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Friday News, June 8

Penn Gaming and MRHD Still At Odds Over New Casino

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - State gambling regulators say they will take applications from other casino operators to run a proposed new casino in Sioux City after negotiations with Penn National Gaming
and its nonprofit partner fell through.
     Penn National operates the Argosy riverboat casino with its nonprofit partner Missouri River Historical Development.
     Penn National is proposing a new $100 million land-based casino in downtown Sioux City, but the nonprofit group wants the company to give more than the current 3 percent of gross revenue to
community projects.
    On Thursday the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted to allow other casino operators to submit applications after the two partners couldn't agree on a new contract.
     The commission believes a land-based casino will better serve the Sioux City area.
    

Motorcycle Accident Near Alton

(Orange City) -- The Iowa Highway Patrol is investigating a motorcycle-car accident that occured Wednesday morning near Alton.  Apparently, 28 year old Joel Van Engen of Paullina was riding his motorcycle when he failed to see the car ahead of him had stopped and was about to make a left-hand turn.  The car, driven by 57 year old Sharon Bortscheller of Remsen, had yielded to an oncoming over-sized vehicle when the motorcycle struck the car.  Van Engen was ejected from the motorcycle and suffered injuries.  He was transported to the Orange City Regional Hospital.  Van Engen was wearing a helmet.

 

Plymouth County Solid Waste Systems Considering Options

(Le Mars) -- The problems associated with the Cherokee Solid Waste Landfill is starting to affect the Plymouth County Solid Waste program.  Since 1989, Cherokee County and Plymouth County have had an agreement that allows solid waste from Plymouth County to be transported to Cherokee County.  That agreement between the two counties continues through 2017.   However, the Cherokee County Landfill recently had to lay off 25 employees, and it is running low on money.  Mark Kunkel, the manager of the Plymouth County Solid Waste Systems says Cherokee is now asking for an increase. 

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Kunkel says Cherokee wishes to implement the increase by July 1st.  Kunkel says Plymouth County officials are looking at other available options.

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Could Plymouth County store or otherwise utilize its own solid waste?  Kunkel says that plan would not be practical.

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Relay For Life Scheduled for Tonight at Remsen

(Remsen) -- More than 500 people are expected to participate in Friday evening's Plymouth County Relay for Life to be held at Remsen.  Stacy Kliever serves as the chair for the local cancer awareness campaign.  She says the event is set up to show support for those afflicted with cancer, those who have survived cancer, and for those people who have lost their lives to cancer.

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A major part of the Relay for Life are the hundreds of illuminaries that surround the track, and Kliever says this year they will be a bit different.

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Kliever says the event is open to everyone, and although the focus is on Plymouth County, she says people from neighboring counties and states will come to participate at the event. Kliever says the evening will be filled with countless fun events.

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In addition to the fun and games, the Relay for Life will also hold a silent auction.  The Plymouth County Relay for Life will be held at the Remsen football field and track, and it is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. and will conclude eight hours later at 2:00 a.m.

Whistleblower Wins Suit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa State University employee who reported financial misconduct by his boss has won more than $1.28 million because of retaliation for his whistle-blowing.
     Dennis Smith was falsely accused of being a "potential terrorist or mass murderer" by his superiors.
     In a judgment filed Wednesday, the judge found that the 59-year-old Smith, of West Des Moines, suffered three years of severe emotional distress.
     ISU intends to appeal the decision.
     Smith had told then-ISU President Gregory Geoffroy about financial misconduct by the director of the College of Engineering marketing department, Pamela Reinig.
     Reinig pleaded guilty to first-degree theft in 2009 and was given probation.
     ---

Climatologists Predict Hot and Dry Conditions for Summer

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - State climatologists say farmers in Nebraska and Iowa should prepare for persistent drought conditions this summer that could devastate their crops.
     Nebraska State Climatologist Al Dutcher said Thursday that he expects that ranchers and farmers in the western part of the state will suffer crop damage, unless the weather suddenly becomes cooler and wetter. He says that's unlikely, given the current conditions.
     Ranchers in western Nebraska and farmers in north-central Iowa say the weather conditions are the driest they've ever seen.
     The situation is less dire in Iowa, but State Climatologist Harry Hillaker predicts that June will be warmer than usual. High winds are also causing water to evaporate faster.

