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Tuesday News, September 15

School Board Elects Pat Murphy As President

(Le Mars) -- During last evening's school board meeting, long-time board member Pat Murphy was elected as president of the school board with Todd Lancaster elected as the vice president.  School superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt verified the election results and explained the open position of District 3.

(sot) Wendt1

Chris Collins has agreed to remain on the school board and therefore is the District 3 representative.



Fire Department Called To Gas Line Leak

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department were at the scene of a natural gas line leak at the 200 block of 2nd Avenue northeast, near the Agri-Center grain storage complex.  A gas line was ruptured shortly before 11:00 a.m. Monday morning, and neighbors near the incident reported smelling gas.  MidAmerican Energy was called to the scene to cut the power to the neighborhood, as well as, to repair the ruptured gas line.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the gas line that was cut was at least an inch in diameter.

(sot) Schipper gas1

There wasn't any fire or injuries associated with that gas line leak.  Officials were on the scene for nearly two and a half hours.





Police Investigate Break In At Total Sales And Service

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police are investigating a break-in and thefts from Total Sales and Service in Le Mars. On Saturday, in the early morning hours,  a burglary occurred at Total Sales &Service on Hawkeye Ave SW. Entry was gained by smashing a window on the northwest side of the business. Once entry was gained, two vehicles, a customer vehicle and a shop vehicle were moved from the shop area to the outside. At one point, the customer vehicle was driven into the side of Total’s building causing damage to the exterior of the building. This same vehicle also struck two additional vehicles in Total’s parking lot causing damage to them as well.  A third vehicle, a white 2014 Ford Fusion was driven out of the shop and was later involved in a personal injury single vehicle accident reported to the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office at around 6:47 AM this same date.  This case remains under investigation.





Supervisors To Convene Today

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will convene for their weekly meeting today at the county courthouse board room.  The supervisors will hear from Judy Bowman, administrator of the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  She is scheduled to discuss the museum's non-profit status and fiscal sponsorship agreement.  The supervisors will also hear from surveyor, Al Fagan, as he will be seeking an extension to file the Plymouth Energy addition.  County engineer, Tom Rohe is also scheduled to appear before the supervisors.  Rohe will be requesting the supervisors to approve a permit for the Southern Sioux Rural Water Association as they wish to place service in three locations using the right-of-way in both Meadow township and Fredonia township.





City Council To Hold Hearing On Sidewalk Project


(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet today at noon at the city council chambers.  The city council will hold a public hearing regarding the 12th Street Southwest Sidewalk Improvement Project with a special assessment.  The city council will also look at an Ecoengineer's Proposal, and they will discuss the CDBG downtown Le Mars revitalization project.





Farmers Facing Deadline To Sign-up For Farm Bill Programs

(Le Mars) -- Farmers have only until the end of the month to sign up for the Farm Bill program. Jeff Davis, of the U-S-D-A's Farm Services Agency with both Plymouth and Sioux Counties says regardless if farmers are participating in the Agriculture Risk Coverage plan or ARC, or if they want to participate in the Price Loss Coverage or PLC program, they need to stop by their F-S-A office and sign up for the program.

(sot) Davis1

Davis says the actual time to sign up should take no more than a few minutes.

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The Farm Services Agency Director says the federal government is not planning on issuing an extension for the date.  Farmers will need to sign up for the programs before the September 30th deadline.

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Davis says the farm program covers all base acre crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and many other crops.




Iowa Ranks High For Deer-Car Collisions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new review of accident data says Iowa drivers have a 1 in 68 chance of striking a deer on the road this year.
Insurer State Farm said in a news release Monday that Iowa's is the third-highest rate in the nation. The state had the fourth-highest rate last year.
Neighboring Nebraska's rate for 2015 is 1 in 143, ranking it 25th on the State Farm list. The state ranked 23rd on the 2014 list.
Leading the 2015 list in West Virginia, with a rate of 1 in 44. No. 2 is Montana, where the rate is 1 in 63. The national odds this year are 1 in 169.
State Farm says its estimate is derived from claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration.



Monday News, September 14

School Board Scheduled To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to have a meeting this evening.  It will be the last board meeting for Dr. Mark Stelzer, and the first for incoming school board member Angela Catton.  The school board will elect its new officers for the year, as well as appoint a secretary, a treasurer, and district attorney.  The school board will hold a public hearing regarding the purchase of two support vehicles.  Dr. Todd Wendt, school superintendent will present his annual report for the 2014-2015 school year. Assistant Superintendent, Steve Webner will present the proposed annual learning goals for reading, math, and science to the board's attention.  The school board is expected to discuss the upcoming LEEP MenuMasters fundraising event scheduled for Saturday, September 19th. The school board will also discuss open enrollment of four students wanting to attend the Le Mars Community School District.





