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Friday News, January 11

Plymouth County Supervisors Making Progress On Budget

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have been working on the budget for the next fiscal year.  Unlike some neighboring counties that are dealing with financial shortfalls, Plymouth County is in an envious position.  Supervisor chairman Jim Henrich explains.
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Henrich says the county has been able to build its cash reserves to the point that the county could meet its expenditures for at least three months. Henrich says he anticipates the cash reserve may be able to grow even more this year.  Henrich says the requests that came before the Supervisors have been on target.

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The Supervisor chairman says the big unknown is with the mental health services.  Mental health accounts for a major portion of a county's expenses, and the county is still waiting on the state to learn how much funding will be allocated and appropriated to the counties.


Anderson and Soderberg Host Legislative Forums

(Le Mars) -- State Senator Bill Anderson and State Representative Chuck Soderberg will hold a series of legislative forums scheduled for Saturday.  The lawmakers want to hear from the public their views on the key issues about to face the legislators as they begin a new session on Monday.  The times and locations are at 8:30 a.m. at the Plymouth County Energy headquarters at Merrill, 10:00 a.m. the lawmakers will hold a forum at the Habitue Coffeehouse and Creperie at Le Mars and the last forum is scheduled to begin at 12:00 noon at the Akron Public Library.  Anderson says the forums serve as an important tool.
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Registration for Living Healthy Iowa 10-Week Challenge Is Easy

(Le Mars) -- Efforts to get Plymouth County in a healthy state of wellness are continuing.  A ten-week wellness challenge starts on January 28th and organizers are wanting everyone in Plymouth county to consider participating in the wellness challenge.  Carol Schneider of the Plymouth county Extension Service says registration is quite simple.
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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County, Floyd Valley Hospital, and the Le Mars YMCA are the local organizations spearheading the local efforts.  Schneider says when you register on-line, be sure to use the Plymouth County code.
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Schneider says once you have registered under the Plymouth County code, you are then ready to submit your team name and members names.

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Once you have registered, Schneider says one of the benefits is a magazine subscription for an entire year.  She says the magazines offered are popular magazines often found on magazine racks.  For additional information regarding the Living Healthy Iowa ten-week challenge, you can contact Floyd Valley Hospital, the Le Mars YMCA, or the Plymouth County Extension services.


New Farm Organization Created To Educate Producers and Consumers On Animal Care

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group of farmers and industry leaders has announced a coalition aimed at providing Iowa residents with more information on farm animal care.
The Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition announced its launch Thursday. It says it's designed to help farmers and consumers know more about the latest science-based animal care standards.
An independent team of experts also will offer voluntary on-site evaluations.
IFAC includes farmers from the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. It also includes Iowa State University colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Life Sciences,
as well as the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

 

Website Addresses Child Abuse

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new Iowa website offers advice on how people can prevent or report sexual or other abuse or neglect of children.
The site was launched by a private group, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa.
The site includes advice and provides links to groups with counselors. The site also has advice for community groups in preventing abuse of children involved with the groups.
The group's website address is http://www.pcaiowa.org/.
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Des Moines Schools Decide NOT To Hold Classes On MLK Day

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - School officials in Des Moines have reversed a decision to hold classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Des Moines school district unanimously voted Thursday to cancel its plans to hold classes on Jan. 21. Officials had previously announced that students would attend classes on the
holiday to make up a snow day.
A local NAACP youth group criticized the district's move and collected hundreds of signatures for a petition against the decision.
Another snow day was scheduled for Presidents Day in February.
The district now plans to make up the snow days in June.
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Former Obama Campaign Manager Announces He Will Run For Secretary of State

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Democrat who is the former director of President Barack Obama's Iowa campaign has announced his candidacy for Iowa secretary of state.
Brad Anderson made the announcement Thursday during a press conference at the Capitol. If Anderson wins the Democratic nomination, he could challenge Republican Secretary of State Matt
Schultz.
Schultz declined to comment, saying he hasn't decided whether he will seek re-election in 2014.
Anderson says he disagrees with Schultz's strong support for voter identification. He labeled Schultz's efforts to track down voter fraud "fruitless investigations" that waste money and
intimidate Iowans from voting.
Anderson says he would tackle voter fraud by installing an electronic voter eligibility check-in system at the polls.
Anderson has garnered support from Democrats like former Iowa governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver.

 

 

   

Thursday News, January 10

Police To Sell Honor Coins

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Association is once again offering for sale Commemorative Honor Coins to the public.  This program began in 2011 with the issuance of the first coin honoring Le Mars Night Watchman Samuel Hamilton who died in the line of duty November 24, 1888. The 2012 Honor Coin recognizes the Le Mars Ambulance Service and their members who over the years have responded with Courage, Honor, and Professionalism in serving the citizens of the City of Le Mars and Plymouth County.  Many lives have been touched, changed and saved by these brave selfless men and women who answer the call day and night.  The Honor coins can be purchased at the Le Mars Police Department during normal business hours.