 


 

   

Thursday news, June 7th

Historical Preservationist Reviews Le Mars Nomination for National Historic Registry

(Le Mars) -- A Historical Preservationist offered her comments during an evening meeting regarding the nomination of the Le Mars Downtown District for the National Historical Registry. Kerry Davis told the small gathering that 96 buildings within the downtown area will be submitted for nomination.  Davis says there are many benefits to having a community listed on the National Registry of Historical Places.  She says it is an honor for any community to be listed on the National Historic Registry.  She also says since Le Mars is a member of the Main Street Iowa organization, the designation helps accomplish the goals of both preservation and economic development.

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Davis offers this explanation for last evening's meeting.

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Lt. Governor Reynolds Tours I-M-L Containers

(Le Mars) -- Iowa's Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds took a private tour of the I-M-L Containers Iowa of Le Mars Wednesday afternoon.  Reynolds, says she was impressed with I-M-L's committment to the area.  I-M-L containers started with just seven employees, but only recently was able to expand operations to include 50 employees, while operating 24 hour shifts.  I-M-L Containers works with 15 main clients, including Wells Blue Bunny.  Their products are shipped to various locations within the midwest, Canada, and around the world  Reynolds says the purpose to visit I-M-L and other businesses within northwest Iowa is to see how the state can partner with such businesses, and to ask if those businesses are facing any difficult issues with regulations or other obstacles.  Reynolds says I-M-L offers many technological positions which coincides well with Governor Branstad's goal of STEM education which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics.

 

Supevisors Approve Summer Construction Projects

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved the bids for five different construction projects slated to begin this summer.  Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe read the competing bids to the county board of supervisors during their Tuesday meeting.   The county will have two metal pipe culverts , and three pre-cast concrete culverts installed.  Kooiker, (Koy-ker) Incorporated of Le Mars was granted the bid for a project involving the installation of a metal pipe culvert.  The submitted bid was for $27,917.90.  Graves Construction of Spencer, Iowa was awarded the bid for a second metal pipe culvert installation project.  They submitted a bid of $29,253.  Graves Construction was also awarded a project involving the installation of a pre-cast concrete box culvert.  That project's bid was $80,235.  MidWest Contractors of Marshall, Minnesota was the winning contractor for two other projects.  They submitted bids of $116,677 and $111,469 for two projects involving the installation of pre-cast concrete box culverts.

 

Moville Celebrates Quasquicentennial

(Moville) -- The town of Moville started its Quasquicentennial celebration on Wednesday, and will continue through the weekend. Moville's mayor, Jim Fisher says the town got its name from Moville, Ireland.

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Fisher says Moville, Iowa and Moville, Ireland are the only two Moville's in the world.  Among the many different events, the town will host a parade on Saturday featuring the different Shriner organizations.

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That parade is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.  Other highlights include an alumni flag football game scheduled for today, the musical production of "Oklahoma" is scheduled for Friday, and a 5k run is set for Saturday.  For a complete listing of all the events for Moville's Quasquicentennial celebration, you can pick up a KLEM Fairs and Festivals booklet.

 

Christ Lutheran Church of Remsen to Celebrate 125 years

(Remsen)-- 170 current members, 1,055 baptisms, 796 confirmations, 265 marriages and 17 ministers. These are the figures after 125 years of worship being celebrated at Christ Lutheran Church in Remsen this weekend.  Vernon and Rita Letsche have been members as a couple for 30 years, and Vernon's family are lifelong members.  Rita shares with us the story of the churches founding.

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That is when the original wooden church building was built, in the late 20's the interior of that building was improved.  In 1941, a brick church took its place, and is still the cornerstone for the current building. Rita says the dismantling of the 1941 church happened in 3 days with man and horse power...literally.

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Man power hours totaled 1,647, horse power hours totaled 152. The organ and the naive were moved from the original church. In the end, this building with seating for 250 cost only $25,000 to build. Family and kids are big part of Christ Lutheran's mission.  The Letche's raised 6 kids in the church, and led youth group for about 30 years.  One of the children's groups in the church is Kids Quest.  Rita says that they work hard to do the work of the church.

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Five families who are still part of the congregation are five and six generation members.  The Maass' and Ericksen's have six generations and the Sonnicksen's, Kroeger's and Eubank's have five.  
Pastor Dennis Martens currently presides over the congregation and will be leading the celebratory service this weekend to commemorate 125 years at Christ Lutheran Church in Remsen.  Services begin at 10:30 on Sunday, with a dinner following as well as a 1pm program featuring music, memories and photos.  The public is more than welcome to attend. 

 

 

 

   

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