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Thursday Afternoon News, October 24

Rescue Units Respond To Grain Bin Accident

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars and Merrill Fire and Rescue units were called to a harvest related accident at about 1:30 Thursday afternoon.  The accident occurred nearly ten miles southwest of Le Mars at a farm just north of the County Road K-22 and C-38.  The accident involved a 40 year old man from Merrill who had gotten his foot and lower extremity entangled in an auger inside a grain bin. Fire fighters had cut several holes in the grain bin to allow some of the grain to empty out, in order to have better access to the victim.  Rescue units worked for two hours before they were able to extricate the subject from the grain bin.  The male victim was alive and in good spirits as he was removed on a backboard from the grain bin.  Mercy Air Care was called to the scene and transported him to the Mercy Medical Center in Sioux city.  Authorities are not releasing the name of the victim at this time. Assisting at the scene was the Le Mars Ambulance, Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, and Northwest REC.

 

Wells Celebrates 100 Years

(Le Mars) -- 100 years ago today, a gentleman, by the name of Fred H. Wells, started up a
dairy operation in Le Mars, Iowa.  He had a horse, a delivery wagon, a few cans and jars and
was distributing milk to local customers from a dairy farmer for the agreed upon price of
$250.  Around 1925, that upstart company started to produce ice cream.  Today, the company
is known by the name of Wells Enterprises with its signature product,  Blue Bunny ice cream.
Wells is the nation's largest family owned and managed ice cream producer.  The numbers,
according to the Wells website: the company employs more than 2500 people, and operates
three production facilities, (two in Le Mars and a third at St. George, Utah).  The company
makes more than 70 flavors of ice cream with its products distributed nationwide. Wells
produces over 120 million gallons of ice cream annually.  The name: "Blue Bunny" was created
by a Sioux City man in 1935 who had won a contest.  He noticed how much his son enjoyed blue
bunnies in a department store window at Easter Time.  Happy 100th Birthday, Wells Blue
Bunny.

 

Sioux City Workers Try To Save Historical Cemetery From Soil Erosion

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City workers are hauling in dirt to historic Floyd Cemetery to fill in a gully and make sure erosion doesn't expose any graves.
City officials say the ongoing project involves bringing in soil and extending drainage tubes. The work should eventually slow runoff and erosion.
Some gravestones near the gully in question have exposed concrete bases and tilted headstones. Kelly Bach, city parks maintenance field supervisor, says none of the gravestones were in immediate danger of being exposed or sliding away.
Just a handful of burials take place each year at Floyd Cemetery, which is considered the city's oldest graveyard. The land was donated to Sioux City in 1866.
Historians say concerns about erosion at the cemetery have been ongoing for years.
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Skeletal Remains Is Wanted Criminal

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Skeletal remains found along an interstate bridge in western Iowa have been identified as a Nebraska man accused of fleeing arrest nearly two years.
The state Division of Criminal Investigation announced Thursday that remains discovered on Oct. 11 belong to 21-year-old Chance Fletcher, of Omaha. They were positively identified through dental records.
Fletcher was last seen alive during a police pursuit on Dec. 15, 2011. He is accused of leading a police chase in a stolen vehicle. Local police say Fletcher wrecked the car near the I-480 bridge and escaped on foot. Authorities were later unable to find him.
Omaha Police's missing persons unit coordinated the area search on Oct. 11. Fletcher's remains were discovered in a drainage ditch.

 

Business Owners Can Apply For Property Tax Credit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa business owners can begin applying for a new property tax credit that was part of a tax reform package approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year.
The property tax credit applies to certain commercial, industrial, and railroad properties.
The Legislative Services Agency has estimated that the maximum first year credit amount will be about $523.
Lawmakers set aside $50 million to pay for the first year of credits.
Applications for credit against 2013 property tax assessments must be received by the county or city assessor by Jan. 15.
Applications may be obtained from the Iowa Department of Revenue.

 

 

   

Thursday News, October 24

Floyd Valley Hospital Creates "Harvest For Your Hospital" Campaign

(Le Mars) -- Farmers are of course busy with this year's harvest, and now the Floyd Valley
Hospital has created an opportunity where farmers can donate some of their grain to the hospital.  Its referred to as "harvest for the hospital" and Floyd Valley hospital Foundation Manager, Chuck Jespersen says the program allows farmers to donate to the expansion project campaign.

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Jespersen says the hospital is coordinating the donations through 17 area grain elevators and ethanol processors.  He says when a farmer donates grain for the hospital, it can be classified as a tax deduction.

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Although the program is relatively new, Jespersen says there has been a great amount of interest from farmers.

