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Wednesday News, September 19

Le Mars City Council Accepts Bids For Asbestos Removal

(Le Mars) -- During the Le Mars City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council had received six separate bids for the removal of asbestos from the former Westmar College Kime Science Center.  The bids had a range from $117,865 to a top bid of $196,500.  The council accepted the low bid submitted by Mid-States Asbestos Removal, Incorporated of Davis, South Dakota.  The council also awarded the bid from the Dale Hans Excavating and Utilities, LLC of South Sioux City, Nebraska to complete the Madison Avenue Water Main Extension project.  That bid was for $108,012.  Construction is expected to be completed by November.


City Receives Notice of Interest Of Purchasing Mock Library Building

(Le Mars) -- After 15 long years, the city council has received notification of an interested party in purchasing the former Westmar College Charles Mock Library building. The council, on Tuesday, set up a timeline for other offers and for the public hearing.
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Councilwoman Delana Ihrke wondered about the city's intentions regarding the property.
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The city acquired the former Westmar College property when the college closed.


Flu Vaccine Clinics Scheduled For Plymouth County

(Le Mars) -- Flu season will soon be upon us, and the Floyd Valley Hospital has scheduled a series of clinics throughout Plymouth County.  This year's vaccine covers three strains of influenza.  All people six months of age and older should have a flu vaccine.  Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of sever influenza and their close contacts, including healthcare personnel and close contacts of children younger than six months.  People with a severe allergies to chicken eggs should not have a flu shot.  Others, would include people who have had a severe reaction to flu shots in the past.  People who have developed GBS syndrome within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.  Children less than six months of age should not have a flu vaccine and people who are either moderately or severely ill should wait until they recover before getting immunized.  The public clinics will start on Friday, October 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Hinton Community Center, Wednesday, October 10th at the Le Mars Convention Center from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the Well Aware Community Health Fair.  The third clinic is scheduled for Thursday, October 11th at the Remsen Senior Center at Remsen between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  Other clinics include: Wednesday, October 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Kissinger Community Center at Merrill; Friday, October 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Akron Senior Center; Tuesday, October 23 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Floyd Valley Hospital Conference Center; Wednesday, October 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kingsley Community Center at Kingsley; and Thursday, October 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Le Mars Senior Center in Le Mars.   The cost of the flu vaccine is $25.


Vacera Selected As Chamber's Employee of the Month

(Le Mars) -- Prior to the start of the city council meeting, City Code Enforcement Officer, Jason Vacura  was recognized for the work that he does.  Vacura was honored as being the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce September Employee of the Month.  Vacura is involved with the full array of code related responsibilities to include; ordinances, building codes and state/federal regulations all of which effect life in Le Mars.  Since accepting the position in 2005, Vacera has updated every code the city has and has streamlined every review process while standardizing the permitting process.  In the nomination form submitted by City Administrator, Scott Langel, he says that Vacera has willingly accepted numerous
other tasks, projects, duties and responsibilities when City Management has requested.  The city is very fortunate to have this very talented person on staff, who always displays a nice and positive attitude toward fellow employees and citizens.


FDA Approves Of Blending Aflatoxin Corn

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa agriculture department says federal officials have approved a request for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus to be blended with other corn for animal
feed. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the agency's request to blend corn containing more than 20 parts per
billion of aflatoxin with corn that has lower levels or no aflatoxin.


Farming Ranks As One Of The Most Dangerous Jobs

(Ames) -- Farming is a dangerous business with more than 300 deaths associated with farming each year.  Iowa State University extension safety specialist, Charles Schwab says agriculture ranks as one of the most hazzardous occupations.
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This week is National Farm Safety Week.  A week that is devoted to the awareness of farming and its dangers.  Schwab says each year people of all ages from young children to seniors are involved in some type of farm-related injury or fatally.  He says the most common type of injuries usually are entanglement with Power-Take-Offs or other rotating machinery equipment, roadway collisions involving farm equipment, electrocution, and grain suffocation.  But the deadliest form of farm accidents involve tractor roll-overs that are not properly equipped with roll over protection.

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Conservatives Want To Remove Judge Wiggins

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Social conservatives are adding firepower to what has been a low-profile campaign to oust a member of the Iowa Supreme Court for his role in legalizing gay marriage in 2009.
The Family Leader has announced that former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will join a statewide bus tour next week calling for the removal of Justice David
Wiggins, who is up for retention in November.


Biden Appeals To Iowa's Blue-Collar Workforce

GRINNELL, Iowa (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden is focusing much of his two-day Iowa trip on blue-collar areas, hoping to improve President Barack Obama's chances of carrying the state he captured in 2008. Biden campaigned Monday in Burlington and yesterday in Ottumwa before capping the visit with a stop at Grinnell College.


Banker Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former loan officer at an Osceola bank has pleaded guilty to transferring $1.4 million from customer accounts to fund fraudulent loans he approved for clients.
Former Clarke County State Bank employee Paul Coffelt pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud during a hearing in federal court in Des Moines on Tuesday.
Under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Coffelt admitted that he submitted false documents to gain approval for loans from the bank's loan committee under false pretenses between
2006 and 2008. He also improperly approved loans without the committee's approval or in amounts above what had been authorized.
To pay for the fraudulent loans for his clients, Coffelt arranged 19 money transfers from unrelated accounts totaling $1.4 million. The transfers were discovered after he was fired.

 

 

 

 

   

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.

 

 

 

 

   

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