled by the disease, and to date, they don't know what causes ALS to strike, or what is a common denominator among patients.  All they do know is it is a fatal disease.  Scholten is complimentary of the Iowa Chapter of the ALS association, saying they offer great support.

 

Siouxland Paramedics Fined $390,000

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City ambulance service provider has agreed to pay $390,000 to resolve allegations about how it submitted claims to federal health care programs.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced the settlement Friday, saying Siouxland Paramedics will pay the money but won't admit any wrongdoing.
At issue was how Siouxland submitted claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs for ambulance transports.
Karen Van De Steeg, executive director of the nonprofit that governs Siouxland Paramedics, blamed the problem on a legal interpretation of how the service billed for certain services.

 

Senate Democrats Want Tuition Freeze

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Senate Democrats want to see a second year of tuition freezes at state universities.
Democrats who control the state Senate announced Friday that they would seek another tuition freeze. During the legislative session earlier this year, lawmakers and the governor agreed to freeze undergraduate tuition at the three state universities for the first time in more than 30 years.
That freeze impacted the 2013 through 2014 academic year.
Lawmakers will return for the next legislative session in January. Democrats are calling on Republicans Governor Terry Branstad and leadership of the Republican-majority state House to agree to the proposal.
Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the governor will announce his budget plans in January. A spokesman for Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

Fort Dodge Police Officer Found Not Guilty Of Assault

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Fort Dodge police officer charged with assaulting his wife has been found not guilty.
Magistrate William Habhab ruled Friday that officer Jody Chansler was not guilty of domestic abuse assault.
Chansler was charged with the assault in August. He was accused of shoving his wife to the floor but testified in court that he and his wife bumped as he was trying to leave his house, causing her to fall.
She was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. 
Chansler, who has served with the Fort Dodge Police Department for 12 years, was placed on paid administrative leave after the charge.
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EEOC Appeals Judgement To Pay Iowa Trucking Firm

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is again appealing an order that it pay millions in legal costs to an Iowa trucking company for a botched investigation.
EEOC filed notice Friday that it will appeal last month's order by U.S. District Judge Linda Reade that it pay $4.7 million to CRST Van Expedited.
Reade's order is believed to be the largest-ever fee sanction in the history of the EEOC. She says the agency brought numerous "unreasonable or groundless" claims of sexual harassment against the Cedar Rapids-based company.
Reade had ordered the agency to pay $4.5 million in 2010 to CRST, but that award was thrown out by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The appeals court will now consider the issue a second time.

 

Cow Herds Contract Disease

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Cows in 14 herds in eastern Iowa have come down with an illness spread by small flies and more often found in deer.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says the illness, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is a virus spread by biting midges.
EHD rarely affects cattle, but it has been found in the wild whitetail deer population southern and eastern Iowa. The disease can be fatal in deer but it does not usually kill cows. It can cause fever, ulcers in the mouth and gums, swollen tongue, and lameness. 
There is no evidence it can infect humans.
Cattle farmers should use insect control and contact a veterinarian if they see signs of illness.
A hard freeze kills the midges and stops the spread of the virus.

 

Iowa Sets Record For Hog Production

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The population of hogs and pigs in Iowa has reached the highest number ever.
The United States Department of Agriculture says in its quarterly report released Friday that the Sept. 1 inventory of hogs and pigs in the state shows 21.2 million animals. That's up from 2 percent reported on the same date a year ago and is the highest inventory on record.
Iowa is by far the nation's leading hog producer with nearly a third of the nation's 68.4 million animals. A distant second is North Carolina with about 9.5 million hogs. Minnesota is third with 7.6 million. Followed by Illinois with 4.7 million and Nebraska with 3.1 million.

 

National Geographic Exhibit In Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A National Geographic exhibition on dangerous and remote areas of the world is officially on display at the Science Center of Iowa.
The center and Blank IMAX Dome Theater will open the Earth Explorers exhibit Saturday morning in Des Moines.

The exhibit is advertised as teaching visitors about the wildest places on Earth.  It follows explorers from National Geographic as they venture into oceans, polar regions, rain forests, mountains and caves.
Organizers also encourage visitors to use a free interactive app during the exhibit. Earth Explorers is available through January 14 of next year.


   

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