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Monday Afternoon News, Oct 8

Train Derails Near Le Mars


(Le Mars) -- A Union Pacific train derailed Monday morning at about 9:10 a.m. about three miles northeast of Le Mars, along HIghway 60.    The train had 21 cars jump the tracks. Plymouth County Sheriff, Mike Van Otterloo was one of the first people on the scene.  He offers an explanation as to what may have caused the derailment.
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There were no injuries associated with the derailment, and traffic on Hwy 60 is not being affected by the train mishap. Van Otterloo says there was no danger to the public as a result of the derailment.
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Fortunately, the train, consisted of only barge grain cars, that were all empty at the time of the derailment.    An investigation will take place by Union Pacific officials to determine the cause of the derailment.

 

Le Mars To Flush Water Mains

(Le Mars) -- The City of Le Mars will be flushing water mains beginning Tuesday.  City Water officials will begin on the northeast part of town. Superintendent, Gayle Sitzmann says the procedure will take about two days to complete.  On Thursday, water flushing will occur on the northwest portion of town.  Next week, city officials will work on the southwest part of town.  Sitzmann says businesses and residences may experience discolored water and should refrain from washing clothes during flushing in your area.  If people experience discolored water, they should try not to use hot water.  Sitzmann says this will prevent the discolored water from entering your hot water heater.

 

King Prepares For Next Debate

(Le Mars) -- Republican Congressman Steve King and Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack are scheduled to appear together Tuesday evening from Morningside College in Sioux City for another round of debates.  King, says he doesn't plan on altering his strategy. KLEM news spoke to King this morning. He says he will continue to address the issues.

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King says he has been attacked by Vilsack and many Political Action Committees, on what he claims have been a distortion of his record.  King says he is confident the voters of the new 4th District will see through the attacks.
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Cedar Rapids May Get Casino

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Linn County supervisors are on board with a plan that could bring a casino to Cedar Rapids - as long as backers meet several conditions.
Supervisors on Monday approved a memorandum of understanding with the nonprofit Linn County Gaming Association and the Cedar Rapids Development Group, a private company, to support their bid
for a gambling license.
Under state law, a nonprofit group holds the gaming license while the private company operates the casino.
Under the agreement, supervisors will commit to supporting the proposal if the association and backers can get a license, voters approve gambling in a referendum next year and state gambling
regulators decide to issue a license.


Judge Wiggins Has Political World Watching

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins isn't well known outside the legal community of his state, but whether he should keep his job has become one of the most fiercely
contested judicial issues on the Nov. 6 ballot because of what he symbolizes in the debate over gay marriage.
Wiggins and six colleagues ruled in 2009 that Iowa's law banning gay marriage was unconstitutional, making it the third state to recognize same-sex unions. The decision outraged conservatives, who
mounted a campaign a year later to defeat three justices.
Wiggins' future is sparking an even bigger battle as liberals and lawyers shocked by 2010 fight back. The race is seen as a barometer of the changing attitudes toward gay marriage and a message for judges who might take up similar cases.


 

 

   

Monday News, October 8

Oyens Issues Water Boil Order

(Oyens) -- A boil order has been issued for the small Plymouth County town of Oyens.  E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply.  Residents should not drink the water without boiling it first or use bottled water.  Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation until further notice.  Oyens mayor Cheryl Christman claims that Oyens wells do not contain bacteria, but the system was  flushed Sunday afternoon.  Residents will be informed when tests show no bacteria and when they no longer need to boil their water.  Christman says city officials anticipate the problem to be resolved within five days.

 

Wells' Wants To Be Top Ice Cream Maker By 2020

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) -  Wells Enterprises has the goal to grow the company into the nation's largest ice cream maker by 2020.
CEO Mike Wells has already seen company sales improve 24 percent to $1.175 billion during his first five years leading the Le Mars, Iowa, company.
Now Wells tells The Des Moines Register that the company is seeking outside investment to help it boost sales of its Blue Bunny ice cream even more.
Wells is currently the nation's third largest ice cream maker behind Switzerland-based Nestle and London-based Unilever.
Wells has already grown to claim almost 6 percent of the roughly $10 billion ice cream market, and Blue Bunny ice cream is available nationwide. But the company needs to boost its advertising to
compete better.


