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Wednesday News, August 28

Grassley Visits Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley has been visiting several Iowa communities during the August Congressional Recess and this morning, Grassley will stop here at the "Ice Cream Capital"  The Republican Senator will hold a town hall meeting at the Floyd Valley Hospital Conference Room beginning at 8:00 a.m. Grassley will speak for an hour.  Following his Le Mars visit, Grassley will make a visit at Link Manufacturing in Sioux Center. Later in the day, Grassley will visit Rock Rapids, Sibley, and Spirit Lake.


Conservation Board Wonders When Pond Will Be Finished

(Le Mars) -- Members of the Plymouth County Conservation Board are wondering when a project to build a public pond will be completed?  The issue was discussed during Tuesday's meeting of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  A land swap agreement was made more than nine years ago between Plymouth County  and the Higman Sand and Gravel Company of Akron, Iowa.  In that agreement, Plymouth County would give Higman the rights to mine rock, gravel, and sand on county-owned land in exchange for a former gravel pit that would be converted to be a public recreational pond.  Bob Schlesser, chairman of the Plymouth County Conservation Board says the public is getting frustrated that the pond project has not yet been completed.  Schlesser says there were initial delays that involved obtaining proper permits and flooding issues, but now it is nine years later on a five-year project.  The Supervisors have instructed Plymouth County attorney Darin Raymond to visit with representatives of the Higman Company to find a suitable option for the county.

 

Car Hits Home

SMITHLAND, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man has been hospitalized after the vehicle he was driving crashed into a house in western Iowa.
The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says the 40-year-old man from Maquoketa crashed the
car into a house in Smithland early Tuesday morning. Residents of the home were not hurt.
Maj. Greg Stallman says the car hit a utility pole and an embankment before going into the
air. It hit the house above a first-floor window and just below a second-story window.
The driver, whose name has not been released, was flown to a nearby hospital. His
condition was not available.


Sioux City and Church Settle Agreement On Water Damage

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City and Sunnybrook Community Church have settled with the
owners of five homes for damage caused by a water line break two years ago.
The Sioux City City Council on Monday approved the agreement. The city will pay nearly
$60,000 and the church will pay the rest of the nearly $181,500 settlement.
Assistant City Attorney Justin Vondrak says the city already has paid more than $62,000
for cleanup and repairs at the homes.
The basements of the five homes in the 2900 block of South Lyons Street and the 5600 block
of Lyons Court were flooded by sewage and water on July 16, 2011, when a water line broke
at the church, which sits just south of the homes.


State Medical Board To Review Practice Of Video Consultations For Abortions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Board of Medicine is set to hear testimony on whether the
state should bar the practice of distributing abortion-inducing pills via a video-conferencing system.
A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Activists are seeking to halt a long-distance video system used by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. It lets doctors deliver pills to patients in clinics around Iowa after a video consultation.
Opponents of the practice say it is dangerous because patients don't personally see a
doctor and may not get follow-up care. But Planned Parenthood of the Heartland President
Jill June says the system helps women in remote areas and that they have received no
complaints.
The earliest the board could adopt new rules barring the practice would be Friday.


Environmental Groups Sue To Stop GMO Plants From Being Planted Near Wildlife Refuge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to force the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop planting genetically modified crops in wildlife refuges in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri.
The federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday in California by the Center for Food Safety, Public
Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the Sierra Club, and Beyond Pesticides.
It alleges the Fish and Wildlife Service unlawfully entered into farming contracts on five
refuges in the four states without an environmental analysis required by federal law.
The lawsuit also seeks to have the service end blanket pesticide use in the national
wildlife refuges until environmental impact studies are done.
A similar lawsuit halted the practice of planting GMOs in refuges in several states the northeast and in the southeast.


 

 

   

Tuesday Afternoon News, August 27

Conservation Board Wonders When Pond Will Be Completed

(Le Mars) -- Members of the Plymouth County Conservation Board attended the County
Supervisor meeting on Tuesday morning to ask the question when will a proposed pond for
recreational purposes be completed?  Over nine years ago, Plymouth County made an
agreement with Higman Sand and Gravel Company to swap land.  The land in question is near
Akron.  Higman would mine some county owned land for rock, gravel and sand, and in exchange
a former gravel pit would be converted  to accommodate a pond that would be supervised by
the Plymouth County Conservation Board.  Nick Beeck (Beck) County Conservation Executive
Director says the conservation board is frustrated with the delay in the project.

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Beeck (Beck) says initially the project was to have been completed within five years. 
During that time there have been some delays due to permits, and flooding, but Beeck says
it is now nine years later, and still the project doesn't show signs of completion. 
Conservation Board Chair Bob Schlesser says both the Conservation Board and the public are
being frustrated with the prolonged delays.

