Thursday Afternoon News, August 7
Several Plymouth County Exhibits Featured At Iowa State Fair
(Le Mars) -- The Iowa State Fair begins today in Des Moines and will continue through Sunday, August 17th. Among the thousands of entries to be judged at the state fair will be several items representing Plymouth County.
Janelle Johnson, serves as the Program Coordinator with Plymouth County Extension Services. Johnson says the number does not reflect the communication projects slated to participate at the Iowa State Fair.
The Extension Official says Plymouth County has several first-time exhibitors at the state fair.
Johnson says in addition to the static displays, 32 exhibitors from Plymouth County will be exhibiting either livestock, poultry, and/or small animals at the Iowa State Fair.
Leath Says: "No More VEISHEA!"
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University's president is ending the annual Veishea festival saying it has become a week-long alcohol fueled party that places students at risk.
President Steven Leath says the violence-marred festival over the years it has resulted in dozens of violent incidents, riots, property damage and two deaths. A late-night crowd disturbance in early April injured a student and the remainder of the festival was cancelled for this year.
He says it has hurt Iowa State's reputation as he announced Wednesday Veishea will end for good and the name will be retired.
Leath says as university president his top priority is student safety and although he acknowledged ending a 90-year tradition will be criticized he's convinced it's the right thing to do for the university.
Wellmark Blue Cross - Blue Shield Says It Saved $12 Million
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's leading health insurer says it has saved about $12 million in keeping patients well instead of being treated when they're sick.
The savings are less than 2 percent of the overall care provided to about 358,000 patients over the past two years.
But Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield says the savings from its Accountable Care Organizations are a start. It's an arrangement that rewards hospital and clinics for preventing expensive health care.
Wellmark official Mike Fay says the savings come from clinics encouraging patients to come in for checkups before medical issues become severe.
Fay says some clinic staff members are also using medical records to identify patients who often go to the emergency room for minor problems.
Consumer Spending Up
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New federal data shows that consumer spending in Iowa has grown slightly faster than the national average since the end of the recession.
The report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday provides a state-by-state breakdown of spending. It shows that per capita spending in Iowa jumped 12 percent between 2009 and 2012. That's more than the national average of 10.7 percent, but less than states like North Dakota and Oklahoma that have seen spending skyrocket due to oil and gas drilling booms that have prompted big jumps in per-person income.
According to the data, in 2012, Iowans spent an average of $33,585 on consumer goods and services, compared with a national average of $35,498.
That spending includes purchases of food, gas, housing and health care.
New Version of "Music Man" To Premiere In Iowa
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A new version of the classic Broadway musical "The Music Man" will premiere in the Iowa hometown of the show's creator.
Meredith Willson was born in Mason City and he wrote the book, music and lyrics for the original show.
Officials said during a news conference Wednesday that the show will run Sept. 18-19 at the North Iowa Community Auditorium.
The new version is called "The Music Man-In Concert." One of the featured players will be Shirley Jones, who starred as Marian the librarian in the movie version. She'll portray Marian's mother. Jones' son Patrick Cassidy will lead the cast as Harold Hill, who brought music to fictional River City and found love there.
The production will feature a cast from New York but be supplemented by local talent.