School Board To Be Presented Financial Audit

(Le Mars) -- At tonight's Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting, directors will be presented a report from Williams and Company, detailing the audit for the local school district.  In a preliminary report, it appears the financial matters of the school are up to date and in accordance with government regulations.  The school board will also be presented with the certified attendance records for this school year.  The school board will hear building reports from the principals.  The board will also finalize their expectations of Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt.

 

Fire Officials Educate Students About Fire Safety


(Le Mars) -- Local fire officials will be educating hundreds of school children about the dangers of fire, and telling them what to do if a fire should start.  It's all part of Fire Awareness and Prevention week, which is October 7th to 13th.  David Schipper, the fire chief for the Le Mars Fire Department says the Le Mars Fire Department utilizes the entire month of October to educate students.  Schipper says this year fire officials are telling students and adults alike to have two ways out.
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Schipper says as it begins to get colder, he reminds people to not to cover up a possible exit.

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The Le Mars Fire Chief says fire officials also tell students to stop...drop...and roll.

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Schipper says with the three elementary schools in town, along with the various pre-schools, he anticipates more 350 students will learn about fire safety.

 

Museum Plans October Events

(Le Mars) -- A Halloween haunted house, is on the October schedule for the Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars.  The Halloween event set for Saturday, October 20th, is intended for all ages and will be staged from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The haunted house will take place in the museum's basement.  The haunted house tour will wrap up with "Candy at the Cabin."  This will be at the Weber Log Cabin on the east lawn of the museum.  Other activities scheduled for October at the Plymouth County Historical Museum includes Nathan Summerside presenting another Civil War battle.  Summerside is scheduled to speak on Sunday, October 21st.  The museum is planning to feature a ghost town exhibit at the old study hall.  The many ghost towns of Plymouth County will be honored with photos and memorabilia.  At the end of the month, the museum will feature its ethnic food fair which is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 28th.

 

Budget Cuts Hurt Agricultural Promotional Efforts

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa nonprofit that promotes agricultural education and preservation has lost most of its funding because of Congressional gridlock over the budget.
Waterloo television station KWWL reports that the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area lost about three-quarters of its funding because the latest short-term budget resolution didn't
include money for the National Park Service to review the group.
Organization president Don Short says he was surprised to learn his group had lost funding. Short says his group will continue operating but will have to make changes.
Silos and Smokestacks helps more than one hundred eastern Iowa farms, museums, and nature areas. It also helps educate area students about farming and agriculture.


USDA To Host Drought Meeting

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Agriculture Department is planning a series of four regional workshops in areas hard hit by the drought to make sure farmers know about resources available to help them.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack plans to attend the first workshop on Tuesday in Omaha, Nebraska. The other three workshops are being planned in Pueblo, Colorado, Pine Bluff, Arkansas and an undetermined town in Ohio.
This summer's drought has been the worst one in decades. Experts at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln say about one-fifth of the total land area in the
lower 48 states remains in extreme or exceptional drought.
The USDA is working with the Commerce Department, the Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to plan these meetings.


Iowa City Shooting Leads To Arrest

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 25-year-old Iowa City man has been arrested after a shooting incident.
Police say Thomas Anderson III was arrested. He's been charged with going armed with intent, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, carrying weapons, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance, drunken driving and domestic abuse.
Police say Anderson drove to another man's house early Saturday morning, fired a single shotgun round in front of a man and then fired several more shots as two people fled.
No injuries have been reported, however.
A Johnson County jailer said Anderson remained in custody on Monday, pending $25,000 bail.

 

Man Drowns After Boat Capsizes

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man drowned in an eastern Iowa river Sunday after his small boat capsized.
KCRG reports the man drowned in the Wapsipinicon River about five miles south of the town of Wyoming.
The Jones County Sheriff's office says 60-year-old Douglas Berkhoff and 52-year-old Wylie Tredway were fishing together before the accident. Neither man was wearing a life jacket.
Officials say emergency responders pulled Tredway from the water shortly after they arrived but could not revive him. He died at the scene.
Berkhoff was taken to a hospital in Maquoketa for treatment of injuries that aren't expected to be life threatening.

   

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