(DES MOINES)–Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats of rural Sioux City has decided against running for governor in the fall as an independent. Instead, Vander Plaats is launching a new effort in the battle over gay marriage in Iowa, a campaign aimed at the Iowa Supreme Court.
In this past June’s Republican Primary, Vander Plaats got 42 percent of the vote, finishing second. Vander Plaats had promised that if he were elected governor, he’d issue an executive order that would stop gay marriage in Iowa until voters could decide on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage here. In April of 2009 the seven-member state Supreme Court issued a ruling which paved the way for gay marriage in Iowa. Vander Plaats Friday announced he will lead an effort to defeat the three state supreme court justices who are on this November’s ballot in a retention election.
(as said) “More than ever we need to hold this court in check,” Vander Plaats said. “And that is what our plan is to do.” Vander Plaats said he’ll release more details about the effort next, including information about fundraising. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus is one of the three justices who are up for retention in November. The justice who wrote the gay marriage ruling is not. Vander Plaats said he made up his mind to launch the campaign against the three justices when the California judge ruled California’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
(as said) “I will be going into intense strategy sessions with the best and the brightest from around this state and around the country,” Vander Plaats said. “And we will be unleashing a full effort and campaign in the next coming days.” Vander Plaats also announced that he will not run as an independent candidate for governor. Vander Plaats has said he would only run if he determined he could win.
(as said) “I had no interest in being a spoiler in that campaign,” Vander Plaats said. Vander Plaats was asked by a reporter if or when he might endorse Terry Branstad, the Republican candidate for governor. Vander Plaats said he had no “timeframe” for making an endorsement. (News report by Radio Iowa)
Family services offered in four communities
(ORANGE CITY)–Counseling and skill-building services are provided by a northwest Iowa organization with a satellite office in Le Mars.
Denise Driesen of Family Solutions Services explains services are offered to children and families.
Driesen says there are Family Solutions Services for needs identified by the Iowa Department of Human Services.
She describes the staff of 24 at Family Solutions Services as experienced and dedicated to helping people.
Family Solutions Services’ are coordinated through phone calls to the main offices in Orange City and Sioux City. Satellite offices are in Le Mars and Akron.
(LE MARS)–The back door for many Le Mars residents in the original part of the city is being spruced up.
City administrator Scott Langel said a change was made in alley maintenance to reduce dust.
Langel extended a thanks to residents who responded to a city request.
City crews continue to complete the summer alley maintenance work.
Fire in Buena Vista County
(ALBERT CITY-BUENA VISTA CO.)– Early last Monday morning a home was destroyed by fire in Buena Vista County. According to Sheriff Gary Launderville, a deputy on routine partrol discovered the house fire on 210th avenue in the Albert City area. The Albert City Fire Department and the Marathon Fire Department fought the two-story blaze for 4 hours.
After investigation it has been concluded that the August 2nd fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. The house and contents are considered a total loss with damages estimated in excess of $130,000.
Information regarding the owner of the home and whether or not it was occupied at the time of the fire is unavailable from the Buena Vista Sheriff’s Office.
(Angela Drake of KLEM News)
Congressman to meet with Fifth District residents in Primghar
(WASHINGTON)–Congressman Steve King will hear from Fifth District residents during a Town Hall meeting in O’Brien County next week.
King says Town Hall meetings allow him to communicate directly with his constituents about the issues under consideration in Washington. He explains the exchange allows him to better represent the Fifth District.
The Town Hall meeting in Primghar is Friday, August 13th from 3:30-4:30 p-m in the Assembly Room at the O’Brien County Courthouse .
Paper collection today helps schools
(LE MARS)–Today is a day to recycle paper for school projects in Le Mars and Remsen.
The Le Mars Community Elementary Schools paper recycling project is this (Saturday) morning after a July holiday off. Paper may be dropped off at O’Toole Park in Le Mars from 8-10 a-m. Other pickup sites are at the Struble and Craig Banks, the Brunsville Bank corners and at Kissinger School in Merrill from 8-9 a.m.
