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Tuesday Afternoon News, September 18

Update On the Hinton Car-Train Accident

(Hinton) -- Another car and train collision occurred last evening.  This time it was at County Road C-60 and Highway 75 at the intersection in the middle of Hinton.  Hinton Police Chief Chris Conlon says that 23 year old Nathan Plendl of Kingsley was driving a pick up truck and went around the railroad crossing gates when the collision occurred.

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Three people were inside the Plendl vehicle with two seriously injured including Plendl.  Conlon did not have the name of the second victim, but said both parties were transported to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.   The third victim was injured but was not transported to a hospital.  The third victim indicated he would seek medical attention on his own.  Conlon says another vehicle driven by 71 year old Charles Beck sustained damage.  Beck's vehicle had stopped legally at the train crossing when the Plendl vehicle passed him and after being hit by the train spun around and struck the Beck vehicle.  Beck was not injured.  The train involved in the collision was a southbound Union Pacific train.  Conlon says the cross arm standard was damaged as a result of the collision and Union Pacific officials are at the scene today making the necessary repairs.


Travelers Using Highway 3 Must Detour...Again

(Le Mars) -- Motorists that use Highway 3 west are once again being inconvenienced with another traffic detour. This time it involves the railroad crossing at West Le Mars.  Iowa Department of Transportation District Engineer Tony Lazarowicz  says the detour is considered a short-time detour.
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Lazarowicz isn't sure as to what improvements the railroad is doing at that crossing.


Law Enforcement Agencies Aware of Suspicious Vehicles Around Children

(Le Mars) -- There have been numerous reports within northwest Iowa of a suspicious vehicle or vehicles that have been seen at various locations near school children.  Although no abductions have taken place, parents, teachers, and local law enforcement agenies are on the alert.   Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says local community residents have been watching for suspicious activity.
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Reports of suspicious vehicles and suspicious activities have been reported in Sioux City, Clay County, Dickinson County, Lyon County, and the most recent occurance this past Saturday near Rock Valley in Sioux County.  Van Otterloo doesn't believe the incidents are connected, but he reminds parents to communicate with their children.

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Van Otterloo says the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers many tips for youngsters to know what to do for going to and from school.  He says some simple tips is to check first with their parents, walk with other friends, and yell out "No"! if someone tries to touch them.  

Many people wonder why amber alerts are not always issued when such incidents happen.  The missing cousins from near Waterloo did not have an amber alert. Le Mars Police Chief Stewart Dekkenga says there has to be certain criteria met before an amber alert is issued.
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Dekkenga reminds parents to talk to their children about how to act when strangers approach them. He also asks parents to contact the local law enforcement agencies immediately upon any suspicious activity, and not to wait.
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Sioux City Council Approves First Reading Forbidding People to Feed Wildlife

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Council members in Sioux City have taken their first step toward barring people from feeding deer and wild turkeys inside the city.
The City Council voted 5-0 for the proposed ordinance on Monday.  Two more readings and council votes are required before it becomes law.
Assistant City Attorney Connie Anstey says the measure is meant to reduce traffic accidents and damage to plants caused by the wild animals.
People who feed turkey and deer would be subject to a municipal infraction with a fine of at least $65 or be charged with a simple misdemeanor with a fine up to $100.
The ordinance would not penalize people who have gardens or trees that produce fruits, nuts or vegetables such as apples, carrots and acorns.


Audit Shows Missing Funds From Blencoe's City Account

BLENCOE, Iowa (AP) - A state audit shows poor record-keeping at the western Iowa city of Blencoe has led to a loss of more than $71,000 in property taxes and unsupported spending of city money.
Former city clerk Kym Harris served from January 2008 until she resigned last September after the city discovered financial reports hadn't been filed. The city couldn't collect property taxes for the
fiscal year that ended in June.
Harris told the Omaha World Herald in January she was going through cancer treatments and things were in turmoil.
She did not immediately return a call.
The audit, released Tuesday by State Auditor David Vaudt, found just over $2,400 of unsupported expenditures and more than $300 of improper reimbursements to Harris.
Blencoe, population 225, is 45 miles south of Sioux City.

