Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, March 29th

Wednesday Afternoon News, March 29th


Zoning Board Approves Parking Variance For Abbey Apartments

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Zoning Board met on Tuesday morning to decide upon whether or not to grant a variance waiver to Adam Brown for parking to be located at the former Abbey nursing care facility. Brown has purchased the
building and intends to convert it to a 30-unit apartment complex. According to Greg Smidt, city code ordinance enforcement officer, the zoning board heard
testimony from several neighbors of the planned apartments. Smidt says there was nobody that spoke against the proposal to convert the building for apartments. But Smidt says there was some general concern about parking. The city zoning board gave its approval for the variance. What has been decided is
that the city proposed to change the parking configuration allowing up to 45 cars. Smidt says it was proposed for the city to grade down the shoulder of the parking area, and extend the parking area to be right up next to the sidewalk. Smidt says the parking will consist of diagonal parking from the street.


School Board To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening. The school board is holding its meeting on Wednesday, instead of the traditional Monday evening meeting since many school board members were in Denver attending
the National Association of School Boards Convention. The school board’s agenda includes discussion for a collective bargaining workshop to be held in Altoona on April 13th. The school board will discuss the upcoming Le Mars Community School District’s Foundation Banquet to recognize the school district’s various
“Employee of the Month”, those faculty and staff who have served at least 25 years for the school district. The School District Foundation also recognizes the top five percent of the senior class with the highest GPA’s. The highlight
of the evening will be the naming of the Le Mars Community Teacher of the Year Award, as well as the naming of the District’s Distinguished Alumni. The School District Foundation banquet and awards program is scheduled for April 26 at the
lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center. Other items to be discussed include a plan to be submitted by school superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt to review the infrastructure plan for 2017 and 2018 school year. The school board will
review the proposed budget estimates and is likely to adopt the school’s budget for the next school year. The school board will discuss when should be the last day of school, and the board of education will consider approving the tentative agreement with the Le Mars Community Education Association.

Le Mars Community School Board

Tuesday Was  A Busy Day For Area Firefighters

(Le Mars) — Tuesday proved to be a busy day for Plymouth County Firefighters. The Le Mars and Merrill Fire Departments responded to a brush pit fire that quickly spread to large round hay bales that were stacked near the fire. The call came in shortly after 12:30 p.m. on a farm located about halfway between Le Mars and Merrill on Highway 75. The winds helped blow some embers from the burn pit to the round bales and causing the bales of hay to ignite. Fire officials were attempting to open up the round bales in order for the fire to burn more
quickly. Merrill fire officials thought that at least 20 bales of hay were lost due to the fire. They did not have an estimate on the value of the lost hay bales. Merrill firefighters remained on the scene for a few hours. Meanwhile, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had to respond to another grass fire that
was ignited due to the windy conditions. The second fire was located within about a mile and a half from the hay bale fire near Kesstrel Avenue and county road C-38. Much like the initial fire call, the second fire was started from a burn pit that had some embers blowing on to some dry grass vegetation surrounding the fire pit. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper explains what had

Schipper says he was concerned about an alfalfa field that was across the road from the grass fire, and just beyond the alfalfa field was a farmstead.

(Remsen) — Later, at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, the Remsen, Kingsley, and Marcus Fire Departments were dispatched to a farm located on Tamarack Avenue for what became two structures that were on fire. Remsen Fire Chief Kevin
Ortmann describes the scene.

Ortmann says he is uncertain as to what may have caused the fire that destroyed a small barn and an old corn crib.

Ortmann says three small calves and about a dozen chickens that were lost during the fire. He says the winds were a major factor in spreading the fire from the first building to the second building, and across a grove of trees out to a nearby field.

The Remsen Fire Chief says there was a small amount of hay in the barn that also was lost. Ortmann says the corn crib was no longer storing any grain, and was an empty structure. Ortmann says he doesn’t have an estimate of the value of the buildings lost in the fire. Fire officials were on the scene for nearly three
and a half hours. The Remsen fire chief asks people not to do any type of burning during these dry and windy days.

(Le Mars) — Late Tuesday afternoon, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a two-vehicle accident with injuries that happened at about 5:15 p.m. That accident occurred at the intersection near the Dairy Queen. No other
information is known about that accident at this time.


Bibler Request To Have Trial By Judge Not Jury

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) – A man charged with stabbing his sister to death has chosen to have a judge, not a jury, decide his fate.
34-year-old Thomas Bibler on Friday waived his right to a jury trial in Plymouth County District Court. His attorney, public defender Billy Oyadare, gave no reason.
Bibler has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, willful injury and going armed with intent in connection with the June 11 stabbing death of 27- year-old Shannon Bogh, of Le Mars. He was arrested that day after a short standoff at his Le Mars apartment.
Bibler’s trial is scheduled for May 16.

Bibler, Thomas


Branstad Lowers His Budget Spending

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad has lowered his projections for Iowa’s upcoming budget year by about $173 million amid declining state revenue.
The Republican governor released a revised budget Tuesday night that proposes spending roughly $7.2 billion in the budget year that begins in July. His staff discussed details Wednesday.
Branstad’s revised budget includes some new spending but does so in part by reducing funding to some departments, community colleges and the state’s three public universities. It also includes cutting money from a job skills training fund.
The figures also break down how the state plans to tap cash reserves to plug a $131 million shortfall in the current budget. Lawmakers addressed an earlier shortfall by cutting more than $117 million in spending.
Republicans with majorities in both chambers will soon release their budget proposal.


MaxYield Co-op Worker Dies By Falling Into Grain Trailer

BELMOND, Iowa (AP) – Authorities are investigating the death of a northern Iowa co-op worker whose body was found in a semitrailer loaded with grain.
Belmond police say 57-year-old Daniel Feller was pronounced dead Monday at the MaxYield Cooperative facility. A co-op statement said Feller had fallen from a platform while grain was being loaded into the semitrailer. The co-op says Feller had been an employee for more than 10 years.
MaxYield also said safety regulators completed an investigation Tuesday.