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Monday Afternoon News, December 8

Plymouth County Authorities Arrest Man Wanted In Kansas

(Le Mars) -- On Saturday, the Plymouth County Sheriff's office was notified of a wanted man from Kansas that was possibly living in Struble.  The man was identified as 37 year old Floyd Coates.  Coates was wanted in Kansas for possession of methamphetamine and fleeing law enforcement, both felonies with a bond of $25,000.  Sheriff's deputies located Coates at a Struble residence, along with his girl friend, 32 year old Angela Mireles.  Coates and Mirles were found in possession of a stolen vehicle from McCook, Nebraska that reported stolen on November 10th.  Coates and Mireles were arrested and transported to the Plymouth County jail.  Coates is being held on the Kansas warrants, as well as he and Mireles are now being charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, a class D felony, with a bond set at $5,000 each.


Spencer Woman Arrested In Le Mars For Outstanding Warrants

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police arrested a 25 year old Spencer woman on Saturday who had outstanding warrants for her arrest from Dickinson County. Brianna Laubenthal was arrested at the Le Mars Wal-mart parking lot.  In addition to the warrants for a probation violation on a domestic abuse charge, and a warrant to serve two days in jail, Laubenthal was charged with providing Le Mars Police officers false identification information.  Laubenthal gave her sister's name and date of birth to avoid officers finding out she had outstanding warrants. She was taken to the Plymouth County jail.


Sioux City Man Arrested For Possession Of Marijuana

(Le Mars) -- On Friday evening, Plymouth County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 23 year old man from Sioux City for second offense of possession of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, and for driving with a suspended license.  Steven Swift was stopped for driving while suspended.  As a result of the traffic stop, Swift was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  The defendant was jailed at the Plymouth County jail and bond was set at $1,000.


Remsen Prepares For "Old Fashioned Christmas"

(Remsen) -- An Old Fashion Christmas is being planned for Remsen later this evening.  Karen Harnack of the Remsen Chamber says the festival is entering its 11th year. Harnack says the evening's events will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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Harnack says there are plenty of activities scheduled for this evening as part of the Old Fashion Christmas festivities.

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The Remsen Chamber official says the Old Fashion Christmas started as a way for the local businesses to thank their customers.

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One new event associated with tonight's Old Fashion Christmas is the creation of Christmas cards that will be mailed to wounded military personnel. Leanne West is coorinating the event through the R-U Alive youth organization.

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West says there will be plenty of paper, glue, and glitter in order for many people to participate and make a Christmas greeting card in order to lift the spirits of our wound military.

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West says she is hopeful that everyone attending the Old Fashion Christmas celebration will want to make an effort to participate.

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American Red Cross Helps Displaced Residents From Spirit Lake Apartment Fire

 SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Officials are helping people displaced by a large fire at a Spirit Lake apartment complex.
     The American Red Cross says the Sunday afternoon fire at Hill Avenue Apartments affected 32 apartments. Four residents stayed overnight at an emergency shelter at a local church.
     Several fire departments responded to the fire, which destroyed most of the structure.
     Volunteers say they're available Monday for one-on-one meetings with affected residents. The public has been encouraged to donate new clothes for residents.


Branstad Makes Inauguration Plans

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad will be sworn in for a sixth term on January 16.
     Branstad announced plans for his inauguration Monday. The inauguration will be held at 9 a.m. at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center Ballroom in Des Moines. The inaugural ball will be held that night at the same location.
     Tickets for both events are available to the public. The inauguration is free, but the ball costs $75 a ticket. The net proceeds will go to a scholarship fund.
     Central Iowa businessman Bill Knapp and former cable television executive Jim Cownie are chairing the inaugural committee. Both contributed to Branstad's campaign.

Sarah Palin To Visit Iowa In January

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Sarah Palin will appear at a conservative event in Iowa in January. 
     Congressman Steve King and Citizens United President David Bossie announced Monday that the 2008 vice presidential candidate will participate in the "Iowa Freedom Summit." The event will be held in Des Moines on January 24. 
     King and the conservative group are co-hosting the summit. 
     Other confirmed guests include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Utah Sen. Mike Lee. 
     Palin served as governor of Alaska from 2006 through 2009. Since leaving office, she has been a best-selling author, public speaker and Fox News contributor.


Adam Gregg Hired For Public Defender Position

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed a former aide to serve as Iowa State Public Defender. 
     Branstad announced Monday that Adam Gregg would take over the office, which coordinates legal representation for those that cannot afford it. The previous public defender is moving to another state job.
     Branstad said in a news release that Gregg will "work to represent and defend individuals who otherwise couldn't afford legal representation." 
     Gregg most recently ran as the Republican candidate for attorney general, losing to incumbent Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller in November.  Before that, he served as a legislative liaison for Branstad. He is a graduate of Drake University Law School.


Council Bluffs Mayor Wants Additonal Christmas Lights For City

 COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The mayor of Council Bluffs says he's willing to lead a discussion on funding for new Christmas lights downtown.
     Mayor Matt Walsh says he's been receiving complaints about the quality and quantity of Christmas lights. He says that over time, some have burned out. 
     Walsh says the holiday lights were bought by businesses and interested residents, not by the city. The decorations aren't in the city's general budget, and he says that he's unsure if they should be. He says the lights are expensive to buy and store.






