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Monday News, September 2

Le Mars Fire Department Issues Monthly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department has released its monthly report.  During August, the local fire and rescue squad had a total of 41 calls.  There were 13 fire calls, four rescues, 11 investigations, and 13 requests for services.  The Le Mars Fire Department reports that eight towns participated in the annual water application drill contest and over 200 people attended.  All fire pumps on trucks were tested by an outside agency this month for their annual certification and inspection with each truck passing.  The
certification is required to maintain the outstanding insurance rating.

 

Kiron House Fire Causes Fatality

KIRON, Iowa (AP) - Investigators say a fatal house fire in the Iowa town of Kiron was an accident.
The fire was reported about 9 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters put out the blaze, then found the body of 50-year-old Tina Reed.
Kiron is a town of about 280 that sits about 15 miles northeast of Denison.
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Public Buildings Closed For Labor Day Holiday

(Le Mars) -- All public buildings including City Hall, the city public library, and the county courthouse, many banks and the postal service will all be closed today in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.  In addition, the county Board of Supervisors will not have their weekly meeting tomorrow.  The next Plymouth county supervisor meeting will be next Tuesday, September 10th.


17 Year Old Charged With 5 Year Old's Death

LOGAN, Iowa (AP) - A 17-year-old has been arrested in connection with the death of a 5-year-old boy whose body was found in a western Iowa ravine.
The Harrison County Sheriff's office says the teen has been charged with first-degree
murder in the death that was reported Saturday evening.
The boy's caregivers found his body in a ravine in rural Harrison County near Logan, Saturday.
The teen was being held in lieu of $500,000 bond on Sunday. The Associated Press
doesn't generally identify juveniles charged with crimes.
Authorities say the teen and the 5-year-old had been living together in the same
foster home since early August.
Authorities did not immediately release the child's name.
An autopsy is scheduled to be performed Monday morning.


Sioux City Police Investigate Hit And Run Motorcycle Fatality

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are investigating a hit and run accident that fatally wounded a motorcyclist and seriously injuring a female passenger.  The accident happened on Friday at the junction of Hamilton Blvd. and 17th Street.  A southbound motorcycle was struck by what was described as a white full size pickup truck that had left the scene.  The male operator and the female passenger were transported to a Sioux City hospital with critical injuries.  The motorcycle driver was pronounced dead at the hospital.  Names of the deceased and injured are not being released at this time.  Officers made contact with a white 2007 Chevrolet pick up truck shortly after the accident occurred.  The vehicle is owned by Miguel Munoz of Sioux City and was determined to be the truck that was involved in the accident.  Following the initial investigation, Munoz was arrested on charges of
leaving the scene of a fatal accident, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury, and a stop sign violation.  The investigation continues.

 

Woodbury County To Enforce Seatbelt Violations

(Sioux City) -- Seat belts save lives, and the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau conducted a seatbelt survey on Monday. Of the 234 front seat drivers and passengers, 217 of them were observed wearing a seatbelt with a compliance rate of 92.7 percent.  So far this year, there have been 189 fatalities in Iowa with nearly a third of them, 63 of those fatalities not wearing a seatbelt. Officials say your chances of surviving a crash are up to 70 percent better if you are wearing a seatbelt. The Woodbury County Sheriff's office will be working seatbelt and OWI enforcement over the Labor Day weekend.

 

Glenwood Man Dies In Auto Accident

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are investigating a one-vehicle crash that killed a 24-year-old man near Glenwood.
The Iowa State Patrol says Jack Champ died after the crash around 6:30 a.m. Sunday.
Champ was driving northbound on 221st Street north of Glenwood when he lost control of
his vehicle and drove down a steep embankment.
Champ's vehicle struck several trees and rolled before landing on its roof. He died at the scene of the accident.

