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Thursday News, May 14

Fire Destroys Hay Shed

(Kingsley) -- A Wednesday afternoon structure fire destroyed more than 100 tons of hay, cornstalks, feed products, a hay shed and feed bunker.  Also lost in the fire were three small grain bins, and some farm equipment including a hay grinder and a flatbed trailer.  The fire was reported at 31582 county road K-64, or about five miles northwest of Kingsley.  Fire broke out shortly after 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, and both the Kingsley Fire Department and the Moville Fire Department responded to the blaze.  Owner Rick Plendl believes a bad bearing on his hay grinder may have been responsible for the fire.

 

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Plendl says almost immediately the hay shed and its contents were on fire due to the strong south winds that helped fan the flames.  Fire officials had some difficulty in getting the fire under control because of the strong winds.  Plendl estimates the losses may add up to more than $50-thousand dollars.

 

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Plendl admits to being fortunate that the fire was situated on the eastern edge of his homestead, and none of his other buildings were in danger.  Plendl and several hired hands helped move grain trailers, tractors, and other farm equipment allowing fire fighters better access to the fire, and protecting his equipment from also catching on fire.  One concern for fire officials was a 1000 gallon fuel tank that was situated next to the flames.  Fire fighters kept spraying water on the fuel tank in order to keep it cool.  Once fire officials were able to get the fire under control, then construction equipment including a back hoe and a payloader were brought in to the scene to help fire officials gain better access.   Fire fighters were on the scene for several hours.

 

 

Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary Awards Scholarships

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary awarded two $1,000 scholarships to area students during the Chamber Coffee Wednesday morning.  The scholarships will go to Chantel Cockburn of Le Mars and Abby Van Den Top of Hospers. Cockburn attends Le Mars Community and plans to pursue a nursing career with emphasis in pediatrics.  Cockburn is the daughter of Jamie and Steve Cockburn, and she plans to attend South Dakota State University.  Abby Van Den Top is a senior at Remsen St. Mary's.  She intends to pursue a degree in Radiology at Wayne State College. Abby is the daughter of Michael and Tricia Van Den Top. Nancy Augustine serves as the co-chair for the hospital auxiliary scholarship program.  She says the scholarship program has been active for at least 20 years.

 

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Augustine says eligible applicants must pursue a career in the health profession.

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The hospital auxiliary volunteer explains how the organization raises the money for the scholarships.

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Augustine says seven different people review the scholarship applications before the finalists are selected.

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The scholarship committee chair says each scholarship judge has their own criteria in determining a worthy candidate.

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The Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary also donated $1,000 to the Floyd Valley Hospital Education Department to be used for hospital staff training. Floyd Valley Hospital Education Coordinator, Marlys Van Otterloo, explains.

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Gehlen Catholic To Hold Awards Program

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic High School will hold its student awards and scholarship program this morning beginning at 9:30 a.m.to be held in the Kellen Memorial Gymnasium. 51 Gehlen High School seniors will be recognized, as well as the naming of the class valedictorian and salutatorians. Honors will be bestowed upon the senior class for their academic achievements.

 

 

 

Judge Increases Bail On Sioux City Man For Death Of Four Month Old Daughter

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has increased the bail for a Sioux City man who was granted a new trial in the death of his 4-month-old daughter.

Bail was raised from $50,000 to $100,000 for 25-year-old Paul Hill, who is charged with child endangerment causing the February 2009 death of Tryniti Jo Hill. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Prosecutors requested the increase, saying Hill might leave the area if released from custody. Hill's attorneys argued his bail shouldn't change because he had attended all his hearings prior to his original trial.

 

 

Body Found At Sioux City Marina

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Investigators are working to identify a body recovered from a marina in Sioux City.

The Sioux City Police Department says the body pulled from the MlrTym Landing marina around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday is that of a male. Police say employees spotted him floating in the water.

Sgt. Scott Hatting says  that no cause of death has been determined. He says the body has been handed over to the Woodbury County Medical Examiner, who will perform an autopsy.

No further information has been released.

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House Approves Health Services Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Republican-led Iowa House has approved a $1.84 billion spending plan for health and human services departments, offering less funding than Gov. Terry Branstad or the Democratic-controlled Senate.

In a 56-40 vote, the House approved the plan Wednesday. It's less than the $1.9 billion budget backed by the Senate. Both sides now must work out a compromise deal for the budget bill, which includes funding for Medicaid, public health programs and veterans.

The House plan includes a strategy backed by Branstad and the Department of Human Services to keep two state-run mental health facilities open through Dec. 15. Earlier plans called for closing the facilities sooner.

Republican House members also want to change the funding source for a family planning program, seeking to block abortion providers from offering care.

