Wednesday News, September 17
Plymouth County Sanitation And Landfill To Hold Open House
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sanitation and Landfill will hold an open house later today to show the public its new hazardous waste disposal unit. Landfill manager Mark Kunkel says the open house will be from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Kunkel says the receiving facility will be open weekdays, year-round, however appointments are necessary. He says during the summer, the landfill will have a mobile unit that will travel to various Plymouth County communities to assist with the disposal of hazardous waste materials.
The landfill manager says the Plymouth County Sanitation and Landfill was able to obtain grants from the state Department of Natural Resources to help finance the newly constructed hazardous waste disposal facility. This week is Le Mars Clean up Days, a week when residents are given an amnesty from the city from normal landfill disposal fees, and Kunkel says people do take advantage of the special clean-up days.
Again, the open house is scheduled for this afternoon and evening between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The Plymouth County Sanitation and Landfill is located at 34898 150th Street, north of Le Mars.
Illegal Drugs Found In Iowa Prison
ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are trying to find out how illegal drugs got into the state prison in Rockwell City.
Prison spokesman Fred Scaletta said in an email that "a large amount of what is believed to be illegal drugs were discovered" during a routine inspection last week.
Prison officials won't comment on the quantity or type of drugs found until the investigation is finished.
Officials from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are expected to be at the minimum-security prison on Wednesday to investigate and classify the drugs.
Two Fired D-O-T Workers Back On The Job
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two Iowa Department of Transportation workers who a judge said were unfairly fired are back on the job.
The administrative law judge ruled in April decided that Steven Scott and Ken Morrow should be reinstated to their jobs. The judge also ordered the state to pay back wages, legal fees and other compensation. The total could exceed $400,000.
State officials have declined to comment, citing confidentiality in a personnel matter.
Morrow and Scott had worked for the state for several years and been promoted to an Osceola garage from other jobs. The two men successfully argued that the other employees at the garage treated them like outsiders and resented the fact that they were hired as managers. The judge said several state employees lied as part of an effort to end Scott's and Morrow's careers.
Attorney Mark Sherinian, who represented Scott and Morrow, said the state has not punished the employees who lied.
Supreme Court To Release Video To Students
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court on Wednesday will offer a short video to high school students about the state constitution.
The nine-minute orientation video will be available to social studies classrooms across the state. The high court is encouraging schools to show the video prior to two oral arguments that will be streamed live on the judicial branch website.
The video includes an explanation from Chief Justice Mark Cady on how the state constitution is used to resolve disputes between residents. Justice Daryl Hecht also explains the appeal process and what happens during oral arguments.
The court is releasing the video in partnership with the state Department of Education and the Iowa State Bar Association to celebrate Constitution Day, a national holiday honoring the U.S. Constitution.
Biden To Visit Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several roads around the Iowa Capitol will be closed Wednesday due to a visit from Vice President Joe Biden, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Biden will join with a Catholic social justice group called Nuns on the Bus on the Capitol's West Terrace.
Biden is considering running for president in 2016. His visit comes just days after former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed Iowa Democrats at Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fundraiser. Clinton is also weighing a 2016 bid.
1.8 Million Iowans Gamble
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Nearly 1.8 million Iowa adults gambled last year, according to a study released Tuesday by state health officials.
The data means the percentage of adults who gamble is up nine percent since 2011, according to the state Department Public Health.
The study, prepared by the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research, also estimates about 8,000 adults in the latest figure could be "problem" gamblers. Symptoms include the need to gamble with larger amounts of money.
The report concludes 77.8 percent of Iowans gambled during the past 12 months. That's a jump from 68.9 percent in 2011.
The most common forms of gambling were lottery tickets, raffle tickets, scratch and pull-tabs, slot machines and card games played outside a casino.