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Thursday Afternoon News, September 4

City Sets September 15th - 20th As "Fall Cleanup Days"

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars has established the week of September 15th through the 20th as the "fall cleanup" week and is declaring an amnesty from the Landfill Disposal Cost for up to 1,000 pounds per household of "throw away" material delivered to the landfill.  The city will pick up the cost of the landfill fees. Only residential properties can participate.  Each residential household must make their own arrangements for hauling waste to the Plymouth County Landfill during the amnesty period.  Items that can be discarded include: furniture, construction and demolition including wood posts, scrap lumber, windows, doors, sinks and toilets.  Metal objects such as bikes, mowers, metal posts, wire, swings and bed springs and bed frames are included as part of the amnesty program.  Household garbage and yard waste, tires and hazardous waste products are NOT included in the amnesty clean up program.  

 

Sioux City Struggles With Recycling Program 

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials are expressing concern over the low number of households taking advantage of a free recycling program.
     The city's waste collection service released data Wednesday showing only 18 percent of local homeowners have requested a recycling bin for curbside pickup. City Councilman Dan Moore says too many people are still unaware of the service, nearly four years after its creation.
     Sioux City has offered free 65-gallon recycling bins to promote recycling since 2010. The service also aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.
     Moore says the city needs to step up its marketing efforts to raise public awareness.  Le Mars officials say at least 75 percent of the residents participate in the recycling program.
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Clay County Fair To Begin On Saturday

(Spencer) -- What is promoted as "The World's Greatest Fair" starts this weekend.  The Clay County Fair at Spencer kicks off its nine day run on Saturday.  Fair manager, Jeremy Parsons says the Clay County Fair has a long tradition of featuring farm equipment, and this year's fair is no exception.

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Parsons says the Clay County Fair will feature more than 900 4-H and FFA exhibitors from 42 different counties.  As for entertainment, this year, the Clay County Fair will have seven different stages of free entertainment.

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 The Clay County Fair manager says tickets are still available for the grandstand shows.  He says the grandstand entertainment offers something for everyone.

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Admission to the fair is $8 for adults, but Parsons says there are opportunities to pick up reduced priced tickets and even some bargains.

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The Clay County Fair annually attracts up to 300,000 visitors and runs from Saturday through Sunday, September 14th.

 

Auditor Finds 13 Attorneys Overbilled State

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state auditor says 13 private attorneys working as public defenders overbilled the state by roughly $310,000 during a three-year period.
     Auditor Mary Mosiman released the report Thursday. Her office reviewed data from July 1, 2009, through Aug. 31, 2013, at the request of the State Public Defender's Office.
     The report says 11 of the attorneys billed for work days that were longer than 12 hours. In some cases, they claimed to work more than 24 hours in a day. 
     A total of 13 attorneys filed improper mileage claims.
     State Public Defender Sam Langholz says contracts have been canceled with eight attorneys. Another attorney voluntarily terminated his contract.
     Langholz says the office has adopted new oversight rules. 
     A Department of Public Safety spokesman says the matter is under investigation.

 

Food Company Agrees To Settle Lawsuit

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A food distribution company has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit that claims it conspired with others over several years to restrain the bidding process for selling food at schools across Iowa.
     The lawsuit says Martin Brothers Distributing Company conspired with Iowa Educators Corporation and its successor, the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing, to monopolize the business of food distribution at hundreds of schools over a 14-year period.
     Martin Brothers and the others deny they did anything wrong. They say the process was fair, and the agreement was reached to avoid litigation costs.
     An eligible individual can file a claim to receive up to $3.50 per student per year, for a maximum of $50 per student. Attorneys for both parties did not immediately return messages left Thursday.

 

Iowa Ranks 12th In Adult Obesity

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report says Iowa had the nation's 12th highest adult obesity rate in 2013.
     The report released Thursday by the Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 31.3 percent of adults in Iowa were obese last year.
     Nine of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South.
     Mississippi and West Virginia tied for the top rate, at 35.1 percent. Colorado's 21.3 percent was the nation's lowest.
     Iowa's obesity rate was higher than all of its neighboring states.

 

 

    

 

 

 

   

Thursday News, September 4

KC Phone-a-thon Raises Nearly $51,700

(Le Mars) -- After twelve continuous hours of phone calls raising money for the Life Skills Training Center, the Plymouth County Knights of Columbus members were able to surpass their fund raising goal.  Zack Sitzmann, co-chair for the event, explains how much money the phone-a-thon was able to raise.

