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Sunday News, December 30

(Le Mars) A late night - early morning fire call resulted in five-thousand dollars damage to a Le Mars residence.  Le Mars Fire-Rescue responded to a reported house fire just before midnight Saturday.  Flames and smoke were visable on an exterior wall of a home located at 50 12th Street Southwest.  Mortar of a brick chimney had disintegrated, allowing flames and embers from inside to come in direct contact with wood studs and insulation in the wall of the home.  Firefighters used a ventilation saw to cut the siding of the home and extinguish the fire in the wall.  Occupants of the home discovered smoke coming from the chimney mantel area in the living room of the home.  Responders were on the scene for about an hour.  Le Mars Fire-Rescue was assisted by Le Mars Police and MidAmerican Energy.

EXCHANGE STUDENT SHOT
Mental health exam ordered for accused Ia. shooter

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ordered a mental health
evaluation for a man accused of shooting a foreign exchange student
in a Sioux City bar.
Sioux City television station KTIV reports that 24-year-old
Soloman Harris is charged with assault while taking part in a
felony, and reckless use of a firearm.
Harris is accused of shooting of 20-year old Natacha Butera in
Mac Behrs, a downtown Sioux City bar, on November 18th. Police say
he fired the gun while arguing with another man, but the bullet
struck Butera in the arm and chest.
The judge granted a request from Harris's attorney to see if his
client is mentally competent to stand trial.
Butera, a foreign exchange student from Rwanda, has since been
released from the hospital.


MISSING COUSINS-BURIAL
Iowa town looks for closure as girl laid to rest

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Residents in Evansdale mourned as the
second of two eastern Iowa two girls found dead in a wooded area
was laid to rest.
The Des Moines Register reports that mourners said their final
goodbyes Saturday at a funeral service for Lyric Cook.
Residents say Lyric's funeral will provide some peace for the
town, but real closure hinges on finding the person, or people, who
killed the girls.
The bodies of Cook and her cousin, Elizabeth Collins, were found
on December 5th, about 25 miles from where they were last seen.
Elizabeth was 8 and Lyric was 10 when they vanished while bike
riding in Evansdale on July 13th.
A memorial service for Elizabeth was held December 13th.

ICY RESCUE
Friend rescues boy who falls into icy Clear Lake

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - An 11-year-old boy plunged through ice
and into Clear Lake but was rescued by a 10-year-old friend who
inched out and pulled him from the water.
Clear Lake police say the boys, whose names weren't released,
were walking on the northern Iowa lake Friday when they approached
an aerator, which keeps part of the lake from freezing to prevent
fish kills.
As they neared the open water, the ice gave way and one boy
plunged into the lake, though he threw out his arms and managed to
stay above water.
Police say the other boy slid toward him and managed to pull him
back onto the ice.
The wet boy wasn't injured, but people on shore took the boys
into a warm room and wrapped the cold boy in blankets.

VEHICLE FIRE
Iowa man accused of setting fire to stolen vehicle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa man faces a felony
charge after authorities say he intentionally set fire to a stolen
vehicle in Cedar Rapids.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that 32-year-old Robert
Mikesell of Luzerne is charged with second-degree arson.
Police say they found the flaming vehicle stuck in the snow on a
bridge. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, and police realized
the vehicle was stolen from a location in Vinton.
Cedar Rapids police Sergeant Cristy Hamblin says Mikesell was
with the vehicle when he stopped a woman who was driving past.
Mikesell allegedly climbed into the woman's car and told her to
drive. The woman then drove Mikesell to a local grocery store and
dropped him off. Police say they found Mikesell at that grocery
store and arrested him.

MALL-CAR CRASH
Motorist charged after crashing into Iowa mall

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man faces weapons and drunken
driving charges after he allegedly crashed his car through the
front entrance of a mall sporting goods store.
Twenty-three-year-old Joseph Albert Moreno of Iowa City was
arrested shortly after 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Police say Moreno crashed through the front entrance of a
Scheel's All Sports store at the Coral Ridge Mall. Officers who
arrived at the scene heard what may have been a gun shot before
they found him. They arrested Moreno and located a pistol that they
think belongs to him.
Police say Moreno suffered a cut, but no other injuries were
reported. Moreno is charged with burglary, operating while
intoxicated, reckless use of a firearm and carrying a concealed
weapon.

TRAIN-CAR CRASH
1 injured in Iowa when train crashes into car

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One person was injured and two escaped
unharmed when a car was hit by a train in downtown Des Moines.
The Des Moines Register reports that the car was northbound on
Friday night when it was hit and pushed off the tracks by an
eastbound train.
One person in the car was taken by ambulance to a hospital with
minor arm injuries.
Police say it's not clear whether the driver slid onto the
tracks because of slushy road conditions, or didn't attempt to stop
at all.
Witnesses say the railroad crossing warning lights were flashing
when the car drove on to the tracks, according to police. The
crossing does not have safety arms.