 

Deputies Arrest Clarey

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County deputies conducted a search warrant on Tuesday at 26656 K-49,
of rural Le Mars in an attempt to locate John Clarey, who lives at that residence.  Clarey, age 37, had Plymouth County warrants for Willful Injury resulting in a serious injury and Kidnapping 3rd degree, both Class C Felonies and Serious Domestic Assault an Aggravated Misdemeanor.  After a search of the residence, Clarey was found hiding at the residence.  Sara Ann Stock, was also found at the residence.  There is a protection order prohibiting Clarey to have any contact with Stock.  Clarey was arrested on the Plymouth County warrants and was also charged with Violating a Protection Order.  Clarey is being held on a $25,000.00 bond.

Sara Ann Stock, age 35, was charged with Interference with Official Acts, a Simple Misdemeanor and Accessory After the Fact, an Aggravated Misdemeanor after she attempted to prohibit Clarey from being arrested. Stock was held on $2,000.00 bond.



Gehlen Back To School Following Water Line Break

(Le Mars) -- Following the water line break that flooded some of Gehlen Catholic's facilities on Wednesday, Gehlen officials have released the schedule for today and Friday.  Gehlen Catholic’s TK through 12th grade students will have classes as scheduled today and tomorrow (this Thursday & Friday,) January 10th and 11th.  School will start at 8:25am.  Gehlen Catholic’s preschoolers will not meet this Thursday or Friday.  Preschool will meet again on Monday, January 14th at 8:25 am.  That water line that broke poured four feet of water in the old convent building, then followed a steam pipe down to the elementary building where water was seeping through the block walls.  City officials from the fire, street, and water departments assisted with the clean up of the water.

 

Orange City To Host STEM Conference

(Orange City) -- Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will be in Orange City on Friday to address CEO’s and HR Directors from the area’s major employers and industries. The group will gather for a luncheon to kick off the STEM-Career & College Academy in Northwest Iowa.

This new entity is a collaboration between the MOC/FV School District, Unity Christian High School, and Northwest Iowa Community College. It's purpose is to address the shortage of high school graduates seeking 4-year college degrees in the fields of science (S), technology (T), engineering (E) and mathematics (M).

Orange City Assistant City Administrator Gary Blythe, works daily on the economic growth of the city.  He says that aside from all the work being done in the classroom, direct business involvement will be a huge part of Northwest Iowa's STEM-Career & College Academy.

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Around 80 people from area businesses are planning to attend tomorrows program to learn more about connecting with the Orange City schools and Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. 

The Governor's STEM Advisory Council has been working since 2011 to join business, policy and education leaders from across the state.  Their overall goal is to bolster STEM education and innovation and better position Iowa's young people and the state's economy for the future.  The new Northwest Iowa group is an extension of that program.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, who co-chairs the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, will be the featured speaker at Friday's 11am luncheon at the Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City.

 

Accused Murderer Had Graphic Notebooks Showing Interest In Rape While In Prison

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Documents show Iowa prison officials had confiscated a notebook with drawings depicting rape made by an inmate charged with fatally stabbing his mother and kidnapping a
female acquaintance hours after being released.
A search warrant affidavit made public Wednesday shows Iowa Department of Corrections officials told the Sac County sheriff about Kirk Levin's troubling writings and drawings shortly before
his release from prison January 1st.
The document says the 21-year-old's notebook contained explicit writings "and drawings depicting the sexual assault and rape of a female."
Prosecutors say Levin repeatedly stabbed his mother at her farmhouse in Early on Jan. 3. They say he then kidnapped a 21-year-old woman who he tied up and put in the trunk of a car. The
woman eventually escaped after he drove into a ditch.


Des Moines Developer Expected To Plead Guilty In Fraud Case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines area developer is expected to change his plea to guilty in his federal wire and bank fraud case.
John Kline's hearing is scheduled for Friday morning.
Kline and Randy Walters, former partners in Oaks Development Co., were indicted in 2011 on nine counts of bank and wire fraud.  The charges stem from loans obtained for two development projects.
The indictment says the scheme cost 13 banks a total of $2.9 million from November 2004 through January 2007.
Walters pleaded guilty in September to a single charge and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Kline had been scheduled for trial later this month.
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University of Phoenix Locates In Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The University of Phoenix is commemorating the grand opening of its new campus in downtown Des Moines.
School officials will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning with Gov. Terry Branstad. The facility will include three classrooms and a large student resource center.
The campus replaces another nearby location. Degrees offered at the Des Moines campus include business and information technology.
The University of Phoenix offers various degree programs available around the country. But the school's owner, Apollo Group Inc., said in October that it was closing 115 of its smaller
locations to cope with a sharp decline in fall enrollment.

 

Former U of I Student Faces New Charges

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former University of Iowa student accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was showing him an apartment now faces new charges in a separate incident.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports 22-year-old Peng Tang is accused of stealing a laptop and multiple bras and underwear from his former residence in March. He faces second-degree theft and third-degree burglary.
Police say it was days before he attacked a woman showing her apartment for a possible sublet. Tang is accused of locking the woman in her apartment, sexually assaulting her and taking explicit
photos of her.
He is awaiting a February trial on a kidnapping charge related to the case. He faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
Tang's attorney did not immediately return a message Wednesday.
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