(LE MARS)–Health care reform was on the minds of Plymouth County residents who went to the Le Mars Convention Center Friday afternoon to hear two congressmen.
Congressman Steve King hosted the Town Hall meeting with his guest, California Congressman Devin Nunes. The Republicans heard a business owner talk of a 30 percent health insurance premium increase. Another businessperson asked what affect the health care reform law would have on Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
King expected more signatures on his discharge petition to end health care reforms passed by Congress.
King said signing the petition “puts a marker down” and voters in November will know where their member of Congress or candidate stands on King’s discharge petition of the health care reform law.
Nunes represents the San Joaquin Valley of California which is known for its agriculture production. During the meeting and press time, Nunes cautioned Iowans.
King and Nunes were also asked about ending funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Other topics included immigration; environmental regulation of agriculture; former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s endorsement of King’s efforts to repeal the health care reform law; the national debt and Cap and Trade.
Achievement, financial goals set for LCS
(LE MARS)–Achieving educational goals as well as those for facilities and finances are priorities set by the Le Mars Community School District for this school year.
To carry out the goals, Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt will ask the board to prioritize the projects remaining from a 10-year plan. An area of emphasis is the second phase of a construction plan that includes a new gymnasium.
Wendt also said he would emphasize an analysis of the need for the Instructional Support Levy (ISL) program. If a vote is needed on the I-S-L, he suggested September school elections one year from now.
Goals are also set for student achievement in reading, writing, math and science for grades 4, 8 and 11.
The board will also monitor and receive reports on the Iowa Core Curriculum to be put in place by June of next year.
Northwest Iowa business on national publication list
(Orange City) Whether it pertains to food, decor or drinks, when the Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium in Orange City tackles a project they don’t sell themselves short. This month, their attention to detail when it comes to wine has gained them national recognition. In the August 31st edition of Wine Spectator Magazine, Blue Mountain was listed as one of the Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers. Christian Korver serves as the wine director for the restaurant and said that the honor has been years in the making.
According to Korver, Blue Mountain has a large breadth of wine available. Their list currently features one hundred and five selections with many others waiting in the cellar.
A vintage of Mollydooker, a popular Australian wine, is on the list for release sometime this year or next.
Blue Mountain Culinary Emporium is made up of 3 different restaurant experiences. Smokehouse Grill, Blue Mountain Lodge and the Blue Mountain Passport Club. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM News)
Siouxland winners of Character awards
The winners of this year’s Iowa Character Awards were announced this week by Character Counts in Iowa. Spokesperson Amy Smit says a jury made up of Iowans selected the recipients earlier this month in Des Moines.
(as she says) Smit says they look for Iowans who consistently demonstrate the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. She says the winners come from across the state. Several organizations were also honored.
(as she says) Dallas Center Grimes’ character leadership team and the Sioux City growth organization won the “Organization of Character Award”, Brian Town of Johnston won the “Educator of Character Award,” Sioux City West is the “School of Character Award” winner, the Pleasant Valley cheerleaders won the “Pursuing Victory with Honor Award.” The community of character is Johnston, Iowa.
Another major award is the Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award that is presented to an Iowan who makes their community better through volunteerism. Smit said the winner will be announced in the next few weeks. The award is named after Eilerts, a Boy Scout from Eagle Grove who spent countless hours of volunteer work and died as a result of the tornado at the Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp in June, 2008. The winners will be honored at a banquet on October 23rd in West Des Moines. There is more information about the Character Counts program at: www.charactercountsiniowa.org. (News report by Radio Iowa)
Ex-Neb. jail worker pleads guilty to drug charges
DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) The former medical supervisor at a Siouxland jail has pleaded guilty in a case accusing her of fraudulently obtaining a former inmate’s prescription drugs.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jackie Heaton, of South Sioux City, pleaded guilty to three felonies: attempting to fraudulently obtain a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and attempting to unlawfully procure a controlled substance.
Dakota County, Nebraska Court records say prosecutors dropped two other felony charges. Heaton’s plea came on Thursday.
Prosecutors believe Heaton used a county credit card to buy drugs for personal use that were prescribed to a former inmate between September 2009 and May 2010.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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Admin. official: FDA to inspect large egg farms
WASHINGTON (AP) The Food and Drug Administration is planning to inspect the country’s largest egg farms before the end of next year following the massive recall that has sickened as many as 1,500 people.
