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Monday Afternoon News, January 19

Icy Roads Send Vehicles To Ditch

(Le Mars) -- At least seven different vehicles have gone into the ditch this morning on Plymouth County roads due to this morning's rain that quickly turned to ice.  Most of the accidents happened between 7:00 a.m and 10:00 a.m., prior to when the temperatures were able to rise above the freezing mark of 32 degrees.  Plymouth County Sheriff's officials say fortunately, none of the accidents resulted in any injuries.  One woman lost control of her SUV on County Road C-16 northwest of Le Mars, when she hit a patch of ice on the road causing her vehicle to enter the ditch and roll over on its side.  The woman did not sustain any injuries, but the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to the accident scene in order to extricate the woman from her vehicle.  County road officials have scattered sand on many of the paved county roads in order to help motorists gain better traction.  Sioux County reported they had a number of vehicles that also left the roadways due to the morning's icy conditions, but officials would not give an exact number.  At least two schools, Sheldon Community and George Little Rock both had a delayed start this morning as a result of the ice. 

 

Boyden Fire Department Responds To Hog Confinement Fire

(Orange City) -- The Boyden Fire Department responded to a fire at a hog confinement facility Friday evening shortly after 7:00 p.m.  The fire was reported at 3768 360th Street, about seven miles southwest of Boyden.  When fire fighters arrived on the scene, they saw heavy smoke coming from the structure.  The building contained 2,800 pigs.  One of the 75 feet by 125 feet sections of the barn was fully engulfed in flames, and fire officials worked more than three hours to extinguish the blaze.  Sioux County officials report there were no pigs in the particular room at the time of the fire, and at this time there has not been a report of loss of any of the animals.  The hog building did sustain approximately $750,000 in damages.  The Boyden Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Hull Fire Department, and Hull ambulance, Orange City Fire Department, Sioux Center Fire Department, Boyden ambulance, and the Sioux County Sheriff's office.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Boyden Fire Department and the Iowa State Fire Marshal.  

 

Crop Advantage Seminar Scheduled For Le Mars

 (Le Mars) -- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be hosting a Crop Advantage seminar, scheduled for 10:00 a.m., January 27th to be held at the Le Mars Convention Center.  Crops Specialist for northwest Iowa, Joel DeJong says the seminar will concentrate on the weather and the grain marketing outlook.

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The conference will continue through the afternoon hours with sessions examining the new farm bill, weeds, soil fertility, corn diseases, and other issues.  DeJong says some of the sessions will be held simultaneously.

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DeJong says many farmers are concerned about weeds developing resistance to popular herbicides, and those farmers are turning to tried and true measures from decades past.

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Registration is $50 before Thursday, but if you wait until the day of the conference, DeJong says registration will increase to $60.

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Sioux City Youth Wants To Follow Martin Luther King Jr.

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Seventeen-year-old Xavier Scarlett says he notices eyes following him whenever he enters a store or whenever he's on the streets at night.
     He's president of his Iowa high school's National Honor Society and captain of the basketball team, but Scarlett told the Sioux City Journal (http://bit.ly/1IY5C3p ) that he's still thought of as a black, male teen who must be watched carefully. 
     He says he wants to follow in the footsteps of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 
     Scarlett was scheduled to be one of the featured speakers at Monday evening's Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. 
     Scartlett says civil rights "isn't a black issue. It's a human issue."
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Monday News, January 19

Teacher Association To Present Initial Bargaining Proposal

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for today at 5:00 p.m.  The meeting will be at the Le Mars Education and Administration Center.  It is expected the Le Mars Teachers Association will present to the school board their initial bargaining proposal relating to the master contract for the 2015 - 2016 academic school year. 

 

School Board Reviews 10 Year Facilities Upgrade Plan

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board recently reviewed its ten-year facilities plan.  Superintendent of schools, Dr. Todd Wendt says the school was able to scratch off the list "Project Playground" when new playground equipment was installed at each of the elementary schools this past summer.  Wendt reviews some of the other finished projects from this past year.

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Wendt says another project nearing completion is the new lighting system for the little theater auditorium in the high school.

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Dr. Wendt says the football stadium's consession stand will be the next big project, but he previews what other projects are in the ten year plan.

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Wendt says the largest expense from the facilities upgrade plan go to help payoff the school's capital loan note which includes the new gymnasium, excersise rooms, music rooms, and art room.  He says that amounts to about $895,000 a year.  Finally, Superintendent Wendt says the school board has a goal to upgrade its computer systems.

