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Friday News, August 29

Community Foundation of Plymouth County Seeking Grant Applications

(Le Mars) -- The Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County, which was organized to promote and enhance community based philanthropy in Plymouth County has established its 2014 grant making policies and timetable.  The foundation is currently accepting applications with a deadline of October 17th.  The Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County recently received a $90,750 state award to facilitate endowment building and grant making throughout the county.  This amount will be combined with other funds for a total of $145,393 to be granted out to organizations meeting the qualifications in Plymouth County.  The contribution to the foundation was made possible by the Iowa Legislature.  In 2004, the state legislature passed several bills to encourage foundation building and community based philanthropy.  These measures included bills which provided that non-gambling counties, initiating a county-wide community foundation would be eligible to receive one half of one percent of the state's gross gambling tax receipts.  All inquiries pertaining to the Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County grant application opportunities should be directed to Karla Bohle of Kingsley.

 

Museum To Open Service Club Room

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Museum is asking civic organizations to help with their new room featuring civic service organizations from the county.  The new room is scheduled to open this autumn.  The new Service Club room will showcase artifacts on display representing the various service clubs.  The museum is asking for any type of memoabilia from scrapbooks to uniforms.  The new Service Club room is located on the second floor and is accessible by elevator or stairs.  Any organization interested in participating in the Service Club Room should contact the museum.

 

Photos Of Plymouth County Fair Champions On Display

(Le Mars) -- Photos of the champions from the 2014 Plymouth County Fair are currently on display at Primebank of Le Mars.  Next week, the display will be featured at the Plymouth County Farm Bureau annual meeting, then on Friday, September 5th it will be moved to Northwest Bank of Le Mars for a week.  The photo display will travel throughout the county and will be on display at each of the county's banks for a week.  It will conclude at the American Bank in Le Mars during the week of November 21st.

 

Police Still Searching For Walmart Robbery Suspect

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police officials are examining security video in hopes of getting a good image of the man who robbed the Le Mars Walmart store early Thursday morning.  Photos of the suspect are featured on the KLEM website.  Police are searching for a white male between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall of medium build, with light colored hair, wearing a cap, and was seen wearing a long sleeve black t-shirt with red printing.  The suspect robbed the Walmart store at about 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning.  Witnesses say the suspect claimed to be armed with a knife, forcing the employee to open the safe.  The suspect fled the scene in a light colored four door passenger car heading south on Highway 75.  There were no injuries reported and an unknown amount of cash was stolen.

 

Law Enforcement Officials Ready For Labor Day Weekend

(Le Mars) -- Today begins the long Labor Day holiday weekend, and law enforcement officials say they will be out in force watching the highways for intoxicated and distracted drivers, among other violations.
 
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Iowa Highway Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz says the Highway Patrol is committed to making a safe road environment for the motoring public.

 

Auditor Reports $2.4 Million Paid For Settlements

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A review from the state auditor shows that since 2010, Iowa has paid out $2.4 million in settlement payments, mostly to former employees.
     Auditor Mary Mosiman on Thursday released a report on the grievance process and settlement payments made between July 1st, 2010 and June 30th, 2014. The report was prompted by discussion during the 2014 legislative session about settlement agreements that included confidentiality clauses.
     Mosiman found 2,679 grievances were filed during that time. Most were denied or resolved without payment, and hundreds were settled by providing back-pay. A total of 38 people, most former employees, received settlement payments totaling $2.4 million.
     The report says 42 current or former employees had settlement agreements with confidentiality clauses.
     Branstad signed an executive order on March 24 ending the use of confidentiality provisions.

 

Republican Presidential Hopefuls To Visit Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential prospects are making plans to visit Iowa in September.
     Texas Governor Rick Perry will campaign with 1st Congressional District Republican candidate Rod Blum on Tuesday. They plan stops in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Dubuque.
     On September 27th, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will speak at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. The event is billed as a "family banquet" and is intended to charge up conservatives ahead of the Nov. 4 election. It's also expected to feature Iowa candidates, including Governor Terry Branstad.
     Perry, Cruz and Jindal are among Republicans weighing 2016 presidential candidacies.
     All have made repeated visits to Iowa, which will begin the presidential nominating process with its caucuses.

 

Senate Candidates Agree To Debates

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The candidates running for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat have agreed to three debates this fall.
     The campaigns for Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst announced Thursday that the candidates will face off around the state. On September 28th they will likely appear in Indianola. They'll be in the Quad Cities on October 11th and in Sioux City on October 16th.
     Braley and Ernst are locked in a tight race for the Senate seat, which is open because longtime Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is retiring.
     The race will play a key role in the battle for control of the chamber.

 

Iowa WorkForce Development Under Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The firing of a Des Moines woman who became an internet sensation for her drunken frolic in a fountain at a Kansas City Royals baseball game last summer has become the center of a dispute over Iowa Workforce Development unemployment judge independence.
     Former unemployment appeals judge Bonny Hendricksmeyer says IWD Director Teresa Wahlert pushed her to justify her ruling in awarding the "fountain lady" unemployment benefits. Hendricksmeyer says she felt pressured by Wahlert after concluding Jessica McCoy was acting outside work responsibilities when she drunkenly waded into the Kauffman Stadium fountain a year ago and was later fired.
     The issue is important because Wahlert, a political appointee, has taken over supervision of judges that decide unemployment benefit appeals cases. Federal regulations require judges to be insulated from political pressure.