 

Lyon County Manure Run-off Reaches Streams and Ponds

INWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Environmental officials are monitoring a northwest Iowa stream after cattle manure flowed into it last week.
The manure flowed into a tributary of the Rock River near Inwood after it was
improperly applied to a corn field.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating the situation.
The manure came from a 4,000-head cattle facility. After it was applied to the field, the manure flowed into a creek and a neighbor's pond.
The high levels of ammonia from manure can kill fish and other aquatic life.
Officials did not find any dead fish in the creek on Thursday and Friday, but they plan to continue monitoring it.
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Iowa DNR Adds More Public Hunting Grounds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have added eight new sites to Iowa's walk-in public hunting access program.
The state Department of Natural Resources says the additions increase available hunting land by 600 acres for a total of nearly 7,600 acres on 48 sites.
The hunting access program allows hunters to use a portion of private land. Landowners enroll their property in exchange for habitat improvement on that land.
The new sites are located in north central Iowa, in a part of the state with the least amount of public hunting access.
The DNR has site maps available online. Walk-in public hunting through the program began Sunday and runs through May 31st.

 

UNI Monitoring Food Waste

(Cedar Falls) -- A University of Northern Iowa program targets ways to stop wasting food. A recent Iowa Department of Natural Resources study found almost 14-percent of all trash dumped in the state's landfills is food waste, or about 350-thousand tons a year. Dan Nickey is the senior program manager for the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at U-N-I.

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The problem is getting worse, as the study found the amount of food waste being chucked in Iowa landfills has risen 62-percent in the past 13 years. Iowa has 46 municipal solid waste landfills but only four of them offer a food waste composting program. He says one possible solution would be for restaurants to offer smaller portions -- at corresponding smaller menu prices. Eateries could also start a composting program or another effort to reduce waste.

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He says restaurants and institutions like hospitals and colleges should assess what's being thrown out and track the results.

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Nationwide, 40-percent of all food produced ends up in landfills. Learn more at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center website: www.iwrc.org


Water Works Park To Be Renovated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Organizers behind an expansive renovation of the century-old Water
Works Park in Des Moines say they want to focus on the urban land's relationship to water.
The park is owned by Des Moines Water Works, the municipal water utility serving the
city. While the park offers recreational amenities, organizers say the expansive space is underused and needs an overhaul.
The 1,500 acres near downtown is in the beginning stages of its renovation, which formally began in 2011 through a nationwide design competition. A Massachusetts firm is now leading the effort.
Bill Stowe, CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works, says a September 10th
open house will give the public a chance to see what the design team is working on, as well
as a chance to suggest ideas.

 

ISU President Flies To Many Destinations

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University President Steven Leath is a private pilot who sometimes flies himself to events around the state,
Leath says that flying is cheaper than driving on some trips because his salary makes his time a valuable commodity. He's paid almost $467,000 a year.
Other times he flies because it's the only way to attend one day's events in different parts of the state.
Leath says there's no university policy or budget restriction that governs whether he should hit the highways or the airways.
Leath flew or was a passenger in a private plane at least 25 times over a 17-month period.
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Iowa Civil War Veterans Being Honored With Grave Stones

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - The Civil War service of Iowa veterans is slowly being recognized with new gravestones.
The Marshalltown Times-Republican reports (http://bit.ly/15p8F5d ) that several Marshall County residents spent Friday morning installing a gravestone for William O. Woodard.
Marshalltown historian Jay McCann was there to assist and to see some of the fruits of his efforts. McCann has been researching old records to make sure all of Marshall County's Civil War veterans are recognized.
Cemetery manager Danielle Plaehn helped search ancient records for details of Woodard's grave.
The Veterans Administration provided a grave marker free of charge after McCann shared
his research.
Woodard served in Company D of the 5th Iowa Infantry. He was wounded at the battle of Iuka, Miss., and he lived in pain for several months before dying Jan. 25, 1863.
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Construction Crews Dig Up Pioneer Graves

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Construction of a new gas station in Waterloo was delayed after workers unearthed two pioneer graves from the 1860s.
The  remains of an infant brother and sister were removed for reburial elsewhere, so construction of the Hy-Vee gas station will continue.
Leah Rogers with Tallgrass Historians says experts were able to recover the remains of one individual, two gravestones and parts of a coffin.
Rogers says the gravestones contained enough information to locate the descendants of
the people buried in the graves. The family is making plans to rebury them elsewhere.
Rogers declined to identify the family.