Investigation Continues On One-Vehicle Accident From Saturday Morning

(Remsen) -- Plymouth County authorities are continuing to investigate a one-vehicle rollover accident that happened early Saturday morning on 190th Street, just past county road K-64 or about five miles east of Le Mars.  20 year old Chase Tullis of Sioux City was identified as the driver of the vehicle.  He suffered major injuries and was initially transported to Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars, but then airlifted by medical helicopter to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls.  Apparently, Tullis lost control of the vehicle when he entered the gravel road.  The vehicle crossed the north ditch and ended in a pasture, rolling several times before landing on its side.  Responding to the accident were the Oyens and Remsen Fire Departments, as well as, the Remsen ambulance, Iowa State Patrol, and Plymouth County Sheriff's office.  The accident remains under investigation.




Library Board Of Trustees To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Public Library Board of Trustees will hold its monthly meeting this afternoon beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Le Mars Public Library meeting room.  The trustees will review the financial report, director's report, and committee reports, including the building committee and the personnel committee.  The library board of trustees will discuss library services to the city of Craig.




Museum Plans Bus Tour


(Le Mars) -- Everything from a new winery to The Pumpkin Patch will be on tour during the Plymouth County Historical Museum’s 8th Annual Loess Hills Bus Tour. Seats are still available for the Oct. 10 trip.
This year’s trip is “Rolling through the Museum World of Plymouth County and Area.” The focus this year will be on museums. Seven different museums are on the tour route.
Anyone wishing to reserve a seat should call (712)-539-0223 immediately or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Boarding will be at 8 a.m. in front of the Museum, located at 335 First Avenue Southwest. The cost of the bus trip, $60, will cover the trip and an evening buffet at Akron Jo’s Café, the final stop on the trip. Participants should bring a sack lunch for the noon meal.
The first stop shortly after 8 a.m. will be a view from the charter bus when participants stop at Joy Hollow Log Cabin on the east side of the Museum. Margaret Henrich, one of the Friends of Joy Hollow Log Cabin who worked to save the historic structure, will give the group an update on the restoration. She has been actively involved in the chinking and staining of the cabin.
Next on the trip will come Grand Meadow Heritage Center, located at rural Washta. Bus participants will tour the buildings on the grounds of the former school and also tour the museum housed in the old school. Of special interest will be a log cabin which the Grand Meadow board moved to the grounds in 2007.
After an hour at Grand Meadow, bus participants will travel just 15 minutes north to The Pumpkin Patch where a hayrack ride will be available through a corn maze. Pumpkins and other gifts also will be for sale during the half-hour stop.
Continuing north, the group will stop at the Marcus Historical Society’s new building on the Marcus Fairgrounds. After about an hour, which will include a sack lunch on the fairgrounds, the group will continue to downtown Marcus to look at classic cars owned by Stan and Jan Scheitler of Remsen.
Then it’s on to Remsen for a tour of the Remsen Heritage Museum located in downtown Remsen. The group will spend about 45 minutes in Remsen before heading west for visits to two more museums and other attractions.
Arrival in Westfield is planned for 2:30 p.m. The Loess Hills Interpretive Center features many highlights of the Loess Hills and is housed in an old school.
The final community to be showcased will be Akron where shopping will get underway by about 3:30 p.m. Three stops are planned, but the participants in the bus trip will be able to visit any shops that are open in downtown Akron. Those being featured are Thorson Drug, Akron Gold and Silver, and the Akron Thrift Shop.The group will tour the Akron Area Museum’s Victorian house at 4:45 p.m.
By 5:30 p.m., the tour goers will return to downtown for a stop at a new winery due to open. If time allows, the group also will visit Eden Valley Apple Orchard and Farm. The final stop will be a buffet supper at Akron Jo’s Café. Return to the Plymouth County Historical Museum will be at approximately 8 p.m.
This 8th annual trip is one of the close-to-home trips, according to Judy Bowman, Museum administrator. It also is an effort to promote awareness of area museums, Bowman said.
The tradition of a Loess Hills bus trip began in 2008 with the “Loess Hills or Bust” tour to the western part of the county. Cornelia Mutel, author of “The Fragile Giants” focusing on the Loess Hills, spoke at the evening banquet. Other trips were: 2009, Akron-Westfield Loess Hills stops; 2010, “Bus to the Bison,” Niobrara, Nebraska; 2011, Moorhead-Turin area; 2012, Pipestone, Minnesota, Civil War Re-enactment; 2013, Ponca, Nebraska, and Sioux City area attractions; and 2014, Onawa, Turin and environs.
Any proceeds from the trip go to support the operation of the Museum.