OBIT-ED CARLSON
Ed Carlson, free spirit known as 'The Waver,' dies

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Ed Carlson, a smiling free spirit who became
known as "The Waver" for waving at motorists while on foot across
the country for over 30 years, died Friday at his home in Iowa at
the age of 75.
Carlson became an institution in Reno, Nevada, which was his
home base from the 1970s to 2007 when he moved to Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, to be close to family.
Friend Betty Layton of Reno says the Burlington, Iowa native
used to wave in Reno and then hitch a ride 25 miles to the south to
Carson City, where he waved before hitching back to Reno.
Daughter Kristina Butterfield of Cedar Rapids says her father
also waved to motorists on his many walks across the U.S.
Services in Cedar Rapids and Reno are pending.

JUSTICE CENTER
Justice center supporters, foes meet in Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Opponents of a county jail and courthouse
project in Iowa City are meeting with the proposal's supporters,
but they still can't agree on how to proceed after voters failed to
approve it.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that critics of the
so-called justice center have participated in a series of meetings
held by supporters.
The meetings began shortly after the November election, when a
$47 million bond proposal failed at the ballot box.
Iowa City resident Aleksey Gurtovoy, who opposes the project,
says supporters are ignoring the ideas his side has proposed.
Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek says critics are raising the
same issues discussed in public meetings for years.
Officials say the county's 92-bed jail is constantly
overcrowded.

TOBACCO STORE LICENSE
Police: Iowa tobacco store owner was unlicensed

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa store owner is facing
criminal charges after police allegedly discovered him selling
tobacco products without a license.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that 45-year-old Nasrel
Ahmed-Ibrahim is accused of selling tobacco to a 17-year-old
customer. Police say the sale was made during a December 19th
compliance check at Alsafa Market in Iowa City.
Ahmed-Ibrahim is charged with selling tobacco without a license.
Police say he does not have a valid license from the state's
Alcoholic Beverages Division.
A website for the business describes it as an African and
Mediterranean specialty store that sells "a variety of hookahs and
tobaccos."
Iowa law prohibits anyone younger than 18 from smoking, using,
or possessing tobacco products.

EGG CONTEST
Iowa group announces search for best egg recipes

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A group that monitors Iowa's egg industry
is looking for the best recipes that think outside the shell.
The Iowa Egg Council is kicking off its "Incredibly Good Eggs"
cooking contest. Recipes can include party foods or drinks,
breakfast entrees, main dishes, side dishes, snacks or desserts.
The recipes must be original and contain at least four eggs in
the form of whole eggs, yolks or whites.
The contest will be divided among adults, culinary arts students
and general students from sixth grade through high school. Winners
will be selected online after a preliminary judging period.
Contest entries must be received by March 1st.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


   

Saturday News, December 29

(Le Mars) - Re-organization is at the top of the agenda in the new year for The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  Appointment of a new Board Chair and Vice-chair for 2013 will be the first order of business when the supervisors meet Wednesday morning, 9:30am January 2, 2013 in the lower level of the court house.  Discussion and assigning committee memberships, filling vacancies for various County Boards,and re-appointment of members to the Compensation Commission require the boards action on Wednesday morning.  Supervisors will also review the City of Le Mars offer on Crescent Ridge property among other items to start the County supervisors new year.

(Sioux City) As a result of the recent snowfall, the Sioux City police department will begin
enforcing winter rules for snow activity.  Skiing, sledding,or tobogganing in non-designated areas could result in misdemeanor citations.  Certain park and trail areas are off limits for these activities.  Sioux City police would like to express their appreciation for the communities cooperation in conducting winter activities only in designated areas.

SIOUX FALLS FIRE-INVESTIGATION
Damage to house delays investigation of fatal fire

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Authorities continue to investigate a
fire that killed three children in Sioux Falls a few days before
Christmas, but extensive structural damage has prevented the
investigators from entering the structure.
KELO-TV reports that officials from Sioux Falls Fire Rescue say
the structure must be reinforced before investigators can work
inside the house.
The fire on Saturday killed 16-year-old Michael Hensley,
12-year-old Savannah Coon and 6-year-old Alivia Coon. The parents,
Rhiannon and David White, escaped by leaping to the ground from a
second-floor window.
Funeral services for the three children will be held Monday.

FIREWORKS
Fireworks legal in SD through New Year's Day

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakotans can now buy and
discharge fireworks through New Year's Day, but they should keep in
mind that fireworks are banned in some areas.
This is the second year South Dakota has allowed the discharge
of fireworks in the New Year's holiday period. In addition to a
period around the Fourth of July, they can be sold and discharged
from December 28th through January 1st each year.
Kevin Lorenzen, owner of Pyro City Fireworks, tells KELO-TV that
people should be careful when using fireworks, even though snow is
on the ground in many areas.
The use of fireworks is banned in Sioux Falls, the Black Hills
Fire Protection District and some other areas.
Officials have urged people to be careful not to start wildfires
with fireworks.


