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Monday News, February 18

Squirrel To Blame For Loss of Power

(Le Mars) -- If you were listening to the KLEM radio auction on Saturday, you may have wondered why at about 12:15 p.m. the auction abruptly halted without notice, and you perhaps were also wondering why we were no longer transmitting a signal for just over an hour.  The explanation is a squirrel was on a utility pole behind KLEM's offices and apparently had touched the wrong wires blowing up a transformer and resulting in KLEM, along with twenty other businesses and residents to be without power for a little more than an hour.

 

Le Mars Fire and Rescue and Le Mars Ambulance Respond To Sunday Accident

(Le Mars) -- At about 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon the Le Mars Fire and Rescue and the Le Mars Ambulance responded to an injury related accident that happened near 1240 Lincoln Street Northeast. Additional details concerning the accident are not known at this time.

 

State House To Take Up Education Bills

(Sioux City) -- This week the Iowa House will begin debate on an education reform plan that's a priority of Governor Branstad.
Representative Ron Jogensen heads the House Education Committee.  The Sioux City Republican says lawmakers are hoping to pass a plan to help regain Iowa's former standing as the leading state in public education.
The House Education Committee has advanced a modified version of the plan which includes a four thousand dollar increase in teacher starting pay and options for bonuses for veteran teachers mentoring new educators.

Listen to

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Jorgensen says parts of the plan were made optional because of concerns from rural districts.

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The Education Committee voted 13-10 on a straight party vote to send the plan to the full house.  The Senate has already approved a different plan, focusing on funding instead of reform.  Jorgensen says he's hopeful both chambers will reach a compromise by the end of this month.

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Council Bluffs Man Shoots Girl Friend and Himself

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police say an Iowa man fatally shot
his girlfriend before taking his own life this weekend.
Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers said 38-year-old Stephony Metzger died Saturday morning in the bedroom of her mobile home.
Police say that after 42-year-old Terry Francis shot his girlfriend, he shot himself.
Francis and Metzger had dated for several years, but neighbor Jennifer Iwersen says Metzger had recently been trying to end the relationship.
Metzger had three children between the ages of 12 and 18.
The shooting was discovered after Metzger's 18-year-old daughter called police Saturday morning around 10:15.

 

Waterloo Man Found Guilty of Murder

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A 34-year-old Iowa man faces life in prison after his convictions for shooting his former fiancee and killing her mother in May.
A Black Hawk County jury on Friday found Kevin Ambrose guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Authorities say he shot former fiancee Marlene Buss, tried to shoot one of his own friends, Undray Reed, and fatally shot Buss' mother, Kay Straw.
Buss had filed for a protection order against him on May 2.
Ambrose's sentencing has not been scheduled. The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without parole.

 

Branstad Wants To Forgive Doctors' School Debts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad's proposal to attract more physicians to Iowa's less populated areas by forgiving medical school debt is welcome news to longtime Keokuk surgeon
Doctor Phil Caropreso.
Caropreso says loan forgiveness might help students who want to practice in smaller communities like Keokuk, in southeast Iowa, but graduate with crushing debt.
Branstad's plan, announced in January, would also increase the number of medical residencies in Iowa and try to reduce frivolous medical suits.
A medical association report ranked Iowa 40th in the ratio of physicians to state residents, behind neighboring states Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska.
Lawmakers would need to approve the plan.

 

Anti-abortion Rally Scheduled For State Capitol Building

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will join for a Statehouse rally in opposition to abortion rights.
Nine groups opposed to abortion rights will gather Monday afternoon in the Capitol Rotunda to pray. They later will meet with lawmakers to discuss abortion-related legislation.
Branstad opposes abortion rights but has declined to say whether he supported any abortion bills introduced this session.
Jennifer Bowen, executive director of Iowa Right to Life, says this is the 10th anniversary of the annual rally.
She says her organization supports a bill introduced by Republican Rep. Matt Windschitl of Missouri Valley that would ban abortions in which a doctor meets with a woman by webcam and can
then prescribe medication.

 

Companies Owe Iowa Money For Start-up Loans

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Companies that received incentives from Iowa in the past decade, but failed to deliver the jobs and investment they promised owe the state $7.5 million.
The amount owed is about 11 percent of the total incentives paid. But some of the companies that owe Iowa money folded, so there's little recourse for the state.
Iowa handed out $67.6 million between 2003 and June 30 mostly in the form of low-interest or forgivable loans.
State economic development spokeswoman Tina Hoffman says incentives help Iowa attract businesses.
Starting a business is risky, and half of all small businesses fail in their first five years.
Curt Nelson with the Entrepreneurial Development Center in Cedar Rapids says he expects to lose three out every 10 start-ups that get incentives.

 

Car Chase Results in Fatal Accident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Family members say the 33-year-old man who died in an Iowa police chase while his son rode along was a veteran who abducted his son last fall out of concern for his
safety.
Family members of Jeremiah Johnson told The Des Moines Register he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jeremiah Johnson's 5-year-old son, Johnnathen, suffered serious injuries when his dad's vehicle slammed into a parked police cruiser at roughly 130 miles per hour on Friday. The boy's grandfather, Duayne Johnson, says Johnnathen is expected to recover from his physical injuries.
The boy was reported missing in November several months after his mother was awarded custody.
Jeremiah Johnson's family members say he took his son because he believed the boy's mother was dating an ex-convict.