 

 

 

 

   

Wednesday News, May 13

Supervisors Approve 83 Property Tax Credit Applications

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved 83 property tax credit applications during their weekly meeting held at the county courthouse Tuesday morning.  In other action, the county governing board approved the first reading of an ordinance vacating certain platted lots, streets and alleys.  The area in question rests on the southern edge of Plymouth County where the county borders with the city of Sioux City.  The Board of Supervisors also signed the contracts with Richards Construction of Sac City.  Richards Construction was awarded three bids on three separate culvert projects.

 

 

Roosevelt Avenue To Be Closed On Wednesday

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced it will close Roosevelt Avenue today between 180th Street and 190th street.  The road will be closed while work crews repair for a bridge abutment. Officials hope to open the road at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.

 

 

Museum To Hold Annual Banquet And Meeting Tonight

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Museum will hold its 51st annual banquet this evening at the Old Central Gymnasium.  The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m.  The museum plans to honor two former museum volunteers, who also were active with Plymouth county newspapers and printing.

 

 

 

Senior Awards Night

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community High School Seniors will be recognized this evening during the Senior Awards Night to be held at the high school's new gymnasium.  School officials and school foundation members will announce the scholarships awarded to the Senior Class of 2015.  More than $60,000 in scholarship funds will be presented to students.  The program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

School Board Ponders Over Questions Relating To Possible Sharing Agreement
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education was presented with a preliminary list of considerations regarding the request by the Remsen-Union Board of Education.  Dr. Todd Wendt, superintendent of school formulated 15 different questions for the Le Mars Community School Board to consider as they decide whether or not to enter a sharing agreement with Remsen-Union. Wendt started by stating if a sharing agreement between Le Mars and Remsen were to take place it would mean more students, which in turn may mean more teachers.  Wendt pointed out many elective classes are already near capacity.

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Wendt posed the question about transportation for school board directors to consider.

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Another area the school board will need to consider is students from Remsen and their academic ranking.

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Superintendent Wendt also suggested to the school board to consider graduation requirements between the two schools.

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Other questions Dr. Wendt asked of the school board to consider are which board's policies will be applied to the students?  All together, Wendt had presented 15 different questions, including what is the commitment level of Remsen-Union?

D-O-T Rejects Traffic Cameras In Four Iowa Cities

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's transportation department has rejected requests by officials in four cities to keep operating some speed cameras in their areas.
The state Department of Transportation issued the denials in letters dated Monday to officials in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Muscatine. A letter to Council Bluffs was dated May 6.
DOT Director Paul Trombino says in the letters the cameras are not making interstate highways or nearby intersections safer.
The DOT decided in late 2013 that speed cameras on or adjacent to state highways should not be used as long-term enforcement tools and required more justification for their use. The agency later ordered several cities to turn off some cameras. Many communities appealed those orders.
City officials can appeal the decision in district court.  The Iowa D-O-T did not say anything about the traffic cameras being used in Sioux City.
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Fuel Tax Will Help With Five-Year Plan To Improve Roads

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Transportation officials say an increase in Iowa's fuel tax will help support a five-year plan to improve roads and bridges in the state.
The state Department of Transportation submitted a $3.2 billion proposal to an agency commission Tuesday. The commission will meet in June.
A draft report of the plan states money from a law that increased Iowa's fuel tax by 10 cents per gallon in March will be used "100 percent" on critical road and bridge construction projects. It also pledges to use some of that money for four-lane construction on parts of U.S. Highways 20, 30 and 61. The report acknowledges those projects aren't for repair or rehabilitation, but a DOT spokeswoman says they fill critical infrastructure needs.
The plan covers a period from July through 2020.

Four More Iowa Farms Report Having Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four more Iowa farms are testing positive for bird flu.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture says an egg-laying farm and a turkey farm in Buena Vista County bring to 15 the number of cases in that county in northwest Iowa.  A broiler farm in Osceola County is the state's first indication of the disease on a farm raising chickens for meat. Officials said Tuesday the farm has 700 birds. Most of Iowa's affected chickens are egg layers.
Lyon County also has its first case. It's on an egg farm.
Iowa has 49 cases of bird flu in 13 counties. More than 26 million birds will die.
Minnesota and Wisconsin have no new cases but Nebraska reported its first on a farm with 1.7 million chickens.

Pipeline Officials Accused Of Offering Prostitute For Land Access

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An energy company seeking to build an oil pipeline through Iowa is investigating a claim that an agent for the project offered to hire a prostitute for a landowner if he would allow access.
Vicki Granado, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners, said Tuesday in a statement that the company was investigating the allegation about an agent, who she said was working for a contractor. Hughie Tweedy says that he has recorded proof that an agent for the Bakken Pipeline offered to get him a prostitute in exchange for land access. Tweedy did not provide copies of the recordings during a news conference Monday.
The proposed pipeline would ship 450,000 barrels daily from production sites in North Dakota to a hub in Illinois.

 

 



 

   

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