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Monday News, December 29

Museum To Be Open On New Year's Day

(Le Mars) -- Officials with the Plymouth County Historical Museum have announced the “Museum Manger” will be open to the public on New Year’s Day, along with all five floors of exhibits.
Hours will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The display will close at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The exhibit will remain open through Epiphany Jan. 6 but will be closed on Monday, Jan. 5.
Admission to the hundreds of nativities, housed in the Museum’s Study Hall, is free. Museum officials say over 600 people had viewed the nativities by the end of December.

Fire Destroys Anthon Machine Shed

(Anthon) -- Fire destroyed a machine shed and damaged two other buildings on a farm near Anthon.  That fire was first noticed at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening at 4029 220th Street.  Fighting the blaze were the Anthon Fire Department, and fire departments from Correctionville, Cushing, Danbury, and the Healy Werks.  Woodbury County Sheriff's Office reports there were no injuries with the fire, but a tractor and several bales of hay were lost in the fire. Sheriff's office officials closed highway 38 between Michigan and O'Brien Avenues to control traffic while firefighters worked.  


Grundy Center Fire Destroys Manufacturing Company

GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa (AP) - A fire has heavily damaged a manufacturing plant in Grundy Center. Firefighters were sent to Heavy Equipment Manufacturing on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported in the blaze.


Buses Flagged For Safety Violation Repairs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Data shows the number of Iowa school buses flagged for repeated safety citations has nearly doubled since 2012.
     Nearly 22,000 bus inspection citations have been issued since June 2012. They include unsafe tires, inoperable warning signals or strobe lights and dysfunctional wheel bearings.
     Most affected school districts have notified state officials that the buses were repaired before they were returned to service. But the state's education department has sent letters to three districts this year over safety concerns.
     Representatives for some districts with the most repeated citations since January 1st, 2011 say some issues weren't necessarily related to the same problem. One district official says a private company is now conducting its bus service.


Iowa Highway Patrol Advises To Have Winter Survival Kit In Vehicle

(Le Mars) -- A good new year's resolution may be to equip your car with a winter surival kit, and to have your car prepared for the snow and cold temperatures that are being predicted.  Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz encourages motorists to slow down and be prepared for changing road conditions.  He says allow yourself a little more time to reach your destination, and to allow more space between you and the other vehicles on the highway.  Kurtz explains what are the essentialsfor your winter survivor's kit.

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Kurtz reminds motorists to buckle-up and to drive defensively.


Prescott Man Faces Stabbing Charges

PRESCOTT, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man faces charges in connection to a stabbing in southern Iowa.
     The Adams County Sheriff's Office says 47-year-old Kirk Frederick of Corning faces charges of willful injury causing serious injury and going armed with intent. Court records do not list an attorney.
     Authorities say they received a 911 call sometime between Thursday and Friday about two vehicles trying to run each other off the road. A man was later found in one of the cars with stab wounds. The man was taken to a local hospital then later airlifted to Des Moines in critical condition.
     Authorities say the injured man and Frederick had been fighting earlier at a rural residence near Prescott. The name of the man with stab wounds has not been released.


Officials Remove Animals From "Mall Zoo"  

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have removed caged wild animals from a "mall zoo" in Des Moines following a court order over their care.
     Agencies including the Animal Rescue League of Iowa helped remove the 31 animals early Saturday from Merle Hay Mall. They will be sent to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado and the World of Reptiles in Des Moines. The ARL will also provide temporarily care for some animals.
     The animals include black bears, a cougar, snakes and an alligator.
     A judge on Wednesday denied a bid by Pella Wildlife Company to regain control of the animals from the city of Des Moines. Concerns had been raised about the animals' care at the mall, where they were part of an education exhibit.


Gardeners Learn They Are Breaking Some Laws With Seed Swap

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gardeners at hundreds of spots around the country are sharing seeds as part of an increasing interest in locally grown food, but some agriculture officials say the well-meaning effort violates state laws.
     In spots like Duluth, Minnesota the conflict has surprised gardeners and library officials who never thought to examine the intricacies of state seed laws.
     Agriculture officials say they weren't looking for a fight but must enforce laws that are intended to protect farmers by ensuring seeds are viable, will grow the intended plant and aren't mixed with unwanted seeds for weeds or plants.
     Advocates of seed-sharing programs said they don't necessarily blame agriculture departments, but some express frustration that laws focus on the needs of modern hybrid seed producers while limiting age-old, person-to-person seed exchanges.


Musician From Lawrence Welk Orchestra Dies

 ALGONA, Iowa (AP) - Richard "Dick" Dale, who played sax and crooned tunes for the famed Lawrence Welk orchestra, has died in his Iowa hometown of Algona. He was 88.
     Brian Schaaf, of Oakcrest Funeral Services, said Monday that Dale died Friday at a hospital in Algona. A Mass is scheduled Saturday at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona.
     Dale graduated in 1943 from Algona High School and sang and played the sax at many Midwest clubs, including the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. But he was best known for his work with Welk's orchestra and television program, which he joined after auditioning in 1951.
     Dale and his wife, Marguerite, moved back to Algona in 2006. He told the Mason City Globe Gazette ( ) in 2007 that, "I've had a wonderful career, really."








Saturday News, December 27

Branstad To Undergo Leg Procedure

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to undergo outpatient treatment for a minor leg issue on Monday. 
     The governor's office says Branstad will have a procedure done to treat varicose veins in his legs. 
     Branstad is expected to need a week of rest and reduced time on his feet.
     Branstad will be available for calls and meetings as needed next week and will return to his regular schedule on Jan. 6.   In December of 2000, Branstad had a heart attack and doctors inserted a stent in his heart to keep an artery open. In May of 2010, Branstad's doctor located a partially-blocked artery in his heart during a routine angiogram and Branstad had a second stent inserted in his heart. Branstad returned to the campaign trail a few days later.


Des Moines To Cut Jobs To Erase Deficit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines plans to cut four jobs and adjust certain fees in an effort to erase a $405,000 projected deficit in the next fiscal year.
     The city will eliminate three vacant jobs and cut a fourth post according to a 2015-16 budget plan presented at a town hall meeting last week.
     Dan Ritter, the city's interim finance director, says the job cuts will save Des Moines just over $200,000. The Des Moines Register ( ) the rest of the deficit will be shaved through increased fees for certain building permits and inspections and adjusted ambulance fees.
     Ritter says the projected deficit is minimal compared with those of recent years. He says Des Moines has cut roughly $30 million over the past seven years.


Five People Stabbed During Waterloo Fight

 WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Five people were treated and released from a Waterloo hospital after being stabbed in a fight early Friday.
     KWWL reports that police say a fight broke out outside of a convenience store. Police say the five who were stabbed took themselves to Allen Hospital and were let go later Friday.
     Officers identified those with stab wounds as 41-year-old Luttreal Allen, 22-year-olds Dalevon Allen and Demarcus Williamson, 24-year-old Laqailla Homes and 26-year-old Dartavious Dixon.
     Investigators told KWWL they were unable to release further details about potential arrests because the investigation remains open.





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