 

Siemens Lays Off 600+ Employees

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A wind energy equipment manufacturer says it will lay off 615 workers in Iowa, Kansas and Florida in part because Congress has not renewed a tax credit for wind energy.
Siemens Energy Inc. says it told workers the news Tuesday at plants in Fort Madison, Iowa; Hutchinson, Kan., and Orlando, Fla.
The biggest cuts will come in Fort Madison, where 407 workers at a wind turbine blade factory will be out of work. About 220 workers there will be retained.
The company blamed difficult market conditions due to lack of congressional action on a wind energy tax credit as well as increased use of natural gas-fired power plants and an overall
sluggish economy.
In a statement, Siemens says the industry is seeing a significant drop in new wind turbine orders.

 

 

 

 

   

Tuesday News, September 18

Train - Car Collision At Hinton

(Hinton) -- Another car and train collision occurred last evening.  This time it was at County Road C-60 and Highway 75 at the intersection in the middle of Hinton.  Little is known about the accident at this time, other than it happened at about 7:50 p.m. and injuries were involved.  The Hinton Fire and Rescue Department was at the scene for nearly an hour.

 

Plymouth County Supervisors To Meet

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today.  The supervisors are expected to certify and canvass the results of the Akron-Westfield Physical Plant and Equipment Levy vote for the Akron-Westfield school district.  The supervisors will review a letter to the Northwest Iowa Development regarding Foreign Trade Zone.  The supervisors will also review and approve the resignation of Blaine Donaldson for various county committees. County engineer, Tom Rohe will update the supervisors on construction projects, as well as review a request from Southern Sioux Rural Water association.


City Council To Discuss Westmar Buildings During Council Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will again discuss the Madison Avenue water main extension and improvements during their regularly scheduled meeting for today.  In addition, the city council will review a purchase proposal for the former Westmar College Charles Mock Library, as well as take action on the Kime Science Center asbestos removal.

 

National Farm Safety Week

(Le Mars) -- This week marks National Farm Safety Week.  A week devoted to the awareness of the many dangers on the farm.  La Vonne Galles, local coordinator of Agri-Safe of Plymouth County, a part of Floyd Valley Hospital, reminds farmers to know at all times where  children are located.  She says the grain trucks and wagons, and grain bins can often times be a "playground for children".  Tractor roll-overs, according to Galles,  still ranks as the top cause for farm related fatalities.  Galles says farmers need to keep all shields in place and to stop the machine before working on it to prevent entanglements.  Galles reminds farmers that they should have their equipment properly marked with slow moving vehicle signs and amber flashing lights when traveling on the roadways.  Since we have another dry year, Galles suggests farmers equip their combines with a fire extinguisher.  She also asks farmers to take some breaks during the hectic harvest season.
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Because of the drought, there are many corn fields that are affected with aflatoxin.  Galles says this year, farmers should wear a mask or a breathing apparatus when entering grain bins.
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Each year, there are more than 300 deaths due to farm-related accidents.

 

Farmers Are Three Weeks Ahead of Normal Schedule With Harvest

(Des Moines) -- Farmers are about three weeks ahead of normal harvesting schedules, according to the latest weekly crop report, and many farmers are reporting this year has been the earliest that they have been in the fields.  Farmers have been able to harvest at least 22 percent of the corn crop, and six percent of the soybean crop.  Northwest Iowa is leading the way for the soybean harvest with 12 percent already harvested.

 

Voters Choose Early Voting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Early voting appears to be gaining in popularity, with requests for ballots in Polk County about 30 percent higher than they were at this time in 2008.
Polk County Jamie Fitzgerald says that there had been 21,995 requests as of Monday. That's far ahead of the total in 2008 at this point, with about seven weeks before the election.
The secretary of state's office says more than 128,000 Iowans had requested ballots as of Friday. Nearly 70 percent were by Democrats and 12 percent Republicans.
David Kochel, with the Romney campaign, says the difference in the parties' early voting numbers is because Republicans focus on supporters who are less likely to vote, while Democrats encourage
early voters by anyone in the party.


Biden and Ryan Campaign in Iowa

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told voters in Iowa that the nation needs Mitt Romney to reduce government spending.
Vice President Joe Biden was in Iowa too, telling voters that Romney is "totally out of touch" with the realities that everyday Americans face.
The running mates visited Iowa on Monday to present two widely different views on the nation's future. They are scheduled to meet in a nationally televised debate next month.
Biden visited the Mississippi River town of Burlington while Ryan spoke to voters in the capital of Des Moines.
Ryan says that cutting back on government spending makes sense to the frugal residents of Iowa and those in his home state of Wisconsin. Biden assures Iowans that President Barack Obama
understands their lives.

 

 

   

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