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Monday Afternoon News, June 10

Volunteers Needed To Help Clean Downtown

(Le Mars) -- In preparation for Ice Cream Days, volunteers are needed to help with the clean up of the downtown area.  Mainstreet Coordinator, Mary Reynolds is asking volunteers to meet at the Chamber office beginning at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon.  Volunteers are asked to bring brooms, dust pans, and garbage bags.  You will then be directed to a specific area to help clean downtown.  Speaking of cleaning, this week marks "Spring Clean Up" week for Le Mars residents.  Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole explains.

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Habitat For Humanity And Le Mars Ministerial Association Paint Homes

(Le Mars) -- Habitat for Humanity, along with the Le Mars Ministerial Association, are helping two families with the painting of their homes.  Today, volunteers have gathered at the homes located at 421 1st Avenue Southeast, and at 314 2nd Avenue Southeast to help prep the homes for painting scheduled for June 21st and June 22nd.  Ken Vanderploeg serves as the pastor of the Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Le Mars and is coordinating the "Brush Of Kindness" efforts.

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Vanderploeg says today, additional volunteers would be welcomed to help with the scraping duties.

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Habitat for Humanity provides all the necessary tools including ladders, scaffolding, trays, rollers, and brushes.  Vanderploeg hopes to have at least 20 volunteers each day to help paint the homes. He says the painting projects will begin at 8:00 a.m. and he asks volunteers to report at the homes and offer at least an hour of their time.  One home owner is deeply grateful for the community to help paint his home.

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Vanderploeg says both homes are small in structure consisting of one and a half stories, and he believes with enough volunteers, the painting should not take long to complete.

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Sheriff's Office Assist With Apprehension of Suspect

(Le Mars) -- On Saturday morning, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was called to assist Cherokee County in locating a subject who was involved in a serious assault incident that took place in Cherokee earlier in the morning.  Kyle Hodges, age 26 of Marcus, Iowa was believed to be going to Remsen to drop off his 4 year old child at his sister’s residence.  Cherokee Deputies spotted Hodges and the child in that area, but then lost contact with Hodges between houses.  The child had already been dropped off and was safe.  Hodges had fled on foot.  His vehicle was located a few blocks away unoccupied behind the car wash.  A perimeter was set up by officers of the Remsen Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Plymouth County Sheriff's Office and Iowa State Patrol.  Sioux County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the use of their K-9 to track Hodges.  At 10:31 am, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call of an intruder inside a garage in the area of 4th St and Jackson.  The subject fled the garage on foot.  After a short foot pursuit, Plymouth County deputies took Hodges into custody without further incident.  Hodges was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Jail.  At this time, there are no charges in Plymouth County.



Oliver Back in Jail For Probation Violation

(Le Mars) -- The man who is accused of shooting at bicyclists last August is back in Plymouth County jail.  23 year old Terry Oliver Jr. of Sioux City violated his terms of probation.  Oliver's original conviction was in August of 2012 for assault with a weapon in which he shot a gun in the direction of a bicyclist in Plymouth County on Highway 12. Oliver was placed on probation and was required to obey all laws whether federal, state laws, or city ordinances. On May 20th, Oliver was arrested by the Sioux City Police for driving while license revoked. That arrest violated the terms of his probation and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Bond was set at $625 cash/surety.


Truck Driver Arrested For Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia


(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have arrested a 61 year old man from Sioux City for possession of drug paraphernalia following an investigation from a complaint.  The incident took place on Thursday evening.  Charles Goettesch was taken into custody after a call was reported stating a semi truck was parked on Granite Avenue near the intersection of county road C-60.  The truck had been parked for several hours and the complaint indicated the "driver seemed confused."  Goettesch was charged and taken to the Plymouth County jail.


Sheldon To Drill Another Well In Order To Meet Water Demands

SHELDON, Iowa (AP) - Despite an unusually wet spring, groundwater levels haven't returned to normal in much of northwest Iowa, leaving some cities to consider deeper wells.
In the city of Sheldon, officials will spend $350,000 this summer to drill a second deep well that will increase pumping capacity for its water wells. Residents also are under a water watch aimed at conservation.
Sheldon has had to rely on its lone deep well because the aquifer that feeds into nine shallow wells has not risen back to its normal level.

Officials say heavy rains in late May helped, but it's unclear what's going to happen. In the city of Hull, customers may see a rate hike if the district needs to drill new wells.

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Branstad Kicks Off Food Drive

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is kicking off an annual food drive in Des Moines.
Branstad on Monday announced the start of the Yankee Doodle Drive against hunger, which benefits the Food Bank of Iowa. He asked the public to drop off non-perishable items at area Dahl's
supermarkets, Bank of the West locations or at the State Capitol.
People can also bring donations to the Des Moines Symphony's Yankee Doodle Pops concert on the Capitol grounds on July 3.
The drive lasts through July 4.
Branstad also says he is likely to approve a $1 million allocation to the Food Bank included in a budget bill. He rejected funding the Food Bank last year, but said this year it is a one-time deal that will be matched with private contributions.