Flu Vaccinations Will Be Made Available At Various Locations

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Community Health Service will again be providing flu vaccine throughout Plymouth County.   This year's vaccine covers four strains of influenza:

All people 6 months of age and older should get flu vaccine.  Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of severe influenza and their close contacts, including healthcare personnel and close contacts of children younger than 6 months.  People who should not be vaccinated include:


·         People who have had a life-threatening reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.

·         People who have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.

·         Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children less than 6 months of age

·         People who are moderately or severely ill should wait until they recover before getting immunized.


Flu mist may be given to people 2 years through 49 years of age.  People that should not receive the mist include:

•People who have had life-threatening allergies, including any allergy to eggs
•People who have had Guillain Barre Syndrome
•People that have received any other vaccines in the past 4 weeks
•Women that are pregnant
•Children with asthma or wheezing
•People who are not feeling well currently should wait to receive the vaccine.

Public immunization clinics will be held on:

•Monday, October 5 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Akron Senior Center 
•Tuesday, October 6 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Le Mars Senior Center

•Wednesday, October 7 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Remsen Senior Center (Beck Park)

•Wednesday, October 14 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Le Mars Convention Center at the Well Aware Health Fair

•Monday, October 19 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Kingsley Community Center

•Tuesday, October 20 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
FVH Conference Center

•Thursday, October 22 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Merrill Senior Center (Kissinger)

•Tuesday, October 27 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Hinton Community Center


Cost for the influenza vaccine is $25.00.  If you are eligible for Medicare, please bring your Medicare card (Part B) or Medicare Advantage card with you.


For further information, please contact Tara Geddes, Community Health Manager at Floyd Valley Hospital by calling 712-546-3335.  Information may also be found on the internet at, and




President Obama To Visit Iowa To Discus College Financing

WASHINGTON (AP) - Presidential candidates are a common sight in Iowa as the 2016 campaign intensifies. But the White House hopefuls are now seeing competition from the man they're running to succeed.
President Barack Obama will spend Monday afternoon in Des Moines, the capital of the kickoff caucus state that will be instrumental in winnowing down the 2016 primary field and picking a president in the general election.
Officially, Obama will be in Iowa to join Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a back-to-school bus tour and to announce a change to the college financial aid system that will foster earlier loan deadlines for students. But the visit also allows Obama to make an imprint on the 2016 race, arguing for Democratic priorities and drawing a contrast with the many Republican candidates blanketing Iowa.




Man's Body Found In Ditch Near Iowa Falls

IOWA FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating after a man's body was found in a ditch north of Iowa Falls.
According to Hardin County Sheriff Dave McDaniel, police received a report about the body along U.S. Highway 65 at 12:10 p.m. Sunday. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier ( ) reports the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was called into assist in the investigation.
The identity of the victim has not been released pending notification of family.




Deputy Kills Man In Southeast Iowa

WELLMAN, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are investigating after a confrontation between Washington County Sheriff's deputies and a suicidal man ended with a deputy fatally shooting the man.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the confrontation between deputies and 39-year-old Martin Francis Hammen happened early Sunday morning at Hammen's rural home outside Wellman.
Several hours earlier, deputies had gone to Wellman's home because someone reported he was suicidal, but couldn't locate him. Deputies returned around 1:15 a.m. because Hammen's home was on fire.
Hammen emerged from a tree line carrying a handgun and propane torch. Authorities say he refused to drop the gun, so a deputy shot Hammen with his rifle.
Hammen died at the scene. No deputies were hurt in the confrontation.





Perry Nursing Home Mishandled Care Of Three Patients

PERRY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa inspectors say a nursing home in Perry mishandled the treatment of three patients that were transferred there this summer after a state mental hospital closed.
One of the patients died and another suffered a broken leg. The Perry Health Care Center faces up to $13,500 in fines.
Relatives of those patients are unhappy with the nursing home and the state's decision to move their loved ones there.
State officials defend the decision to close the Clarinda hospital and a similar program at Mount Pleasant. A spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad says private agencies can provide care more efficiently than the state.




Tall Corn Presents Problems For Rural Roadways

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - For drivers in Midwestern farm country, the growing season brings a special danger on the roads: tall corn that can obscure other vehicles until it's too late.
The plant's broad leaves and thick stalks can stand up to 12 feet high, forming a wall of foliage that turns rural roads into long, narrow corridors of green, yellow and brown. Many intersections have no stop signs.
The peril is especially pervasive in Iowa, the nation's top corn producer, where crops cover more than 90 percent of the land. At least five people have been killed so far this season in crashes blamed on corn.
Authorities issue warnings, but they can do little more than plead with drivers to use caution.
The problem is also widespread across Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana.




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