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Thursday Afternoon News, May 7

Life Skills Training Center To Host Awards Banquet On Monday

(Le Mars) -- Life Skills Training Center of Le Mars, a facility that assists mentally challenged adults,  will hold its annual banquet and awards program on Monday evening.  Shelly Thomson, the Marketing and Development Director says at this year's banquet, Life Skills will unveil its new website.

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Thomson says awards will be presented to retiring board member, Wayne Pick, and the organization's outstanding client.

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Thomson explains the organization got its start in 1973, and since that time has expanded its client list from five to more than 70 today.  She says with the growth of clients being served, it meant their services also expanded.

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The Life Skills Official says there have been a number of changes with the facility, especially with how the organization is being funded.

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The Life Skills Training Center awards program will be at the Presbyterian-United Church of Christ and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Lawmakers Try To Find Compromise On Education Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers are trying to move toward a compromise deal on education funding that could help them resolve the budget for the next fiscal year.

Legislative leaders said Thursday they are talking about education funding, which has been a key sticking point in the budget process. A deal may include a budget increase in basic aid for K-12 schools, as well as a one-time payment.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, said conversations were underway. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, said lawmakers were "making progress."

The potential compromise could work because schools would get the overall funding sought by Democrats but because some of the money is a one-time appropriation, the Republican-controlled House would be sticking to a pledge to contain ongoing costs.

 

 

 

Iowa Straw Poll To Go Back To Basics

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's presidential straw poll wants to go back to basics - just politics, no need for tents filled with barbecue and flashy bands.

Held since 1979, the straw poll is considered an early test of strength in presidential campaigns. It's grown from a county fundraiser to a major event where candidates spend heavily to entertain supporters.

But critics complain the event has become a costly sideshow. Now, the Iowa Republican Party says candidates will no longer have to bid thousands of dollars for space. The state party will also arrange for the food.

Candidates can still go over the top. But Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann hopes to end the idea that they have to "pay to play."

The straw poll will be held in Boone, Iowa, on Aug. 8.

 

 

 

 

Branstad Signs Bill To Keep Abuse Victims Addresses Private

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to keep their home address private through a mail-forwarding program.

Branstad signed the bill Thursday. It takes effect in January.

The law will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to have their mail sent to an address managed by the Iowa Secretary of State's Office. The mail will then be forwarded to the victim's home address. The system allows victims to keep their home address confidential from an abuser or potential abuser.

Rep. Dean Fisher, a Republican from Garwin, sponsored the bill. He says it could help between 300 and 500 people in Iowa. More than 30 other states have similar laws.

 

 

 

 

Composting Dead Poultry Causes Odors

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Millions of dead chickens and turkeys lie in stinking, fly-swarmed piles near dozens of large Iowa farms due to the H5N2 bird flu virus.

Neighbors say they understand the challenge in disposing of more than 20 million bird carcasses, but are eager for quick action, especially as temperatures rise and create more decomposition odor and flies.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources environmental supervisor Ken Hessenius says the state must look at "all methods of disposal" and called the virus a "crisis."

Some of the birds are piled up and covered with dirt or other material, turkeys are often composted inside barns and at least one chicken farm is burying them in trenches. Portable incinerators have been set up and state officials are working with landfills.

 

 

 

 

Veterinarian Confirms Rare Dog Disease In Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Veterinarians have confirmed the first known case of a rare, deadly dog disease in Iowa.

A 4-month-old black lab named Shadow from Independence was diagnosed with canine dysautonomia, an illness that attacks the part of a dog's nervous system that regulates many body organs, including the heart and digestive tract.

The diagnosis means Iowa now joins a handful of other Midwestern states where canine dysautonomia has been confirmed.

Kathy Finholt, the dog's owner, says Shadow began displaying symptoms in February, and her condition quickly deteriorated. Shadow was euthanized following a nearly month-long battle with the disease.