An Obama administration official says inspectors will visit about 600 large egg farms that produce 80 percent of the nation’s eggs. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been announced. Most of those farms have gone largely uninspected for decades.
The FDA’s plan for heightened inspections came after more than half a billion eggs linked to cases of salmonella poisoning were recalled from two Iowa farms this month. The inspections will be conducted as part of new FDA rules put in place this July to prevent salmonella in shell eggs.
Iowa approved egg farm tied to ‘habitual violator’
GALT, Iowa (AP) The owner of an egg farm at the center of a massive salmonella recall was able to expand his egg empire despite being branded a “habitual violator” of Iowa’s environmental laws a label that was supposed to ban him from building any more farms.
Documents reviewed by The Associated Press suggest Austin “Jack” DeCoster, one of the nation’s largest egg producers, got around the ban by having associates seek approval for the projects, only to assume control of the enterprise later.
Shortly after DeCoster was classified as a “habitual violator” in 2000, a company run by his associates started pushing for approval of a farm to house up to 1.8 million egg-laying hens.
State records show the company shared the same address and phone number as Decoster’s business, and local residents suspected his involvement. Company officials denied that and DNR granted the permit.
The site is now part of Wright County Egg, the company owned by DeCoster that has recalled 380 million eggs.
2 more plead guilty in Obama student loan case
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Two people accused of illegally viewing President Barack Obama’s student loan records have pleaded guilty.
Anne Rhodes of Iowa City pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Davenport to one count of exceeding authorized computer access. Lisa Torney of Coralville pleaded guilty to the same charge Thursday. Both face up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine when they are sentenced on Dec. 13.
They were among nine former employees of a U.S. Department of Education contractor in Coralville, where prosecutors say they viewed Obama’s student loan records.
All but one defendant has pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury. Trial in that case is set for Oct. 4.
Rhodes’ attorney, Patrick Ingram, declined comment. A telephone messages left for Torney’s attorney was not immediately returned.
Iowa police officer shoots man during traffic stop
WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) Webster City police say an officer shot and wounded a man who allegedly pulled a gun during a traffic stop.
Authorities say the officer was investigating a report of a drunken driver Thursday night, and pulled the man over on state Highway 17.
Police say when the man got out of his car, he was armed with a handgun. The officer fired and hit the man.
Police have identified the man as 34-year-old Justin Jensen, of Webster City. He was flown to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
A hospital spokesman said Jensen was in critical condition Friday.
No one else was injured. The officer Sgt. Scot Ely (EE’-lye), an 11-year police veteran is on paid administrative leave, which is standard.
The shooting is under investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Feds arrest 370 immigrants in 10-state bust
CHICAGO (AP) Federal officials in Chicago say they’ve have arrested 370 convicted illegal immigrants and immigration fugitives in a three-day bust in 10 Midwest states.
In a news release Friday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said some of the people arrested included gang members and sex offenders.
The operation ended Thursday.
Arrests were made in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.
5 women claim sex harassment at Iowa toy company
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Five women are suing an Indianola toy company over claims a co-worker and supervisor subjected them to graphic sexual comments and other harassment.
The lawsuits against Manley Toy Direct and two sister companies allege the men repeatedly groped women and made lewd comments about 14-year-old girls.
One of the lawsuits alleges female workers were routinely referred to as “luscious lips,” ‘babe” and more explicit names.
The women worked at a customer service center for Manley Toy Direct. The company’s Indianola office fields customer complaints about water slides and other company products.
A lawyer for Manley Toy Direct said she had not yet seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.
Four of the women bringing the lawsuits were representatives who fielded customer complaints. The fifth plaintiff was a supervisor.
Money missing from Des Moines diocese account
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Diocese of Des Moines says $600,000 is missing from its bank account.
Officials say criminals illegally obtained the diocese’s banking information on Aug. 13 and Aug. 16 and used it to transfer more than $600,000 to recipients across the U.S.
The diocese was notified of the transfer by Bankers Trust on Aug. 17. Officials say the bank accounts were shut down and the bank immediately began recovering money.
As of Friday, about $180,000 has been recovered.
The FBI is investigating. Law enforcement has told the diocese that the operation most likely is based overseas. No staff members are suspected.
The diocese serves more than 97,000 Catholics in 82 parishes spread across 23 Iowa counties. It also runs 18 schools.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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