Friday News, February 5
Le Mars Super Expo Scheduled For This Weekend
(Le Mars) -- With over 70 different booths on display, the Le Mars Super Expo will feature something for nearly everyone. The annual trade show runs for two days, and it gets under way this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at the upper level of the Le Mars Convention Center, and it will continue until 8:00 p.m. this evening. On Saturday, the hours will be between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. This year, the Le Mars Super Expo will have a football theme in recognition of the big game featured on Sunday. The trade show will feature exhibitors from financial institutions, insurance, home improvement, flooring, home furnishings and appliances, communications, healthcare and exercise, and new this year in the board meeting room, will be several home-based businesses marketing their products. Tonight, enjoy the taste of free brats during the tailgate activity scheduled at 6:00 p.m. There will also be free Blue Bunny ice cream treats available for both days. On Saturday, the Le Mars Arts Council is offering children's craft activities starting at 10:30 a.m. Admission is free to attend the Le Mars Super Expo.
Kroll Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse Of Child
(Le Mars) -- A Westfield man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12 year old girl. 63 year old Dennis Kroll submitted his pleas earlier this week in Plymouth County District Court. He was charged with three counts of lascivious acts with a child. Kroll will face sentencing on March 28th. Kroll was accused of committing sex acts with the young girl between July of 2009 through July of 2012. A school guidance counselor reported the incident that led to his arrest.
Holz and Anderson To Hold Legislative Forums
(Des Moines) -- State Representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars has announced that he and State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson will host four legislative forums through out the county this coming Saturday, February 6th. Holz and Anderson will begin their day at Kingsley at the Kingsley Community Center. The forum is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Merrill will be the second legislative forum will will begin at 9:45 a.m. and will be held at the Merrill City Hall. From 11:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. the two state lawmakers will visit with constituents at the Wells Ice Cream Parlor in Le Mars. Akron will be the final stop for the legislative forums. The meeting is slated to start at 12:15 p.m. at Akron Jo's located at 150 Reed Street.
Grassley Introduces Legislation To Help Rural Hospitals
(Washington) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley has recently introduced legislation that would help protect smaller rural community hospitals. The bill is called the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act or REACH. Grassley says the bill would provide a voluntary path forward for rural hospitals to eliminate their underutilized inpatient services and ensure patients access to emergency medical care. Grassley says over the last couple of years more than 80 hospitals have closed. Grassley says its important to continue to provide some type of healthcare to rural residents.
Grassley says it's important to provide some type of healthcare for trauma cases within the first hour.
Democrats Hope To Stop Privatization Of Medicaid
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democrats in the Iowa Senate plan on passing a bill next week that would halt Gov. Terry Branstad's plans to turn over management of the state's Medicaid program to three private companies.
The bill introduced in a subcommittee Wednesday directs the Iowa Department of Human Services to give a 30-day notice of contract termination to the three companies with which the state has contracted for private management of Medicaid. It also directs the agency to continue previous efforts to improve patient outcomes, increase access to care and make the public management of Medicaid more efficient.
Senate leaders said Thursday they plan to pass the bill out of committees on Monday making it eligible for debate next Thursday.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer says the bill has no chance in the House.
House Republicans Introduce Immigration Policy Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill proposed by House Republicans would require local police and county sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration officials by disclosing when they have in custody immigrants living in the country without legal permission.
The measure would prevent local governments from adopting policies or procedures that limit or restrict the enforcement of any federal immigration law.
Iowa is among about a dozen states considering measures against so-called sanctuary cities, locations where local authorities refuse to keep immigrants living in the country illegally beyond their court-ordered detention.
Often local law enforcement agencies are asked by federal immigration officers to hold people living in the U.S. without legal permission until immigration officers can arrive to pick them up. In about 350 cities and counties nationwide local officials have refused saying it's unconstitutional.
Pollster Tells University Of Iowa It Needs To Change Its Image
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A pollster warned the University of Iowa last year that its public standing was suffering from an image as a heavy-drinking school where sexual assault was too common.
In a report obtained by The Associated Press, Washington-based pollster Chris Perkins tells university leaders that those perceptions mean the school "loses credibility as a serious academic institution." He recommends specific messages for a communications strategy to combat the image.
The university has refused to release the December 2014 poll and others conducted by Perkins, who received the work under a no-bid contract. The AP obtained the report from a university employee who requested anonymity because the school didn't authorize its disclosure.
University spokeswoman Jeneane Beck said Wednesday the polling helped inform its communications and marketing strategies.
Nevada Man Found Dead In Home After Fire
NEVADA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man who was found dead after a suspicious fire was likely killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A Nevada (nuh-VAYE'-duh) police news release announced Thursday that preliminary autopsy results show 36-year-old Adam Blazek died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a fire extensively damaged his home in the Story County city of Nevada
The fire was reported about 3:20 a.m. Thursday. Firefighters say the house was engulfed in flames.
The man's body was found inside.
Officials described the fire as suspicious. It's under investigation.