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Thursday Afternoon News, November 29

Le Mars YMCA Shows Increase In Attendance & Revenue

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars YMCA has released its quarterly report. Le Mars YMCA Executive Director Todd Lancaster says the local health club has seen an increase in daily attendance.
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Lancaster says the hot, dry, summer helped also increase the attendance at the outdoor swimming pool.
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Lancaster says the usage of the YMCA facilities has seen a sustained rise over the last several years.
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The YMCA executive director says the local facilities and the logo are being upgraded.

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Lancaster further expands on the improvements that either have recently taken place, or will within the next few months.
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Hy-Vee Officials Meet With City's Planning and Zoning Commission

(Le Mars) -- Officials from the Hy-Vee supermarket chain were in Le Mars on Wednesday afternoon.  They appeared before the Le Mars Planning and Zoning Commission during a special meeting held at the city council chambers.  Hy Vee officials, along with Roger Athens of the Athens Real Estate office of Le Mars, were requesting the zoning commission to approve a change with local zoning laws from an I-1 Light Industrial District to B-2, general business district.  The Planning and Zoning commission approved the request.  There is some speculation that Hy-Vee is considering building a new store for Le Mars and it may be situated at 800 Lincoln Way S.W.  That address currently has the Children's Treasure Isle, and in the past it has served as offices for Wells Enterprises.  A For Sale sign has been posted in front of the property for several months.  Hy-Vee spokesperson Ruth Comber told KLEM news that it is not Hy-Vee's policy to speak about real estate transactions.

 

Harkin Says No Such Thing As A "Fiscal Cliff"

(Washington) -- Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says the so-called "fiscal cliff" that's the subject of such concern lately does not exist. Harkin, a Democrat, says there is a "slope," but no daunting financial end upon which our national economy is teetering. He compares the doomsday predictions about our country's looming fiscal issues to the Y-2-K scare of a dozen years ago, something that proved completely harmless.

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The basis for the "cliff" is that on or around the first day of January, a series of 500-billion dollars in tax increases and 200-billion in budget cuts will automatically take effect. Harkin disputes reports that forecast a national economic collapse if lawmakers aren't able to prevent those actions from taking place.

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If the "cliff" isn't avoided, Harkin remains unconvinced we're headed for another near-immediate recession.
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A report from the Congressional Budget Office says the combined 700-billion dollars in tax cuts and budget cuts represents about four-percent of the gross domestic product, which could be a large enough leap to prompt a recession.


Branstad Orders Flags To Be At Half Staff

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered flags under state control to be lowered in honor of an Iowa native who was killed on patrol in Afghanistan.
The flags will be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Monday for Army Sgt. Joseph Richardson, who died Nov. 16.
Richardson spent most of his childhood in Algona and moved to Booneville, Ark., after the ninth grade.
Richardson's funeral is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Algona.
Richardson is survived by his wife, Ashley Richardson, as well as his parents, two sisters, a brother and other relatives.

 

Councilman Illegally Removed From Office

SIDNEY, Iowa (AP) - An appeals court says a southwest Iowa city improperly removed one of its council members over allegations that he skipped too many meetings.
The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Sidney officials did not provide proper notice of the charges against William Clark before removing him. The court says the city overstepped its
authority.
Clark was elected in 2009 to a four-year term. The council voted 4-1 to remove him in 2010 after he missed several meetings, even after he was warned about lax attendance. The mayor also claimed
Clark had committed misconduct at a local bar during a run-in with another council member's son.
Clark's attorney says his client will seek reinstatement to the council, but that could be tricky since someone else now holds the position.


 

 

   

Thursday News, November 29

Frontier Communications To Distribute Supplemental Directories

(Le Mars) -- Frontier Communications has announced that post cards are being mailed to Le Mars area homes and businesses to supplement the 2012-2013 Frontier Pages telephone directory.  The post cards include important telephone numbers for the City of Le Mars offices that were inadvertently omitted from the Frontier Pages telephone directory that were distributed in October.  Frontier encourages customers to retain the supplement along with their Frontier Pages directories as it will be a useful resource in contacting the city offices.  Post cards are also available in the Le Mars City Hall at 40 Central Avenue S.E.


Le Mars YMCA Sees Attendance Up, But Revenue Drops

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars YMCA has released its quarterly report.  Revenues for the indoor pool for the first four months of fiscal year 2013 have fallen by about $2200, however, expenses for the same period have also dropped $1250.  Attendance for the YMCA was on the increase.  At the outdoor pool between May and September, there were 22,291 people that took a dip in the pool.  That compares to the 20,521 from a year ago.  At the YMCA facilities, attendance for the quarter between August and October saw an increase of 632 people.