Vets say they don't believe the disease is contagious, yet its exact cause remains unclear. University of Wyoming researchers are exploring a theory that consumption of certain soil is to blame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Thursday News, May 7

Gehlen Catholic Announces National Honor Society Students

(Le Mars) -- 11 students have been inducted into Gehlen Catholic's National Honor Society.  To be eligible for NHS, a student must be a junior or a senior, or a student that will be either a junior or senior for next year.  Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better.  Each student meeting this qualification is invited to complete a student activity information form and essay which provides data concerning involvement in school, extra-curricular, parish and community projects. Faculty members rate eligible students as to their demonstration of NHS traits.  The NHS Faculty Board reviews the data and chooses those students who they feel best exemplify the four qualities of NHS.

Candidates inducted included the following:

Juniors:

Jaci Alesch – Alton

Carly Bunkers - LeMars

Shainn Hansen – Alton

Carson Kneip – LeMars

Christina Schmit – Hospers

Krayton Schnepf - Granville

Chandler Willett - Hospers

Sophomores:

Stephanie Heuertz – LeMars

Dustin Schmit - Alton

Kaylee Schmit – Hospers

Catalina Uribe - LeMars

“We are very proud to recognize these outstanding members of our student body. National Honor Society members are chosen for and then expected to continue their exemplary contributions to the school and community,” said Kristin Hausman, Moderator.

The inductees joined current members:

Officers:

Nathan Klein, President, Senior – LeMars;

Carli Bollin, Vice President, Senior - LeMars;

Emily Meyer, Secretary, Senior – Ireton;

Megan Kellen, Treasurer, Junior - Alton;

Seniors:

Michaela Bretey - LeMars

Aaron Britt – LeMars

Crystal Gloden - Hospers

Matthew Holzman – Alton

Trisha Langel – LeMars

Evan Niebuhr – LeMars

David Puhl - LeMars

Josie Schipper – LeMars

Ashley Schmit – Hospers

Brittany Schmit – Hospers

Melissa Schmit - Alton

Ryan Stoll - Granville

Ashley Weber - LeMars

Juniors:

Josie Galles  - LeMars

Sarah Henrich – LeMars

 

Jill Kessenich - LeMars

 

 

Kluckhohn Teachers Honored As "Employees Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- Two Kluckhohn elementary teachers, who both plan to retire following the end of the school year, were honored Wednesday afternoon with the Le Mars Community School District's "Employee of the Month".  Fifth grade teacher Steve Wick and Second grade teacher Jane Synder were presented the award from school district foundation officials.  Wick has been teaching for 27 years and Synder for 30.  Peg McAllister, Renae Buss, and Marie Kooistra nominated both Steve Wick and Jane Synder.  In the nomination for Wick they write: "Steve Wick is supportive to his co-workers, a team player and committed to community betterment and involvement.  In the classroom, Mr. Wick challenges his students to be the best they can be by establishing goals, providing hands-on opportunities, and utilizing technology.  He took over the monthly paper drive many years ago when Mr. DeKoster retired.  This required many hours of service, which he gave willingly.  Mr. Wick's positive attitude with students and staff make the classroom and workplace more enjoyable.  His commitment to students doesn't end at Kluckhohn, but reaches over to the high school where he coaches golf and refs for football and basketball".

In the nomination for Synder they write: "Jayne Synder has proven her passion to help children succeed throughout her years at Le Mars Community Schools.  Along with her commitment to her students in the classroom, Jane was one of the first to "step-up" and help in extra activities to enhance student's educational experiences.  Dr. Suess Day, Wellness Day, Career Day, Paper Drive, and the penny drive for Children's Miracle Network are among the many activities Jane has volunteered.  Jane has also been "the" perfect colleague and role model!  The staff has learned from one of the best what it means to be a teacher."  Our congratulations go to both Steve Wick and Jane Synder for being named the Le Mars Community School District's "Employees of the Month".