 

   

Saturday News, August 31

Plymouth County Deputies Arrest Man For Domestic Assault

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County deputies were dispatched to 25104 County road K-22 of rural Plymouth County last evening at about 11:00 p.m. for a domestic assault call.  Upon arriving at the address both parties were still present.  Through the investigation, 34 year old John White was arrested for serious domestic assault and transported to the Plymouth County jail.

 

Man Threatens Motel Guests At Storm Lake

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A man has been accused of threatening guests at a northwest Iowa
motel with a stun gun.
29-year-old Richard Porter, of Davenport, has been accused of arguing with guests at
the motel early Friday in Storm Lake.
Police say Porter assaulted a guest and retrieved a stun gun from his room before
threatening several people. None of the guests were injured, but Porter had minor injuries from his arrest.
Porter faces several charges, including going armed with intent, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
Court records do not list an attorney.
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Hit And Run Accident Kills Motorcyclist

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are investigating a hit and run accident that fatally wounded a motorcyclist and seriously injuring a female passenger.  The accident happened on Friday at the junction of Hamilton Blvd. and 17th Street.  A southbound motorcycle was struck by what was described as a white full size pickup truck that had left the scene. 
The male operator and the female passenger were transported to a Sioux City hospital with critical injuries.  The motorcycle driver was pronounced dead at the hospital.  Names of
the deceased and injured are not being released at this time.  Officers made contact with a
white 2007 Chevrolet pick up truck shortly after the accident occurred.  The vehicle is
owned by Miguel Munoz of Sioux City and was determined to be the truck that was involved in
the accident.  Following the initial investigation, Munoz was arrested on charges of
leaving the scene of a fatal accident, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious
injury, and a stop sign violation.  The investigation continues.

 

Woodbury County Sheriff's Department Watching For Seatbelt Violators

(Sioux City) -- Seat belts save lives, and the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Iowa Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau conducted a seatbelt survey on Monday. Of the 234 front seat drivers and passengers, 217 of them were observed wearing a seatbelt with a compliance rate of 92.7 percent.  So far this year, there have been 189 traffic fatalities in Iowa with nearly a third of them, 63 of those fatalities not wearing a seatbelt. Officials say your chances of surviving a crash are up to 70 percent better if you are wearing a seatbelt. The Woodbury County Sheriff's office will be working seatbelt and OWI enforcement over the Labor Day weekend.

 

DNR Watching Inwood Feedlot Manure Runoff

INWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Officials from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are keeping a
close eye on a northwest Iowa creek near Inwood to see if fish are killed after thousands
of gallons of cow manure ended up in the waterway.
Officials say they received a call Thursday from a farmer indicating manure was flowing through his pond. 
DNR officers say John Fluit Jr. had dumped manure from a basin at his 4,000-head
cattle operation onto a cornfield. It's estimated as much as 12 loads of manure each up to
4,000 gallons were dumped on the field.
It flowed into a creek and ran for a mile before entering the neighbor's pond then
back into the creek.
The DNR says no dead fish have been found but they're monitoring high ammonia levels.


Nelson Files For Re-election For Council Seat

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City Councilman Ken Nelson has submitted his nomination papers seeking
another term as city representative for Ward 3.  So far, Nelson is the only candidate to indicate an interest in running.  The deadline to submit nomination papers is Thursday, September 19th.

 

Heat Wave Increases Electricity Demand

(Le Mars) -- This past week's heat wave has meant an additional power load placed on local electrical utility companies and cooperatives.  Abbey Bottenfield of MidAmerican Energy says the utility company made certain its customers would be provided the power they needed during the heat wave.