 

 

 

   

Saturday News, February 16

Orange City Hospital Auxiliary Donates $50,000

(Orange City) -- The Auxiliary of Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) presented a check for $50,000 to the health system during its February board meeting. The monies have been allocated to purchase new chairs for the hospital's birth center/OB wing ($7,700); new tables for dinners, meetings, and lobby sales ($2,300); and  to satisfy a portion of the Auxiliary's $200,000 pledge to the new Prairie Ridge Care Center ($50,000).
Mary Plathe, Volunteer Services Manager says "Making a contribution of this amount is definitely a team effort," She says "The Auxiliary Board and the volunteer team deserve a special thank you for the tremendous amount of work -- planning and organizing our monthly fund-raisers and staffing the GiftGarden hospital gift shop."
Health system volunteers and Auxiliary members bake desserts and breads, embroider dish towels and pillowcases, make over 2,000 pigs-in-a-blanket for the annual holiday open house, manage the spring plant sale, work at numerous lobby sales throughout the year, prepare and serve food at fund-raising events, and staff the gift shop. Community support of these activities helps raise monies that directly benefit health system patients, residents, and families.


Le Mars Chamber Receives Grant From Hotel/Motel Tax For Easter Egg Hunt

(Le Mars) -- In February of last year, the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce was awarded $750 from Le Mars Hotel/Motel Sales Tax receipts.
Funds will be used to hold an Easter Egg Hunt in Le Mars. Hundreds of area children will be able to participate in an old-fashioned hunt for Easter eggs. “We’re very grateful for the CVB funding.” stated Mary Reynolds, Main Street Manager at the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce. “Many area children will be able to take part in this fun event. Over approximately 13,000 eggs will hidden for children to hunt.”
The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce was one of 19 applicants receiving funding in 2012. Funding recommendations of the Convention and Visitors Bureau advisory Board were approved by the Le Mars City Council on February 21, 2012.
The CVB Advisory Board received 23 application requests totaling $64,409.07 for the 2012-2013 budget year. There was $40,000 available to be awarded to qualified groups.

 

Republicans Differ On Karl Rove's Intervention

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Efforts by leading Republicans to field better candidates in the next election are continuing to stir dissension in the party.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad said a plan by Karl Rove to boost candidates in key state races is "not smart" and "a mistake."
Rove heads an organization that plans to run advertising to help Republicans who seem capable of winning a general election, and to ward off Republicans who aren't.
Branstad said Rove should leave any candidate steering to party leaders in the states.
Republicans have been debating how to get the best candidates after losing Senate elections in Missouri and Indiana last year that the party expected to win.
Rove has been attempting to fend off criticism in recent weeks from tea party and libertarian-oriented Republicans.

 

Jorgensen Comments On Education Bills

(Sioux City) -- Next week the Iowa House will begin debate on an education reform plan that's a priority of Governor Branstad.
Representative Ron Jogensen heads the House Education Committee.  The Sioux City Republican says lawmakers are hoping to pass a plan to help regain Iowa's former standing as the leading state in public education.
The House Education Committee has advanced a modified version of the plan which includes a four thousand dollar increase in teacher starting pay and options for bonuses for veteran teachers mentoring new educators.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Jorgensen says parts of the plan were made optional because of concerns from rural districts.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Education Committee voted 13-10 on a straight party vote to send the plan to the full house.  The Senate has already approved a different plan, focusing on funding instead of reform.  Jorgensen says he's hopeful both chambers will reach a compromise by the end of this month.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Insurance Commissioner Submits Paperwork For State/Federal Partnership

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's insurance commissioner has submitted paperwork outlining information about the upcoming state-federal health insurance partnership.
Nick Gerhart submitted documents late Thursday to U.S. Health and Human Resources Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The blueprint hashes out details about how Iowans can buy their health insurance.
The documents say Iowa will retain a lot of management control in the exchange. That includes regulating insurance plans, and determining eligibility for Medicaid and children's health
insurance programs.
The Iowa Insurance Division also will oversee companies participating in the exchange and its qualified health plans.
Federal health officials now need to accept the paperwork. The exchange will be implemented in Iowa by January 1st, 2014.


Volunteer Firefighter Charged With Arson

KELLEY, Iowa (AP) - A volunteer firefighter in central Iowa has been accused of setting multiple fires.
State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says 19-year-old Brett Graham of Kelley has admitted to starting four fires in Story County and Boone County over the past few months. One includes a fire in Boone
County that killed a dozen horses in late January.
Graham was arrested Thursday and faces three counts of second-degree arson. He remains in the Story County Jail on a $30,000 bond. Online records do not list an attorney.
Television station KCCI says the fires are part of 20 to 30 fires that authorities have been investigating as possible arson.
Graham is a volunteer firefighter with the Kelley Fire Department. His father is the department's assistant fire chief.


Authorities Identify Car Chase Accident Victim

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified a man killed in an Indianola crash that injured his 5-year-old son and ended a high-speed chase.
Police say 33-year-old Jeremiah Johnson led officers on a chase early Friday morning that exceeded speeds of 110 miles per hour.
The chase began in Clive when an officer tried to pull over Johnson's car and it sped away. The Iowa State Patrol eventually took over and followed the car into Indianola, where it ran into an
empty police cruiser at a roadblock on Iowa Highway 92.
Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy was taken to a hospital. Authorities have not released the child's identify or condition.
Police say Johnson was wanted in Georgia on suspicion of cruelty to a child and reckless driving.

 



 

 

   

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