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Monday News, October 13

School Board To Certify Student Enrollment

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening, and although the school board has a light agenda, they will hear a report from Assistant Superintendent, Steve Webner regarding the certified student count for this year.  The school board will decide upon the contracts for two food service workers, Wanda Kneip and Patricia Lehner.  The school board is also expected to approve classification changes due to graduate work completed by teachers.

 

Jimmie Johnson Helmet On Display At Le Mars Community School

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Foundation Board will be showing off the helmet of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson at a photo ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.  The helmet of the race car driver is on tour as part of the "Helmet of Hope" campaign.  It is appearing at the Le Mars Community School since Le Mars was one of the winners of a $25,000 grant from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.  The Le Mars Community Foundation Board will visit each of the high school English classrooms that received laptop computers as a result of the grant.

 

Rupp And Niebuhr Honored At Bishop's Dinner 

(Sioux City) -- A Remsen St. Mary's fourth grade teacher and a Development Director from Gehlen Catholic School were among the six people honored at last evening's Bishop's Dinner held in Sioux City.  Cathy Rupp of Remsen received the Excellence in Education award, and Lisa Niebuhr of Le Mars was presented the Good Shepard award by Bishop R. Walker Nickless.  THe Bishop's Dinner is a major fundraiser event for catholic schools within the Sioux City Diocese.  Last year, the Bishop's Dinner raised more than $178,000 for catholic schools.  Former NFL coach, and now ESPN commentator, Herm Edwards served as the key-note speaker at last evening's event. 

 

Sioux City Schools Apply For English Language Grant

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Sioux City School board is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to apply for a state grant that helps non-English speaking students learn the language.
     The English Language Learner Literacy Grant would help develop programs to help English language learners develop their reading and writing skills. The district could receive $175,000 each for three years if it applies and the grant it is approved by the Iowa Department of Education
     The program would focus on students in Bryant, Leeds, Loess Hills and Hunt elementary schools.
     The district of more than 14,000 students has more than 2,600 students learning English. Nearly 30 different languages were spoken in Sioux City schools last year.

 

Democratic Congressional Candidate Jim Mowrer Talks Issues With KLEM

(Le Mars) -- 4th District Democratic Congressional candidate Jim Mowrer stopped by KLEM on Friday afternoon.  MOwrer is seeking the position being held by Republican Steve King.  Mowrer hails from Boone, Iowa, and is a veteran of the Iraqi War, as well as a former Pentagon staffer.  We spoke on various topics, but with regard to undocumented immigrants, Mowrer says Congressman Steve King has the wrong definition and wrong idea about amnesty.

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Mowrer says he favors raising the minimum wage level to $10.10 per hour as proposed by retiring Iowa Senator Tom Harkin.  Mowrer was asked if the minimum wage can be increased and not affect either the unemployment rate, or the growth in the national economy.

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As mentioned, Mowrer is a veteran of the Iraqi War and a former Pentagon staffer, so what's his opinion on the threat from terrorists groups like ISIS?

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The Democratic Congressional challenger says he does differ from both Congressman Steve King and President Obama about arming any militant groups.

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Mowrer believes if the U-S provides arms to the Syrian rebels, they in fact, in time would use those same arms against American troops, and American interests.  He points to Afghanistan as his example, when the U-S provided arms to the Afghani rebels so they could drive out the Soviet Union after the invasion, but now those same rebels are shooting at Americans.  

 

Romney Visits Iowa To Campaign For Ernst

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney is visiting Iowa for U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst as her battle with Democrat Bruce Braley enters its final three weeks.
     The 2012 Republican presidential nominee planned to headline an event Sunday evening in West Des Moines with Ernst, a state senator running against the congressman for the seat held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.
     A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll published Saturday showed the race a dead heat, with Ernst holding a 48 to 47 percent lead over Braley, marking improvements by both candidates though more by Braley.
     Romney's visit, which also includes a stop in Cedar Rapids later today, comes on the heels of Braley and Ernst's second debate Saturday. Their final debate is set for Thursday in Sioux City.

 

Missing Inmate Returns  

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities say an inmate on work release has returned less than 24 hours after he was reported missing. 
     An Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman says 41-year-old Bryan McDaniel failed to report to work in Sioux City on Saturday. The spokesman says McDaniel went to the facility on Sunday morning after authorities initiated a search for him.  
     Authorities didn't account for McDaniel's absence or say if he faces additional charges. 
     He is serving a 75-year sentence for second-degree murder and has been incarcerated since 1995. He was placed in the work release program in July.
     ---

 

84 Year Old Man Dies From Tractor Accident

GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa (AP) - Grundy County authorities say an 84-year-old man has died after being pinned underneath his tractor. 
     The Grundy County Sheriff's Office says Russell Katzer of Conrad was killed on Sunday. Authorities say he was driving on a gravel street when he veered off the road and the tractor flipped. 
     Katzer was taken to the Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center where he later died. 
     It's unclear what caused the crash. The sheriff's office is investigating.