The Remsen-Union Family Connection and St. Mary’s School Board collect paper from 8-11 a.m. at the Marion Street permanent location.
Murder charges filed after body found near Larchwood
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) Two Sioux Falls men arrested for the robbery and kidnapping of a man whose body was found in northwest Iowa are charged with murder.
The indictment against 29-year-old Benjamin Carter and 23-year-old Payton Strum was filed in court in Sioux Falls this week. Strum also is charged with first-degree arson. Strum is accused of starting a fire in the home where the kidnapping took place.
The body of 27-year-old Joseph Cynkar was discovered lying outside his pickup truck near Larchwood late last month.
Strum and Carter are accused of beating Cynkar and robbing him at gunpoint before binding his hands with a cable, taping a hood over his head and driving him in his own truck to a wooded area in Lyon County. Autopsy results show Cynkar died of suffocation and a blow to the head.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved
LP tanks target of shooter
(SAC CITY)–A reward of up to 11-thousand dollars is being offered for information about Sac County vandalism.
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers and the Sac County Sheriff’s Office announced the reward. They’re asking for information about vandalism on four Sac County hog farms.
Authorities say liquid propane (LP) tanks were shot using a high-powered rifle. The tanks were near or adjacent to indoor hog barns. Other LP tanks, including those near grain storage facilities and homes, were NOT targeted .
The vandalism occurred almost one year to the day that 12 similar events were reported in Sac and Calhoun Counties. One of the four sites was also targeted a year ago.
Sac County Sheriff Ken McClure says the greatest concern is the explosion danger to people working in or around livestock farms and LP tanks.
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers is providing 75-hundred dollars toward the 11-thousand dollar reward. Others backing the reward effort include local farm groups and businesses that want to help law enforcement solve the crime.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sac County Sheriff’s Office. Callers may remain anonymous.
Activists: More flood protection needed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Environmental activists are urging the state to expand wetlands and flood plain protections, arguing the changing climate is increasing the danger of flooding.
Mark Tercek, president of the Nature Conservancy, says changes in land use also are increasing the chance of flooding.
Tercek and state and city officials held a news conference near where the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers converge in downtown Des Moines Friday to push for more projects to prevent and protect against flooding.
It comes as Iowa recovers from a wet summer that has caused flooding across the state.
State Sen. Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says expanding wetlands, installing pavement that allows water to seep into the ground and placing barrels to collect rainfall at homes can all be part of the solution.
I-80 overpass in Iowa turned into artistic gateway
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A Council Bluffs highway overpass has been transformed into an artistic gateway by installation of metal sculptures.
The four multimetal sculptures of stainless steel, weathering steel and bronze plate are called “Odyssey” by the sculptor, Albert Paley. They weigh up to 70,000 pounds, or 35 tons.
On Friday, a crane was installing bases on the four corners of the 24th Street bridge over Interstate 80. That work was expected to continue into Saturday, followed by installation of the art pieces. The project was expected to be complete on Tuesday.
The $3 million artwork serves as a sort of gateway to Nebraska to the west and the rest of Iowa to the east.
It was selected by the Iowa West Foundation’s public art initiative.
Iowa City couple to wed in jr. high where they met
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Almost 50 years after they met there as seventh graders, an Iowa City couple will get married in the halls of South East Junior High.
Karen Wilcox and Mike Wilson were brought together in 1962 by an alphabetized seating arrangement in homeroom class. They dated in eighth grade, but had broken up by high school. They stayed in touch on and off as each went on to two unsuccessful marriages.
The two started dating again in January, after Wilson moved back to Iowa City from Florida, where he’d lived after retiring as a surgeon. This Monday, they’ll get married in the same room where they shared their first dance together.
Principal Deb Wretman loved the idea. She says most people once they leave junior high never want to look back.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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