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Tuesday Afternoon News, Sept 11

Farmers and Fire Officials Battle Field Fire

(Le Mars) -- Farmers and fire officials alike were battling the strong winds this afternoon when a soybean field caught fire.  Le Mars and Merrill fire and rescue units responded to the scene located near the intersection of County Roads K-42 and C-16, or about three miles north of Brunsville. The call came in at about 2:30 p.m. and within a half hour, fire officials were fortunate to have contained the fire.  Farmers from the area assisted fire officials by providing a bobcat skid loader and two large tractors pulling tandem disks to help smother the flames.  Approximately six acres of soybeans were lost to the fire.  It is not known how the fire started.  No farm equipment was lost as a result of the fire.


Secondary Road Employees Present Contract Requests

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard the contract requests from the Plymouth County Secondary Road Employee Association during their regular meeting this morning.  Curt Sitzmann was representing the employee association, and he spelled out the various requests.

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The other requests was to have a four hour minimum for on-call pay during the time when snow and ice was to be cleared, and a two hour minimum for any other on-calls.  The county road employees were asking for an increase of pay from forty cents an hour to a dollar an hour pay increase when performing duties while on-call.


County Road Construction Projects Nearing Completion

(Le Mars) -- Many of the county road construction projects that were scheduled for the summer are now nearing completion.  Tom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer says county Road C-60 is now paved, but it isn't quite ready for traffic.
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Rohe says the two bridge repair projects located on County Road C-38 should be done perhaps by mid-october.

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Kim Porter Selected As Chamber "Employee of the Month"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has announced its September Employee of the Month.  Kim Porter of the Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars has been named the recipient. 
Kim Porter began her employment with Good Samaritan Society in September of 1982.  She is a
valuable member of the dietary team over these past 30 years.  She is always striving to
ensure she is assisting her fellow dietary staff, as well as helping the residents with
whatever they need in the neighborhoods.  Because of her dedication to serving the
residents, Kim was nominated Employee of the Quarter and then Employee of the Year by her
peers in 1996.  Our congratulations to Kim Porter for being named the Le Mars Chamber of
Commerce Employee of the Month.


Judge Asked To Consolidate Lawsuits Against Iowa Gaming Commission


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission wants a judge to consolidate two lawsuits filed against it by the owner of Sioux City's riverboat casino.
Penn National Gaming Co. has gone to court to overturn the board's decisions that put the gambling license up for bid for a land-based casino in Woodbury County and rejected a contract
extension with its nonprofit partner to 2015.
Penn National claims the commission's actions were unconstitutional and beyond its authority.
The commission filed a motion on Monday in Polk County District Court asking that the cases be held at the same. The board argues that consolidation would promote "judicial economy" by eliminating the need to address the same or similar issues in two separate actions.

 

 

   

Tuesday News, September 11

Branstad Orders Flags At Half-staff For 9-11

(Undated) -- We all remember what we were doing and where we were eleven years ago when we heard the news about the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon being struck by  airline jets flown by terrorists, along with that jet airline that perhaps was destined for our nation's capital city when it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.  Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is ordering flags at state government buildings and other sites to be flown at half-staff to honor those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Branstad called for the flags to be lowered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at public buildings, grounds and other facilities throughout the state. Individuals, schools and businesses also are encouraged to fly flags at half-staff during this period as a show of respect.
The Sept. 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

 

School Board Elects Officers...Approve Purchase of Two Buses...and Set Annual Goals

(Le Mars) -- At last evening's Le Mars Community School Board meeting, Brenda Phelan was re-elected to serve another year as president, and Scott Kommes was re-elected by the board to serve as vice president.  The board accepted the bid submitted by Thomas Bus Sales for the purchase of two new school buses to be delivered sometime in December.  The winning bid was for $153,670 with a $2,000 trade-in making the final bid offer at $151,670.  The school district received three bids.  Just $42 separated the lowest bid from the second lowest, and $288 was the difference between the highest bid and the middle bid.  In other action, the school board heard reports from each of the district's principals.  The elementary principals, informed the board how the local Parent-Teacher Organization is assisting with the funding for new playground equipment.
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Steve Shanks, the Middle School principal informed the board how the students were being taught character as part of the character counts program.
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Shanks told the board the program also deals with "bullying".  Larry Johnson, the high school principal reported the students have adopted a "ready for business" attitude this year and have gotten off to a good start.  Johnson gave a report regarding the high school's tutorial program.

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The board approved their annual goals for the 2012-2013 school year to include decrease the percent of students in the non-proficient categories of reading, math, and science by ten percent.  Monitor the implementation of the Core Curriculum, and enhance the financial stability of the Le Mars Community School District.


Johnson Selected As School District Employee of the Month

(Le Mars) -- Speaking of schools, the Le Mars Community School District honored one of their own yesterday for the employee of the month.  This time the honor was awarded to Barb Johnson who serves as a building aide for the Kluchohn Elementary School.  Johnson has been on staff with the Le Mars Community schools for seven years.  According to the nomination form, Barb Johnson brings a smile and a positive attitude every day to Kluchohn.  She helps in the BD room making sure the students she is responsible for are successful.  While these students are intergrated into regular classroom setting she finds ways to make their learning a positive experience.  She is always willing to help other students and staff where she sees the need.  Our classrooms have benefitted from her presence.  Our congratulations to Barb Johnson for being selected as the Le Mars School District Employee of the Month.

Plymouth County Supervisors To Discuss Contract With Road Employees

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today.  The Supervisors will hear from Doug Owens, the fire chief for the Remsen Fire and Rescue Department.  Owens is expected to discuss the fiscal year 2012-2013 local options sales tax grant award.  The supervisors are also scheduled to meet with Curt Sitzmann who is the president of the Secondary Road Employee Association.  The supervisors will hear the first proposal for the new contract between the county and the secondary road employee association.

 

Rose Confirmed As Judge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose as a federal judge in Iowa.
Sens. Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley say the Senate voted 89-1 on Monday to confirm Rose in Iowa's Southern District, which includes Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Davenport.
Rose was one of three candidates recommended by Harkin to replace Judge Robert Pratt, who has taken senior status. President Barack Obama nominated her in February.
Rose has served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Iowa since 2009. She spent over 12 years in the office as an assistant U.S. attorney.
Rose received a bachelor's degree in 1994 and a law degree in 1996, both from the University of Iowa.

 

Ames' Big Brothers/Big Sisters To Close

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A lack of federal funding has led to the closure of a child mentoring office in Ames that opened just over three years ago.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Ames is closing, and services for Story County will be handled
through the Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Des Moines.
Matt Ashburn, chairman of the program's board in Story County, says he's frustrated and saddened by the office's closure.
Kit Curran, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, says the Ames office opened in 2009 with money from a federal grant. But he says funding for the grant was not renewed, and not
enough financial support came from the Story County community to keep it afloat.
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