Saturday News, January 10
Fire Department Responds To Two Alarms
(Le Mars) -- Shortly after 4:00 a.m. this morning, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a general fire alarm at 2375 Industrial Road, which is Bo-Dean's. No additional details are known at this time. On Friday afternoon, about 4:30 p.m. the Le Mars Fire Department was called to residence at the 300 block of 1st Avenue northeast. Minor damage was reported when an electrical outlet had arched and shorted out.
State Republicans To Decide Fate Of Straw Poll Today
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Targeted as a costly sideshow that ought to be retired, Iowa's Republican straw poll appears set to survive for another go as summer's favorite political circus.
Leaders of the Iowa Republican Party meet Saturday to decide the straw poll's fate.
Despite the best efforts of high-profile Republicans to put it out to pasture, the event that draws thousands of Republican activists to the college town of Ames will likely end up with enough support to continue.
First held in 1979, the straw poll has grown from a county GOP fundraiser to an all-out event on the campus of Iowa State University.
Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann says he has a "hunch" that enough Iowa GOP members will vote to continue the event.
Ryan Selected To Head Public Safety Commission
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An attorney in the Iowa Department of Public Safety will serve as acting commissioner for the agency.
Governor Terry Branstad announced Friday that Roxann Ryan will serve as acting commissioner. She will replace Commissioner Larry Noble who is retiring.
Ryan joined the department in 2006 and serves as the in-house legal counsel. A spokesman for Branstad said there was no timeline for appointing a permanent commissioner.
Noble announced last month that he would step down January 9th, about 16 months after he returned to lead the agency amid turmoil. He served as commissioner under Branstad from January 2011 until retiring in July 2012. Noble returned in September 2013 after a series of problems during the 11-month tenure of his replacement, Commissioner K. Brian London.
Off-Duty State Patrol Officer Cited For Speeding
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State Patrol official has been cited for speeding following an off-duty November incident in which a trooper initially let him go without a ticket.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Friday that Captain Ken Clary was cited for driving 92 miles per hour in a 70-mile per hour zone along Interstate 80 near Newton.
The stop became public after a reader contacted The Des Moines Register.
The patrol acknowledged trooper Bryan Guill stopped Clary on November 24th while he was driving a van belonging to Special Olympics Iowa. No report was filed about the stop.
Department spokesman Scott Bright said an internal affairs investigation into Clary concluded Friday. Bright said the investigation didn't focus on Guill because officers have discretion on when to write tickets.
Iowa Congressional Delegation Votes For Keystone XL Pipeline
(Washington) -- All four of Iowa's Congressmen voted for a bill on Friday to move ahead with construction of the Keystone X-L Pipeline that would bring oil to the U-S from Canada. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, issued a video message after the vote, acknowledging the president has threatened to veto the bill.
King says if the oil doesn't come to the U-S for refinement, it will go to China. The bill passed the U-S House with 238 Republican votes and 28 Democrats.
King says it also helps a U-S ally.
Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack was one of the 28 Democrats to vote for the bill.
$51 Million In Grants To Be Distributed To Iowa Cities
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state economic development board has approved $51 million in grants to 16 cities in Iowa to complete housing projects designed to replace facilities lost in 2008 flooding.
The grants funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority Thursday. They fund 21 multi-family housing projects.
Five projects in Cedar Rapids are funded in addition to projects in Cedar Falls, Davenport, Des Moines, Waterloo and West Des Moines.
In smaller communities, grants of at least $3 million are approved for Burlington, Ottumwa, Hampton, Clinton, Ft. Madison and Windsor Heights.
A project in Mount Pleasant received $2.7 million and projects in Marshalltown and Iowa Falls are getting just over $1 million. A Woodbine project received $442,000.