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Monday Afternoon News, February 8

Two Teens Arrested On Various Drug Charges

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have arrested two teenagers for various drug related charges.  The incident dates back to late December when a Plymouth County Sheriff's deputy made a traffic stop on a vehicle on Highway 75 near Merrill.   As a result of that traffic stop, 19 year old Corey Peters of Le Mars was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.  Peters was also charged with an operating vehicle while intoxicated, first offense; and possession of a controlled substance, along with possession of drug paraphernalia. 18 year old Terril Henrich of Hinton was a passenger in the car, and was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Both individuals were booked into the Plymouth County jail.  

 

 

MidAmerican Energy Suggests Businesses Conduct Energy Efficient Assessment

(Le Mars) -- MidAmerican Energy officials are urging residents, businesses, and industries to have an energy assessment study conducted, which may result in having an energy rebate.  Phil Ramsey spoke at Monday's Lunch and Learn session.  He says if consumers of energy are energy efficient, that in turn makes MidAmerican energy efficient.

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Ramsey says MidAmerican Energy has expanded it renewable sources for energy to help the utility company be more efficient.

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The MidAmerican official says once an energy efficient study has been scheduled, the timetable might take up to a month to get your business evaluated by an energy efficient engineer, but he says the process will be completed with in a day.  Ramsey says the rebate structure may be less in 2016 than it was in 2015, but he offers an example of the rebate amount for businesses that change from an incandescent light bulb to the newer LED lighting.

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Ramsey says once a business conducts its energy survey, MidAmerican will present a detailed action plan report offering suggestions as to how best save energy, and then it is up to the business to initiate the plan.  He says rebates are offered after new lighting fixtures and other energy efficient plans are ordered.  Ramsey says businesses have six months to install the new energy efficient fixtures to qualify for the rebates.

 

 

 

Primebank Donates To Gehlen Catholic

(Le Mars, IA) – During halftime of the Gehlen Catholic boy’s basketball game versus Hinton Friday, Primebank President and CEO, Matt Ahlers along with Kelli Langel presented a check for $2,894.83. to Gehlen Catholic President, Fr. Kevin Richter, and Principals, Mr. Jeff Alesch and Mrs. Lorie Nussbaum.

Each year since the program started in 2000, Primebank has donated a percentage of total purchases made using the Gehlen Visa® Card to Gehlen Catholic Schools.  In total, Primebank has donated $47,538.87 to Gehlen Catholic.

“Gehlen Catholic appreciates the continued support from Primebank with the Visa® program as well as our athletics, fine arts and the Friends of Gehlen Ball,” commented Alesch.

Proceeds from the card are used to enhance the local tuition assistance program at Gehlen Catholic, assuring a focus on faith, values, service and academic excellence to low and middle income students.

 

 

 

Iowa City Schools May Eliminate School Buses

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Community members say they have mixed reactions to the Iowa City Community School Board's decision to eliminate a free busing service.
The  school board's Jan. 26 decision means that nine elementary schools will lose discretionary busing that serves nearly 1,000 students. The changes will take effect in the fall, at the beginning of the new school year.
Parents and school leaders say they understand the board's decision will save money for classroom-related expenses, such as reducing class sizes. But they say they're concerned about safe walking routes and families facing inconveniences.
School board President Chris Lynch says the decision will save about $400,000 annually.
The board seeks to maintain free and pay-to-ride routes at nine elementary schools where families face transportation barriers.

 

 

 

Domestic Abusers Are Forbidden To Own Firearms

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - More than 80 Iowans have been convicted of violating a state law that bans domestic abusers from owning guns in the five years since it went into effect.
A review by The Associated Press shows those convicted include people who used weapons to kill others, to threaten their spouses and to shoot at police officers.
The law signed by Gov. Chet Culver in 2010 bars individuals who are subject to protective orders and who have committed domestic violence-related misdemeanors from owning guns. Violating the prohibition is a felony that carries up to five years in prison.
Attorney General Tom Miller and other supporters predicted the law would save lives by keeping guns away from dangerous individuals. Critics, including some Republican lawmakers, warned that it could unfairly take away gun rights.

 

 

 

Skilled Labor Summit Scheduled For April

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An event in Des Moines about increasing skilled labor in Iowa has been scheduled for April.
The Future Ready Iowa Summit is aimed at closing the state's so-called skills gap in the workforce. The all-day event on April 19 at Hy-Vee Hall is expected to include participation from business leaders, educators and students.
Gov. Terry Branstad has called for Iowa to increase opportunities for education and training beyond high school. He announced an initiative last year that seeks to have 70 percent of Iowans with that extra education and training by 2025.
Specifics about how much such an initiative would cost have been vague. Branstad said during a Monday press conference that the summit will be funded through grant money, private donations and a small registration fee.