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Representatives of Higman Sand and Gravel Company of Akron were invited to the County Supervisor meeting but did not show.   Jim Henrichs serves as the chairman of the County Supervisors and is the director within the district in question.  Henrichs says the supervisors share the Conservation Board's frustration and explains what hopes to happen next.

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Henrich says he has had visits with officials of the Higman Sand and Gravel Company and was given assurances that the project would be completed within the near future.

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Stay Cool And Hydrated During Heat Wave

(Le Mars) -- During these extremely hot days you want to make certain you stay cool and hydrated.  Mary Jo Clark, Nursing Manager of the Floyd Valley Hospital's Emergency Rooms says water is best.

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Clark says some sports drinks are acceptable, but you should first check the label to see if the sport drink contains a lot of sugar.  Clark warns to stay away from some beverages.

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The Emergency Room Nurse says consumption of beer may be refreshing, but it too can dehydrate you.

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Clark says people should remain in a cool place whenever possible.  She suggests people who need to be outdoors to plan your day around the hours with the most intense heat.  

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Heat Wave Negatively Affecting Crop Conditions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The condition of the corn crop in Iowa and nationally has declined slightly as a late summer dry hot spell settles in over Iowa and other Midwest states renewing fears of a crop damaging drought.
The Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that corn is about two weeks
behind schedule in Iowa as 21 percent is now rated poor or very poor up from 18 percent
the previous week and 44 percent is good or excellent, down from 48 percent previously.
The remaining portion is fair.
Nationally a larger portion of the crop similarly slipped into poor or very poor category.
Iowa soybeans are now 20 percent poor or very poor, up from 18 percent the week before. A
similar decline is reported nationally.

 

Century and Heritage Farms Honored

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has recognized more than 430 generational farms in the state this year.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says 365 century farms and 67 heritage farms were recently recognized at the Iowa State Fair.
The century and heritage farm program celebrates families that have owned at least 40
acres for 100 years and 150 years.
Northey says the program's recipients are a testament to the values of land stewardship, hard work, patience, dedication and perseverance.
More than 17,850 farms across Iowa have been recognized as century farms since 1976, and
650 farms have been recognized as heritage farms since 2006.

 

Branstad Says Republicans Should Not Change State Convention Date

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad says Iowa Republican officials should reconsider a decision to delay a state convention next year.
The Republican Party of Iowa's state central committee voted over the weekend to move the GOP state convention from June 14th to July 12th.
Supporters of the change say it will give election officials time to certify results in
what may be a close U.S. Senate primary election. But Branstad calls the move a mistake.
Currently six GOP candidates are running for Senate. If no one gets 35 percent of the
vote, then the nominee will be selected at the convention. Several candidates say a delay
in the convention benefits the Democrats because U.S. Representative Bruce Braley is
running unopposed.


Bachmann Aide Assigned To Community Service

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former aide to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will have a theft charge against him dropped if he completes 32 hours of community service over several months.
Javier Sanchez of Virginia was arrested in July. Court documents say that after two
reports of thefts of cash from Bachman's office, police put $200 in envelopes marked "petty cash" and "birthday money" in a drawer. A hidden camera recorded Sanchez taking the money.
The 37-year-old entered an agreement with prosecutors on Monday. Sanchez's lawyer noted his client is not admitting guilt as part of the agreement.
Before his arrest, Sanchez had been a senior legislative assistant to the Minnesota Republican. The Waterloo, Iowa native ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 and recently announced she won't be seeking another term in the House.

 

Iowa To Offer Tax Amnesty For Motor Home Owners

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state is offering a one-time deal to people who have been dodging Iowa taxes on motor homes.
The offer includes paying the initial registration fee of 5 percent of the purchase price and a penalty of 10 percent of the fee.
If the tax evaders don't do that by Oct. 23, they could face fraud charges and fines equal
to 75 percent of the fee that was evaded.
A law passes this past spring is aimed at keeping Iowans from registering luxury motor
homes in Montana, where out-of-state residents legally can set up a shell company and
register a motor home there. Montana doesn't charge general sales taxes.

 

Police Chief Wants To Change Policy On Car Chases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines police chief wants to make sure any vehicle chases undertaken by her officers are worth the risks.
Chief Judy Bradshaw said on Monday that she won't ban chases, but she will be tightening the rules regarding them.
Bradshaw says she wants to make it easier for officers and their supervisors to call off chases in dangerous situations.Under the current policy, Des Moines officers can chase a vehicle if its driver is
suspected of a felony or poses a traffic danger to others.
The analysis shows Des Moines police engaged in nearly twice as many car chases during the first three months of 2013 than in the same quarter last year.

   

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