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Wednesday Afternoon News, April 23

Le Mars And Plymouth County Discuss Future Of Joint Urban Renewal Development

(Le Mars) -- Officials from the city of Le Mars and Plymouth County are in the middle of discussions concerning the future of the Joint Urban Renewal Development.  County Supervisor Don Kass serves on the committee and says at issue is the amount of debt and the timetable for which the debt is paid off as part of the tax increment financing or TIF between Le Mars and Plymouth County.  Kass says the project consists of about $18 million dollars. 
 
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He says county officials would like to see the debt paid before any additional major development projects are added. Kass says the county has about 11 percent of the debt and the city's portion equals about 89 percent.

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The county supervisor explains the positions of both entities regarding the development area under the TIF financing.

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Kass says the current TIF program expires in 2027.  Kass says if county officials were to see a major development project within the near future, they may change their minds.  But, according to Kass, there are no immediate plans for additional development.  He says one solution may be if Le Mars would want to acquire the county' share.

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Kass says both the city and the county have consulted with a Des Moines law firm that is familiar with joint TIF financing projects.

Northwestern College Prepares For Graduation Ceremonies 

ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Northwestern College will award 277 diplomas during commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 10. Twenty-five students will receive Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees, while the rest of the graduating seniors will be granted Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center of the Rowenhorst Student Center. Dr. James Bultman, former president of Northwestern College, will address the graduates in a speech entitled “To Serve or Be Served: That Is the Question.”

A live webcast of commencement will be available at www.nwciowa.edu/commencement/live. The college’s baccalaureate service is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, May 9, in Christ Chapel.

Bultman served as Northwestern’s president from 1985 to 1999 before another 14-year term as president of Hope College until his retirement in 2013. During his tenure at both institutions, enrollment and endowments grew and successful fundraising campaigns were held that raised money for new construction and building renovations.

 

Veterans Home Worker Talks About Sexual Harrassment

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa Veterans Home worker has come forward with details of sexual harassment, intimidation, and threats from the former head of the home in Marshalltown.
     The Senate Government Oversight Committee, investigating issues in the executive branch, released a recording Tuesday evening of an interview with Lisa Purvis.
     Purvis, former marketing director at the home, was interviewed by a state human resources officer in February 2012 about alleged behavior of the home's former Commandant David Worley.
     Purvis says Worley frequently harassed workers and veterans. She says she was laid off after she rebuffed a sexual advance in 2011.
     Senate Oversight Committee members voice concern that Gov. Terry Branstad allowed Worley to keep working until he resigned in October 2013.
     An active home telephone number for Worley couldn't be immediately located.

 

Chinese Man Accused Of Stealing Seed Is Set Free

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than four months after his arrest, one of six men from China charged with conspiring to steal valuable seed corn from U.S. companies has been released after posting a $50,000 cash bond.
 
     U.S. Magistrate Judge Ross Walters on Tuesday approved the release of Mo Hailong, who is known as Robert Mo. He said the conditions of release agreed to by federal prosecutors and defense lawyers would "reasonably assure" his appearance at future court hearings.
 
     Mo is one of six men facing charges in Des Moines after an FBI investigation determined patented seed corn was being taken from test fields containing highly valuable seed owned by Pioneer Hybrid and Monsanto. He was arrested in Miami, where he lived, in December. The others remain fugitives in China and Canada.

 

Deputy Secretary of State Paid While Position Eliminated

   IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz allowed his top aide to collect a $126,000 annual salary for seven months after deciding to eliminate his job and reassign his duties.
     Schultz decided in May 2012 to eliminate the chief deputy position that was held by Jim Gibbons, a former Iowa State wrestling coach.
     Rather than dismiss Gibbons as he did to four career workers laid off that summer, Schultz kept Gibbons on the payroll through the end of the year.
     Schultz says he didn't want to dismiss Gibbons because his wife was seriously ill and believed it would take time to combine his two deputy positions.
     Gibbons worked from home for one month. He then returned to the office for six months but didn't manage projects, Schultz says.