 

 

 

 


   

Monday News, February 8

Holz And Anderson Speak On Issues Facing Legislature

(Le Mars) -- State legislators Chuck Holz and Bill Anderson met with nearly a dozen people during their legislative forum held Saturday morning at Le Mars.  School funding and water quality were two of the issues that were discussed.  Holz reminded the group that the state House of Representatives passed a school funding bill that would increase the school spending by two percent, where as the Senate has advocated a four percent increase.  Holz says the issue now rests in conference committee.  State Senator Bill Anderson says he believes the final compromise may be close to the figure as proposed by Governor Terry Branstad.

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Dr. Todd Wendt, the superintendent of schools for Le Mars Community was on hand for the meeting.  Wendt says if only a two percent or less increase for school funding is approved, it will mean the local school board will need to raise the tax levy on property taxes. Holz says he has heard that message from other school officials, but the freshman lawmaker says the state can only do so much given the budget restraints.

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The lawmakers were also asked about taking money from tax that is currently being collected to help finance school infrastructure and instead to devote it to the efforts of improving the state's water quality initiative.  Holz turned the question back on the group asking for what their opinion is of the issue.  The consensus of the gathering was the money should continue to finance school infrastructure, and another source of revenue should be devoted to funding water quality efforts.

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State Representative Chuck Holz is scheduled to meet with Governor Branstad's staff today to further discuss the issue of funding the water quality initiative.  He says he will relate the message that he heard on Saturday not only at the Le Mars forum, but also at Kingsley and Merrill that people are opposed from taking any money originally targeted for school improvements, and devoting that money to water quality initiatives.

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Both Anderson and Holz believe this year's session may be quieter than those in the past.  The state legislators say school funding, water quality, and a tax coupling bill are the three primary issues facing the lawmakers.

 

 

 

Kevin Rollins Honored As Remsen "Citizen of the Year"

(Remsen) -- The Remsen Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet Saturday evening at the Avalon Ballroom.  This year's "Citizen of the Year" was brought to the award's banquet under false pretenses.  Police Chief and Emergency Medical Technician volunteer Kevin Rollins was on patrol duty during the ceremony, when he responded to what was said was an individual having a heart attack at the Avalon Ballroom.  Rollins went to the dance hall, only to learn, that he was named as the Remsen Chamber of Commerce "Citizen of the Year". Fellow police officer and also an ambulance service volunteer Mike Sparr nomination Rollins.

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Rollins explains why he chose to dedicate so much time as a paramedic to the Remsen ambulance services.

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Rollins was raised in Le Mars, but has been a resident of Remsen since 1975.  He says he loves the Remsen community, and is appreciative of being named Remsen's Citizen of the Year.

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Members of the Remsen Ambulance Service

The Remsen Lumber Company was awarded the Remsen "Business of the Year".  The local lumber outlet has five full-time employees and has been doing business in Remsen for more than a hundred and ten years. Remsen Chamber president Stephanie Loutsch made the presentation to the Remsen Lumber Company.

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Employees of The Remsen Lumber Company

 

 

 

 

Le Mars Community School Board To Convene

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening.  The school board has a light agenda, but they will discuss the recent school board and administrator retreat as Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt reviews the evaluations.  The school board will hear reports from each of the building principals.  The local board of education will also act upon two resignation requests.  Gale Horan wishes to retire from her position teaching Spanish effective upon the conclusion of the academic year.  Lavonne Nelson has submitted her resignation notice as the physical education teacher at Franklin and Clark elementary schools.  Her resignation is effective at the end of the academic school year.

 

 

 

 

 

Sioux City Police Officer Shot

(Sioux City) -- A Sioux City man is in custody, facing criminal charges in the shooting of a Sioux City police officer early Sunday morning.
Police say they were investigating numerous reports of robberies and burglaries throughout the city and located several individuals at 2947 Park Ave, Apartment C-13, of the Valley Park Apartments.
Investigators say a suspect, 18 year old Isaiah Mothershed, shot and wounded a police officer during the incident and also shot and wounded himself inside the apartment.
The injured officer is a 13-year veteran, who was treated and released from a local hospital. 
Mothershed was arrested and is currently in custody. 
There is no word on his condition at this time.
The cases remain under investigation by Sioux City Police and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.

 

 

 

 

Attorney General Office Has Backlog Of Cases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Documents show the Iowa attorney general's office has a large backlog of criminal appeal cases, and the agency has warned the state about staffing issues for years.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Eric Tabor described the conditions in a January 7th letter to the Iowa Executive Council, which authorizes some expenses involving litigation. Tabor sought permission for the Iowa attorney general's office to hire three lawyers on a temporary basis to reduce the load. The office faces a backlog of about 100 criminal appeal cases.
The council later approved the request.
Tabor says an Iowa Supreme Court rule change in 2012 that required more filing of appeal briefs has added work to the office. Documents show the agency tried to alert the state in 2013.

 

 

 


 



   

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