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Wednesday Afternoon News, August 5

Regents Approve University Presidents Pay Raise

AMES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents is approving pay raises for two university presidents.
The board gave Iowa State University President Steven Leath a 5 percent increase Wednesday, bumping his base salary to $525,000. 
The board also approved a five-year deferred compensation plan for Leath that will pay him $125,000 annually through 2020.
Regents approved a smaller raise of 2.5 percent for University of Northern Iowa President William Ruud, pushing his base salary to more than $357,000. Ruud will also receive a two-year deferred compensation plan worth $150,000.
Later in the meeting, the board gave initial consideration to a plan to raise tuition by $100 on resident undergraduate students in the spring semester. No regent raised an objection, and a final vote is scheduled for next month.





Ron Paul Aides Indicted

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged three people who worked for Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign with conspiring to buy the support of a former Iowa state senator.
Among those changed is Jesse Benton, who now heads up a super PAC supporting the 2016 presidential candidacy of Paul's son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
An indictment unsealed Wednesday charges Benton, John Tate and Dimitrios Kesari with conspiracy and several other related crimes.
The indictment says they negotiated with former Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson to switch his support to Ron Paul in exchange for money. Sorenson had previously backed Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.
The indictment says the arrangement was concealed from Ron Paul himself and that Benton initiated the deal.






Police Officer Charged With Sexual Assault

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa appeals court says a former Muscatine police officer cannot use a woman's sexual encounter with her boyfriend as evidence in the officer's sex abuse trial.
The Iowa Court of Appeals says in a ruling filed Wednesday that the encounter was not relevant to Thomas Tovar's upcoming trial.
Tovar is accused of raping an intoxicated woman he was escorting to a hotel after her boyfriend was arrested for drunken driving in February 2013. An investigation found Tovar's DNA on the woman's clothing and bedding.
Tovar's attorney wanted the jury to hear evidence that the woman had sex with her boyfriend hours after she was allegedly raped by Tovar.
A district judge ruled in favor of the defense's request. Prosecutors appealed.
Tovar's attorney did not immediately respond to a message.





Two Chiropractors Charged With Exaggerated Health Benefits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa licensing board has filed administrative charges against two chiropractors accused of exaggerating their abilities to heal patients.
Documents released Wednesday by the Iowa Board of Chiropractic show charges against James P. Woods, of Bettendorf, and Jason James, of Keokuk.
Woods is accused of telling patients he could heal ailments including ear conditions, tremors, blindness and high blood pressure. The board says Woods told patients to stop taking blood pressure medication and instead take vitamins he sold.
James is accused of telling patients they could stop taking diabetes medication with a diet and nutrition program. Regulators say he charged patients for laboratory tests he didn't perform.
Messages left for the men were not immediately returned. The Des Moines Register reports hearings on the cases are scheduled in October.





Paulsen To Step Down As House Speaker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Republican Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives says he is stepping down from the role in January and will not seek re-election next year.
Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, announced Wednesday that he will relinquish his leadership position at the start of the next legislative session. He will serve the rest of his two-year term, which runs through 2016.
Paulsen has served in the Iowa House for 13 years. He was minority leader from 2008 through 2010 and has been speaker of the house since 2011.
In a statement, Paulsen says the time was right to step aside.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad praised Paulsen in a statement, calling him "one of the most effective legislative leaders I have had the privilege of working with at the state capitol."





Governor Walker To Purchase Ads In Iowa

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A super PAC supporting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for president says it is launching a nearly $7 million ad buy in Iowa to begin right after Labor Day.
A senior adviser for the Unintimidated PAC said Wednesday that $6.8 million in television, cable and radio ads will air in the Des Moines, Ames, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Iowa City and Dubuque markets.
The ads are to begin running on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Walker has been making frequent visits to Iowa, where he lived for seven years as a child before his family moved to neighboring Wisconsin in 1977.
The Unintimidated PAC reported raising $20 million in the second quarter of the year. Chicago Cubs owners Joe Ricketts and his wife, as well as Wisconsin businesswoman Diane Hendricks, each gave $5 million.


