Home News Wednesday News, December 11th

Wednesday News, December 11th


Plymouth County Supervisors Hear Budget Requests

(Le Mars) — During the Tuesday morning meeting of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors, representatives from the bargaining unit employees of the Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department met before the county governing
board to offer their initial salary requests for the upcoming fiscal
year. The Plymouth County Bargaining Unit suggested to the supervisors for a one-year contract consisting of a five percent increase in salary. The supervisors will present their initial response and salary proposal during an upcoming supervisor meeting.
Also, during the county supervisor meeting, requests for funding were made by the Plymouth County Historical Museum and the Plymouth County Fair.
Museum administrator, Judy Bowman asked the supervisors to consider making the same amount of funding of $15,000 as was previously requested in years past. As for the Plymouth County Fair, president of the fair board, Loren Schnepf and vice president John Ahlers appeared before the county governing
board. The Plymouth County Fair Board representatives requested the same amount as last year. Schnepf says the fair would like for the supervisors to consider contributing $28,000 for the fair. Schnepf says the money would
go towards the renovation of the current show ring arena.

Supervisor Craig Anderson inquired about the livestock entries to the Plymouth County Fair, in which Schnepf says the numbers “have been holding steady.”

Schnepf and Ahlers explained that one reason for the increase in hog entries is due to the “Adopt A Pig” program allowing 4-H and FFA members who do not have facilities to raise a pig, to acquire a pig from a local producer and having that pig remain on the producer’s farm until the fair.

The fair board president says there is becoming more interest and emphasis on smaller animal projects.

The fair board directors informed the county supervisors of the fair board’s land purchase, located just east of the fairgrounds, near Donagul Insurance.



Le Mars Police Department Participate In The “Shop With A Cop” Program

(Le Mars) — 14 youngsters were given some assistance with their holiday shopping last evening as members of the Le Mars Police Department and Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office participated in the annual “Shop With A Cop” program. Le Mars Police Assistant Chief Justin Daale says this was the third year for the program, as officers helped the children purchase gifts
for their family, and for themselves.

Daale says the money for the program is raised through their police association, or by generous contributions from through out the community.

The Assistant Police Chief says teachers and other school officials help identify the children and families that can most benefit from the program.
Daale says many times the children are prepared for the shopping experience as they have compiled a list.

Daale says each student is given a budget for their shopping needs.

Daale says after selecting and purchasing the gifts, the students assist with the wrapping of those gifts.

Daale says the Le Mars Police Department was approached by a community citizen three years ago with the idea for the program. The citizen was aware of a similar program in Colorado, and wondered if it could be incorporated locally.



Funeral Home Gives Christmas Stockings To Military Personnel

(Le Mars) — Thanks to the efforts of a local funeral home, military personnel at both the 185th Air Refueling Wing and the 113th Calvary, both based at the Sioux City airport, will have a little brighter holiday season.
The Rexwinkel Funeral Home of Le Mars and Akron donated 32 Christmas stockings filled with snacks, candy, and other food items to the airmen and soldiers. Gary Schmidt, is the 185th Airmen Family Readiness Manager and says the simple gifts mean a lot to those military personnel that are deployed.

Schmidt says the military appreciates the generous gestures of Rexwinkel Funeral Home, as well as several other businesses and organizations that contribute to the military by providing similar gifts.

Schmidt says there are military personnel living across the region, and such efforts are greatly appreciated.

Lori Rexwinkel says she and her husband, Dan, wanted to do something to benefit military personnel.

Rexwinkel says more than a dozen families participated in the “Fill The Stocking” program.

Lori Rexwinkel says the funeral home wants to make this an annual event.



Two French Companies To Lease University Of Iowa Utilities

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Two French companies will pay the University of Iowa more than $1.1 billion to secure the rights to operate its utility system for the next 50 years under a plan approved Tuesday. The Iowa Board of Regents voted Tuesday to approve the deal with a newly-formed consortium made up of energy company ENGIE and investor and asset manager Meridiam.
Gov. Kim Reynolds told the regents that it was a “historic day for higher education in Iowa.” She called it an innovative approach that will create revenue that help finance the school’s strategic plan. Critics have called the deal risky.



Trial Set For Murder Suspect From 40 Years Ago

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A murder trial has been moved to Scott County for a man accused of killing an Iowa high school student almost 40 years ago.
Court records show a judge agreed Monday to relocate the trial of 65-year-old Jerry Burns, of Manchester. Police arrested Burns on Dec. 19 last year, 39 years to the day after 18-year-old Michelle Martinko was killed. Burns’ attorney gas said pretrial publicity made it unlikely Burns could receive a fair trial in Linn County. The trial still is scheduled to begin Feb. 10.
Burns has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.



African Man Released From 18 Month Hospital Stay

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An African man who was trying to build a new life in Cedar Rapids has spent the past 18 months at an Iowa City hospital, recovering from a traffic accident that killed two fellow immigrants. Jean-Claude Shako suffered head and other injuries in the June 25, 2018, collision while he and four other immigrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo were headed to work in Tama. He’s well enough to be discharged,
doctors have said, but he has no family to move in with, no money for a rehabilitation center and isn’t yet eligible for assistance through Medicaid.



Menards Purchases Council Bluffs Mall

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – An official with Menards confirms the home improvement store had purchased the Mall of the Bluffs in Council Bluffs and will tear down the structure to make room for a new store. Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott said Monday the company would build a “bigger and better store”
at the site of the mall in eastern Council Bluffs, just off Interstate 80.
Tenants of the mall told The Daily Nonpareil newspaper that they have been told to leave the mall by the end of the year or sooner. Abbott said the new store was needed because and existing one was “small and dated.” Menards is based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.



Council Bluffs Man Sentenced To Prison For Killing Grandmother

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A man accused of beating to death his grandmother in western Iowa’s Council Bluffs has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. Court records say 30-year-old Jacob Heyer pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder. Prosecutors lowered the charge from first-degree murder in exchange for Heyer’s plea. Heyer was arrested in August 2018 for the assault of 71-year-old Karen Fort. She died within a month, and his original charges were raised.