 

Woodward Woman Ran Over By Tractor

 WOODWARD, Iowa (AP) - Dallas County authorities say a 31-year-old woman suffered severe internal injuries when she was run over by a tractor.
     The accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Woodward. The Dallas County Sheriff's Office says the woman was helping other people move two tractors when she fell down between the machines and was run over by a rear tire of one. 
     She was taken to a Des Moines hospital. Her name hasn't been released.
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Saturday News, October 11

Firefighters Called To Garage Fire
 

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to a garage fire Friday afternoon at 18818 Hickory Ave. west of Le Mars.  Upon arrival firefighters encountered a single stall one and one-half story garage that was fully engulfed.  Firefighters fought a defensive fire protecting surrounding buildings and a corn field.   The Akron Fire Department assisted at the scene with water and manpower.  The fire was contained to the garage of origin.   The cause of the fire was ruled accidental.   The area of origin was determined to be located in the southeast corner of the building.   Sparks from a chop saw hand grinder that was being used about an hour before the blaze was determined to be the cause.
The garage/shop and all contents are considered a total loss. Damage is estimated at $40,000.00.  The Le Mars Fire-Rescue Department was assisted at the scene by the Akron Fire Department, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and R.E.C.There were no injuries and firefighters were on the scene for an hour and a half.

Remsen Firefighters Respond To Call

(Remsen) -- The Remsen Fire Department responded to a combine harvester that caught on fire.  That fire was reported shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon at 120th Street and Quest Avenue.  Fire officials were on the scene nearly an hour.  No additional information is available regarding the total damage.

 

Two Arrested On Drug Charges
 

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office performed a traffic stop on a vehicle at the intersection of Green Avenue and 325th St.  As a result of that stop, the driver, Michael Potter, age 31 of Sioux City was placed under arrest for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  A passenger in the vehicle, James Horn, age 32 of Sioux City was also placed under arrest for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  Both individuals were transported to the Plymouth County Jail. 

 

Plea Hearing Schedueled For Orange City Woman

 ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) - A plea hearing is planned next week for an Orange City day care provider who is charged with killing a 3-year-old girl.
      Assistant Iowa Attorney General Coleman McAllister says details on Rochelle Sapp's plea agreement won't be made public until her hearing Thursday.
      District Judge Edward Jacobson set the hearing after a Friday meeting with attorneys.
      The 34-year-old Sapp previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and child endangerment in the death of Autumn Elgersma last year. An autopsy report says the girl died of blunt force head injuries.
  

Harvest Has Started And Good Crop Expected

(Kingsley) -- Harvest is now underway in Plymouth County, and according to Chris Pedersen who manages the Farmers Cooperative Elevator in Kingsley, it is still early for corn, but the soybean harvest has had good yield results.

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Pedersen says the farmers around the southeast corner of Plymouth County were not adversely affected by an early season frost of nearly ten days ago.

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This year's crop has been slow to mature, and the grain merchandiser says he has seen a slower start to the harvest.

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Pedersen says this year's harvest volume should be close to last year's, however, he says farmers are concerned about the drop of commodity prices.

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Record Numbers For Harvest Expected


 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the expected record corn and soybean harvest will be slightly bigger than previously estimated.
 
     Farmers are expected to bring in 14.5 billion bushels of corn, up from 14.4 billion last month, and 3.93 billion bushels of soybeans, up 14 million bushels. 
     The October estimate released Friday boosted the per-acre yield for both major crops because of an extended period of late summer warmth in the Midwest. 
     The USDA says 22 states will set corn record yields this year. Corn farmers are expected to harvest a national average of 174.2 bushels per acre, a significant increase over the record of 169. 
     A dozen states will set new soybean yield records, and there's expected to be 47.1 bushels per acre, up from the record of 44.

 

MidAmerican Polans To Expand Wind Farm


 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - MidAmerican Energy Company says it plans to develop a wind farm in southwest Iowa and expand another operation in northwest Iowa. 
     The Des Moines-based company announced Friday it plans to build the wind farm in Adams County and expand an existing farm in O'Brien County.
      MidAmerican estimates the developments would cost up to $280 million and result in 67 new turbines. 
     If approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, the utility expects construction could begin next summer and be completed in 2015.
      The turbine blades will be manufactured at a Siemens Energy plant in Fort Madison.
      MidAmerican says the projects will generate more than $40 million in property tax revenue over the next 30 years plus payments to landowners.
      MidAmerican also has projects underway in Grundy, Madison, O'Brien and Webster counties.
 

 

Judge Removes Himself From Case

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The judge overseeing a gay former state official's discrimination lawsuit against Gov. Terry Branstad and several aides is recusing himself.
 
     Chief Judge Arthur Gamble says in a court order that he feels a conflict of interest has arisen and he must step aside from former Workers' Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey's lawsuit. 
     Gamble says he has been consulting on an unrelated matter with two assistant attorneys general who recently have filed appearances in the case to defend the state. He says these consultations will continue during the case, and therefore recusal is appropriate. 
     Another court official is expected to assign a new judge. Gamble said in an email Friday that he doesn't believe his recusal will affect the timing of the trial, which Gamble recently said he wanted within a year.

 

Jury Rejects Harassment Case Brought By Prison Guard
 

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A jury has rejected an Iowa prison guard's lawsuit that said she was sexually harassed after inmates were repeatedly allowed to watch sexually graphic and violent moves. 
     The Polk County jury reached its decision Friday afternoon, a day after hearing closing arguments in the case of Kristine Sink, who filed the sexual harassment lawsuit in 2012.
      Jurors favored the Iowa Department of Corrections, which acknowledged it was wrong to let inmates watch sexually explicit movies, including some that depicted women being tortured and raped. Despite that, Assistant Iowa Attorney General Tyler Smith told jurors that officials appropriately dealt with Sink's complaints and that the difficulties she faced were part of working in a prison.
      A call to the state attorney general's office and to Sink's attorney weren't immediately returned.

   

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