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Friday News, June 14

Ice Cream Days Enters Third Day


(Le Mars) -- Today marks the third day for "Ice Cream Days" and again Brad Pick, the president of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce highlights the day's schedule for the 27th annual event.  He says the day will begin with youth basketball.

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Pick says Saturday's parade will be special, especially since the Abu Bekr Shriners will participate. 
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The chamber president says the parade has traditionally brought in observers and participants from other communities.  He says this year's parade will feature some new entries, as well as some traditional entries.

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Pick offers a glimpse of Saturday's other events scheduled for Ice Cream Days.

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Hundreds of people enjoyed the free ice cream, along with the music of the Big Band era, and the children enjoyed riding the mini Ferris wheel and rides on the train.  It was all part of the festivities at last evening's Ice Cream Days at the Primebank ice cream social.

 

Buena Vista County Has Fatal Accident

(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista County authorities are reporting a fatal traffic accident occurred last evening at about 6:00 p.m. The accident involved a semi truck and trailer and a pickup truck and it happened on Highway 7, south of Newell.  The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene.  The passenger in the pickup sustained minor injuries as did the driver of the semi truck.  No names have been released at this time.


Hundreds Turn Out For Memorial Service For Kathlynn Shepard

BOXHOLM, Iowa (AP) - Hundreds gathered for a service remembering a 15-year-old Iowa girl whose body was found in a river after she had been kidnapped and gone missing.
Thursday's public memorial service for Kathlynn Shepard drew nearly 750 people to the gymnasium at Southeast Webster-Grand Middle School in Boxholm, about 60 miles north of Des Moines.
Many children who went to school with Kathlynn attended. Many wore purple, Kathlynn's favorite color.
Authorities say Kathlynn and a younger friend were coerced into a pickup on May 20th in Dayton, Iowa by registered sex offender Michael Klunder. He hanged himself after the younger girl escaped.
Searchers looked for two weeks for Kathlynn.
Her body was found June 7th in the Des Moines River near Boone.

 

Campaign Regulator Pleased With Court's Decision

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top campaign regulator says she's pleased an appeals court upheld much of an Iowa law requiring outside groups to disclose their spending on political campaigns.
Megan Tooker, director of the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board, says that independent expenditures are becoming more prevalent in political races and she expects they will continue to
grow.
Tooker said she's pleased but not surprised with Thursday's decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a requirement that such groups disclose their spending in favor or
against candidates within 48 hours. She says the public should not lose much in the way of transparency by the court's decision to strike down other reporting requirements about their fundraising.
Tooker says she'll continue to advocate for additional transparency in political spending.

 

Officials Investigate Sinkhole To See If Mind Is Underneath

RUNNELS, Iowa (AP) - Officials will be digging into a sinkhole to see whether it leads to an abandoned mine under the Polk County town of Runnells.
A state environmental engineer, Mike Bourland, says that there are mines in the area.
The sinkhole made its debut about two weeks ago in the front yard of Bob Borg. It was nearly 10 feet deep and around 10 feet wide, gaping just a few yards away from his house. The soil had
eroded around a power pole, which was taken out.
Environmental engineers plan to dig into the sinkhole on Friday.
Runnells Mayor Ron Tate says several sinkholes have appeared over the past 20 years in a field on the east side of town.
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Minnesota Man Charged With Deer Poaching

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) - Officials say a Minnesota man stole whitetail buck over a four-year period in Iowa.
The state Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that 42-year-old Bradley Slawson, Jr., of Ham Lake, Minn., pleaded guilty to deer poaching charges. He has been ordered to pay $18,000
in civil damages for the illegal harvesting of deer bucks between 2008 and 2011 in Clarke County.
Slawson has forfeited archery equipment. He faces losing his hunting license in Iowa and 38 other states included in an agreement that recognizes the suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses.
Conservation Officer Michael Miller says both Iowa and Minnesota officials worked together to catch someone "that had been stealing from Iowa's natural resources for years."

 

Goats Used To Battle Invasive Weeds

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Managers of a wetlands area near Davenport are turning to goats to rid the area of invasive plants.
Facilitator Brian Ritter decided to give goats a try after failing at other efforts to remove invasive plants that crowd out native varieties in the Nahant Marsh area.
Ritter says the 24 goats that arrived from Wisconsin in late May have made a huge difference.
Naturalist Amy Loving says it takes the goats only hours to clear areas choked with brush.
The goats are kept inside a portable fence and moved every day or two.
Nahant Marsh is a wetland west of Davenport. It's owned by the city.
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Thursday Afternoon, News June 13

4th Avenue East Nearing Construction Completion

(Le Mars) -- City officials are reporting the construction on 4th Avenue East is nearing completion.  Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel says unfortunately the wet spring weather has delayed the work.


