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Tuesday News, October 2

Early Morning Accident Leads To Fatality

(Le Mars) -- Early Tuesday morning, at about 5:20 a.m. the Plymouth County Sheriff's office responded to a one vehicle accident located on Highway 75 near Kern Drive, just south of the NIPCO intersection.  Deputies found the vehicle in the east ditch, and determined the accident to be with life threatening injuries.  The investigation indicates the vehicle was northbound on Highway 75, and as it approached the curve, the driver lost control of the vehicle and entered the east ditch, where it rolled several times.  The vehicle is registered to a subject from Sergeant Bluff.  The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and was transported to Floyd Valley Hospital for further examination by Plymouth County Medical Examiner, Dr. Holcomb.  The name is being withheld at this time due to notification of family.

 

Plymouth County Supervisors To Meet

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are to meet this morning.  The supervisors have a relatively light agenda as they will review and expected to approve two subdivision requests.  The supervisors will also hear from Terry Marienau, the assistant to the county engineer.

 

Le Mars City Council To Hold Public Hearings

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will hold a couple of public hearings in regards to refunding the water and sewer improvement and refunding loan agreements.  If approved, the city is expected to save more than $800,000.  The public hearings will be held at 12:00 noon at the city council chambers.  The city council is also expected to hear a report from JEO engineering consulting firm with regards to 27th Street RISE project.  RISE stands for Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy.

 

Farm Rescue To Help With Harvest For A Le Mars Farm Couple

(Le Mars) -- An organization that provides free assistance to farmers with their harvesting, due to a major injury, illness, or natural disaster is coming to the rescue of a Le Mars farming couple.  Levi Weilenga, of Sioux City is a local volunteer with the Farm Rescue organization. He says the organization got its start in 2005.

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Farm Rescue will be helping Gary and Linda Reeves of Le Mars with their harvest today.

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Weilenga says both Gary and Linda Reeves are being treated for cancer.

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Since its inception, Farm Rescue has either planted or harvested crops for 200 farm families living in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana.  Iowa was recently added as the fifth state in which Farm Rescue provides assistance, with the Reeves being the third Iowa farm family to receive the assistance.


Le Mars Fire Department Releases September Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued its September report, noting that they were asked to go on 59 total calls.  Twelve of the calls were fire calls, and two were for rescue-related calls.  One time, the Le Mars Fire Department was asked to offer mutual aid assistance.  The fire department had 30 requests for services, and 14 investigations.  During the month of September, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue held 56 fire extinguisher training seminars for 800 employees of Well's Enterprises.  Approximately, one-third of all Well's Enterprises employees are now trained on the proper use of a fire extinguisher.


Cigar Responsible For Sioux City Fatal Fire

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a discarded cigar is to blame for a deadly fire in Sioux City.
According to investigators, 71-year-old Delbert Rowse died at a hospital after he was pulled from the basement of the burning home early Saturday. Officials say Rowse was asleep when the sofa he was on was ignited by an improperly discarded cigar.
It is Sioux City's second fatal fire this year. A man found dead in a burning home in July died of smoke inhalation.


13 Year Old Boy Shot In Head

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 13-year-old boy has been hospitalized after being shot in his head at a friend's house in Ankeny.
The boy, Michael Wells, of Berwick, was visiting a friend on Sunday afternoon when the shooting occurred.
It's unclear how he was shot, but police have reported no arrests. A 14-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy were in the house at the time of the shooting and are considered witnesses. Their
names have not been released. Police say children's parents weren't home at the time, either.
Ankeny police say the girl called 911 after the shooting.

 

Iowa Supreme Court To Hear Farm Tour Injury Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the owners of a dairy farm can be sued by an adult chaperone who was injured during a kindergarten class trip.
The court said Monday it would hear the case Oct. 11 at Waterloo West High School.
Justices will be asked to decide whether a lawsuit filed by Kimberly Sallee is barred by a law that gives immunity to landowners who open their property to others for recreational purposes.
Sallee fell through the floor of the hay loft and onto the barn below when she was chaperoning a trip of her daughter's class from Sacred Heart School in Oelwein to the farm owned by the Stewart
family.
A district judge has dismissed the claims, and Sallee is asking they be reinstated.

 

Iowa Harvest Half Done

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's corn and soybean harvests have passed the halfway point as farmers move quickly to get the drought-damaged crops out of the fields.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 56 percent of the corn and 54 percent of the soybeans have been harvested. That's a week or two ahead of normal.
The USDA says in Monday's weekly report that the condition of the corn improved slightly, with 47 percent rated poor or very poor, 33 percent fair and 20 percent in good or excellent shape.
Soybeans are rated 31 percent poor or very poor, 37 percent fair and 32 percent in good or excellent condition.
Iowa continues to be dry. The state saw just .17 inches of rain in the past week, below the normal of .77 inches.

