Home News Tuesday News, April 18th

Tuesday News, April 18th


Supervisors To Bid Let Three Construction Projects

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will convene for their weekly meeting this morning at the County Courthouse boardroom. The supervisors will have a bid letting on three construction projects slated to begin this summer. County engineer Tom Rohe will review some quotes with the supervisors
relating to a truck tractor. The supervisors will also hear from surveyor, Dave Wilberding as he requests permission for a minor sub-division in Westfield township.


City To Begin Discussion For New Police Chief

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council will meet at the council chambers beginning at noon today. As for action items to be discussed, the city council will award a contract for the public library’s renovation, and they will discuss a police chief search consulting services. The city council will also hear an annual report on the airport and the recreation services.


Highway 75 Between Le Mars and Merrill Under Construction

(Le Mars) — Highway 75 between Le Mars and Merrill is now down to two lanes of travel as the Iowa Department of Transportation conducts some road repairs to the stretch of nearly four miles of roadway. Iowa Department of Transportation
Area Superintendent, Dakin Schultz says the entire construction project is slated for two years, but with the two-lane travel expected to last four months.


Schultz explains the work that is being done to the highway.


Schultz says the intent will be to increase the grade between the northbound lanes and the southbound lanes.


The Iowa D-O-T official says when the junction of Highway 75 and county road C-38 is closed, the detour will follow Key Avenue near Wells Corporate offices to 200th Street.


Business Highway 75 Paving Project Is Making Progress

(Le Mars) — Meanwhile, the paving overlay project on Business Highway 75 is making progress. Construction crews are nearing completion of the paving of the phase 1 portion from the Highway 3 junction and heading south to the Family Table Restaurant. City administrator Scott Langel says the city offered the contractor an incentive bonus pay if the project would be completed before the deadline. Langel says it appears the contractor will acquire the bonus pay for Phase 1.


Langel says as of Monday afternoon, the paving overlay portion of Phase 1 is complete, but the city official says people will need to wait a few days before the street opens for traffic.


Langel says the timetable for the remaining construction phases should be completed within the next few weeks.



Volunteers and City Crews Move Books and Resources From Library to Eagle’s Club

(Le Mars) — City work crews and volunteers were busy moving books and other resource materials today from the Le Mars Public Library to across the street to the Eagles club. The Eagles Club will serve as the temporary public library during the duration of the library’s renovation project. City Administrator
Scott Langel says it was a nice accomplishment.


Langel says now the shelving will be moved across the street to the temporary location.


Bee Hive Extracted From Dead Tree

(Le Mars) — A group of six local bee keepers were called upon this past Saturday to extract a honey bee hive located inside a dead Ash tree. The tree is located across the street from the Cleveland Park and was tagged by the city to be cut down when city officials discovered bees had been buzzing in and around the tree. Dave Korver of rural Le Mars, and a member of the Siouxland Bee Association, says city officials asked if he would be interested in removing the bee hive.


Korver says the city had topped the tree, and removed the branches, allowing the bee keepers better access to the hive. Korver says the tree was rotten and made for an easier access to the hive. Korver says he used a chainsaw to cut an opening to get to the hive. He says the bees were fairly gentle in nature
during the entire extraction process, and he says the hive was about an average size bee hive.


The bee keeper says when extracting a bee hive, the honey comb is first removed.
He says this particular hive had six layers of honey comb, each about an inch and a half thick and 12 inches wide by 18 inches tall. Korver says the honey comb had contained an estimated five to ten pounds of honey.


The group of bee keepers used smoke and a vacuum to help remove the bees. When the bee keepers were extracting the hive from the old tree they did not immediately locate the queen bee. However, Korver is convinced they were able to get the queen and remove her from the hive.


Korver says its best to identify the queen when moving a hive.

Korver says the entire process to remove the hive took several hours to complete. The new hive has been set up in the rural area near Struble.


Plymouth County Farm Bureau Shows Support For Round Barn Agricultural Educational Project

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee is pleased to announce it has received a donation for the “aROUND the farm in the BARN” agricultural educational exhibit to be featured inside the iconic round barn during the upcoming Plymouth County Fair.


Jim Wess, president of the Plymouth County Farm Bureau organization recently presented a check in the amount of $1,000 to Cole Sitzmann, Vice President of the Chamber Agriculture Committee.

“The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee is very appreciative of the generosity expressed by the Plymouth County Farm Bureau,” said Sitzmann.  “We are indeed thankful for the gift and support by the Plymouth County Farm Bureau. It is reassuring to see other agricultural organizations and businesses share the Chamber Agriculture Committee’s vision about the importance of agriculture. ”

“More and more people are becoming generations removed from production agriculture.  That is even true for a rural community like Le Mars and Plymouth County,” commented Sitzmann. “Our local economy, and many local jobs, depend heavily upon agriculture. For this reason, it is important to secure the continued success of the agricultural educational display inside the famous round barn”, said Sitzmann.

“The Chamber Agriculture Committee welcomes donations of any amount.  Donations will be utilized to assist with updating and improving of the exhibit”, said Sitzmann.

People and businesses interested in contributing to the continued success of the agricultural educational display should send their donation to the attention of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce, 50 Central Avenue SE, Le Mars, Iowa 51031.  Checks should be made out to Chamber Ag Committee


Plane Crashes Near Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say two men walked away after their aircraft plunged more than 500 feet before crashing near an airport in south-central Iowa.
The crash was reported about 1:45 p.m. Monday near the Knoxville Airport at Knoxville in Marion County. Jeff Jorgenson says he and pilot Miles Loomis had just taken off when their gyroplane stalled and began falling. Gyroplanes also are referred to as gyrocopters.
Jorgenson says the aircraft hit some power lines just before it struck the ground. He and Loomis were treated for minor injuries.


Lawmakers Asked To Reconsider Budget Cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowans are asking GOP lawmakers to reconsider proposed budget cuts they say would be devastating for the state’s farmers, students and most vulnerable citizens.
Members of the public and lobbying groups spoke Monday at a Capitol hearing, criticizing proposed reductions they say will hurt vital services. GOP lawmakers hope to approve a roughly $7.2 billion budget this week as they hurry to adjourn the session.
Small agriculture groups asked the Republican-led Legislature to reconsider cutting the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Advocates for the center say it is vital for innovation within the state’s farming businesses.
Others criticized cuts to higher education, victims’ services and conservation as well as the loss of federal family planning money.
GOP lawmakers say the cuts are needed amid budget constraints.


Synthetic Drugs Found In Prison

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) – The prison that houses Iowa’s most dangerous offenders is tightening security after an infiltration of synthetic drugs that a union is calling the worst in its history.
The Iowa Department of Corrections said Monday that the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison has changed procedures related to inmate mail and visiting to prevent contraband from getting inside.
A union representing correctional officers said 12 inmates have been linked to drugs such as K2 in recent days. AFSCME Council 61 warned that the drug was creating a dangerous situation for staff and inmates, some of whom were combative and suffered serious health effects after nearly overdosing.
The department said prison staff “identified the presence of contraband drugs” and are taking appropriate steps to address the situation. Inmates who have been found to use or possess drugs are facing disciplinary action.