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Wednesday News, April 16

Architect Discusses Downtown Rennovation With Building Owners

(Le Mars) -- An informational meeting regarding the downtown district historical rennovation project was held Tuesday evening.  Peter Franks, an archetech with Franks Design Group of Glenwood, Iowa has been assigned the task of restoring many of the downtown buildings.  Franks, specializes in the restoration of older buildings, and says he prefers older buildings with character.

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During the presentation, Franks made several references to his work at Manning, Iowa which is also restoring its downtown district. Franks says there are several similarities between Manning's project and the Le Mars project.

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The Community Development Block Grant totals one million dollars for restoration and rennovation of the downtown building's facades.  $500,000 was appropriated through the federal government, the city of Le Mars will finance $250,000 and building owners will pay the final $250,000.  Franks says Le Mars has some special historical buildings as part of its downtown.

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The historical preservationist will meet with the 30 participating building owners on an individual basis on Wednesday and Thursday.  He says he is excited about working with the people of Le Mars, because of the large amount of support for the project.

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He says the large amount of community support is encouraging.

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Franks says contractor bids may be accepted in August and by early autumn the people of Le Mars should start to see the start of the downtown restoration and rennovation.

 

Public Radio Requests More Funding

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Public Radio is asking for additional funding from the state's three public universities, a departure from a plan to become financially independent of them.
     Documents released Tuesday show IPR is asking the Board of Regents to approve $945,000 in funding for the budget year beginning July 1. The regents will consider the request next week.
     The funding is $236,000 more than what IPR was expected to receive under a plan approved in 2011 to phase out its $1.2 million subsidy by mid-2016.
     IPR says it needs the additional support because its strategy to increase private donations was interrupted by the messy departure last year of its CEO, Mary Grace Herrington. The document says the extra funding would give new executive director Myrna Johnson time "to develop a sustainable model."

 

Pastor Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Abuse

 SIDNEY, Iowa (AP) - A southwest Iowa pastor has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually abused a 5-year-old girl.
      66-year-old Roger C. Kissel of Sidney pleaded not guilty to second-degree sexual abuse, lascivious acts and indecent exposure.
     When he was arrested in February, Kissel was a pastor at the nondenominational Sidney Cowboy Church. Sidney Police Chief Austin Richardson says the allegations aren't connected with the church.
     The crimes are alleged to have occurred over several months in 2013.
     Kissel posted bond and has been released from the Fremont County Jail.

 

Hypnotist Arrested For Being Intoxicated At Prom

 MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - Police say a hypnotist hired to provide alcohol-free entertainment at a post high school prom event in Marshalltown was arrested for public intoxication.
     The Marshalltown Police Department says 43-year-old Terry Woodward was taken into custody early Sunday morning. A message left for Woodward's attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday.
     Woodward is accused of showing up drunk before a 3 a.m. performance at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA. He was hired to perform for GMG High School.
     Capt. Brian Batterson says that people reported Woodward smelled like alcohol. He had no interaction with students before his arrest.
     The talent agency that hired Woodward says he has been fired.
     ---

 

 

 

 

   

Tuesday Afternoon News, April 15

Prairie Sun Foods Bids On Plymouth County Oil During Sheriff's Sale

(Le Mars) -- A sheriff's sale was held Tuesday for the property and holdings of what used to be Plymouth County Oil of Merrill.  Only one bidder was interested in placing a bid on the Merrill-based Plymouth County Oil, a processor of food grade corn oil, when Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo held a sheriff's sale today on the bankrupt company.  Sheriff Van Otterloo says a plaintiff to the bankrupcty case placed the winning bid.

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Van Otterloo says about a dozen people attended the sale, mostly, as on-lookers with interest in knowing who would ultimately purchase the property.  Van Otterloo says Praire Sun Foods, a South Dakota company, now holds the title for the property and equipment.

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Officials were hoping for a projected bid of eleven and a half million dollars.

 

Music Instructor Selected As "Teacher Of The Year"

(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars Community Middle School Band Instructor has been awarded the honor of "Teacher of the Year".  Mary Benton had her class interrupted when nearly 15 well-wishers from the school administration and school district foundation board dropped by to present the award on Tuesday afternoon.  Benton has been teaching instrumental music at Le Mars Community for 23 years.  Denise Anthony of the Le Mars Community School District Foundation presented the honor to Benton.  She says of Benton, "she is being honored for being a teacher who instills the love of music in her students, encourages them to be the best tha they can be, and always has her door open, not only for band issues, but anything a middle school student might want to talk about.  Anthony informed the gathering "it was very humbling to read the letters of support for Mary's nomination, and the powerful common theme in all of them was her accessibility and helpfulness towards her students, parents and co-workers.  Our congratulations to Mary Benton for being honored as this year's Le Mars Community School District's Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell-Teacher of the Year Award.  Tomorrow, we will hear comments from Mary Benton as she discusses the honor bestowed upon her, and her teaching philosophy.

Zoning Adjustment Board Votes Down Speech Clinic In Le Mars Neighborhood

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Zoning Adjustment Board turned thumbs down Tuesday afternoon on a proposed speech therapy clinic that was to be located in a northwest Le Mars residential neighborhood.  The city hall chambers had people on both sides of the issue discuss the matter.  Some neighbors said the area is zoned for residential, and should not allow a business to be located there.  Many, shared their opinion that such a business would drive down property values, and still others worried about the additional anticipated increase of traffic in the quiet community.  Cindy Nagel, the owner of the lot, tried to convince the adjustment board and the gathering, the proposed speech therapy clinic would resemble a house, and could be converted to be a residence.

 

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

(Le Mars) -- April is national distracted driving awareness month and law enforcement officials are stepping up their efforts to discourage drivers from being distracted.  Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz says it is easy to become distracted while driving.  He says the use of a cell phone or texting while driving is thought to be the most common form of distraction while driving, and while that is extremely dangerous, Kurtz says, small children riding in the car can sometimes be a distraction.

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The Highway Patrol safety education officer says drivers must remain focused on their driving and resist the many distractions that occur. He says the latest statistics may not tell the whole story.

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Kurtz says he doesn't have the statistics to back his opinion, but it is his belief that younger drivers are more susceptible to distracted driving, although he says all ages can be distracted.

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Kurtz says distractions are not limited to just inside the vehicle, but many occur outside the vehicle as well.

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Supreme Court Says Candidate Can Seek Office Despite Drunken Convictions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says a Des Moines man can run for state Senate despite efforts by his primary opponent to have him disqualified.

Tony Bisignano was convicted of second-offense drunken driving, and his Democratic primary opponent Ned Chiodo claimed that disqualified him from voting or seeking office because it fit the definition of an infamous crime in the Iowa Constitution. Such a ruling would not only have disqualified Bisignano but thousands of other Iowans convicted of aggravated misdemeanors.

The court concluded second-offense operating while intoxicated isn't an infamous crime but says its ruling is limited to OWI second offense only. Future cases will have to decide which felonies might fall within the meaning of infamous crime.

Bisignano and Chiodo are seeking the Senate seat being vacated by Jack Hatch.

 


 

 

   

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