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Sitzmann explains if you were not able to donate to Life Skills Training Center, there is still an opportunity to do so.

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Plymouth County Candidates Running Unopposed

(Le Mars) -- Many of the political candidates running for office in Plymouth County are unopposed.  Candidates had until August 27th to file their candidacy papers. Supervisors Craig Anderson and Don Kass are seeking re-election and are unopposed, as is new comer, John Meis who is seeking a position on the County Board of Supervisors for District 1.  JoLynn Goodchild, the county recorder, Shelly Sitzmann, the county's treasurer, and Darin Raymond, the county attorney are all unopposed for their races.  There are five openings on the County Extension Council and five people are seeking the position.  The County Soil and Water Conservation District has two openings and two candidates.  

 

Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Begins In Emmetsburg 

Emmetsburg, Iowa (AP) - Officials at the opening of one of the world's first commercial size cellulosic ethanol plants say it signifies a shift from the fossil fuel age to a biofuels revolution.
     The opening of Project Liberty Wednesday was marked with cutting ribbons stretched over baled corn cobs, stalks and leaves that will be used to make ethanol.
     The project, a joint venture of Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol-maker POET and Netherlands biotechnology company Royal DSM, is one of the first capable of making 25 million gallons of ethanol a year from plant residue.
     POET founder Jeff Broin says he hopes people a hundred years from now will remember how a small Iowa town changed the world.

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     Several dignitaries were on hand for the grand opening of the nation's first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant.  U-S-D-A Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke and erased any doubts about the possibility of creating ethanol from bio-mass products.
 
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     Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is a vocal cheerleader for the new type of ethanol production and urged others to promote the industry.

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      The ceremony in Emmetsburg attracted King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands among other dignitaries.

 

Jurors View Tape Of Interview Of Suspect Accused Of Killing Police Officer

CLARION, Iowa (AP) - Jurors in the first degree murder trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer heard a taped interview in which he expressed no regret about shooting the officer.
     In the first day of testimony Wednesday, jurors heard a two-hour taped interview of 33-year-old Corey Trott. He's charged with the September 2013 death of 37-year-old Jamie Buenting during a standoff at Trott's house. He has pleaded not guilty.
     Trott noted after the killing that, "I don't have any regrets."
     Earlier, Trott's lawyer, Joseph McCarville, said in his opening statements that jurors should find his client guilty of something less than first-degree murder.
     Testimony will continue Thursday.

 

More Charges Filed Against Mother For Lying About Daughter Having Cancer

ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) - More charges have been filed against an Iowa woman accused of lying about her daughter's cancer diagnosis.
     Court records show 30-year-old Leatha Slauson was charged recently with domestic abuse and assault charges in connection to a case involving her 5-year-old daughter. She also faces charges of administering harmful substances.
     The charges are in addition to earlier charges of child endangerment causing bodily injury, drug distribution to a minor and unlawful possession of a prescription drug. A message left for her attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.
     Slauson is accused of telling her community that her daughter had terminal cancer. Police say an investigation determined the child is not sick.
     A trial date has been scheduled for November 12th in Cass County District Court.

 

New Trial Date Set For Former Police Officer

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has set a new trial date of Oct. 29 for a former Forest City police officer charged with burglary and arson.
      In May the Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for 37-year-old Thaddeus Ellenbecker. The Appeals Court said officers failed to read Ellenbecker his Miranda rights.
     Ellenbecker was convicted in 2012 of arson and burglary. He was accused of setting a fire that damaged the Forest City police station in October 2011. Authorities say he stole an assault rifle from a squad car in November 2010.
     Ellenbecker's second trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 17. On Tuesday a Winnebago County District Court judge changed the date to Oct. 29 as Ellenbecker waived his right to a speedy trial.

 

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Universities 


  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to force Iowa's public universities to pay into a fund that subsidizes insurance for Iowans with health risks.
     Judge Dennis Stovall says the Iowa Individual Health Benefit Reinsurance Association doesn't have the authority to sue.
     The association helps Iowans with medical conditions obtain affordable coverage, and is funded by assessments charged to insurers and self-insured health plans.
     Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa paid assessments until 2010. The University of Iowa became self-insured that year and, the association argues, required to pay.
     But all three refused to pay then, with their governing board arguing they weren't covered by the law.
     The lawsuit sought to collect more than $1.5 million, warning that higher costs for patients and providers would otherwise result.



 
 


 

 

   

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