 






   

Monday Afternoon News, Oct. 1

Sheldon Man Sentenced To Prison For ID Theft

(Orange City) -- A Sheldon man was sentenced on Friday in Sioux County District court for identity theft, a class D felony; and three counts of Forgery, Class D felonies.  39 year old Juan Ozuna-Contreras, will serve at least five years in prison.  The case arose on January 24th when a special agent with the U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement went to Golden Crisp in Sioux Center to investigate a tip that a person was working under an assumed name using fraudulent or fictitious documents.  Ozuna-Contreras is a native of Mexico, and is not legally authorized to be employed in the United States.  The case was prosecuted by Sioux county attorney, Coleman McAllister.


Le Mars Community School District Sets 2012-2013 Goals

(Le Mars) -- With one month of school already in the books, school officials presented their goals for the 2012-2013 school year during the last Board of Education meeting.  Le Mars Middle School goals was presented by Middle School principal Steve Shanks.  Shanks says the Middle School teachers are implementing was is referred to as SMART goals as part of their teaching assessment.
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Shanks says the Middle School teachers will focus specifically on reading, mathematics, and science proficiency. Larry Johnson serves as the high school principal.  He says the high school's faculty goals are to work on the student's inferences.

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Floyd Athay spelled out the goals for the elementary schools.

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District wide, school officials indicate that Le Mars is in better shape than many Iowa schools, but more emphasis will be to encourage students to become efficient in the three core areas of reading, math, and science.


Highway 20 New Four-Lane Segment May Open By Thanksgiving

(Sac City) -- The latest stretch of four-lane Highway 20 in northwest Iowa is expected to open this fall, likely in November. Shirley Phillips, president of the Highway 20 Corridor Association, says it's taken more than two decades to get the east-west thoroughfare to this stage.

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Phillips says the latest 26-mile stretch of road should be open in time for Thanksgiving travelers.

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Phillips details how many miles will be needed to finish the four-lane project.

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Phillips says the goal is to have the entire four-lane project finished within five years. Phillips has been involved with the Highway 20 project for the past 24 years.


Sioux City Teen Asks Date For Homecoming Using Billboard Sign

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City student has found a unique way to ask someone to Saturday's homecoming dance. He put his invitation to Maria Flores on a billboard in downtown Sioux City.
Sam Avery, a senior at North High School, told the Sioux City Journal (http://bit.ly/Pk8c6d ) that teddy bears, roses or balloons just wouldn't do. He needed something bigger and better.
Avery says he thought about asking a girl to the dance via a billboard for some time especially since his father owns a sign company.
Avery and Flores, also a senior at North High, first met in eighth grade. She moved to Texas two years ago and returned to Sioux City this summer.
Avery surprised Flores with the billboard a few weeks ago - and she said yes.


Des Moines Ordered To Refund Money To Utility Customers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The city of Des Moines must refund millions of dollars to utility customers after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal request in a lawsuit involving the
collection of fees on gas and electricity utility bills.
The court's decision announced Monday upheld the Iowa Supreme Court, which in turn upheld lower court decisions that declared the collection of between $30 million and $40 million an illegal tax.
Iowa courts have ordered the city to repay the money.
The city appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in July.
The decision means the case returns to Polk County District Court, where an exact refund will be determined for 100,000 Des Moines utility customers.
The case is about permissible use of franchise fees intended to maintain city right of ways used by utilities.


Supreme Court Rejects Meatpacker's Appeal

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a 27-year prison term issued to a former kosher slaughterhouse executive convicted of financial fraud following a
huge immigration raid at the Iowa plant.
The Supreme Court declined Monday to consider an appeal filed by former Agriprocessors Inc. vice president Sholom Rubashkin.
He was convicted of a scheme to cheat the Postville plant's lender out of $27 million by submitting fake invoices that made its finances appear healthier than they were. His arrest came after immigration authorities raided the plant and arrested 389 illegal immigrants.
Rubashkin had argued that U.S. District Judge Linda Reade could not be impartial because she met with investigators to plan the immigration raid. He also argued his prison term was too long for a
first-time, nonviolent offender.

 

Woman Wants Native Prairie Grass - City Claims It To Be Weeds

BUFFALO, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa woman is fighting with city officials to retain prairie grass the she says has taken her a decade to grow.
KWQC-TV reports (http://bit.ly/QEwqMM ) Jeanne Hedges of Buffalo says she's worked hard to grow the native grass because she "wanted to recreate a small prairie of my own."
But a city inspector told her had had to cut the grass. Hedges says the inspector called it a bunch of weeds and noted the city code required grass to be cut when it grows over 10 inches high.
Mayor Doug Anderson says the city isn't trying to bully the woman, but it must enforce the city laws. He says the City Council will decide if prairie grass is a nuisance or a garden.
A meeting is set for Monday.
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