 

Branstad Says Iowa Needs To Change Criminal Sentencing Rules

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa should review criminal sentencing rules in the wake of the killing of a teenage girl.
Branstand made the comments Monday, just days after the body of 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard was found Friday night in the Des Moines River. Authorities say she and a friend were kidnapped last
month in Dayton by registered sex offender Michael Klunder.
Klunder hanged himself after the younger girl got away. He was released from prison in 2011, after serving 20 years for convictions in two separate Iowa kidnappings that occurred on back-to-back days in December 1991.
Branstad says it's appropriate to review the state's sentencing provisions. He notes Klunder was turned down for parole several time before being freed, but could only be held for so long under
state law.


Woman Driving The Wrong Way On Interstate Highway Causes Fatality Accident

DESOTO, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating why a woman was driving the wrong way on a highway in central Iowa before a fatal crash.
The Iowa State Patrol says 24-year-old Megan Wakeham, of West Des Moines, was killed early Sunday morning on Interstate 80 near DeSoto.
Wakeham was driving east in the westbound lanes when her car went head-on into a vehicle driven by 20-year-old Jessie Leeper, of Adair. A vehicle driven by 49-year-old Lori Wallace, of Greenfield,
then rear-ended Leeper's car.
Leeper and Wallace were taken to nearby hospitals. Additional information about their conditions was not available.
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Drunken Man Rescued From River

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A Davenport man faces a public intoxication charge after authorities used a rescue boat to pluck him out of the Mississippi River.
Davenport police say 49-year-old Michael Carty was pulled from the river Saturday afternoon near Centennial Park, as families and fishers along the riverbank watched.
An arrest affidavit says Carty got into the water at a boat ramp near the Rhythm City Casino. He told police he had been drinking all day.
A pre-breathalyzer test registered Carty's blood-alcohol level at more than three times the legal limit. Police also found a marijuana pipe in his back pocket.
Carty refused medical treatment and was arrested. He has been charged with an aggravated misdemeanor count of public intoxication.
Records do not list an attorney for Carty.
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Iowa City Man Sets Off Firecracker While Bomb Squad Investigates Bomb Scare

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City man has been accused of setting off a firecracker while authorities were investigating a potential bomb threat a few blocks away.
Iowa City police say 32-year-old Steven Crittenden threw the firecracker into the street Sunday night before going back into a local bar. The Johnson County Metro Bomb Squad was looking into a
suspicious package at a nearby bank at the same time.
Crittenden later refused to answer questions from officers. He was arrested after refusing a search and blood alcohol test.  Authorities say he was found with two more firecrackers.
Crittenden has been charged with a serious misdemeanor charge of reckless use of explosives. He remains at the Johnson County Jail, and court records do not list an attorney.
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DCI Official Suspended

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A prominent Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation supervisor has been suspended with pay for more than a month as a result of a personnel matter.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Rob Hansen says that Special Agent in Charge Larry Hedlund has been on administrative leave since May 1. Hansen says he cannot release any more information about the suspension.
Based in Fort Dodge, Hedlund has supervised the agency's work in northern and northeastern Iowa as the top supervisor in one of DCI's four geographic zones. Among other cases, he has helped
oversee the investigation into the abduction and slaying of two cousins who vanished while riding bikes last year in Evansdale and were found dead in a wildlife reserve in December.
Hedlund didn't immediately return messages Monday.


Customers of A Des Moines Bar Shot With BB Gun

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating reports of pellets from at least one BB gun hitting customers outside a Des Moines bar.
Des Moines police say officers were called to Le boi Bar early Monday morning following reports of customers being shot at while on the patio.
One customer says he was hit in the thigh. Another customer was taken to a local hospital and had a pellet removed from his ear. No damage was reported at the bar.
Authorities say they have detained five juveniles on suspicion of being involved in the shooting. They say they were in a vehicle described by witnesses as being near the bar at the time. Three BB
guns were found inside the vehicle.
Additional information was not available.
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Monday News, June 10

Le Mars Community Board Of Education To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening.  The board will hear a report from Tracy Wingert regarding the process used to select geometry textbooks.  The board will also review its insurance policies.  The school board will review the present salary and benefits of the superintendent's position.  The local board of education will go over the revisions to the student handbooks, and they will act upon the milk and bread contracts for the upcoming school year.