Wednesday News, August 5

Malfunctioning Air Conditioner Results In Fire Department Responding To Home

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to an alarm at 1423 4th Avenue Southwest Tuesday evening at about 6:10 p.m. When fire officials arrived at the scene they were quickly able to determine the air conditioner of the residence had burned out and creating some light smoke.  Fire officials were able to use pressure fans to help push the smoke out of the residence.  There were no injuries associated with the incident.  Fire officials were on the scene for approximately a half an hour.



Supervisors Hear Proposal To Vacate A Road

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe proposed to the county board of supervisors to consider vacating a road.  Rohe submitted the idea during the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting held on Tuesday.  The road in question is a low maintenance dirt road located on the border of Plymouth and Woodbury counties, near Quartz Avenue.  Rohe informed the supervisors that he was approached by a local land owner asking for the road to be vacated.  Rohe says the land owner is concerned about the excessive soil erosion taking place on the embankments of the road.  Before the road can be vacated, all surrounding land owners would need to be informed of the pending decision, and both the Plymouth County supervisors and the Woodbury County board of supervisors would need to agree to vacating the stretch of roadway.





City To Hold Open House For Railroad And Public Works Building

(Le Mars) -- During the city council meeting held Tuesday, Mayor Dick Kirchoff announced the city will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Burlington Junction Short Line railroad scheduled for Wednesday, August 12th.  Kirchoff says since early April, the Burlington Short Line rail has moved over 300 rail cars that have carried products to and from the Le Mars Industrial Park area.  That same day, the city will hold an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Public Works building located on the southern edge of town on 18th street.





Coffee Wins Second Place At National Soap Box Derby Championships

(Le Mars) -- Last week you may recall KLEM news told you about a local 13 year old boy, named Blaise Coffee, who was going to Cleveland, Ohio to compete in the National Soap Box Derby Racing.  Coffee actually did very well at the national competition by finishing second in his age group and category.

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The trophy awarded to the young soap box racer stands taller than Coffee, and he says it was a bit difficult getting the trophy home.

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The young soap box car racer says the championship rounds placed all racers a ranking seating.

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Coffee says he lost only one race while competing for the soap box derby championships.

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The 13 year old says he realizes every other soap box car racer will be trying to beat him, now that he placed second in the national championships, but Coffee is confident about his racing abilities.

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Turkey Farms Repopulating Barns After Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa agriculture officials say a majority of the quarantine zones set up around poultry farms infected with bird flu are being lifted.
When bird flu was confirmed on a farm, a six-mile zone was established to control traffic. State officials said Tuesday 77 zones were set up but they are in the process of lifting 69 now. 
Once completed, officials say there will only be control zones remaining on six farms in Adair, Sioux and Wright counties.
Iowa lost 34 million birds to the bird flu outbreak.
Officials say one of the first infected turkey farms - Brad Moline's family farm in Manson - has restocked with new birds and Moline will host state and federal officials at a news conference on Monday to discuss the recovery process.





Chinese Woman Accused Of Stealing Patented Corn Traits Now Back Home In China

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The wife of a Chinese billionaire who was charged more than a year ago with conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed companies but dropped from the case last week is back home in China.
Attorneys for Mo Yun say she left the United States Friday morning and flew to Beijing.
The government arrested the 43-year-old mother of two children July 1, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors alleged that Mo helped her brother and five other Chinese nationals working for subsidiaries of Beijing-based DBN Group steal patented corn seed to reproduce its genetic traits. 
The government dropped the charges last week after a judge said they couldn't use instant messages found on her brother's computer as evidence. The judge said the messages were incomplete and couldn't be authenticated.





Meth Lab Discovered At Taco Bell Restaurant

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two men have been arrested after the remnants of a methamphetamine lab were found inside a Taco Bell in eastern Iowa.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department says officers found two men outside the restaurant early Tuesday. One identified himself as a Taco Bell employee.
Officers entered the closed restaurant and found meth lab remnants in a utility area.
The men, identified as 31-year-old Christopher Adam Matous and 56-year-old Kent Jerome Duby, were arrested. Each has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Matous faces additional charges including meth possession. Court records do not list attorneys for the men.
Taco Bell says in a statement that one of the men was an employee who's now fired. They say the restaurant will be sanitized before it reopens to the public.



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