PLANNED PARENTHOOD-LAWSUIT
Planned Parenthood lawsuit dismissed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit
filed by a former clinic director for a Des Moines-based Planned
Parenthood affiliate.
Sue Thayer claimed in a 2011 lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of
the Heartland bills Medicaid for blood tests and other procedures
related to elective abortions that are not covered by the
government-provided health care plan.
Judge James Jarvey says in his order filed Friday that Thayer
failed to provide the necessary specifics to prove a fraudulent
scheme.
Planned Parenthood CEO Jill June says she's pleased the court
recognizes a lack of substance in the complaint, which she
characterized as part of a pattern of harassment against the
organization nationwide.
Thayer was assisted in filing the lawsuit by the nonprofit
Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian group that opposes
abortions.

UNI REPORT
National professors group criticizes UNI over cuts


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - A national professors group says
administrators at the University of Northern Iowa violated
governance, academic freedom and tenure procedures when they
eliminated certain programs and shuttered the education training
school.
The American Association of University Professors says UNI
officials failed to follow certain policies when determining
programs to eliminate. The report also says the university had no
legitimate basis to terminate faculty appointments assigned to
programs eliminated or restructured.
UNI President Ben Allen says the school disagrees with the
report. He called it on Friday an attempt to intimidate the
university.
AAUP is made up of union chapters around the country. It is
affiliated with United Faculty, the bargaining unit for UNI
faculty. That group has criticized the university over the cuts.

CAR PLUNGE
Police say Iowa woman's SUV plunges about 25 feet


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an eastern Iowa woman
is suspected of driving while intoxicated after her sport utility
vehicle plunged about 25 feet off an interstate bridge.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette (reports Nicole Butschi of Robins lost
control of her car and crashed early Friday morning. She had been
traveling southbound on a roadway that curves near Coe College in
Cedar Rapids.
Police say Butschi was taken to St. Luke's Hospital with
non-life-threatening injuries after the SUV struck a concrete
barrier and toppled over. It landed on its top on a gravel-covered
area.
Police say officers smelled alcohol on Butschi's breath when
they responded to the accident. They plan to arrest her on
suspicion of operating while intoxicated and failure to maintain
control.

ICE FISHING-DOT
Iowa DOT warns ice fishing anglers about parking

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are asking ice fishing
anglers on the Mississippi River in northeast Iowa to park away
from snow removal operations.
The state Department of Transportation says vehicles often
parked by ice fishing anglers on the shoulder of Iowa 26 north of
Lansing are hindering snowplows from clearing banks of snow. They
say this can cause unsafe driving conditions for anglers leaving
their fishing spots and other drivers.
Iowa DOT officials and the Iowa State Patrol say anglers should
use designated parking areas along Iowa 26.

HOG INVENTORY
USDA report shows Iowa leads in hog inventory

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report shows Iowa's hog inventory
continues to surpass all other states in the country.
The United States Department of Agriculture says in its latest
report released Friday that the state has 20.6 million hogs and
pigs on Iowa farms as of December 1st. That's a three percent jump
from the same period last year.
The report shows Iowa leads the country in total inventory by a
comfortable margin. North Carolina comes in second with 9 million
hogs and pigs.
Inventory of all hogs and pigs in the United States is down. It
was more than 66 million head as of December 1st, down slightly
from the same period last year, and two percent from September of
this year.

IOWA CITY-CAMERAS
Iowa City wants to mount video cameras on officers


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City wants to mount video cameras on
some of its police officers.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen says a report by the city's police
department proposes buying body mounted video recorders to capture
police interactions with the public.
The annual improvement plan also lists the implementation of new
red light cameras as a focus for next year. The department also
says it wants to keep up with rapid changes in technology.
The City Council recently OK'd traffic enforcement cameras. It
is now waiting for further approval from state transportation
officials.

BARN FIRE-INJURY
Iowan injured trying to save horses as barn burns


LAMOTTE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an eastern Iowa man has
been injured while trying to save horses from a barn fire.
Firefighters were dispatched to the residence south-southwest of
LaMotte a little before 8 p.m. Thursday.
LaMotte Fire Chief Joe Kilburg told the Quad-City Times that a
gate hit Duane Meyer in the face as he and his sons rescued some of
the horses. Meyer was taken to a Dubuque hospital for treatment.
Kilburg says some of the horses died in the fire.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated, but Kilburg says
he doesn't consider it a suspicious fire.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

   

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