"Prairie Fever" To Be Discussed At Museum

(Le Mars) -- Prairie Fever, a program about the English in America will kick off "Ice Cream Days" week at the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  Tonight at 7:00 p.m. Peter Pagnamenta of London, England will be at the Museum's Music Room to speak about his new book, "Prairie Fever: British Aristocrats in the American West, 1830-1890.  The book contains several references to the settling of the English in Plymouth County.

 

Clovis Expected To Run For U-S Senate

(Sioux City) -- Conservative radio talk show host and Morningside College Professor of Business and Economics, Sam Clovis has scheduled a news conference for this evening in Sioux City to discuss his political future.  Clovis, a retired colonel with the U-S Air Force, is expected to announce his candidacy for the U-S Senate seat, held by current Senator Tom Harkin.  Harkin has announced he will not seek a re-election bid.  Clovis, a republican, will make his announcement during his "Coffee with Sam" session at the Holiday Inn in Sioux City.  Clovis says he has done his due diligence in both prayer and counseling with friends and family and he believes it's time to step up and announce his decision on his intentions for the United States Senate seat.  At least two other republican candidates have announced their candidacy for the upcoming vacant seat.

 

Body Identified As Missing 15 Year Old Girl

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities have identified a body found in a river as that of a 15-year-old girl who was abducted with another girl after getting off a school bus last month.
Officials announced Sunday morning an autopsy confirms the body found Friday night in the Des Moines River under a bridge near Boone is Kathlynn Shepard's.
Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. Julia Goodin says Kathlynn died of "multiple sharp and blunt forced injuries."
Investigators expressed confidence the body was Kathlynn's hours after a fisherman discovered it.
Clothes on it matched what Kathlynn was wearing when she and a 12-year-old friend were taken on May 20 in Dayton, about 60 miles north of Des Moines.
Authorities say Michael Klunder kidnapped the girls and committed suicide after the younger girl got away.


Family of Abducted Teen Gives Statement

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The family of an abducted Iowa teenager has released a statement after authorities confirmed the 15-year-old's death.
Kathlynn Shepard's father said Sunday that the teen's family has "lost part of its soul," but that Kathylnn is now in a better place and safe from predators. Kathylnn was described as an innocent, caring and fun-loving child.
The State Medical Examiner and Department of Criminal Investigation said Sunday that had an autopsy had confirmed that a body found Friday night in Boone County was Kathylnn's.
Kathylnn was found dead in the Des Moines River weeks after she was abducted while walking home with a 12-year-old friend.
Authorities say Michael Klunder abducted the girls and took them to a hog confinement facility, where the 12-year-old escaped.

 

Fundraiser Set For Shooting Victims

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Friends of an Iowa mother and toddler who were shot multiple times are holding a fundraiser to help cover their medical costs.
The fundraiser is set for Saturday at Regal Lanes in Council Bluffs. Organizers are hosting the event in honor of 23-year-old Heather Wilson and her 2-year-old son, Tyson, who are both still recovering
from the February shooting.
Authorities have charged 31-year-old Ronald Farr with attempted murder, willful injury and going armed with intent.
The "Strike Back Against Violence" fundraiser will feature bowling, food, a raffle and a silent auction.
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Branstad Wants To Stop Bullying

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill designed to crack down on cyberbullying failed to advance in the Legislature this year, but Gov. Terry Branstad says he plans to keep working to toughen Iowa's
anti-bullying laws.
Branstad promised Thursday that he would hold another state summit on bullying, as he did last fall, and will work to get a bill passed next year.
Branstad says he "wants kids to feel safe."
The bullying bill offered by Branstad this year would have updated state guidelines for school districts to include bullying that occurs outside school on social media websites like Facebook.
It received subcommittee approval in the state House, but never moved forward.
Matt Carver, of the group School Administrators of Iowa, says he thinks the Legislature will approve the bill once lawmakers have more information.


Cedar Falls Looks At Establishing A Part-time Mayor Position

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Cedar Falls will discuss a proposal to shift to a part-time mayor.
A task force has recommended the change as the city tries to prevent a budget shortfall.
The salary for a part-time mayor could run between $6,500 and $30,000. Current Mayor Jon Crews is paid about $118,000 a year.
Crews has outlined a plan to create a city administrator position but also keep a full-time mayor.
The City Council Committee of the Whole will meet Monday night and discuss the matter.
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Keokuk Woman Named "Miss Iowa"

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A Keokuk woman has been chosen as Miss Iowa and will compete in the Miss America Pageant this fall.
22-year-old Nicole Kelly won Saturday after a three-day competition in Davenport.
Kelly is majoring in directing and theater management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
She is the 72nd woman to hold the title of Miss Iowa.
The first runner-up was 24-year-old Isabella Blaine, of West Des Moines.
The Miss America Pageant will be Sept. 15 in Atlantic City, N.J.
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