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Langel anticipates construction on the overlay project will soon be completed.

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Le Mars To Build Second Water Tower

(Le Mars) -- Due to the industrial and residential growth of Le Mars, and in order to meet the city's water demands, the city finds itself needing a second water tower.   City Administrator Scott Langel says a 2011 water usage engineering survey conducted by McClure Engineering helped determine the need.

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Langel says the project is on a 15 month timetable before completion.

 

United Methodist Church To Expand Facilities

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars United Methodist Church has begun an ambitious construction project involving the expansion of facilities.  Julie Roy serves as the church's chair person for the building team committee.  She says the church congregation is growing and the church wants to meet its future needs. 

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The construction project has a cost of $1.6 million dollars, but Roy says the congregation has already secured nearly two-thirds of the financing through cash on hand and pledges.

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Roy says church services and other activities will continue inside the church while construction is occurring.  She says the actual construction of the expansion will start soon.

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Auditions Scheduled For Next Community Play

(Le Mars) -- Auditions for the next Le Mars Community Theater, "The Woman In Black" are scheduled for July 1st and 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Postal Playhouse with performance dates tentatively scheduled for September 27th through October 6th. It is a story about a middle-aged lawyer who rents a theater and hires an actor to help him re-enact and thereby, hopefully, exorcise- a ghostly event which befell him many years previously with horrifyingly tragic results.  The event occurred when he attended the funeral of an elderly recluse.  There he caught sight of the woman in black, the mere mention of whom terrifies the locals.  The lawyer has invited friends to watch as he and the actor recreate the events of that dark and stormy night.  Lisa Opheim will be directing the production.  For questions, you can contact Lisa at (712) 330-0172 or email her at lisaopheim@gmail.com.

 

ABC News Asking Judge To Dismiss Case

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - ABC News says it intends to ask a circuit court to dismiss a South Dakota beef processing company's defamation lawsuit now that it has been moved from federal court.
Beef Products Inc. sued for defamation over ABC's coverage of a meat product that critics dub "pink slime."
ABC wanted the case considered by the U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls, but Judge Karen Schreier on Wednesday ordered it back to circuit court.
In a statement sent Thursday, ABC News said the federal court was clear that in sending the case to state court it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case.
BPI claims the network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing the product is unhealthy and unsafe. It is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.


Iowa Establishing Sister State With Kosovo

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa is establishing a sister-state relationship with Kosovo and that he will visit the nation during a trip to Europe in July.
Branstad made the announcements Thursday, coinciding with a visit to the Iowa Capitol by Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
Branstad says Iowa and Kosovo have developed a unique partnership due to more than 700 Iowa National Guard soldiers who have served there on peacekeeping missions since 2003.
The agreement will mark Iowa's ninth sister-state relationship.
Branstad says he'll travel in early July to Kosovo as well as Italy, Germany and Switzerland.
The European trip will cost about $17,000 for Branstad and his wife, Chris. Those costs will be covered by Iowa Economic Development Authority Foundation funds, not state funding.

 

Court Says Groups Need To Disclose Information On Campaign Financing

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An appeals court is upholding an Iowa rule requiring outside groups to promptly disclose information about their spending to support or oppose candidates for office.
In its ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by Iowa Right to Life, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld Iowa's law that bars corporations from giving money directly to political
campaigns.
The three-judge panel says it's constitutional to require groups that spend $750 for or against candidates to file disclosure reports within 48 hours. The panel says disclosing information about how much is being spent and for what purposes helps keep voters informed.
But the court struck down requirements that such groups file additional reports up to four times per year detailing their fundraising, saying they are burdensome and chill free speech.

 

Iowa's Hispanic Minority Continues To Grow

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Government data shows Iowa's Hispanic population continues to increase at a much higher rate than the state's overall population.
U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday shows more than 162,800 Latinos lived in the state in July 2012. That's a 3.2 percent increase from the year before, and 10 times the estimated
increase for the state's overall population for the year.
Latinos still only make up about 5 percent of the overall population, but more counties are gaining noticeable Hispanic populations. They make up 10 percent of the population in 10 counties, a jump from seven counties in 2008.
The Asian population increased by 4.8 percent between mid-2011 and mid-2012, making it the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in Iowa.
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