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Gehlen Middle School Students Win State Application Contest

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic’s Junior High “Go Green DIYs” App was selected earlier this month as Best in the State Winner in the 2014-2015 Verizon Innovative App (Application) Challenge at the middle school level. 
 More than 1,000 app concept submissions were submitted.  As Best in the State winners, the Gehlen Catholic students were amongst an exclusive group of students invited to participate in a virtual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) conference last Wednesday.  The students conversed with one of the country’s foremost scientist/engineers, Hugh Herr, MIT’s “Bionic Man,” who time Magazine called “The Leader of the Bionic Age.”

According to Gehlen Catholic Junior High Computer and College Computer Instructor, Mrs. Mary Hunt, the state winners have advanced to the next round – the Best in the Region.  On Friday, January 16th, Verizon announced middle and high schools in Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were selected Best in the Region.   Those schools will now advance to the national competition. 

The project arose out of the STEM HYPERSTREAM Grant Gehlen Catholic received.  Through HYPERSTREAM, the students learned about coding, app inventing, community service, Robotics, and multimedia.  The five young ladies, Madeline Begnoche, Chloe Bunkers, Josie Kolbeck, Katelyn Langel, and Sydney Livermore created their app design.  Their project was to create an app based on sustainability through recycling.

 

Gehlen Catholic Schools To Celebrate Catholic Schools Week

(Le Mars) -- Next week, January 25th - 31st, Gehlen Catholic Preschool through High School will join the National Catholic Education Association and schools throughout the Diocese of Sioux City to celebrate Catholic Schools Week (CSW). The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) explained this year's theme. Again, this year's " theme encompasses several concepts that are at the heart of Catholic education.  First, schools are communities - small families in their own right, but also members of the larger communities of home, church, city, and the nation.  Faith, knowledge, and service are three measures by which any Catholic school can and should be judged.  The swirls of color (in the logo) interacting around a cross, which is at the center of all Catholic education.  The vibrancy of the colors and the movement and the shadows in the logo portray the inner-connectivity and community life that are present in our Catholic schools."  Gehlen Catholic President, Father Kevin Richter, invites parents, parishes, alumni, and the community to "Come and See...Hear....Witness...and Experience" for themselves how Gehlen Catholic e-pitom-izes this year's Catholic Schools Week theme just as Jesus invited Philip and Nathanael to "Come and See!" in the first gospel of John. 

 

Republicans Speculate Whether Reynolds Will Run For Governor In 2018

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The afterglow of Governor Terry Branstad's sixth inauguration is still hanging in the air, but Iowa Republicans are already speculating about the political future for Branstad's faithful Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.
     Reynolds, serving her second term as Branstad's second-in-command, is widely viewed as a likely candidate for governor in 2018, if Branstad steps aside. She's keeping quiet about her ambitions, but her political mentor is voicing his opinion.
     Branstad would not say if he would run again, but he said it is more likely he would support Reynolds. He says she's "better prepared to be governor than anyone has ever been."
     The 55-year-old Reynolds is one of the most high-profile lieutenant governors since Branstad himself held the role from 1979 to 1983.

 

Veterinarian Watches For Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus

  MANNING, Iowa (AP) - Veterinarians are working hard to monitor a virus that killed millions of baby pigs in the United States last year.
    Iowa veterinarian Michelle Sprague is president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
     Sprague says keeping track of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus means more paperwork for veterinarians and more testing.
     The number of cases of the virus is down this winter, but it is still early.
     Sprague says the industry is better prepared to respond to the virus than it was when the disease first showed up.

 

Marshalltown Authorities Identify Homicide Victim

 MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a 20-year-old man who was shot to death in Marshalltown.
     Marshalltown Police identified him as Dedrikk Fisher, who lived in Marshalltown. Fisher was shot around 11 p.m. Saturday and died early Sunday morning. 
     A murder warrant has been issued for 19-year-old Jose Morales, of Marshalltown. Investigators think Morales and Fisher knew each other.
     A police dispatcher said Monday morning that Morales has not been caught.

 

Burglar Found Sleeping In Victim's Bed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a Des Moines resident came home to find a burglar snoozing in his bed.
     When the resident got home Saturday evening he noticed the front door to his apartment had been kicked in. He soon confronted a man he found asleep in his bedroom, but the man ran away. 
     The resident told police that several items of clothing were missing, but he also reported that a computer and several pictures that didn't belong to him had been left in his apartment.
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