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The hospital foundation manager says any size of grain donation is welcomed, and there is no minimum requirements.

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For more information regarding the "Harvest For Our Hospital" campaign, you can contact the Floyd Valley Hospital Foundation Department, or contact your local grain elevator.

 

Two Hinton Men Arrested For Possession Of Controlled Substance

(Le Mars) -- Last Friday evening, the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office performed a traffic stop on Southridge Road near County Road K-22.  As a result of that stop, Steven Kramer, age 22, of Hinton was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Dylan Ohl, age 22 of Hinton was also placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and interference with official acts.  Both were transported to the Plymouth County Jail.

 

Newell Man Arrested And Charged For Stealing Hogs

(Storm Lake) -- A Newell, Iowa man has been arrested and charged with stealing hogs.  43 year old Monte Grote has been arrested and charged with two counts of theft in the first degree, a class C felony, and one count of theft in the second degree, a class D felony. 
Grote had been contracted to raise feeder pigs for a Minnesota company.  A complaint was
received on October 15th by the Buena Vista Sheriff's office of several head of hogs missing, and Grote claiming they had died.  After an investigation, it was determined that Grote had sold several head of hogs from May through October claiming the hogs were his. 
Total value of the livestock was over $25,000.  Grote is in the Buena Vista County jail and is being held on a $10,000 bond.


The Aslyum To Host Bowl-A-Thon

(Le Mars) -- An asylum is a place to seek refuge and protection.  The Asylum in Le Mars is offering that type of care and compassion to kids who otherwise may not receive the guidance they need.
Roxie Rahn says the Asylum, which is a ministry of the Youth for Christ organization, often works with kids who aren't involved with extra-curricular activities and don't have someone to come home to after school.

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They also offer a tutoring program, a weekly family meal for the kids as well as special programming and speakers to teach life skills.

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There are 350-400 kids ages 11-19 that come through the Asylum each year, averaging 75-150 attendees per week.

To keep that number of kids supported, it takes funds to make that happen. Youth for Christ will be having a Bowl-a-thon at Sweet 16 Lanes in Le Mars this Sunday to raise funds for the  organization.  There are 16 teams, with team and lane sponsors, with room for more.

Rahn explains how the funds will be used.

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Youth for Christ hopes to raise between 6 and 8 thousand dollars through this event, which in it's 14th year.  Rahn says that the support of the community is integral in the success of the Asylum and other Youth for Christ programs.

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If you're interested in supporting The Asylum through Sunday's Bowl-a-thon or by other means feel free to call them at 546-8833.

 

Regents To Consider Freezing Tuition

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents will consider a plan to freeze tuition rates for undergraduates from Iowa for the second straight year.
The board that governs Iowa's public universities meets Thursday at the University of Iowa.
Up for discussion is a plan to maintain current tuition rates for in-state undergraduates next year as long as lawmakers give the universities a 4 percent funding
increase. The regents adopted a similar strategy last year, which has proven popular and was
successful in the Legislature.
The regents will also discuss a plan to reduce tuition for out-of-state students to improve sagging enrollment at the University of Iowa law school.
The regents aren't expected to give final approval to either plan until December.
Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to speak at the meeting.

 

Online Seminars To Help Farmers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A series of online seminars aimed at helping farmers learn about such topics as how to insure an apple orchard, marketing and distributing local food, and the profit potential of grass-based livestock will be held through December.
Practical Farmers of Iowa has set a schedule for a series of seminars this fall.
The interactive webinars are Tuesday evenings from Nov. 5 through Dec. 10, except for Thanksgiving week
Anyone is invited to listen in by signing in as a guest at
www.practicalfarmers.org/farminar .
Funds for the webinars have come from more than 200 individual donors and corporate sponsors including John Deere and Farm Credit Services of America.
Most presenters are farmers and the events are set up for participants to ask questions in real time.

 

Iowa Public Employee Pension Fund In Trouble

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's public employee pension funds face billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities and it's likely lawmakers will try to address the problem in next year's legislative session.
A 10-member legislative pension committee heard experts talk Wednesday about the impact of maintaining a police and firefighters pension fund used by 49 larger Iowa cities.
Gretchen Tegeler, executive director of the Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa, says Des Moines has seen reduced library hours and higher property taxes and Urbandale has had tax increases for three consecutive years.
Democratic Sen. Tom Courtney, the pension committee chairman, says he expects a bill to be introduced next year to make pension funding changes but details aren't yet decided.
Republican Rep. Dawn Pettingill says lawmakers should avoid knee-jerk reactions.
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