Home News Thursday News, January 3rd

Thursday News, January 3rd


Verdict For Bibler Murder Trial Scheduled For January 18th

(Le Mars) — We will soon know the fate of a Le Mars man charged with first degree murder in the 2016 stabbing death of his sister.
Judge Jeffrey Neary presided over the bench trial of Thomas Bibler, and says he will release his verdict on January 18th at 10:00 a.m. in Plymouth County District Court.
Bibler is accused in the stabbing death of his sister, Shannon
Bogh, on June 11th of 2016.
The trial began in July of 2018, recessed for three months and
wrapped with closing arguments in early November.



Woman Pleas Not Guilty To Assisting With Le Mars Bank Robbery

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City woman accused of helping a man rob a bank in Le Mars has pleaded not guilty.
Plymouth County District Court records say 35-year-old Karen Merrick entered written pleas last week to charges of robbery, theft, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit felony theft, accessory after the fact and eluding or attempting to elude law enforcement. A trial date has not been set.
Authorities say Merrick drove a U-Haul van used as the getaway vehicle after the Dec. 12 robbery at Iowa State Bank. Officers managed to flatten the van’s tires and arrest Merrick and 32-year-old Phillip White, also of Sioux City.
White has yet to enter his pleas. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call Thursday from The Associated Press.



Kass Elected To Chair The County Supervisors

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have re-elected Don Kass of rural Remsen as the chairman for the county governing board. Kass was elected by his fellow supervisors on Wednesday. The vice chair position was given to Craig Anderson of Merrill. The county supervisors approved committee assignments for 2019. All of the re-appointments were approved.



Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department Releases December Report

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has released its December monthly report, showing they had responded to a total of 32 calls during December. The breakdown of calls indicates the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to 11 fire calls, and 11 rescues. They had
three investigations or accident clean-ups, four requests for services, and responded to three mutual aid calls, twice with Merrill and once with Akron.
Fire Chief Dave Schipper says on Christmas Eve the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to four separate calls within an hour. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a total of 501 calls in 2018 compared to 433 in 2017.



City Council Approves To Raise Rental Rates For City Facilities

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council approved the listing of fees, licenses, and charges during the Wednesday meeting. Councilman Clark Goodchild offered an amendment to increase the deposit fees for some of the city’s facilities.

Goodchild says the people renting the city facilities will get their money back if left in good condition. He says a higher rental fee may offer people renting the facilities, more incentive to keep the facilities clean and in good shape.

Councilman Rex Knapp agreed with Goodchild for the reasons behind the increase in rental fees.

The council went along with Goodchild’s suggestions and approved to increase the deposit fee for the shelter house at the Municipal Park at $300, the Boy Scout Shelter houses deposit is now set at $100, and the rental of the Foster Park Gazebo is now set at $100.



Le Mars Housing Construction Remains Stable In 2018

(Le Mars) — City Code Enforcement Officer, Greg Schmid delivered the annual code enforcement and building department report to the city council. Smidt says the total number of building permits had increased over 2017’s permits.

Smidt says the number of single family housing developments remained the same as last year.

The collected fees from the single family housing units increased
approximately three thousand dollars from a year ago going from $22,000 to $25,600 in 2018. Construction costs was listed at 4 and a half million dollars. Smidt says there may be some confusion with the Multiple Family Housing category.

The Code Enforcement and Building Officer says there wasn’t as much commercial construction done in Le Mars during 2018, as there has been in previous years.

Smidt reports there were only two commercial construction projects during 2018.



Dakota Farm Show Begins Today

(Vermillion) — It is sometimes referred to as a “farmers’ shopping center.” The 36th annual Dakota Farm Show starts today (Thursday) and will continue through Saturday. Show manager Penny Swank says the Dakotadome will be
filled with exhibits.

The Dakota Farm Show even features educational seminars scheduled for Thursday and Friday, including Iowa State University’s Extension Climatologist Elwynn Taylor as he looks at the weather patterns and explains what farmers can expect to see for the upcoming crop year. An entomologist
with South Dakota State University will talk about the invading Emerald Ash Borer. The farm economy has been down during the last few years, but Swank expects a good turnout with farmers being optimistic.

John Riles Jr. serves as the Dakota Farm Show’s Marketing Manager. He believes attendance will be good despite the lower farm income.

The Dakota Farm Show features free parking and free admission with the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.



Le Mars Chamber Of Commerce Agriculture Committee Announces 25th Annual Ag Business Dinner Event

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee has announced the date for the Ag Business Dinner. The Chamber will sponsor the 25th annual event during the evening of March 21st with the social hour to
start at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner to begin at 6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center. The event is being held in the evening this year in honor of the 25th anniversary. Plymouth County Farm Bureau will provide appetizers. Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Vice President
of the Agriculture Division, Jordan Sitzmann will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. The presentation of the Ag Division Scholarship Recipient and the “Outstanding Service to Agriculture awards will be presented during the evening’s festivities. The featured key-note speaker will be Scott Siepker. Siepker is an actor, writer, producer and filmmaker.
Siepker is best known for his work as the “Iowa Nice Guy.” He is a versatile, veteran actor of stage and screen, drama and comedy. Tickets are on sale for $15. To get your tickets, or for more information, contact Sue Butcher at the Chamber of Commerce office or call (712) 546-8821.




Massachusetts Senator Warren Begins Presidential Campaign In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Sen. Elizabeth Warren is moving quickly to gain an advantage in early-voting Iowa by naming top political staff with experience in the lead-off caucus state before she makes her first campaign trip there as a likely presidential hopeful this weekend.
The Massachusetts Democrat on Wednesday hired four Democratic operatives, all with Iowa resumes, including rising stars from the 2018 midterms. The move comes after she established a presidential exploratory committee on Monday.
While other prospective 2020 Democratic candidates visited Iowa last year, Warren’s quickly planned first trip and Iowa hires demonstrate she plans to campaign aggressively for the caucuses.
A better-than-expected finish in Iowa could position Warren well in New Hampshire, where she would be expected to perform well as a neighbor to the first-in-the-nation primary state.