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Bottenfield says MidAmerican has set up programs that encourages its customers to conserve energy usage during peak load requirement times.

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State Medical Board Votes Against Abortion Video Conferencing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Medicine has voted to ban a first-of-its-kind system in which doctors distribute abortion-inducing pills remotely to patients in clinics across the state.
The board voted 8-2 during a meeting Friday. The earliest the rules could go into
effect would be November 6th.
Activists opposed to abortion rights sought to halt a long-distance video system used
by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. It lets doctors deliver pills to patients in clinics around Iowa after a video consultation.
Board members who voted for the rule said they were concerned because patients don't
see a doctor in person and may not get follow-up care. But Planned Parenthood of the
Heartland officials say the system helps women in remote areas and that they have received no complaints.


Grassley Believes Farm Bill Will Pass And Will Not Be Extended

(Le Mars) -- This past week, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley held a town hall meeting at Le Mars.  More than 60 people had attended the town hall meeting which was at the Floyd
Valley Hospital conference room.  Many questions were focused on health care, the federal
budget, and foreign policy.  However, there were some agricultural-related questions that
dealt with the country of origin labeling and the farm bill.  After the town hall meeting,
Grassley spoke to KLEM news.  He doesn't believe there will be any extension to the present
farm bill, since Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Majority Senate Leader Harry
Reid have both said they would be against an extension. Grassley says the production
agriculture lobby will never get a farm bill passed if the production agriculture policies
are split from the food nutritional assistance programs.

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Senator Cruz To Go Pheasant Hunting With Steve King

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas says he plans to hunt pheasant with Iowa Congressman Steve King during a trip to the state in October.

Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier wrote in an email Friday that the senator would hunt with King and was "honored to have received the invite."
The trip is planned for Oct. 26 near the northwest Iowa city of Akron. Cruz will speak at a GOP event in Des Moines on Oct. 25.
King, a Republican, is among the most conservative House members.
King hosted candidates for similar hunting events before the 2012 caucuses.
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Iowa GOP Split On Convention Date

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A decision by the Iowa Republican Party to delay the 2014 GOP Convention has been slammed by many of the state's top Republicans, who argue that pushing back the gathering could jeopardize the party's chances in next year's Senate race.
Doug Gross, a Republican fundraiser, says the conflict reveals an ongoing rift among Iowa Republicans.
The official party apparatus is run by followers of libertarian Ron Paul, who have clashed with Republican Gov. Terry Branstad on how to manage state and party affairs.
Critics say that moving the meeting to July 12 from June 14 could be harmful if no one reaches a required threshold in the GOP primary and the nomination is left to the convention. Then the delay could benefit Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who is unopposed.

 

Branstad's Chief Of Staff Resigns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's chief of staff Jeff Boeyink is resigning.
Boeyink announced his plans Friday. In a press release, he says he will start a new career in the private sector. His last day in the Branstad administration will be Sept. 6.
Boeyink served as Branstad's campaign manager for his 2010 run for governor. He then joined the administration as chief of staff in January 2011. He is viewed as a smart leader, with strong political skills. He was a key part of the budget negotiations this year that led to a property tax cut and education policy reforms.
Branstad calls Boeyink a "valued part of our team" and says he would be missed.

 

Fort Dodge Will Elect Mayor For Full Term For The First Time In 24 Years

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Fort Dodge will re-elect a mayor this fall for a full term for the first time in 24 years.
Mayor Matt Bemrich was the only person to file for the mayor's office by Thursday's deadline.
Since he has no opposition, that will make him the first Fort Dodge mayor elected to a second consecutive full term since 1989, when Mike McCarville was re-elected.
Bemrich, an electrician, says he hopes in his next term that the city will continue developing new and improved housing.
The city pays its mayor $15,000 annually.
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