Thursday Afternoon News, May 23
Le Mars Pro Shop Selected For Chamber "Cash Mob"
(Le Mars) -- With $20 in hand ready to spend, 20 people gathered in front of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce today waiting to hear the announcement as to which downtown Le Mars business and chamber member would be selected. Mayor Dick Kirchoff picked the winning business and made the announcement.
Shortly after the announcement the gathering of people converged on The Le Mars Pro Shop. This marks the sixth time the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has hosted a "cash mob" event. Mary Reynolds of the Chamber says the event has proven to be fun, exciting, and successful, and a way to help stimulate the local economy by having people shop locally.
Petition Calls For Sioux City Mayor To Resign
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An online petition is calling for the mayor of Sioux City to resign over his role in replacing the Argosy riverboat casino with a Hard Rock-branded facility.
The petition at Change.org questions the impartiality of Mayor Bob Scott and other city officials during the selection of a land-based casino to replace the riverboat property.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission awarded a state gaming license last month to Sioux City Entertainment. Penn National Gaming Co. owns the Argosy and has criticized how Sioux City Entertainment was selected over other applicants.
A Penn spokeswoman says the company is not involved in the petition, which was launched this week by a South Dakota resident. It had more than 100 supporters as of Thursday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have adjourned the 2013 session after reaching deals to cut property taxes, revise education policy and provide health care for low-income residents.
The Senate concluded just before midnight Wednesday and the House finished voting Thursday morning. The legislation now moves to Gov. Terry Branstad.
Property taxes and education changes have been top priorities for Branstad. The property tax plan will cut commercial property taxes, as well as provide some income tax breaks. Under the education deal, schools will get an increase in basic funding and additional dollars will be provided to districts that boost minimum teacher pay and offer leadership perks.
Lawmakers also agreed to a compromise health care plan that will seek federal funding to provide health care coverage to an estimated 150,000 low-income residents.
Republican Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull says it was a long session, but he believes the agreement reached on property tax relief will spell good news for property owners.
Feenstra says the legislature also made certain that towns and cities wouldn't see a big drop in their revenues as a result of the passage of the property tax relief bill.
Feenstra says he would give the Iowa Senate a C+ grade for its legislative work. He says he was most disappointed that a bill he had written and sponsored dealing with making personal income tax more simple did not pass.
Severe Storm Causes Barn To Collapse - Killing Cattle
NORA SPRINGS, Iowa (AP) - A severe storm that brought high winds earlier this week is being blamed for a barn collapse at Nora Springs that killed five head of cattle.
Fierce winds Sunday afternoon picked up the brick barn holding cattle in northern Iowa and dropped it about 15 feet off its foundation. The barn, belonging to Robert and Carol Mack, collapsed, killing five cows and trapping others.
Neighbors pitched in to help, using heavy equipment to lift up the barn so cattle could get out.
The Macks' remaining 50 or so cattle are being temporarily housed in a neighbor's cattle shed.
Ottumwa Murder Trial Pushed Back
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - The trial of an Ottumwa man charged in the stabbing death of another man has been pushed back again.
Brandon Seim's trial has been delayed until Sept. 30 at the request of his attorneys. It was scheduled to begin Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Seim is accused of stabbing 34-year-old Andy Madren multiple times in November 2011. Madren later died at a local hospital.
Seim has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge. His trial was delayed in 2012 due to a request for a mental health examination. That motion was later withdrawn.
Seim remains in Wapello County Jail on $500,000 cash-only bond.
Clinton City Officials Consider Building Nuisance Ordinance
CLINTON, Iowa (AP) - A city in eastern Iowa is considering an ordinance that would help track and stop nuisance buildings.
Officials in the city of Clinton want building owners to register their properties when they become vacant. Officials say it would ensure responsibility over a building's maintenance.
A list is being compiled of nuisance buildings that need to be torn down in the next fiscal year, though there is not enough money in the city's budget to bring them all down in one round.
The list will eventually be forwarded to city council members and a historic preservation commission so they can consider the ordinance. A city services committee met Wednesday to hear about recent demolition efforts, and agreed the measure would be good for the city.
Musical Duo To Perform At Orange City
(Orange City) -- Joseph Barker brings his talent back to his home town of Orange City in the form of the band "Bella Ruse."
Joseph and Kay Gillette make up the band, and their relationship is inspiration for many of the songs, especially on their new album. The two met while attending college in Holland, Michigan and formed "Bella Ruse" in 2009. Since then they have recorded singles, performed at festivals as large as Lilith Fair and South by Southwest, and are now celebrating the release of their second album with a tour that will be coming to Orange City on June 1st.
Kay says that life experiences from the last year, including their marriage to one another, has resulted in something bigger, louder and deeper than their freshman album.
The songs are full of love, loss, joy and struggle. The instrumentation is also different this time around with Joseph ditching his guitar for drums. Because Joseph is from the area, he will have family that will work with them at this show to make it extra special.
Bella Ruse's performance begins at 7pm, Saturday June 1st in Orange City at Northwestern's Dewitt Teater.