 

Seven Cases Of West Nile Disease Reported In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have confirmed seven human cases of West Nile virus in Iowa.
     The state Department of Public Health said Thursday that in addition to the human cases, four mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus.
     The human cases have been confirmed in Buchanan, Clay, Crawford, Monona, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury counties. Additional cases are being investigated in Sac and Shelby counties.
     Officials say two of the confirmed cases involved hospitalized patients, but they are now recovering at home.
     Doctor Patricia Quinlisk, the department's medical director, says the cases were expected given the time of year. She recommends people use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn.
     There were 44 human cases of West Nile virus last year. There were no deaths.



 
 
 


 

 

 

   

Thursday Afternoon News, August 28

Smetter Joins Mercy Medical Center

(Sioux City) -- Mercy Medical Center of Sioux City has announced that Dave Smetter has been appointed to Vice President of Communications and Community Development for the Sioux City hospital.  In his new position, Smetter will provide executive leadership direction and strategic planning for Mercy's Strategic Business Plan, Mercy's Foundation and Fund Development, and Communications including public relations, marketing, regional advocacy and public policy and volunteer services.  In the mid 1990's, Smetter served as Mercy's Director of Marketing and Communications, known at that time as Marian Health Center.  Smetter says he is excited to be coming back to Mercy and once again being part of the 125 years of Mercy's mission in serving the needs of Siouxland patients.  Prior to joining Mercy, Smetter was the Vice President of Corporate and Integrated Marketing Communications for Wells Enterprises, Incorporated in Le Mars.

 

Richter Rides Bicycle Across Nation

(Le Mars) -- Have you ever imagined riding a bicycle across the United States?  A Le Mars resident did just that this summer.  Father Kevin Richter of the St. Joseph Catholic Church was granted a Sabbatical for the summer, and decided to ride his bicycle across the nation.  Richter divided his journey into two halves.  He left Le Mars on June 9th, heading east.

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Richter's journey consisted of 68 total days with 56 riding days and twelve days that he rested. He averaged 68 and a half miles per day. 

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He says one of the worst days in terms of weather conditions, was his first day on the journey at a point not too far from Le Mars.

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Another challenge, according to the Catholic priest, was entering St. Louis.

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Richter either camped out under the stars, or slept in motels.  But on a few occasions, he would spend the evening at a church or with host families who opened their home.

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The St. Joseph parish priest says he didn't do much sight-seeing activities, or visit tourism destinations, outside of riding his bicycle on the designated trail.

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Richter says he has thought about riding his bicycle across the nation, and started preparing for his journey about a year ago.

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All told, the priest had 13 flat tires, rode 3836 miles, crossed 14 states, burned 299,099 calories, and lost 25 pounds.  He says psychologically, the second half of the cross-country trip was better, because with each mile he was getting closer to home, whereas, with the first half of the journey, each mile was taking him further away from home.

 

King To Hold "Defenders of Freedom" Fundraiser Dinner

(Le Mars) -- Republican Congressman Steve King will be holding his annual "Defenders of Freedom" fundraiser dinner scheduled for this evening at Sioux City.  Key-note speaker for the event is Conservative Commentator Michelle Malkin, who often times is seen on FOX news.

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King says he will always remember a time when Malkin held her ground against a hostile crowd while delivering a speech at the University of California at Berkley.

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The political campaign fundraiser will be held at the Stony Creek Inn at Sioux City beginning at 6:00 p.m.

 

Cruz And Jindahl To Speak At Iowa Faith And Freedom Coalition

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September. 
     Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition announced Thursday that Cruz, a Texas senator, and Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, are scheduled to speak at the Sept. 27 event planned at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. 
     It's billed as a "family banquet" and is intended to charge up conservatives ahead of the Nov. 4 election. It's also expected to feature Iowa candidates, including Gov. Terry Branstad, who is seeking a sixth term.
     Cruz and Jindal are among Republicans weighing 2016 presidential candidacies. 
     Both have made repeated visits to Iowa, which will begin the presidential nominating process with its caucuses. Social conservatives comprise a loyal core of the GOP caucuses' base.

 

Branstad And Reynolds Visit All 99 Iowa Counties

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he is concluding his annual visits to all 99 counties in Iowa.
     Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were set to stop in southeast Iowa's Louisa County on Thursday. In a press release, the governor says the visit means he has held events in every county in the state this year. He says he values touring the state and talking to Iowa residents. 
     Branstad has made stops in all of Iowa's counties each year since taking office in 2011. The Republican governor is running for a sixth non-consecutive term.

 

Retiring Des Moines Police Chief To Join Law Enforcement Academy

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - Retiring Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw isn't done working yet.
     The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy announced Thursday that Bradshaw will become the assistant director Oct. 6 after she ends a 34-year tenure with the Des Moines Police Department.
     Bradshaw will replace Mike Quinn, who was fired in June after female cadets and workers complained that he behaved inappropriately. Some have alleged the academy has a hostile environment for women.
     Academy Director Arlen Ciechanowski says Bradshaw "brings an incredible wealth of law enforcement knowledge" to the academy, which trains Iowa police officers, jailers and dispatchers.
     The 55-year-old Bradshaw says she's eager to "share what I've learned in my career with Iowa's future law enforcement leaders."

 

 

 




   

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