 

Le Mars Public Library Issues Quarterly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Public Library has released its quarterly report. Between February 1st and April 30th, the library had 17,102 people walk through their doors. More than 5,800 items were checked out by adults, and 6,629 items were checked out by children.  In the electronic area, the library had 3,072 DVD's that were checked out, 1,187 audio books and music CD's, and 1,322 times an e-book or audio download occurred.  Library officials report there were over 15 hundred computer sessions logged, and 274 log-ins on the library's wi-fi system. The meeting room was utilized 117 times with an attendance of 1,131.  Volunteers at the library had worked a total of 131-point-25 hours.

 

 

More Iowa Poultry Farms Affected With Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa agriculture officials say five additional commercial chicken farms show signs of the presence of bird flu and a backyard duck flock near a previously confirmed case also has tested positive.

The new chicken cases are on Sioux County farms. Two had a total of 200,000 chickens. Estimates were not immediately available for the remaining three farms. The backyard ducks are on a farm in O'Brien County.

The new cases raise Iowa's total number to 34 cases in 11 counties.

About 21 million of Iowa's chickens will be affected if the latest cases are confirmed. The number of turkeys to be lost is approaching 500,000.

More than 100 farms in the Midwest have the bird flu virus with more than 28 million birds affected.

 

 

 

Senate Passes Budget For Human Health Services

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Democratic-led Iowa Senate has approved a $1.9 billion spending plan for the state health and human services departments, which includes an oversight committee to watchdog the governor's plan to privatize Medicaid.

The budget was approved in a 26-22 vote Wednesday. It provides slightly less funding than sought by Governor Terry Branstad, but more than the proposal from the Republican-controlled House. The plan includes funding for Medicaid, public health programs and veterans.

Senator Amanda Ragan, a Mason City Democrat, said the bill would create an oversight committee to supervise the governor's plan to privatize Medicaid services. The legislation also includes dollars to keep two mental health institutions open that Branstad has slated for closure, with most of the money coming from federal grant funding.

 

 

 

Fireworks Bill Clears Senate Ways And Means Committee

(Des Moines) -- A bill that would make it legal for Iowans to set off fireworks has cleared a Senate committee. Senator Randy Feenstra (FEEN-struh) of Hull says it's time to make the change.

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If the bill becomes law, Iowans could legally set off fireworks from 9 a.m. through 10 p.m. any day of the year, plus for an extended period on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and on New Year's. The only fireworks which are legal to sell and set off in Iowa today are sparklers and snakes. The measure sets up a state licensing system that would allow Iowa retailers to sell consumer fireworks like bottle rockets and flares. Critics like Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids say fireworks create safety risks for the people who use them, as well as their neighbors.

 

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The bill passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee late Wednesday afternoon on a nine-to-six vote. Senator Joe Bolkcom  of Iowa City says he agrees with the eye doctors, fire fighters and E-M-Ts who have urged him to oppose the bill.

 

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Senator Bill Dotzler of Waterloo supported the bill.

 

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Dotlzer says the bill creates some potential economic benefit to Iowa retailers who may choose to start selling fireworks. The bill is now eligible for debate in the full, 50-member Iowa Senate.

Le Mars State Representative Chuck Soderberg says he isn't sure if the bill will move through the state House chambers.

 

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Soderberg says although the main focus is to pass all of the state's departments budgets, he does say that other bills can still remain eligible as long as they have previously been introduced.

 

 

 

Santorum Prepares To Announce His Candidacy For President

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says he'll hold an event at the end of May to announce his decision on a potential 2016 presidential campaign.

The Republican tells Fox News Channel he will make the announcement May 27th in Butler, Pennsylvania, where he was raised.

Santorum ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and surprised many by winning the leadoff Iowa caucuses. But his strong support among social conservatives was eventually no match for the organization and fundraising prowess of eventual nominee Mitt Romney.

Santorum says he was "clearly the underdog" in that race, and acknowledges he would be in the same position in 2016. But he says he is "very comfortable there."

 

 

 

 


 

   

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