(LE MARS)–A Sioux City contractor and city of Le Mars Public Works staff are beginning the final steps to smooth travel on Business Highway 75.
City administrator Scott Langel says traffic control is the city role in the diamond grinding south of Highway Three.
Langel expects the work to continue through the weekend
The final step on Highway 75, south of Highway Three is seal coating the surface.
Lingren chosen from 12 applicants
(LE MARS)–A new city of Le Mars position is filled after interviews with three finalists.
The City Council in September created a city employee position for Convention and Visitors Bureau manager. The job had been a contracted position.
The new job was advertised to city staff and the public and 12 people applied.
An interview committee Thursday announced a decision to hire Jessica Lingren as Convention and Visitors Bureau manager. Lingren has been working in the contracted position for about a year and was previously Events Coordinator.
Hansen is newest ‘Employee of the Month’
(LE MARS)–A teacher’s aide at a Le Mars Community Elementary School is the “Employee of the Month.”
Jean Hansen, who works at Kluckhohn Elementary as a teacher’s aide in the Resource Room, was honored Thursday.
The nomination for Hansen described her as a person who comes to work each day with a positive attitude and a smile on her face. Students know her as honest, trustworthy and fair. She’s credited with always being willing to help out and going above and beyond her job responsibilities to help students and teachers.
According to the nomination, her lasting impression on students can be seen in the number of graduates who stop by to say hi or share old memories.
Driver has possible head injuries
(MERRILL)–A rural Akron man was injured when the pickup truck he was driving struck the rear of a grain trailer Wednesday afternoon about nine miles west of Merrill.
The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports 20-year-old Chance Steen was driving south on Fir Avenue. The report also states for an unknown reason Steen didn’t notice a semi was slowing for a stop sign at the intersection with county road C-38.
The pickup truck struck the rear of the semi being driven by 27-year-old Joshua Rozell of Akron.
Steen was taken to Mercy Medical Center by Hinton Ambulance for what the sheriff’s office reported as a possible head injury.
Akron and Hinton Police; Hinton Ambulance and Merrill Fire-Rescue assisted the sheriff’s office.
Bank regulators shut down MetaBank payday loans
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A northwest Iowa bank has been told by federal regulators to stop making short-term payday and tax refund loans to customers with prepaid debit cards because the program violates federal unfair or deceptive trade practice laws.
MetaBank, based in Storm Lake, Iowa, was told by the Office of Thrift Supervision, the federal government’s bank regulator, to stop offering lines of credit through its iAdvance program by Wednesday.
The program offers short-term high-interest loans to customers with prepaid debit cards. In addition to payday loans, the program is often used to borrow money against anticipated tax refunds.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
‘Fair Courts for Us Committee’ formed
(SIOUX CITY)–A new group that includes former Republican Governor Robert Ray and former Democrat First Lady Christie Vilsack, is seeking to get people to vote in favor of retaining the three Iowa Supreme Court justices who rule the state law banning gay marriage was unconstitutional.
The group called “Fair Courts for Us Committee,” also includes Sioux City attorney Dan Moore, who worked on the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Bob Vander Plaats. Vander Plaats is now leading an effort to vote out the three judges, but Moore says the system for selecting judges is fair and the judges should be retained.
Moore worked on all three of Vander Plaats’ campaigns for governor and says there are no ill feelings toward Vander Plaats — they simply have a disagreement over the court system.
Vander Plaats says the courts went beyond the Constitution in overturning the law banning gay marriage and were not held accountable to the people of Iowa.
While the Supreme Court justices had been staying out of the fray, Chief Justice Marsha Ternus gave a speech at Iowa State University this week where she defended the ruling and said critics of the ruling were “blinded by their own ideology.” The University of Northern Iowa has announced that Ternus will give a lecture on campus next week called “Rule of Law and the Iowa Supreme Court.” Vander Plaats told Radio Iowa he believes the people of Iowa are “very disturbed at this Supreme Court that’s become activist in nature” and the people want to hold the Court in check with a “No” vote. Vander Plaats says he believes that’s why Ternus is now speaking out on the issue. (News report by Radio Iowa)
Former Ames Lab workers eligible for compensation
AMES, Iowa (AP) Federal authorities have decided to make compensation available faster for former Ames Laboratory workers who developed cancer from radiation exposure.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive stating all employees of the Department of Energy who worked at the lab from 1955 through 1960 for 250 consecutive days would be eligible for compensation.
Harkin called the announcement “welcome news” for the workers and families. He says they handled “incredibly dangerous” materials in the early days of the Cold War
12 people escape house fire in Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Fire officials say 12 people safely escaped a burning home in Cedar Rapids.
