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Wednesday Afternoon News, August 28

Senator 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 made a stop here at the "Ice
Cream Capital"  The Republican Senator held a town hall meeting at the Floyd Valley
Hospital Conference Room.  Nearly 60 people gathered at the town hall meeting to ask the
Senator questions ranging from the Federal Budget, to the Affordable Health Care Act, to
farm legislation involving the Country of Origin Labeling and the pending farm bill, as
well as the U-S position on foreign policy, with specific questions about the present
situation in Syria. Grassley answered questions for about an hour.
The U-S Senator says the questions asked in Le Mars were similar to those he has answered
at other town hall meetings.
Afterwards, Grassley spoke to KLEM news and offered his thoughts about the Affordable
Health Care Act, sometimes referred to as "Obamacare".

Listen to

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Tomorrow, we will hear additional comments made by Senator Grassley.
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.

Gehlen Endowment Contributes $125,000 To Gehlen Schools

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic Schools received a check Wednesday amounting to $125,000.  The money is from the Gehlen Catholic Endowment Fund and from the Eva Waite estate.  Chuck Kellen serves as the Gehlen Catholic Endowment chairman.  He presented the check to Father Kevin Richter, and to Gehlen principals Jeff Ahlesh and Lorie Nussbaum.  The school will
utilize the Endowment Fund’s gifts to meet the unfunded tuition assistance needs for the
2013-2014 school year.  During the 2012-2013 school year, tuition assistance needs had
grown by more than 100%.  Since the Gehlen Catholic Schools Endowment Fund’s inception 26 years ago, the Endowment Fund alone had contributed $1,564,772.00 to the school (not
including Wednesday's gift. 
As the Endowment Fund’s trustees look to the future, they hope the Endowment Fund will
continue to grow and assist in offsetting parental and parish investments to the school by 10% - 20% annually.


Dolph Selected As Chamber's "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce recognized the August "Employee of the Month" at the same time of the ribbon cutting ceremonies for the Education Station.  Lori Dolph is the store manager of the Le Mars' Education Station location.  She started as a seasonal employee but after just two years of employment, she has moved up to the store full-time manager position.  John MacGregor, the store's owner and general manager says "as The Education Station continues to grow and expand its workforce Lori is always ready and willing to help in these efforts.
Lori is a quick learner, has great attention to detail and does whatever it takes to get
the job done, and done right the first time.  From handling dozens and dozens of phone
calls each day to keeping multiple employees on task Lori is one of the single greatest assets to The Education Station.  Without Lori the current growth of The Education Station would not have been possible".  Our congratulations extend to Lori Dolph as the August Employee of the Month.


Branstad Rejects Bids For Fiber Optic Network

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says the state will reject bids for the Iowa Communications Network.
Branstad says Wednesday that the bids for the statewide fiber-optic network do not reflect
the value of the system. Both bids came from the West Des Moines-based Iowa Network Services.
The Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission voted earlier this summer to reject
the bids.
The network provides phone, video, data and internet services to schools, hospitals,
libraries and government agencies across the state. It is currently an independent agency
within the state government.

Attorney General Request Judge To Dismiss Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Attorney General's Office is asking a judge to dismiss a legal action that claims officials violated the law when they shared a confidential report about an agent's firing with an outside investigator.
State lawyers say the petition by former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund is "unprecedented and meritless" and would have far-reaching effects on the government's ability to share information with outside experts if successful.
At issue is the state's decision to give a 500-page investigative report about Hedlund to
attorney Louis Lavorato, who was appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad to investigate Hedlund's
retaliation claims. Hedlund claims he was fired for complaining about the governor's
speeding SUV.
Hedlund filed the petition earlier this month claiming the report was a confidential
document, and sharing it was illegal.




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
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.




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