(LE MARS)–Contract talks between the city of Le Mars and an employee group are in the stage of formulating proposals to offer back and forth.
Initial pay proposals this fall ranged from a city offer of a wage freeze to an employee proposal of a three-and-a-half percent increase.
Legally only the initial offers that start negotiations are in open meetings.
City administrator Scott Langel sums up what’s happened since the first proposals this fall.
The pay, benefits and other contract areas are for the next budget year which is to be finalized by March 15th. Any tentative agreement would need approval from city employees representative by the Le Mars City Employees bargaining group and by the Le Mars City Council during one of the Council’s public meetings.
Recycling rolloffs fill up regularly
(LE MARS)–Le Mars residents fill recycling containers near the downtown fire station in an amount that averages a need to empty them once a week.
City administrator Scott Langel says there are two collection rolloffs.
The second rolloff also gets emptied on an average of once a week.
Le Mars residents may recycle at curbside with blue tote and blue bags. Calendar magnets with the 2011 garbage and recycling collection dates are available at City Hall. They’re provided free of charge by the city and Van’s Sanitation.
Terra Industries’ workers invited to job, education fair
(SIOUX CITY)–Workers who are losing jobs after the sale of Terra Industries will be offered information about jobs and education.
The workers are without jobs because C-F Industries acquired Terra Industries .
Job Training Partners at Western Iowa Tech Community College and Iowa Workforce Development offer the information December 8th.
The job and education fair is at the Sioux City Convention Center from 10 in the morning until four in the afternoon next Wednesday.
There’s an opportunity for former employees of Terra to meet with local businesses that are currently hiring. Representatives of several area colleges will also attend.
Driver hits utility pole in Hospers
(ORANGE CITY)–An Orange City man was injured in a one-vehicle accident in Hospers Wednesday night.
According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s office, 21-year-old Brandon Solsma was driving south on a city street. Solsma lost control of the car and it left the street and struck a utility pole.
The Hospers Ambulance took Solsma to the Orange City Area Hospital.
The Iowa State Patrol assisted the sheriff’s office with the accident which is still being investigated.
(UNDATED0–Forecasters say a snowstorm is headed for northeast Iowa. Eight counties in the region are under a Winter Storm Warning that runs this afternoon through tomorrow morning, for cities including Oelwein, New Hampton, Charles City and Decorah. Frank Boksa, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says snowfall between three and seven inches is likely for that corner of the state.
The Alberta Clipper system will be dropping the heaviest snow on an area north and east of a line from Algona to Waterloo. Another 16 counties across north-central and eastern Iowa are under a Winter Storm Watch — from Mason City to Dubuque and from Cedar Rapids to Clinton. Much of the rest of the state will see at least flurries, while southwest Iowa should avoid the white stuff. Boksa says the winter storm will leave very cold weather in its wake.
He says Sunday’s high temperatures may be in the 20s across southern Iowa and only from 10 to 15-degrees in the north. Lows are expected in the single digits or just above zero this weekend with the cold spell lasting into early next week. For more on the forecast, visit weather-dot-gov. (News report by Radio Iowa)
Judge allows Iowa woman to appeal life sentence
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A judge says an Iowa woman convicted of murder can challenge her life sentence, and it may hinge on brain waves.
Ruthann Veal was 14 when she was charged as an adult in the 1993 killing of a retired librarian in Waterloo.
The Iowa Supreme Court said Veal can challenge her sentence as cruel and unusual punishment and sent the case back to district court.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says a judge threw out part of Veal’s appeal that argued the sentencing judge didn’t use discretion in sentencing. But the judge ruled there may be issues regarding “newly discovered evidence” on the constitutionality of life sentences for juveniles.
Veal’s attorney says developments in MRI scans have opened a window into differences between adolescent and adult brains.
Iowa fugitive found in Minneapolis closet
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) A man accused of a homicide in Iowa has been found hiding in a friend’s closet in Minneapolis.
Authorities said Friday the 27-year-old fugitive is accused of fatally shooting a man outside a coin-operated laundry in Des Moines seven weeks ago. Twenty-nine-year-old Martin Turks was shot in the head.