The fire broke out in the 2-story house Wednesday afternoon. Fire Department spokesman Greg Buelow says four adults and eight children ranging in age from two to nine had been inside the house.
Fire officials said Thursday that investigators found the cause of the blaze was fire and smoke that rose through a chimney flue and spread across the roof.
Buelow says two adults were still in the house when firefighters arrived, but they got out safely.
Most of the fire was in the attic and a second floor bedroom.
Buelow says one of the adults had started a fire in the fireplace shortly before the fire was reported.
FEMA approves $30M for Iowa disaster assistance
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Federal emergency officials say they have approved more than $30 million in disaster recovery assistance to Iowans over the last eight weeks.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that as of Wednesday more than 12,000 flood survivors had registered for assistance. Of the $30 million in assistance money nearly $20.5 million went to pay for housing assistance, more than $8.25 million was provided in low-cost loans and more than $2 million went to cover assorted needs.
The assistance comes after severe storms, tornadoes and flooding hit the state over the summer. The state received a presidential disaster declaration in early August. Eligible Iowans have until Nov. 12 to register for assistance.
Iowa barns on tour
WILLIAMS, Iowa (AP) One of Iowa’s legacies of farming will be showcased this weekend with a tour of the state’s restored historic barns.
The Iowa Barn Foundation’s tour is Saturday and Sunday. In the past 11 years, the foundation has helped fund the repair of about 120 barns around the state.
The Messenger newspaper in Fort Dodge says one of the barns on the tour is near Williams in north central Iowa.
The 40-by-60 foot tongue and groove redwood barn is owned by Ron Adams of Webster City. He saved it about four years ago.
The barn’s history includes Arabian horses and dairy cattle.
After repairs, including a new roof and 30 gallons of paint, Adams was recognized by the Iowa Barn Association for preserving a piece of history.
No serious injuries in Iowa school bus accident
SEARSBORO, Iowa (AP) School officials say a Lynnville-Sully school bus went off the road and rolled into a ditch near Searsboro in central Iowa.
School officials say there were no serious injuries after the Thursday morning accident. Authorities say the bus driver and a student were taken to a hospital in Grinnell for a check up. The student reported bumping his or her head and the driver was treated and released.
Searsboro is in Poweshiek County about 50 miles east of Des Moines.
Superintendent Shane Ehresman says the district this week had a bus evacuation drill and some of the students aboard the bus had gone through that drill on Wednesday.
Waterloo woman sentenced to 1 year for fraud
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Federal prosecutors say a Waterloo woman has been sentenced to one year in prison for submitting more than $43,000 in fraudulent Medicaid claims.
Prosecutors said Thursday that 49-year-old Jo Ann Scott was sentenced in Cedar Rapids federal court. They say she pleaded guilty in July to one count of health care fraud and one count of mail fraud. According to her plea agreement, Scott admitted submitting the false claims for services that weren’t provided.
The claims were submitted between October 2004 and January 2009. Prosecutors say Scott used portions of the checks to pay for her car payments. Scott also was given a special $200 assessment and ordered to pay more than $43,000 in restitution. She also must serve three years of supervised release after her prison term.
$7.8M National Guard center planned for Muscatine
MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) The Iowa National Guard plans to break ground on a new facility in Muscatine.
The Guard said Thursday that the ceremony will be Tuesday for the planned $7.8 million Armed Forced Reserve Center. The center will span more than 35,000-square-feet and include administration, storage, kitchen and classroom space. There also will be room for maintenance training. About 100 soldiers will use the new facility.
The training space will be available for the Detachment 2, Company A, 248th Aviation Support Battalion of the Iowa National Guard and Detachment 1, 389th Engineer Company of the U.S. Army Reserve.
Federal money will fund the center, which will feature a sustainable design. Guard officials say the project should be finished by September 2011.
Gizzard shad found in Iowa waterways
MORAVIA, Iowa (AP) Gizzard shad have been found in at least five Iowa waterways and the state Department of Natural Resource says they fish could cause the lakes and creeks to collapse.
The department said Thursday that gizzard shad have been found in Badger Creek in Madison County, Beaver Lake in Dallas County, Hawthorn Lake in Mahaska County, in Lake Sugema in Van Buren County and in Lake Wapello in Davis County.
Department fisheries biologist Mark Flammang says the fish have been illegally transported and stocked into the waterways. He says the goal may have been to produce trophy bass but instead the gizzard shad are destroying the lakes.
So far authorities have lowered water levels in Lake Hawthorn and Lake Wapello to kill fish populations.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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