 

Two Winning Tickets Sold For Powerball

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Powerball officials say this week's record jackpot has been won.
Early Thursday morning officials confirmed that two winning tickets were sold: One in Arizona and one in Missouri. An additional 8,924,123 players nationwide won smaller prizes.
The numbers drawn Wednesday night are: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and Powerball of 6.
A lottery official said late Wednesday that the jackpot increased to $579.9 million by the time of the drawing, making the cash option $379.8 million.
The drawing Wednesday night's prize followed 16 consecutive drawings that produced no top winner.

 

State Lawmaker Resigns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Democratic member of the Iowa House has announced his resignation effective immediately.
Rep. Brian Quirk of New Hampton says he intends to announce his future plans soon. He says it was a difficult decision to leave but he's excited about new opportunities that lie ahead.
Quirk, an electrical contractor, began serving in the House in 2001. He announced his resignation on Wednesday.
He had just won election in November to the District 52 seat, which represents Floyd and Chickasaw counties and part of Cerro Gordo County.
Gov. Terry Branstad has five days to set a special election date.

 

Schultz Pulls Back On Pursuit Of Election Fraud


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - After a lawsuit and a barrage of criticism, Iowa's top elections official is dropping key parts of rules governing how his office will remove foreign nationals from the state's voter registration database.
Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced Wednesday that he had made significant changes to rules that outline how his office will use a federal database to verify and remove ineligible non-citizens. A judge has blocked rules that Schultz issued in July on an emergency basis from going into effect after civil rights groups filed a lawsuit challenging them.
Schultz says he has dropped a rule on how voting fraud allegations can be filed, acknowledging confusion over the purpose.  He says he has also greatly extended the time for voters targeted
for removal to file responses and challenges.

 

Teenager Pleads Guilty To Shooting Friend

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines teenager who pointed a stolen gun at his friend and then killed him has pleaded guilty in adult court to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and
reckless use of a firearm.
Dontavius Sharkey entered the pleas earlier this week. Sharkey was 15 on Oct. 12 when he shot 16-year-old Corey Hamilton Jr. at a Des Moines apartment. Investigators say Sharkey apparently was
unaware the gun was loaded.
The case facts led District Associate Judge Colin Witt to rule that Sharkey should be tried in adult court as a youthful offender. Sharkey turned 16 three days after the shooting.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/V7QghC) that Sharkey won't officially be sentenced for two years. The procedure lets juvenile court officials decide what steps must be taken with Sharkey.
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No Foul Play Suspected in Des Moines Man's Death

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an autopsy has determined that a man whose body was pulled from the Des Moines River was not a victim of foul play.
Des Moines police on Wednesday identified the man as 55-year-old David Michael Duran. Police say he lived in the Des Moines area but didn't have a permanent address.
A passer-by spotted the body in the water near Principal Park on Tuesday morning.
Although Duran apparently wasn't the victim of a crime, police say they're continuing to investigate how he died.

 

DNR Reports Drop in Lake Level

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the drought has caused Big Creek Lake north of Des Moines to drop more than 6 feet below normal levels.
The DNR says the lake continues to fall by 6 inches a week.
The lake's low level has helped crews installing new boat ramps by allowing workers to pour the concrete slabs in place rather than on shore.
But Big Creek State Park Manager Chad Kelchen says soon the lake will be so low that no boat ramps will be usable.
Officials also worry that a water main that normally is under about 9 feet of water could be damaged because it's now exposed.
The lake was created by a diversion dam built as part of efforts to protect Polk City from floods.

 

Shotgun Season For Deer Opens

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning deer hunters they may see long lines to get licenses but fewer deer.
The DNR said it expects to sell more than 50,000 licenses between Wednesday and Saturday morning, the opening day of Iowa's shotgun deer season.
The agency says licenses will be sold at more than 900 locations statewide. Hunters are encouraged not to wait until the final minute to purchase them to avoid a last-minute rush.
The first season lasts from Dec. 1-5 and a second spans from Dec. 8-16. DNR experts say that deer numbers could drop by at least 10 percent from last year as a result of longstanding strategy to
cut the population.

 

Woman Arrested For Stealing Cemetery Flowers

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 67-year-old woman has been arrested after a hidden camera appeared to show her stealing flowers, wreaths and other items from grave sites in a Council
Bluffs cemetery.
Omaha, Neb., television station KETV reports that the Council Bluffs woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of theft and trespassing at Ridgewood Cemetery.
The arrest came after another Council Bluffs resident, Doug Lantry, became fed up with the theft of flowers and other items from his late wife's grave. Lantry mounted a motion-sensing camera
to a tree near his wife's grave, and says he now has pictures of the woman taking items from the site.
On Monday, a cemetery worker spotted the woman in the cemetery and called police.



 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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