U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Thomas Volk says Des Moines police traced the accused to Minneapolis after learning he had friends in the Twin Cities. Marshal Service officers searched the home of one of the man’s “associates” and found him in the closet Thursday.
The Star Tribune says he’s being held in the Hennepin County Jail awaiting an extradition hearing.
Iowa town under warning for high nitrates in water
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Officials are urging residents with infants in the eastern Iowa town of Dixon to use alternative sources of water after tests showed high levels of nitrates in the tap water.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the city discovered the high levels during routine testing on Thursday.
Nitrates are a serious health concerns for infants under six months old.
The city is working with the DNR to determine the source of the nitrates, which could come from natural, industrial or agricultural sources.
Residents with children under six months old should use bottled water or another source until they are notified that the tap water is safe.
Dixon, which has about 300 residents, is near Davenport in Scott County.
3 casino executives want separate trial
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Lawyers for three Iowa casino executives accused of illegally donating money to Gov. Chet Culver’s re-election campaign want their trial separated from a fourth defendant in the case.
The Des Moines Register, citing court records, says they are Peninsula Gaming president Martin Brent Stevens and company executive Jonathan Swain along with Fort Dodge businessman Steve Daniel. Their lawyers contend they would not get a fair trial if they are tried with Davenport attorney Curt Beason.
A hearing is set for Wednesday in Polk County District Court.
All four men are accused of violating campaign disclosure laws and making a campaign contribution in someone else’s name. Beason faces an additional count of obstruction.
Iowa hunter killed by wayward shot
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Officials say an Iowa hunter died after he was hit by a wayward shot fired at a running deer in south central Iowa last weekend.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 41-year-old Christopher Durham, of Harvey, died on Sunday near Bussey (BUHS’-ee) in Mahaska County.
Officials say he was hunting with a group when he was hit in the chest by a shot fired by another hunter.
The agency says the other hunter couldn’t see Durham because of the terrain and dense cover. Officials say Durham and others in the hunting party were wearing blaze orange at the time.
DNR safety officials are urging hunters to use caution and make sure they are visible during Iowa’s shotgun deer season during the next two weeks.
Prison farmland draws interest from Iowa lawmakers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A report says selling state-owned land used in the prison farm program to help balance the budget may bankrupt the system.
The land has drawn interest as lawmakers look for ways to save money by reducing the size of government and its holdings.
Incoming House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, says the issue is on the table.
The state’s 10 farms have almost 4,900 acres of land, about 40 percent of which is rented. The Des Moines Register says a report Thursday by the Legislative Services Agency shows selling the land would likely bankrupt the programs that depend on the rental income.
Iowa Prison Industries Director Roger Baysden says it makes no sense to sell assets that are producing income.
Memorial service for Iowan killed in Korean War
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A memorial service is being held for an Iowa soldier whose remains returned home 60 years after he was reported missing in the Korean War.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Wallace Slight, of Stuart, was last seen alive when his unit was attacked on Nov. 1, 1950. He was among more than 350 U.S. servicemen missing in action after the battle.
Slight was declared dead in 1954. In 1993, North Korean turned over 50 boxes of purported remains of U.S. servicemen. Slight’s remains were identified, and his family was recently notified.
The Iowa National Guard says a memorial service will be held at noon on Friday at the Stuart-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Stuart. A graveside service will follow at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter.
UI to buy property for music school
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The University of Iowa wants to buy a bank building in downtown Iowa City as part of project to relocate its flood-damaged music school.
The music school and recital hall were closed after the 2008 flood
The Iowa City Press-Citizen says the university will ask the Iowa Board of Regents next week for the OK to buy the property for $3.1 million plus $350,000 for relocation costs. The issue is on the regents’ agenda for next week.
The university plans to locate the music school in a planned high rise, which also includes residential and retail space. It will be connected by a skywalk to a second building for recital halls.
The project is estimated at $125 million.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email klemnews@lemarscomm or by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.