Monday News, April 13
Le Mars Experiences A Brief Power Outage On Sunday
(Le Mars) -- Many Le Mars residents experienced a brief power outage Sunday morning. Power was interrupted at approximately 8:20 a.m. and the cause was a tree limb that had fallen on a utility power line, near the 300 block of 9th Avenue Southwest. In most cases, power was restored within a few minutes.
No Damage Reported From Sunday Storm
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County was able to escape any weather related damage from the season's first major thunderstorm that rolled into the area last evening. According to the Plymouth county Sheriff's office, a transformer was struck by lighting, otherwise, there were no reports of damage. Here at the KLEM studios, we had three tenths of an inch of rain.
School Board To Hold Budget Hearing This Evening
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District Board of Education will hold a public hearing this evening for the purpose of allowing public comment regarding the proposed 2015-2016 budget following the presentation by School superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt. The school board will also hold a public hearing for the purpose of allowing public input regarding the proposal to continue participation in the instructional support program as provided by in the Iowa Code Sections 257.17 through 257.21. The school board will hear reports from each of the principals. Other topics to be discussed during this evening's school board meeting include: a meeting with the Remsen-Union School Board, the annual Foundation Banquet, Safety Group Insurance meeting, and the Iowa Association of School Boards School Law Conference. The Le Mars School Board will also act upon one resignation.
DeCosters Face Sentencing For Contaminated Eggs
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two former egg industry executives are scheduled to be sentenced in Sioux City on Monday for their roles in a 2010 salmonella outbreak that sickened thousands.
Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his son Peter DeCoster pleaded guilty last June to misdemeanor charges of shipping adulterated food.
The two hope to avoid jail time, but prosecutors have argued for tough punishment because of the widespread harm caused by the outbreak.
Prosecutors also say the DeCosters knew their Iowa egg facilities were at risk for contamination.
Federal health officials linked 1,939 illnesses to the 2010 outbreak, but they estimate that up to 56,000 people may have been sickened.
The Quality Egg company agreed to pay a $6.8 million fine as part of a plea agreement, and the DeCosters will pay $100,000 apiece.
Waldorf College Student Dies At Recreational Lake
FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say a Forest City college student died after his small boat overturned at Torkelson Pits Conservation Area over the weekend.
The Waldorf College president sent a message to faculty and staff, confirming that Timothy Brown Jr. died Saturday. President Robert Alsop says Brown, a criminal justice student and football player, enrolled in the college five years ago and was set to graduate in May.
Alsop says a school counselor will be available to help grieving students. A remembrance to honor Brown also is being planned for Monday night on campus.
The Hancock County Sheriff's Department is investigating. Deputies say it appeared Brown was alone in the recreational watercraft when friends from the shore called for help.
Nitrates Found In Drinking Waters On The Rise
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers efforts to control the spread of nitrates in recent years appears to be helping but research shows that levels of the fertilizer byproduct have soared in the state's major rivers.
Nitrate levels have more than tripled since the 1950s to more than 7 milligrams per liter in 2010.
Researcher Keith Schilling says the upward trend in nitrate levels is unmistakable. Schilling studies nitrate levels for the Iowa Geological Survey at the University of Iowa.
Last month, the Des Moines Water Works sued Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties over high nitrate levels. The utility has invested in costly measures to control nitrates in drinking water.
Legislators May Not Finish Work By May 1st Deadline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The time is approaching when Iowa lawmakers typically start wrapping up their work for the year, but with budget negotiations moving slowly, it doesn't look like the Legislature will be adjourning any time soon.
May 1st is the final day of expense payments for the part-time lawmakers, as well as the last day for much of the temporary staff and the student pages who work in the Legislature. With just three weeks to go, lawmakers in the Republican-majority state House and Democratic-controlled Senate are still far apart on how much additional funding to provide for K through 12 education and remain at odds over basic budget issues.
Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen declined to predict when the session may end.
Hillary Clinton To Bring Presidential Campaign To Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Hillary Clinton is taking her newly announced presidential campaign into the heart of small town Iowa this week.
Clinton will tour a community college in Monticello on Tuesday and visit a produce distribution company in Norwalk on Wednesday. That's according to a schedule provided by her campaign Sunday. She will also hold meetings with Democratic elected officials and activists in the leadoff caucus state.
Clinton announced Sunday that she'll seek the presidency for a second time. Her team has made clear that she wants to avoid big campaign events and instead focus on more personal interaction with voters in early voting states like Iowa.
Clinton's 2008 campaign faltered in Iowa, where she placed third in the caucuses.
Lottery Worker Fraud Trial To Begin Today
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The fraud trial for a former lottery worker accused of buying a Hot Lotto ticket and setting up a scheme to try to cash it in is scheduled to begin Monday.
Eddie Tipton of Norwalk faces two counts of fraud. He was arrested in January after authorities claimed he had bought the ticket in December 2010. It was worth about $14 million. The jackpot went nearly a year without being claimed until a New York lawyer tried to get the prize on behalf of an undisclosed ticket owner. He eventually dropped the claim.
Iowa doesn't award lottery prizes anonymously.
Authorities traced the convenience store ticket purchase to Tipton.
As director of information security for the Multi-State Lottery Association based in Des Moines, Tipton wasn't allowed to play or win prizes.