 


 

 


 

 

   

Wednesday News, April 23

Still Time To Vote For Le Mars Community School District Foundation

(Le Mars) -- There's still time to vote for the Le Mars Community School District Foundation as a benefactor of the Helmet to Hope charitable campaign.  Voting ends on Thursday, and at the present time Le Mars Community School District Foundation is in fifth place with only a few votes that separate Le Mars school with the sixth place charity.  The voting is happening nationwide with the top five charities that focus on K-12 education to receive $25,000 from NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson Foundation with collaboration of Wells Blue Bunny.  In order to vote, log on to www.helmetofhope.org

 

ICON Ag And Turf Service Manager Selected As "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- A service and parts manager from ICON Ag and Turf has been honored as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce April "Employee of the Month".  Gene Ruisch has been an integral part of the ICON family before the company was known as ICON Ag and Turf.  Gene started in 1974 as a service technician for Van Beek Implement and continued on to hold positions as a parts professional, parts manager, and service manager through Midwest Equipment and now ICON Ag and Turf.  He has shown his unwavering committment and dedication toward his job and the Le Mars surrounding community's customers.  There have been many changes with the equipment industry and Gene has handled them with poise and excellence.  In his current position as a parts sales professional, Gene keeps a jolly and entertaining atmosphere while working to meet customer's needs.  He is very well known and liked by our customers.  It is wonderful that we can say he has helped three generations of farming families throughout the years.  Our congratulations and thanks go to Gene Ruisch for his 40 years of loyalty to John Deere and the ICON Ag and Turf family, and for being named the Chamber's "Employee of the Month".

 

Koerselman And Summerside Awarded Distinguished Alumni

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District Alumni Association has announced two people are this year's recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards.  Glada Koerselman and Dr. Paul Summerside have been chosen.  Glada Reichert Koerselman, class of 1947, has had a journalistic career that has spanned over 60 years.  Her senior year she was editor in chief of "The Mill", the monthly school newsletter and art editor of the "Bark".  She was employed at the Le Mars Daily Sentinel from 1950 to 1986 where she served as editor for most of those years.  She used her column, Glad About, to spread glad tidings of the hometown she loved, through good times and bad.  Over the last 25 years, she has served as publisher and editor of "The Messenger", a weekly newsletter carrying courthouse news.  She has also been a correspondent for the Sioux City Journal for many years.  She, along with her late husband, Dick Koersleman, wrote and published a pictorial book "The Round Barn" on the moving of the Round Barn to the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.

Dr. Paul Summerside, class of 1976 has been practicing medicine since 1988 and is an ER physician in De Pere, Wisconsin at the Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  He is the Chief Medical Officer and founding partner of BayCare Clinic and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  Summerside has been on the DePere School District School Board for the past 10 years, the last seven, serving as president.  He has been active in coaching a variety of youth sports including basketball and baseball. . The annual LCSD Distinguished Alumni Award is co-sponsored by the LCSD Foundation and the LCS Alumni Association.

 

Spirit Lake Man Found Guilty Of Murdering Minnesota Woman

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A northern Iowa man has been sentenced to 70 years in prison in connection to the December death of a Minnesota woman.
     Twenty-one-year-old Tailer Handsaker entered a guilty plea Monday in Dickinson County District Court to second-degree murder and two counts of willful injury. A plea deal removed a first-degree murder charge.
     A judge ordered that the sentences be served consecutively. Handsaker must serve 35 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
     Handsaker was charged in the death of 36-year-old Sarah Grimmius, of Jackson, Minn. Her body was found at Handsaker's home in early December.
     Additional information about the circumstances of Grimmius' death has not been released.

 

Lawmakers Miss Self-Imposed Deadline For Adjournment

(Des Moines) -- Tuesday, was scheduled to be the last day for the Iowa Legislature to be in session.  However, the state lawmakers were not able to finish their work and still remain in Des Moines at the capitol.  Lawmakers will no longer be able to collect their daily expenses and per diem.  Pages have been sent home, and capitol staff has been reduced.  State Senator Bill Anderson, a republican from Pierson, says he is not certain as to when legislators will be able to wrap up their work.

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Anderson says budget issues are what is holding up the process.  He says there is a wide area of differences between the Senate Democrats and the House Republicans, both of which hold the majority in their respective chamber.

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Anderson says just because the session has reached its own deadline for adjournment doesn't necessarily mean lawmakers will want to hurry up and finish their work.


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Oversight Committee Passes Bill Regarding Secret Settlements

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill that would make sweeping changes in some state government practices has been backed by a legislative panel.
     The Senate Government Oversight Committee proposed the bill Tuesday, and a subcommittee later approved it. The legislation now goes to full committee Wednesday.
     The bill would make personnel settlement agreements subject to review by the attorney general, prohibit confidentiality provisions, and post all agreements on a state website. It also would revise state hiring and firing practices.
     The state auditor would be charged with conducting an examination of all settlement agreements issued since Gov. Terry Branstad began his current term. New whistleblower protections would be implemented for state workers reporting abuse of authority or other issues.
     Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, who chairs the committee, says a clarifying amendment will be drafted.


 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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