Monday News, December 8

Pre-trial Hearing Set For Today For Jonathon Neunaber

(Le Mars) -- A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Jonathon Neunaber for today at 9:15 a.m.  Neunaber is accused of killing his mother Esther Neunaber last July at a rural Akron farm.  Both his mother and father were found dead inside the home.  It is expected the attorneys and judge will schedule a trial date.


County Compensation Board To Recommend Pay Increases

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Compensation Board met on Friday to determine the level of pay increases to be recommended to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  The Compensation Board will recommend to the supervisors a three percent increase for all county elected officials, and a two and a half percent increase in pay for the supervisors.  Larry Peterson and John Koley, members of the County Compensation Board are scheduled to appear before the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to offer the pay increase recommendations.  The supervisors will make the final determination as to the amount of salary increase, if any, when they approve the county's budget.


School Board To Evaluate Superintendent's Goals During Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education are scheduled to meet this evening, and on the agenda, they will discuss the Le Mars Education Association  initial bargaining proposal for the 2015-16 master contract to the school board. The Le Mars Education Association is expected to present their contract proposal on January 19, 2015.  The school board will discuss Dr. Todd Wendt's evaluation for the superintendent's position.  The school board will look at the progress on the goals established as part of the evaluation process.  Assistant Superintendent, Steve Webner will present to the Board of Education for their review and approval, the district's application for modified supplemental aid for drop-out prevention programming for the 2015-16 school year.


Remsen To Hold "Old Fashion Christmas" Tonight

(Remsen) -- An Old Fashion Christmas is being planned for Remsen later this evening.  Santa Claus is scheduled to appear in Remsen and light the Remsen Christmas Tree at the town square at 6:15 p.m.  Following the lighting of the town's Christmas tree, Santa will be in the Remsen Museum for photos and to listen to children's wish list.


Business Builder Seminar Scheduled For Today

(Le Mars) -- Another Business Builder seminar is scheduled for today at noon to be held at the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor.  This time around, the speaker is Le Mars City Administrator, Scott Langel.  The Business Builder sessions are hosted by both the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach for Plymouth County.  Tickets are $15 which pay for the luncheon.  For additional information, you can contact either the Chamber office at 546-8821 or the Plymouth County Extension office at 546-7835.


City To Start Up New Water Booster Station

(Le Mars) -- City water officials have announced the new water booster station located at the 500 block of 24th Street southwest, will start up on Thursday, December 11th at 10:00 a.m.  The booster station will replace the present booster built in the 1960's.  Gayle Sitzmann, city water superintendent, says since the two booster stations are over a mile a part, it is conceived that some scouring may occur from changing the flow direction in the main feed pipeline.  City water officials will monitor the pressure in several spots in the boosted area, before, during, and after the switch over. Sitzmann says the area most likely to be affected will be south of 12th Street and east of Central Avenue.


Livestock Producers Trying To Comply With New Manure Run-off Rules

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa cattle and hog producers are working to comply with new state rules that are designed to keep animal waste from polluting nearby waterways.
     Craig Moss and his family created new concrete drainage systems with grates to ensure rain can leave their feedlot without carrying manure with it.
     Moss says his family wants to make sure that fresh water flows around the feedlot and dirty water from the feedlot is directed through terraces into a field.
     The new clean water rules increased state inspections and oversight of large feedlots. The state adopted the rules last year to satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency's concerns about lax enforcement.


Pallet Falls On Woman Worker

 UNDERWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities say a worker at a beef jerky distribution facility has been critically injured after a pallet fell on her head. 
     The Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office says the woman was hospitalized in Council Bluffs. The accident was reported Saturday evening at the Jack Link's Beef Jerky facility in Underwood. 
     Authorities describe her condition as stable. Her identity hasn't been released. 
     A Link Snacks spokesman says company officials are investigating the cause of the accident.


Three Year Old Boy Killed From Being Ran Over By A Skid Loader

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in eastern Iowa say a 3-year-old boy has died after being run over by a skid-steer loader. 
     The Delaware County Sheriff's Department said Sunday that Colton Meyer of Manchester suffered fatal injuries in the Friday accident. He was transported from the Delaware County home to an area hospital, where he later died. 
     Other information about Meyer's death wasn't released. Deputies are investigating.


Fewer Enrollment Numbers Mean More Empty School Buildings

OWASA, Iowa (AP) - Across Iowa, many former rural schools are now vacant buildings, and more small schools may feel pressure to close in the next few years.
     A budget guarantee that had helped small districts with declining enrollments survive expired last year after being phased out over a decade.
     So it may become harder for small schools to stay open. Today, Iowa has 338 school districts. In 1950, there were 4,652 districts.
     The idle school building in Owasa is symbolic of the trend because local leaders fought a 1958 law that required all schools to be part of a K-12 district.
     Owasa's school closed after an Iowa Supreme Court ruling in 1967, and the town's population has declined 60 percent since then.


Doctors Needed For Rural Iowa

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An effort to get more doctors in rural Iowa through a state-run loan forgiveness program moved forward this year, though backers say they still need more funding.
     The first group of students was awarded funding through the Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program this year. The eight recipients will each get up to $200,000 in loan aid in exchange for working for five years in small town Iowa.
     Doctor Brent Hoehns, a family physician in Knoxville who chairs the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians, says this kind of investment is needed.
     The ultimate goal is to use state and private dollars to provide the loan aid to 20 students each year who commit to rural jobs, which can often pay less than other physician positions. 




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